Singapore’s most authentic cuisine is tasted in its street food markets, the basis of the country’s culture and gastronomy that is now preserved among the world’s intangible heritage.
5 of the best street food markets in Singapore:
- OLD AIRPORT ROAD FOOD CENTER (51 Old Airport Road): Built on the runway of the old Kallang Airport, in the east of the island, Old Airport Road Food Center is one of the most senior centres in Singapore and the one that has some of the most local flavours in preparations such as Hokkien mee or tofu with soy. It is mainly frequented by locals, although it has become quite well known among the foreign visitor in recent years.
- MAXWELL FOOD CENTER (1 Kadayanallur Street): Across from the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, the Maxwell complex is one of the busiest at lunchtime, both by tourists and locals. In its four long corridors, Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian and Singaporean cuisines are present in specialities such as Lao Ban Beancurd, Hoe Kee Congee, sweet potato fried dumplings, Lim Kee banana fritters. But it’s the Hainan-style chicken with rice from the Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice stand that creates the most significant queues, mostly since it was recommended in Michelin’s Bib Gourmand.
- CHINATOWN COMPLEX FOOD CENTER (322 Smith Street): Following the extensive list of hawkers that fill Chinatown’s streets, we cannot ignore Chinatown Complex Food Center. The old building that occupies it may be unattractive due to its ancient appearance and tangled corridors and rooms. Still, in the hawkers, you learn not to judge until you savour the delicacies they offer and this one has more options than any other. A total of 260, including Michelin star Liao Fan and his chicken with soy sauce, a recipe that his salesman learned from a Hong Kong chef and perfected over the years.
- EAST COAST LAGOON FOOD VILLAGE (1220 East Coast Parkway): The sea is the setting of this hawker in which several roofs and umbrellas protect the tables from the sun monsoon rains. It is also the sea that inspires most of its bites, mainly seafood and satay (seasoned meat skewer). It is located in the immense East Coast Village park, the perfect excuse to combine it with a relaxed walk on the beach.