Singapore is known for its hawker centres, the place where you can get some of the island’s best dishes without breaking the bank. At these places, you can enjoy a full meal for less than $5!
There are more than 100 open-air food courts serving good food in Singapore, all with an impressive variety of dishes, including Chinese, Malay, and Indian food, among others.
That number of hawker centres in such a small place can be overwhelming, but the good news is that you’ll rarely have a bad meal here.
To make things easier, we’ve made a Singapore food guide on the best hawker centres to visit while you’re in town or just looking for more cheap food options!
1. Tiong Bahru Food Centre
Found in one of the oldest public housing estates in Singapore, Tiong Bahru Food Centre is home to some of the most beloved hawker food in Singapore.
There are more than 80 food stalls here, so running out of food options is the last thing that will happen to you here. You'll even find a few Michelin Guide-acknowledged food stalls here.
The majority of hawker stalls here open as early as 7am and close quite early too. Drop by here if you start and end your day earlier than most people.
Meals are mostly meat-based, though, such as boiled pork leg, roasted duck, and Hainanese chicken over rice. For vegetarians, this is the ideal cheat-day spot.
You can try:
Jian Bo Tiong Bahru Shui Kueh - many locals would agree that this stall serves the best Shui Kueh on the island.
Tiong Bahru Lor Mee - crowds usually gather here for its hearty warm noodle soup topped with braised pork belly, fish cake, wonton, and hard-boiled egg.
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore
2. Maxwell Road Hawker Centre
Located in Chinatown, this is one of the best places for cheap Chinese eats.
There are over 100 food stalls here, but seating can be a problem as it's packed throughout the day. It's popular not only with tourists but also residents and office workers, is why.
Your $5 can go a long way here, as you probably won't have to spend more than $4 for a bowl of noodles or a full plate of chicken and rice.
While here, make sure you try the fish broth and the fried oyster omelette as well.
You can try:
Tian Tian Chicken Rice - one of the most popular chicken rice stalls in Singapore, known for its warm and fluffy rice, tender chicken, and yummy chilli sauce.
Jin Hua Sliced Fish Bee Hoon - popular with CBD folks, it's a fish stall that serves Cantonese-style fish head bee hoon soup, served with piping hot milk broth.
Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184
3. Old Airport Food Centre
Another source of good food in Singapore is the Old Airport Food Centre. It's been around for a little over 30 years, so it's not exactly the most visually appealing hawker centre.
What it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in value, which explains why it's populated by mostly locals every day. Some more good news: there are little to no tourists here!
The lines for the Hokkien-style noodles, rojak, satay, soybean curd pudding, and char kway teow can get long, so make sure you've packed up enough patience.
You can try:
Dong Ji Fried Kway Teow - this hawker stall serves Penang-style fried kway teow which is served with a generous amount of fish cake, prawns, and cockles.
Hua Kee Hougang Famous Wanton Mee - with eggy noodles that are chewy yet smooth in texture, served with shrimp dumplings, they’ve earned a spot in the Michelin food guide.
Address: Block 51, Old Airport Road, Geyland, Singapore
4. Amoy Street Food Centre
Found in Singapore's central business district, Amoy Street Food Centre offers a diverse mix of hawker options, from heritage stalls to modernised ones.
Due to its location, it's typically crowded during lunchtime on weekdays as this is where office workers flock to grab cheap meals
The wide selection of meals here includes mee goreng, rice dumplings, and sliced fish soup. If you don't want to spend most of your time queueing for food, it's best to go here during off-hours and on weekends.
You can try:
Amoy Street Food Fried Kway Teow - it's popular among locals for the healthy amount of wok hei in its rice noodles and the generous serving of fresh cockles.
Hong Kee Rice Dumplings - with more than 50 years in the business, this stall is considered the standard of traditional rice dumplings.
Address: 7 Maxwell Rd, Singapore 069111
5. Tekka Food Market Centre
Tekka Market is as much Indian as it is Singaporean. It's the place to go for delicious and low-cost Indian hawker food in Singapore.
A sprawling three-storey complex, it's home to more than 100 hawker stalls that mostly specialise in biryani, vadai, thosai, and murtabak.
You can try:
Allaudin's Briyani - established in 1968, this hawker stall is known for its quality basmati rice and fall-apart mutton, ingredients that bring the classic briyani to the next level.
Sri Tiffin Stall - this famous hawker stalls serves a variety of South Indian delicacies such as masala dosa, vadai fritters, appam at bang-for-your-buck prices.
Address: 665 Buffalo & Serangoon Roads, Singapore
6. Chomp Chomp Hawker Centre
Located on the outskirts of the city, Chomp Chomp is a hawker centre that’s rarely visited by tourists, with the majority of its customers being locals.
Compared to other hawker centres, it opens quite late at 6 pm and closes at midnight. So you only have more or less a 6-hour window to get a taste of its popular supper dishes such as BBQ seafood, BBQ chicken wings, and freshly grilled stingray.
You can try:
Chong Pang Huat - this hawker stall is a must if you love crispy and tender chicken wings exploding with flavours.
Swee Heng Wanton Noodle - rumours say that you’ll find the best al dente wanton noodles with salty-sweet char siew in Singapore here.
Address: 20 Kensington Road, Singapore
Cheap food options in Singapore
And that’s it for our quick Singapore food guide on hawker centres worth visiting and lining up for! Is there a particular hawker centre that stood out for you?
Singapore may be quite an expensive city to live in, but the selection of cheap eats here is practically endless. Whether you’re craving biryani or fish head bee hoon, you’ll find one at the nearest hawker centre.
By the way, if you’re looking for amazing tours and activities in Singapore, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We can help you customise a private food tour with our bespoke tour packages!