Singapore is not only well-known for its shopping centers, but also for its hawker centers. 'Hawkers' refer to large food courts with stalls that sell tasty, quick, and affordable meals. This tradition began with immigrants who set up temporary food stalls in public places such as sidewalks and parks.
These hawker centers are like communal dining halls where people from all sorts of life come to eat. They are a melting pot of cultures, offering a place to socialize over meals at any time of the day.
If you're planning a trip to Singapore soon, you should consider experiencing a hawker center. So, I'll share some of the hawker centers that my husband and I explored when in Singapore. Stay tuned!
Maxwell Food Center is one of the most popular hawker centers in Singapore. You can find it at 1 Kadayanallur Street. If you're taking the MRT, you have a couple of options.
For those who'd like to enjoy a stroll or explore Chinatown, get off at Chinatown MRT Station and walk for about 10 minutes. If you prefer to go directly to Maxwell, exit at Maxwell MRT station. Once you step out, you'll see the food center right next to the station.
This place is famed for offering some of the best Hainanese Chicken Rice in town, but you can also try other local specialties such as Laksa, Popiah, and Oyster Cake. Maxwell Food Center is open from early morning until after midnight.
When you visit, I suggest trying the Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice; they've got the best chicken rice ever! For a glimpse into what else we enjoyed, see the article below:
Right next to the bustling business area, Amoy Street Food Centre is a go-to lunch destination for many office workers.
You can find it at 7 Maxwell Road. Getting there is easy if you take the MRT. From Maxwell Station (TE 18), it's just a six-minute walk. If you're coming from Tanjong Pagar Station (EW15), it's even closer—a brief two-minute stroll.
We made sure to visit right when it opened at 10 am. It's a good strategy because by lunchtime, it's packed, and it might be tough to get what were craving.
One of the highlights was the Kin Men Seng Heng stall, where we had some amazing Duck Noodles. The duck was cooked perfectly—tender without any off-putting smell.
They seasoned it well, striking a nice balance between savory and tangy flavors. Plus, it came with a boiled egg, simple tofu, and pong tofu. For the base, you could choose from yellow noodles, kwetiaw, or rice.
Lau Pa Sat, meaning 'Old Market' in the Hokkien language, is a historic site also once known as Telok Ayer Market. It stands as the oldest market in Singapore.
Located at 18 Raffles Quay, Lau Pa Sat operates round the clock, from Monday to Sunday. It's easy to access by MRT, with the closest stops being Telok Ayer (DT18) and Downtown (DT17) stations. From there, it's just a 400-meter walk amidst the towering buildings to reach the market.
Of all the hawker centers we visited, Lau Pa Sat was the largest and the cleanest. It has a classic design, a spacious layout, and an impressive variety of food stalls. You can find an array of cuisines, including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Malay, Indian, Indonesian, and even vegetarian options.
Despite its popularity, especially with office workers at lunchtime, it's not overly pricey. You can grab a meal starting at only SGD 5, so eating here won't break the bank.
The Newton Food Center is next on our list. You can find it at 500 Clemenceau Avenue North in Singapore. To get there by MRT, the Newton station is your stop. Just follow the signs after you exit the station, and they will lead you right there.
This hawker center has gained fame as one of the locations featured in the movie "Crazy Rich Asians." Maybe you've seen it?
The Newton Food Center welcomes consumers from noon until 2 a.m. Do note that not all food stalls may be up and running during the early hours.
We were a little let down when we discovered that the specific stalls we were interested in were closed, even though it was after lunchtime. It might be a good idea to visit in the evening when it's livelier and more stalls are likely to be open.
Albert Food Centre is another well-known destination in Singapore for food lovers and shoppers alike! Located at 270 Queen Street, it's open from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM but closes on Saturdays.
What makes Albert stand out, aside from its food, snacks, and small items for sale, is its convenient location near Bugis MRT Station and Bugis Junction. This makes it a hit with tourists who prefer to travel by public transport.
My husband and I visited Albert Food Centre to explore its offerings. Unfortunately, we were a bit too early, and many stalls hadn't opened yet.
In the end, we decided to grab a light snack to keep us going until lunch. We enjoyed Prata Bread seasoned with curry spices from a Muslim stall.
These are the five hawker centers or food courts we checked out in Singapore. When you visit, make sure to try some of the local food and share your favorites in the comments!
And don't forget, I've also shared some of the snacks and treats we tried in Singapore. Be sure to look into that too!