Hawkers Market in Singapore – a Food Paradise


Hawkers Market in Singapore – a Food Paradise

In Singapore; friends and colleagues don’t start conversations with a ‘hello’, but with ‘have you eaten?’ which says so much about the hospitability of Singaporeans itself.

There are many places where traditional Singaporean cuisine is available, but the quickest and cheapest way to get your ‘makan’, is at one of the many hawker centers scattered throughout the island.

Visitors to Singapore are aware of such markets where they can find good quality food, and at cheap rates. For those who don’t know, a hawker center or market is a building that houses rows and rows of stalls that serve a wide range of food, drink and dessert, made to order.

SINGAPORE - Locals eat at a popular food hall. Inexpensive food stalls are numerous in the city so most Singaporeans dine out at least once a day.

SINGAPORE – Locals eat at a popular food hall. Inexpensive food stalls are numerous in the city so most Singaporeans dine out at least once a day.

First Impression

During a visit to the Maxwell Food Centre in Chinatown, I was stunned at the size of the place. Two rows, with over a 100 food stalls serving various specialty foods, with a cramped sitting area. I briefly wonder how one could eat at such a place with so much gusto as the place was packed with people, locals, and tourists alike.

After getting a taste of their famous Hainanese chicken rice, I finally understood what the whole fuss was about and was again in line for a second helping.

The sheer size and outward disorganization can be a little disconcerting for the first time visitor to a Hawkers Market in Singapore, but it’s not so hard to understand the basics of hawker market etiquette.

Following are basic guidelines that the newbie food lover can take help from, to get the most amazing hawkers market experience ever. I should know, as they are all tried and tested.

Find the Right Hawkers Market in Singapore

Decide on what you want to eat first. Each center boasts just a few noteworthy dishes by food cultures dominant in Singapore such as Malay, Chinese, Thai, and Indian among others.

You can also view Singapore’s excellent guide book of food, ‘Makansutra’, or visit hungrygowhere.com which will help narrow down your choices.

Find the Right Flavor for your Taste-buds:-

Singapore's famous chicken rice at hawkers food court

Singapore’s famous chicken rice at hawkers food court

Food in Singapore can be a little hard to swallow for tourists who have delicate palates; therefore, I recommend Lau Pa Sat in Chinatown, and Newton Circus near Orchard Road.

The first visit to any Hawkers Market in Singapore is bound to be confusing, but don’t worry.

There will always be someone who’ll help you out. One tip to remember, when deciding on the food to eat is look for a stall with the longest queue. There’s got to be a reason, or dish why so many people have lined up in front of that stall.

Seating Arrangements

When it comes to seating, hawker centers generally go by the rule of first come, first serve. You can even reserve the seat which you choose by placing colorful packet of tissues on the seat, which will inform others that the seat is taken.

Delivery, Take-away and Clean-up

Most stalls will deliver the food at your table, while others will require you to wait in line for your food. Stalls will provide you with eating utensils, and plastic packaging for take away.

I was extremely surprised when at the end of our meal; an attendant came to our table and started clearing up.

I sincerely hope this will help the first time visitor, to Singapore and/or its famous Hawkers Market in Singapore. You can ask questions or share experiences through my blog!



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