Heading to Singapore? If you’ve been doing your research you’ve heard lots about the hawker centers. They can be bustling, crowded, loud places…and a bit overwhelming for a newbie. No worries! I’m going to share with you some dishes that you can’t go wrong ordering. The other huge perk of eating at a hawker center is that you can order most anything for under $10 making them a great way to sample a range of Singaporean favorites.

Chicken Rice

If you can only try one dish, try chicken rice, aka the Singapore Standard. If you approach someone on the street and ask what you should order from a hawker stand, they will tell you “chicken rice”. Truly a Singapore classic, it is just like what is it sounds – chicken and rice – but still delicious!

Chili Crab

Chili crab is Singapore’s top seafood dish. If the person you met on the street did not say to try chicken rice, then their answer was certainly chili crab. Despite it’s name, it’s not spicy! Instead, the crab is smothered in a sweet and savory tomato chili sauce.

Chilli Crab | Photo by TEAN Staff Hannah DeMilta

Prata with Chocolate Sauce

This one is for those with a sweet tooth. The amazing thing about a hawker center is the variety of dishes from different cultures. For something sweet try an Indian prata with chocolate sauce. The chef will cook the crepe-like dish in front of your eyes and add chocolate sauce to the middle.

ABC Juice

Most hawker centers have a juice aficionado. Their concoctions can give you more energy, help a run down immune system and even make you more beautiful (or so they claim). Try the ABC juice, a detox juice made from apples, beetroot and carrots that will get you moving and keep you healthy during your Singapore stay.

Hokkien Mee

One of Singapore’s most popular noodle dishes is hokkien mee. It’s a fried yellow noodle dish commonly mixed with fried egg, squid, prawns, pork belly, chives, sometimes a dark soy sauce and a chili-lime sauce. Grab a spoon with your chopsticks; it makes eating the noodles a little easier.

Fish Ball Soup

Feeling adventurous? Eat like the locals and try fish ball soup! It’s not as scary as it sounds. Fish balls are made from fish paste to form a ball that can either be served in a broth or fried.

Photo by Jessica Schuster, University of Central Florida who is studying abroad in Singapore


Looking for something delicious but a bit more familiar? Go for the dumplings! My personal favorite is a pork dumpling wonton soup with noodles – because who doesn’t love extra noodles? Add extra chili paste for some more spice.

Fresh Produce

If you want to cook at home rather than in a center, the hawker center’s market have some of the cheapest and local produce around.

Beyond Food

A lot of hawker centers offer more than just food. For example, many will have a lovely flower stall where you’ll find some of the best prices in Singapore. Bouquets can easily be purchased for under $5.

No two hawker centers are alike, each with their own local flavor, so make sure to check out a variety of different spots before deciding on your favorite. Happy eating!

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