Foodies head to destinations around the world just to sample the best food. You can sample the delicious fresh seafood and beignets in New Orleans or head to New York City for pizza you won't find anywhere else. When it comes to street food, though, one city sets itself apart from all the rest: Singapore. Home to more than five million people, Singapore boasts plenty of night markets and stalls that sell the best street food in the world. Legendary chef Anthony Bourdain even filmed an episode of his hit show there to focus on street food. Discover more about the Singapore food scene and why so many foodies visit yearly.
Singapore: The Street Food Capital of the World
You cannot deny that Singapore is the ultimate destination for food lovers. Those who live in the city eat out an average of four times a week and have stalls they swear are better than others around. You can easily chat with one of the workers at your hotel to find out which ones they love or ask for help on the street, but you may want to check out some of the hottest sports before you arrive.
Covid hit the world quite hard, and Singapore was no exception. Many of the markets and stalls shut down due to lockdowns that kept diners at home. Some stall owners reported that their sales increased by 60% in the last few months.
One thing you should know about Singapore is that people who own stalls are hawkers. Hawkers noticed that the cost of their ingredients rose by as much as 50%, but you don't need to worry that you'll find yourself priced out of the markets. The competitive nature of Singapore chefs means that if one vendor increases their prices and loses customers, another one is ready to spring up and take their place. This helps keep prices low.
Before you head to Singapore to sample some of the yummy dishes, find out more about the dishes that will please your taste buds. Though the city doesn't have a single signature dish, it has tons of dishes that you'll love, such as chili crabs and fish head curry. Chili crabs often feature fresh crabs caught in Sri Lanka and cooked in a spicy sauce with a tangy bite. Once you finish your crab, make sure to mop up all of the sauce with your bun. If you order fish head curry, you get a dish that makes use of an ingredient that western chefs often throw away. It comes with okra and other veggies in a classic curry sauce.
Singapore desserts are often lighter than those you would find in the west but are just as delicious. Try one of the local desserts if you're in the mood for a sweet end to your meal. Chendol is a popular option that tops shaved ice with a jelly made from green rice flour and adzuki beans with palm sugar and coconut milk added before serving. Tau Huay is another popular dessert. It isn't as sweet as some of the other local desserts but tastes amazing when you eat it with fritters made from fried dough.
You have plenty of options regarding where to find street food in Singapore. The Tiong Bahru Food Centre on the road of the same name is one of the best. It opened in the early 1950s and has more than 250 hawkers who set up and sell food daily. You'll also find many stores and places to sit and enjoy your snack on the second floor. Over at Lau Pa Sat, you'll find one of the oldest night markets and a national landmark. Head to the city's business district to find this market located nearby.
Newton Food Centre was famous for many years and became even more popular after it appeared in the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians. You can recreate your favorite scenes from that flick as you try a fried oyster omelet. This dish features a classic fluffy omelet topped with fresh and juicy oysters. The Old Airport Road Food Centre is another great option. Foodies from around the world come to this market for a chance to eat at Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong Lor Mee, one of the city's only stalls with a Michelin star.
With so many options, why not plan a trip to Singapore to indulge your love of food? Both hawkers and food stalls sell dishes that feature the best and freshest local seafood and dishes that use meats and veggies. You don't need to worry if you don't eat meat because many stalls only offer vegetarian dishes. Whether you want a simple meal that you can eat before sightseeing or a snack to tide you over until dinner, Singapore has you covered. When your travels take you to Singapore, please take advantage of the world's street food capital and all it has to offer.