Singapore is a food paradise where many identify strongly with our rich hawker culture. Shaped and defined by the humble hawker centres scattered all across the island, this one-stop guide introduces you to the best hawker foods on our sunny island.
We love our hawker food and from regional Chinese cuisine to traditional dishes from the Malay Archipelago and South Asia to local delights, we are constantly spoilt for choice. However, there are a handful of dishes that top the charts in Singapore – here are 15 of them!
Guide To Best Hawker Food In Singapore
1. Chicken Rice
One of the nation’s most loved and well-recognised hawker staples is undoubtedly Chicken Rice! Available in variations of steamed, roasted, and soy sauce chicken, this dish is definitely in the running for Singapore’s most beloved culinary treasures.
What makes or breaks this dish is ironically not the chicken, but the rice. A good bowl of chicken rice is sinfully oily, and when combined with a variety of dipping sauces and a tender piece of chicken, makes for a flavourful and fragrant mouthful.
We’ll bet you can find at least one to two stalls at any hawker centre in Singapore.
- Xing Yun Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
Address : Blk 347 Jurong East Avenue 1, Yuhua Market and Food Centre, Singapore 600347
2. Tian Tian Chicken Rice
Address : 450 Clementi Ave 3, Singapore 120450 / Maxwell Food Centre / 12 Jln Pari Burong, Singapore 488678
3. Nam Kee Chicken Rice and Restaurant
Address : 201 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574343
Singaporeans love their spice, and most can hold it well. Inarguably one of Singapore’s top favourites, Laksa is one of but many comfort food we turn to on a wet day when we crave warmth and spice. Known for its delightfully fiery kick, the laksa is a spicy noodle dish that typically comes served with thick bee hoon noodles swimming in a bright orange broth.
Topped with your choice of chicken, fish, or prawn and a smattering of tiny cockles, laksa variants are aplenty in Singapore. Satisfy your laksa cravings with Nonya Laksa, Penang Asam Laksa, Sarawak Laksa – and the list goes on. Drop by your nearest hawker centre to get your hands of a steaming bowl of the Southeast Asian delicacy today!
- Katong Laksa
Address : 307 Changi Rd, Singapore 419785
2. Wei Yi Laksa
Address : #01-20, 48A Tanglin Halt Road, Singapore 148813
3. 928 Yishun Laksa
Address : #01-155, Blk 928 Yishun Central 1, Singapore 760928
3. Kway Chap
Singaporeans are no stranger to Kway Chap. Another great dish to tuck into on cold, rainy days, this bowl of silky noodle sheets usually comes served with a platter of pork meat, intestines, braised egg and chewy pork skin.
A classic all-time favourite for Singaporeans, this deceivingly simple dish requires a fair but of effort and time to prepare. From tedious work in cleaning the innards to the long braising hours, some stalls start work as early as 12am.
- 284 Kway Chap
Address : 284 Bishan Street 22, Singapore 570284
2. Golden Street Kway Chap
Address : 49A Serangoon Garden Way, #01-21, Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre, Singapore 555945
3. Ying Yi Kway Chap
Address : 527 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, #01-145, Singapore 560527
4. Hokkien Mee
Think a stir-fried plate of umami goodness, made up of a mix of yellow and thick vermicelli noodles lightly drenched in a savoury broth created from pork bones and pork head. Decorate with prawns, squid, sliced pork belly strips, and egg and there you have it – Singapore’s fan favourite Hokkien Mee. Top with a squeeze of fresh lime and throw a spoonful of sambal onto the plate to enjoy!
Rich, smoky and perfectly balanced, visit any hawker centre to get your Hokkien Mee fix today.
- Ah Hock Fried Hokkien Noodles
Address : 20 Kensington Park Road, Chomp Chomp Food Centre, Stall 27, Singapore 557269
2. Hokkien Man Hokkien Mee
Address : Lorong 7 Toa Payoh, Block 19, Singapore 310019
3. Singapore Fried Hokkien Mee
Address : 90 Whampoa Drive, #01-32, Singapore 320090
5. Bak Chor Mee
Perfect for a delicious, quick meal fix any day, fan favourite Bak Chor Mee is simply a bowl full of noodles littered with minced meat bits, meatball, fishball, stewed mushrooms and a healthy scoop of chopped chilli slices.
Available in your choice of dry or soup variants along with your pick of noodles, the dish is typically best enjoyed with thick, wavy mee pok noodles tossed in a chilli-vinegar sauce that differs from stall to stall.
- Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
Address : Blk 466 Crawford Lane #01-12, Singapore 190465
2. 58 Minced Meat Noodle
Address : 3 Yung Sheng Rd, #03-150 Taman Jurong Food Centre, Singapore 618499
3. Seng Kee Bak Chor Mee
Address : 49A Serangoon Garden Way, #01-36, Singapore 555945
6. Mixed Economic Rice
Better known as ‘caifan’ among locals, mixed economic rice is a one of the most common meal options to turn to during the lunch hour rush. The dish, is in essence, rice with any selection of ingredients available from the stall.
Ordering starts from the opposite end from the cashier where you slowly walk through the dishes and point at those which you fancy. At most stalls, there are a total of 10-15 dishes for you to choose from. The beauty of this hawker food lies in the way you can mix it up everyday! On days where you have an intense craving for seafood, you could opt for dishes from the sea such as fish, sotong and clams. Whereas on days where you lean towards eating cleaner, you could go for healthier toppings like stir-friend broccoli, tofu and steamed egg.
Economy Rice does not refer to any specific dish or cuisine. In fact, it is a versatile dish made up of a mish mash of chosen vegetable and meat dishes; this is usually served with a portion of steamed white rice or porridge or even fried noodles.
- Ye Ji Cooked Food
Address : #02-020, Chinatown Complex Market, Blk 335, Smith Street, 050335
2. Yummy Rice Shop
Address : 270 Queen Street #01-107, Singapore 180270
3. Ah Huat Vegetable Rice
Address : #01-1100, 32 New Market Rd, Singapore 050032
7. Economical Bee Hoon / Wuxiang (Chinese) / Ngoh Hiang (Dialect)
Similar to caifan, the economy fried bee hoon is one of the simplest yet tasty meal that you can settle for in Singapore.
A typical economy fried bee hoon mee normally will offer at least two types of noodles, the drier white thin bee hoon mee and yellow noodles. For those that opt for the thin bee hoon noodles, the mee will be fried to a yummy golden brown while those who select the yellow noodles will be served with a plateful of fried yellow noodles thickly coated in a rich soy sauce.
It comes with a variety of side dishes such as luncheon meat, fried egg, fried tofu that you can choose to add to your meal. Typically, an economical bee hoon set comes with your choice of noodles and your pick of two to three ingredients. Additional toppings are available for a few extra dollars, depending on what you pick. Crowd favourite sides include the deep-fried prawn cracker, century egg and Taiwan sausage.
- Hup Lee Fried Bee Hoon
Address : 101 Yishun Avenue 5, #01-03, Chong Pang City, Singapore 760103
2. Yon Yan Fried Chicken Wings
Address : Blk 726, Clementi West Street 2, #01-191, West Coast Market Square, Singapore 120726
3. Yip Economic Bee Hoon
Address : 115 Bukit Merah View, #01-33, Bukit Merah View Market & Hawker Centre, Singapore 151115
8. Fish Soup
It is as it name suggests : tender, thinly sliced pieces of fish swimming in soup. The nourishing bowls are customisable and diners get to decide if they want the rice or noodles to enjoy with the soup. Despite fish soup being a light and healthy dish, this hawker delight is by no means, bland. The soup is laced with the sweetness and freshness of the fish and is elevated with evaporated milk for a creamier and heartier flavour profile.
If you’re hankering for a bowl of this ultimate comfort food, most hawker stalls offer the option of both sliced fish and fried fish versions.
- First Street Teochew Fish Soup
Address : 1014 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534752
2. Beach Road Fish Head Bee Hoon
Address : 91 Whampoa Drive, #01-46 Whampoa Makan Place, Singapore 320090
3. Jun Yuan House Of Fish
Address : Old Airport Road Food Centre #01-69, 51 Old Airport Road, Singapore 390051
9. Nasi Lemak
Arguably one of our country’s most iconic dishes, Nasi Lemak is a huge hit among diners of all races, cultures and ages. Consisting of coconut rice, fried chicken, eggs, peanuts and a generous serving of flaming sambal, this fragrant dish is the perfect savoury and spicy delight for any time of the day.
This simple and classic dish is readily available everywhere in Singapore, yet every stall has its own way of preparing it. Aromatic rice and good, fiery chilli are the two most essential hallmarks of a good plate of Nasi Lemak.
If you’re craving for an amazing plate of Nasi Lemak, Singapore’s hawker scene is rife with options that open round the clock to satisfy! Be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there’s sure to be someplace you can visit to enjoy this iconic dish.
- Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak
Address : Boon Lay Place Market and Food Village, #01-106, Singapore 642221
2. Punggol Nasi Lemak
Address : 965 Upper Serangoon Rd, Singapore 534721
3. Mizzy’s Corner
Address : 2 Changi Village Rd, #01-26, Changi Village Hawker Centre, Singapore 500002
10. Mala Xiang Guo
A recent appreciation for these bowls of fiery goodness has seen a wave of new stalls mushrooming all over Singapore in recent years. Evidenced in our quest for the best Mala Xiang Guo stall, Singaporeans love for all things spicy is seemingly infectious.
Confident you can take the heat? For those who have fallen in love at first bite with the mind-numbing heat, this Chinese dish is the one for you! Made by stir-frying a variety of vegetables and meats in a heady, aromatic sauce that is usually accompanied with noodles and rice, numbing (ma) and spicy (la) are the two flavour pillars in the dish.
Now a cult favourite among many in Singapore, this hawker food has definitely earned its well-deserved fame with its mind-numbing charms.
1. Ri Ri Hong Mala Xiang Guo
Address : 32 New Market Road, People’s Park Complex Food Centre, #01-1036 and #01-1152, Singapore 050032
2. Wan Xiang Mala Xiang Guo
Address : 1008 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534746
3. Labula Mala Xiang Guo
Address : 822 Tampines Street 81, Singapore 520822
11. Zi Char
The cornerstone of many hawker centres in Singapore, zi char places are regarded as places for affordable feasts on seafood and Chinese food. Zi char holds a great significance in our local food culture and this warm and hearty meal never fails to invoke nostalgia. When locals think of zi char, sharing a spread of hawker fare with families and friends often come to mind and that is at the heart of what zi char is – sharing quality time over good food.
Despite the plethora of dishes offered at zi char stores, the star of the show is usually the chilli crab. Another local delicacy that was first created in the 1950s, chilli crab has become an iconic dish representative of Singapore and can be found at any local seafood or zi char joint.
1. Kok Sen Restaurant
Address : 30 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089137
2. Ban Leong Wah Hoe
Address : 122 Casuarina Road, Singapore 579510
3. Sin Hoi Soi eating House
Address : 187 East Coast Road, Singapore 428893
Snacks And Sides
Satay, spelled as sate in Indonesia and Malaysia, is a Southeast Asian dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce on the side. Originally from Indonesia, it has gained popularity in the Asia Pacific region over the years and us Singaporeans love a good plate of satay too.
Meats can be chicken, pork, beef, mutton, fish, or even duck. They are skewered, then grilled or barbecued over charcoal fire. Usually enjoyed as a side in addition to a meal, a plate of smoky satay makes for a fantastic end to any hawker feast.
- Lau Pa Sat Satay
Address : 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
2. Chomp Chomp Satay
Address : 20 Kensington Park Road 557269
3. Haron Satay
Address : Stall 55, East Coast Lagoon Food Village, 1220 East Coast Parkway, Singapore 468960
Think of national dishes, and the likes of chicken rice, chilli crab, prawn noodles, and roti prata will come to mind. An Asian salad of Javanese origin, Rojak is a lesser mentioned quintessential hawker food dished out in both Chinese and Indian versions across hawker stalls that Singaporeans know and love just as much!
From classic Chinese-style dark rojak with crisp vegetables and fritters tossed in a sticky, savoury sauce, to the white and fruit rojak, try them all out to find your favourite rendition of this mixture of sliced fruit and vegetables douched in spicy palm sugar dressing.
- Brothers Rojak
Address : 449 Clementi Ave 3, #01-211, Singapore 120449
2. Rojak Line
Address : 44 Holland Drive, #02-13, Holland Drive Market and Food Centre, 270044
3. Soon Heng Rojak
Address : 480 Lor 6 Toa Payoh, B1-23 Gourmet Paradise Foodcourt, HDB Hub, Singapore 310480
14. Chee Cheong Fun
Brunch fare get heaps of love and attention from hungry diners these days but if you’re on the hunt for something just as tasty, comforting and convenient with a local twist, there’s always Chee Cheong Fun.
Typically consumed as breakfast or as a light snack during breaks, Chee Cheong Fun are pieces of rice noodle sheets expertly rolled up to result in stuffed rolls that are thick in length and thin in depth. This dish can be eaten in a variety of ways. Most places serves the classic version which does not contain any added ingredients but newer variations have been created with stuffings of barbecued pork bits, shrimp and you tiao.
1. Chef Leung’s Authentic Hand-Milled Rice Noodle Rolls
Address : 335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex, #02-096, Singapore 050335
2. Duo Ji Chee Cheong Fun
Address : 335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex, #02-216, Singapore 050335
3. Teck Hin Delicacies
Address : 20 Ghim Moh Road, Ghim Moh Road Market & Food Centre, #01-30, Singapore 270020
The favourite go-to dessert for Singaporeans, Chendol has a special place in our hearts. But why? Let’s take a look into the how this dessert came to be. Cendol (or “Chendol”) is a sweet iced dessert known for its mixture of ingredients from the signature green rice flour jelly, to coconut milk and palm sugar (Gula Melaka). Some add in other ingredients such as red bean, sweet corn and attap chee. Most stalls in Singapore serve Chendol as part of their huge dessert repertoire.
With the sweltering heat we live in due to Singapore’s hot climate, this makes such a refreshing treat in the staggering heat. Many usually choose to beat the heat with mouthfuls of this cool, creamy dessert after a filling meal.
1. Four Seasons Chendol
Address : 210 #01-07 Lor 8 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310210
2. Old Amoy Chendol
Address : 335 Smith St, Chinatown Point Food Centre #02-008, Singapore 050335
3. Nyonya Chendol
Address : 51 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, #02-147, Singapore 588215
North, South, East or West, hawker centres are aplenty in all of Singapore’s neighbourhoods. Pick your favourite hawker food from our guide and embark on a quest to locate the hawker stall that has the tastiest rendition!
Cover Photo: @foodieislegal (Instagram), @333kitchensg (Instagram), @eatwithmegan (Instagram), @manniss.ha (Instagram)
For more, 15 Best Spots In Singapore For Old-School And Modern Desserts! (2023 Guide)
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