The ultimate hawker guide: The best stalls in 20 hawker centres around Singapore

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Singapore's known as a nation of foodies. And there's nothing like the pursuit of affordable eats, especially hawker fare, that brings us together.

Below, we have a round-up of the best stalls to visit in hawker centres across the island. We'll be updating this list so bookmark this link.

Central: Amoy Street Food Centre

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Located in the Central Business District, Amoy Street Food Centre with its traditional fare and new cuisine, is worth heading to town for.

Whether you're in the mood for a classic breakfast of eggs, toast and kopi, glistening plate of fried kway teow or slurp-worthy bowl of fish soup, you're guaranteed to have a delicious experience here. There are even Michelin Bib Gourmand-certified beef noodles, and "Singapore-style ramen" by an ex-Waku Ghin chef.

Central: Balestier Food Centre

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Although not quite as famous as the nearby Whampoa Food Centre, Balestier Food Centre is a neighbourhood gem that's well-frequented by the area's residents.

Today, you'll find a whole clutch of vendors serving everything from the famed Ah Hui Big Prawn Noodle, Teochew-style braised duck rice, Thai dishes, the crowd-favourite chicken wings from Chong Pang Huat, and healthy spinach soup from Xin Dian Spinach Soup.

Balestier Food Centre is at 411 Balestier Road, Singapore 329930.

Central: Beo Crescent Food Centre

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Tucked away in the tranquil Bukit Ho Swee residential area, Beo Crescent Food Centre is yet another beloved foodie gem in Tiong Bahru (alongside the famous Tiong Bahru Food Centre just a short stroll away).

Albeit not the largest of food centres, its aisles are lined with a good mix of old-school vendors - some that have been plying their trade here for decades - and newer faces including a former Din Tai Fung chef serving up sambal pork chop fried rice.

You can also dig into the likes of crispy claypot rice, fluffy tutu kueh and chewy made-from-scratch noodles.

Beo Crescent Food Centre is at 38A Beo Crescent, Singapore 169982.

Central: Berseh Food Centre

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Jalan Besar is home to a high concentration of famous eats: from dim sum and laksa to scissor-cut curry rice and fish soup. It's also where you'll find Berseh Food Centre, which was founded in 1975.

Besides the usual suspects such as fried kway teow, oyster omelette by the long-standing Lim's Fried Oyster and curry chicken noodles, you'll also encounter a few rather unique options: including pig trotter jelly and turtle soup.

There's also halal mookata, plus nasi lemak made by two young hawkerpreneurs.

Berseh Food Centre is at 166 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208877.

Central: Hong Lim Market & Food Centre

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The queues at Hong Lim's popular hawker stalls remain undeterred, and with more people returning to the office, we can only assume these queues are going to get longer.

From Michelin-awarded eateries serving time-honoured dishes like Ji Ji Noodle House's wanton noodles to trendier creations such as zi char fare with modern touches, there is so much to try, one meal simply won't be enough.

The lunch rush can be daunting, but the queues are worth it. And if you're craving a spicy snack, there's the famed Tanglin Crispy Curry Puff.

Hong Lim Market & Food Centre is at 531A Upper Cross St, Singapore 051531.

Central: Newton Food Centre

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Newton Food Centre is sometimes derided as a tourist trap - and making a cameo in the 2018 Hollywood blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians certainly didn't help its case. But despite this reputation, it boasts some seriously delicious food and is also popular among locals.

Whether you're in the mood for warming fish porridge, juicy chicken wings, or authentic Thai dishes, you're sure to find something befitting of your dime. Many of the stalls open in the afternoon or evening, so we suggest dropping by for dinner.

Newton Food Centre is at 500 Clemenceau Avenue North, Singapore 229495.

Central: People's Park Food Centre

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Situated smack-dab in the middle of Chinatown, People's Park Food Centre was most recently renovated in 2005, and boasts over 80 vendors that primarily specialise in Chinese food.

Indulge in tongue-numbing mala xiang guo and crackly pan-fried dumplings, or dive into a bowl of comforting authentic Hainan fen. There's also a Michelin Plate-recommended Cantonese roast meat stall, as well as classic Sichuan-style steamed fish, and delicate soon kueh.

People's Park Food Centre is at 32 New Market Road, Singapore 050032.

Central: Toa Payoh West Food Centre

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You'll find around 40 stalls at Toa Payoh West Food Centre, which is home to a stellar clutch of hawkers serving scrumptious dishes.

It's located in a residential area a stone's throw away from Braddell MRT station, and is a popular option for those in the neighbourhood to grab some good nosh.

Among the more well-known joints are a bakery selling irregular-shaped, golden-brown muffins; a vendor making Michelin Bib Gourmand-approved carrot cake from scratch, and an establishment doling out sinful and satisfying plates of Hokkien mee.

North: Yishun Park Hawker Centre

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Looking for a place to grab some grub in the north?

Make your way to Yishun Park Hawker Centre, one of the newest food centres in Singapore. Run by the Timbre Group, it opened in 2017 to much fanfare, and was conceived as a community space to bring together both old- and new-generation hawkers under one roof.

Popular establishments include a BBQ joint dishing out heavenly steaks and burgers; a stall selling handmade Hong Kong-style wanton noodles; and a min jiang kueh spot offering creative flavours of the traditional treat.

Yishun Park Hawker Centre is at 51 Yishun Avenue 11, Singapore 768867.

East: Marine Parade Central Food Centre

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Also known to Easties in the neighbourhood as Parkway Parade Food Centre, the site recently underwent an extensive multi-year revamp and reopened in 2019 - thankfully with many of the original stall owners returning.

From the famous Apollo Fresh Cockle Fried Kway Teow and affordable quality Cantonese dim sum from Neptune Hong Kong Dim Sum to hearty mee rebus and comforting porridge, read on for some suggestions for what to sample here.

Marine Parade Central Food Centre is at 84 Marine Parade Central, Singapore 440084.

South: Redhill Food Centre

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Founded in 1972, Redhill Food Centre is one of Singapore's older hawker establishments, and has a cult following to match. Just under 100 stalls - that are largely housed by seasoned vendors who have been plying their trade for decades - call the large, single-storey and airy site home.

Whether you're in the mood for chicken rice with tender poached chicken; silky and slippery Michelin Plate-awarded kway chap that's been painstakingly made from scratch, one of the best satay beehoon on the island, or prata from Ali Fatimah Food Stall that draws snaking queues in the mornings, you're sure to find something that tickles your taste buds.

Redhill Food Centre is at 85 Redhill Lane, Singapore 150085.

South: ABC Brickworks Food Centre

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Opened in 1974, the food centre got its unique name from two former hallmarks of the neighbourhood: Archipelago Brewing Company, and the various brickworks factories that dotted the area.

Today, the bustling site has around 100 different stalls selling a myriad of moreish multi-cultural delights: Think fragrant Hokkien mee with a Michelin Bib Gourmand stamp of approval, tongue-tingling Penang assam laksa, crispy and chewy prata with consecutive Michelin Plate recommendations, succulent roasted meats from the crowd-favourite Fatty Cheong and comforting herbal soups from Ah Er Soup.

ABC Brickworks Food Centre is at 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 150006.

South: Alexandra Village Food Centre

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All shopped out from a morning at Ikea? Looking for somewhere to grab lunch after browsing for bargains at Queensway Shopping Centre? Need to feed the kids following their enrichment classes at Anchorpoint?

To refuel, make your way across the road to the breezy and bustling Alexandra Village Food Centre.

Nestled between the area's HDB blocks and warehouses, the hidden gem has been gaining popularity in recent years.

Besides multiple Michelin-recognised stalls, you'll discover hawkers selling classic local and regional Chinese dishes, one of the city-state's avocado shake pioneers, and an immensely popular muffin bakery that draws long queues at all hours of the day.

Alexandra Village Food Centre is at 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150120.

North East: Chomp Chomp Food Centre

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One of, if not the most, famous establishments in the Serangoon Gardens, you'll find this popular food centre absolutely packed with people during the evenings.

Besides the regular crowd of Serangoon Gardens residents, the steady stream of diners includes food fanatics from different corners of the city-state who flock here to sample its tasty BBQ dishes, scrumptious satay, deliciously messy and briny offerings from Ang Sa Lee Oyster Omelette, and other delectable culinary offerings.

Hokkien mee fans, check out the smokey goodness offered by the Michelin Plate-recommended Ah Hock Fried Hokkien Mee.

Chomp Chomp Food Centre is at 20 Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557269.

East: Old Airport Road Food Centre

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As one of Singapore's most popular foodie haunts, Old Airport Road Food Centre needs no introduction. It was constructed in 1972 as a permanent home for street hawkers from the neighbouring Kallang Estate, and most recently underwent a facelift in 2007. Today, it boasts over 150 food stalls and is a go-to culinary hotspot.

There's a plethora of highly-rated dishes here, from the rich and aromatic prawn noodles at Whitley Road Big Prawn Noodle, to Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong Lor Mee's hearty lor mee, and To-Ricos Kway Chap, which has earned a spot on the Michelin Bib Gourmand list.

Fans of fish head soup will want to top by Hua Ji XO Fish Head Bee Hoon.

Old Airport Road Food Centre is at 51 Old Airport Road, Singapore 390051.

East: Bedok 85 Fengshan Food Centre

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While the East of Singapore has no shortage of lauded food spots, Bedok 85 Fengshan Food Centre remains a perennially popular place to enjoy delicious nosh that's easy on the wallet. After closing briefly for renovation works in 2020, it's now back in business and boasting some spiffy new digs.

Whether you're in the mood for satay bee hoon that's gained the Michelin stamp of approval; old-fashioned peanut soup with glutinous rice balls; or traditional oyster cake, you're sure to leave with a satisfied belly.

Given that most of the stalls open in the evening, we suggest popping by for dinner to get the full experience.

Bedok 85 Fengshan Food Centre is at 85 Bedok North Street 4, Singapore 460085.

West: Bukit Timah Food Centre

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Just a stone's throw away from Beauty World MRT Station and upgraded in 2003, this neighbourhood haunt keeps both residents and visitors alike well-fed with a host of tasty treats.

Besides fragrant fish soup and addictive carrot cake, you'll also find healthy rice bowls and even a stall doling out its modern rendition of traditional prata. Here's what to check out on your next visit.

Sink your teeth into golden-brown servings of white carrot cake at He Zhong Carrot Cake, make a beeline for Shiba Roti's contemporary take on traditional prata, tuck into healthy and hearty Hakka thunder tea rice at Living Wholesome Vegetarian, or cool off with sweet dessert soup from Beauty in a Bowl.

Bukit Timah Food Centre is at 51 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588215.

West: Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre

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The next time you're in the mood for Michelin-certified chwee kueh, tender and aromatic braised duck rice or colourful teacakes, consider making the trip to check out this foodie gem.

Be sure to come with a healthy appetite: we promise you won't leave disappointed.

It's a short stroll away from Buona Vista MRT station, and a dining spot of choice for the area's residents and office workers looking for a hearty and affordable meal.

Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre is at 20 Ghim Moh Road, Singapore 270020.

West: Jurong West 505 Food Centre

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This well-frequented food centre should be your go-to spot in Jurong West for a hearty, wallet-friendly and scrumptious meal. It was founded in 1985 to cater to residents of the surrounding housing estates, and underwent a revamp in 2009.

Today, it boasts multiple Michelin-rated vendors and cult-favourite stalls that loyal customers make the journey out West to patronise.

Options include Wen Guang Handmade Fishball Noodle, the renowned Michelin-rated Jian Bo Shui Kueh, Loong Kee Yong Tau Fu with its dizzying assortment of ingredients, and traditional tutu kueh from Du Du Cooked Food.

Jurong West 505 Food Centre is at 505 Jurong West Street 52, Singapore 640505.

West: Yuhua Village Food Centre

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Yuhua Village Food Centre was one of the west's best-kept secrets until Aug 2021, when it landed not one, but two stalls on the Michelin Bib Gourmand list - Fei Fei Roasted Noodle selling roasted meats and Heng Heng Cooked Food for slurp-worthy laksa.

There's plenty more to feast on here, including delectable mee goreng, slurp-worthy fish soup and traditional snacks.

Yuhua Village Food Centre is at 254 Jurong East Street 24, Singapore 600254.

ALSO READ: Where to find the best lor mee in Singapore

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.