With the Hong Kong-Singapore quarantine-free travel bubble in sight and talks on air travel well underway, we’re counting down the days till we can eat our way through Singapore’s UNESCO- listed hawker centres again.
Since the inauguration of MICHELIN Guide Singapore in 2016, the Singaporean hawker food culture has been put on the global map when Hawker Chan, a hawker stall famous for its soya sauce chicken rice, was recognised by MICHELIN inspectors with a one MICHELIN star.
Since then, more hawker stalls have been listed on MICHELIN Guide Singapore in the following years with Bib Gourmand and MICHELIN Plate distinctions. In 2020, the city-state’s hawker culture was given the UNESCO seal of approval as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Before you hop on the next flight to Singapore, check out our guides to MICHELIN inspectors’ favourite stalls for iconic Singapore hawker foods, from kaya toast to laksa.
Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre
It’s impossible to talk about Singapore hawker centres without mentioning the Chinatown Complex. Built in 1983 and renovated in 2019, it is the biggest hawker centre in Singapore. The second floor is where you want to go, home to over 200 food stalls including one-MICHELIN-starred Hawker Chan.
Amoy Street Food Centre
Home to a myriad of hawker stalls, each specialising in a particular dish that has been refined over many years, Amoy Street Food Centre on Maxell Road is a favourite among locals, especially during lunch hours. Among the six hawker stalls that were listed on the MICHELIN Guide Singapore 2019, four of them were given Bib Gourmand distinctions.
Noodles are this hawker centre’s forte, so you may want to check out A Noodle Story, Hong Kee Beef Noodle, and Ah Ter Teochew Fishball Noodles. Other MICHELIN-recommended stalls in this two-storey hawker centre include J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff, Hoo Kee Rice Dumplings and Yuan Chun Famous Lor Mee.
51 Old Airport Road Food Centre
One of the oldest hawker centres in Singapore, Old Airport Road Food Centre was first opened in 1972 and has been feeding generations of Singaporeans from all walks of life. The area on which it was built was originally the runway of Singapore’s first civilian airport, Kallang Airport, which was closed in 1955, hence the name “Old Airport Road”.
Hong Lim Market and Food Centre
Get your laksa fix at Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa inside Hong Lim Market and Food Centre, one of the first hawker centres to serve up mouth-watering Singaporean staples in the Chinatown area. You’ll also find other Sinaporean favourites here, like bak kut teh (meat bone tea) from Hokkien Street Bak Kut Teh, as well as dishes that are familiar to Hongkongers, such as wonton mee from Ji Ji Wanton Mee and stir-fried kway teow from Outram Park Fried Kway Teow—cooked with a local twist.