Must-Try Food Around Chinatown District in Singapore

Must-Try Food Around Chinatown District in Singapore

Go-to Hawker Centers and Popular Food Around Chinatown Singapore

Chinatown is a stop-by place if you ever visit Singapore. It’s rich in traditions and cultural heritages. Historical buildings, temples, museums, parks are some of Chinatown’s attractions. The next thing to attract tourists and local people in Chinatown is its soul-satisfying traditional and modern food.

In this article, you will get to learn about hawkers centers, various steamboat restaurants, and must-try food around the Chinatown district.

Note: If you are visiting Chinatown, don’t forget to see these best hotel deals in Chinatown Singapore.

The Origin of the Hawker Culture and its Birth on the Chinatown District

Hawker culture originated during the mid-1800s in Singapore. It was popular among people because it required minimum capital and skill. Later in the 1970s, people started opening lots of street food stalls in Orchard Road and Chinatown. Over the years, Hawkers culture has been an integral part of life for Chinatown’s people. It has been offering delicious food with the perfect combination of space and community for a get-together, dining, etc. It serves several dishes, such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, etc.

Lots of hawker dishes evolved from the culture of various immigrants that settled in Singapore. Later, it became a significant part of the food heritage and favorite of many locals and travelers. 

The National Heritage Board in Singapore conducted a public poll that attracted nearly 3000 respondents or even more. As per the public poll, food heritage was recognized as a significant aspect of Singapore’s intangible cultural heritage. Therefore, the Hawker culture in Singapore has been nominated as a part of the UNESCO heritage list of the ICH (Intangible Cultural Heritage) of humanity.

To nominate any element in the UNESCO heritage list, you need to submit a nomination report with various documents as specified by UNESCO. These are the documents below:

  • Documents showing your element fulfills the definition of intangible cultural heritage as specified by UNESCO.
  • Details featuring your element enhance and create awareness of intangible cultural heritage
  • Reports describing how your elements safeguard and promote the intangible cultural heritage and how’s it transmitted to other generation
  • Public participation for the nomination of the element in intangible cultural heritage 

You can find plenty of new and traditional restaurants that offer delicious food around the Chinatown district. Moreover, they have included famous dishes such as ramen specials KIWAMI with a teppanyaki bar, Hong Kong noodle chain TamJai SamGor Mixian, and wobbly souffle pancakes popular in Tamago EN. 

Hawker Centres in Chinatown District

Here is the list of hawkers centers you must stop-by while in Chinatown.

Lian He Ben Ji Claypot

It’s one of the famous claypot rice stalls in Chinatown and is located on the corner of Chinatown Complex Food Centre. The service time is around 30-60 minutes and is always full of hungry customers. It’s also a distinctive place for Guo-ba. They make generous use of ingredients such as duck liver, pork belly, sausages, wax meat, silvers of salted fish, and Lup Cheong, also known as Chinese sausage.

Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck and Kway Chap

This stall gives a contemporary taste to traditional hawker dishes. You can rarely find the creative mixture of braised duck with golden lava egg on any menu. A small bite burst with flavor that gives you an instant mood to celebrate. You can also enjoy the platter that involves tender braised duck and yam rice rolled in balls, bean curd, offals, lava eggs in Japanese-style running with yolk, and various pickled vegetables.

Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle

This stall is famous among tourists. It’s been awarded 1 Michelin Star. You can receive the cheapest meal here at USD 1.47 for one plate of soya sauce chicken rice. You can rarely enjoy these types of food for such a price in any Michelin Star. It serves other dishes such as roasted pork rice, soya sauce, chicken noodle, char siew noodles, char siew rice at unexpected prices, ranging from $2-$3.

Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao

You can enjoy your food worth the money you spend on it. It provides you with lots of delicious food such as beef noodles, Szechuan spicy wonton, hand-pulled noodles (sour and spicy noodles), and dumpling noodles at the best price. The xiao long bao is made freshly and often served with some vinegar and chilli.

These are the hawker centers you must visit while in Chinatown. Now, let’s take a look at the famous food at hawker stalls.

Famous Dishes at Chinatown Hawker Stalls

Yong Tau Foo

Yong Tau Foo is a common dish in most stalls. It’s handmade and affordable, and delicious. Furthermore, it’s often topped with ikan bilis prepared from secret recipes and dry noodles.

Fried Rice

Fried rice seems too simple and plain, but different styles of cooking make it unique. It’s tossed lavishly with ingredients such as eggs, char siew, prawn meat, etc. You can also find varieties of this item with anchovies, fried egg, luncheon meat, etc.

Crispy Cuttlefish

They are baked fresh, assuring the crispy texture that makes to more delicious.

Pork Roasted Meat

It comes in thick slices. The juicy, tender, and moist texture in each bite makes the people crazy to stand in a queue for a long time.

Char Siew Pau

The hawker stall offers the fluffy bun, steaming and Laval-like pouring into your mouth at every bite. You can enjoy it with Siew Mai and har gow.

These are the famous foods you should try in hawker centers at Chinatown in Singapore. Here are some more notable steamboat restaurants around Chinatown to hangout and enjoy yummy foods.

Notable Steamboat Restaurants Around Chinatown


Haidilao was founded in 1994. It’s been titled Chinese Famous Hotpot by the CCA ever since. There are different recipes added each year, and more than twenty dipping sauces are available. Side dishes such as cucumbers, fresh foods, and peanuts are always offered. It also provides a traditional Sichuan style hotpot, and you can select four several soup bases in a pot, also known as a four-broth pot. Due to Haidilao’s popularity, you can expect the restaurant to be open 24 hours a day while offering food delivery services as well.

Guo Fu Steamboat

You can find the heavenly taste of xiao long bao and steamboat at the same time at Guo Fu Steamboat. People specially recognize it for fresh beef slices. Likewise, the hotpot meal can be taken with xiao long bao, which comes for free with the meal.

Boon Tat Street BBQ Seafood

It provides you with lavishing seafood. The price is affordable, and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to grab the food at this restaurant.

Old Airport Road Satay Bee Hoon and BBQ Steamboat

The popular restaurant offers Satay skewers which are juicy and delicious. There is a compliment like a satay peanut sauce for this dish. It has been passed on for generations. Furthermore, the skewer’s savoury taste will make you wonder for ages how it’s made. Of course, the sauce recipe is a closely guarded family secret, so there would be no way of knowing.

Kazan Japanese Cuisine

The Unagi set is its star dish. They serve you generously with satisfying pieces of unagi. You can’t get such dishes in many other restaurants at a price like in this restaurant.

Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa

This restaurant has been rewarded with the Michelin Bib Gourmand award and has been popular among locals and tourists. Its highlight is Asia Delight Laksa, a Hainanese noodle recipe with a distinctive coconut fragrance but with a subtle coconut flavor.


These are some famous restaurants and hawker centres providing delicious food you must not miss while in Chinatown. Or, you can also set up a food business in Singapore as this business never goes down with the crowds craving delicious foods.