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A typical hawker center
A typical hawker center | © Tiberiu Ana / Flickr
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How To Spot a Good Hawker Stall in Singapore

Picture of Jaclynn Seah
Singapore Travel Writer
Updated: 25 April 2018
Singapore’s street food is a must-try for visitors looking for an authentic taste of the country. Just head to one of the many hawker centres found scattered across the island for some cheap, good grub.

There are a myriad of cuisines and food stalls to choose from. Here’s our guide on how to spot a good hawker stall and find the best Singaporean street food you can eat.

Look for the long queues

One sure-fire way of knowing if a hawker stall is good, is to look at the length of the queue. Singapore is a nation where its citizens are more than happy to spend some time queuing if they think the food is worth it. Good hawker stalls are always packed with hungry patrons and perpetually long queues no matter what time of the day you visit. If you are looking to check out the Michelin-starred hawker stalls, be prepared for at least an hour long queue, if you’re lucky!

Singapore Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre
Lau Pa Sat hawker centre is popular with tourists and locals | © Steve / Flickr

Check the online reviews

Food is a bit of a national obsession in Singapore, and we talk about food a lot. Food programmes and foodie blogs and websites are wildly popular, and often responsible for boosting the fame of small hawker stalls just by a mere mention. Enterprising hawker stall owners often put up print outs of these positive reviews or endorsement certificates all over their shopfront. That many people saying good things about a hawker stall means it’s probably worth trying, right?

Singapore Hawker Food Testimonials
Hawker stalls often display good press | © David Berkowitz / Flickr

See what everyone else is eating

Take a stroll around your hawker centre of choice and look at what everyone is eating—that should be a big clue as to what the best hawker stall is in that food centre. Don’t be shy if you spot something delicious on someone else’s table and want to know where to get it for yourself, just ask and they will usually be happy to point you to the right stall.

Singapore Hawker Food Eating Noodles
See what other people around you are tucking into | © Jeff Masilungan / Flickr

Ask the locals

Read all the guidebooks you want, but nothing beats getting a local recommendation from someone you meet while travelling around Singapore. Ask your taxi driver to take you to their favourite eating hole, or if you know where you are going, ask them if they know what the locals love in that place. Your new local friend might lead you to some surprisingly delicious food and un-touristy areas.

Singapore Taxi Driver
Taxi drivers always know where you can get good cheap food | © Kevin Utting / Flickr