Exploring the Vibrant Market Set Scene in Singapore

Singapore is renowned as a global hub for business and finance, but beyond the skyscrapers and fancy office buildings, the city-state has a vibrant market scene that is worth exploring. From historic hawker centers to modern artisanal markets, Singapore’s market sets offer a diverse range of products, flavors, and experiences.

The History of Hawker Centers in Singapore

One of the most popular types of market sets in Singapore are the hawker centers. These are large, open-air food courts where vendors sell a variety of affordable and delicious dishes. Hawker centers have a rich history in Singapore, dating back to their origins in the 1950s when street vendors were relocated to designated areas to improve hygiene and safety.

Today, there are more than 100 hawker centers across Singapore, with each one offering a taste of the city’s diverse culinary culture. Some popular hawker centers to visit include Maxwell Food Centre, Tiong Bahru Market, and Chinatown Complex Food Centre.

Maxwell Food Centre

Located in the heart of Chinatown, Maxwell Food Centre is one of the most famous hawker centers in Singapore. With over 100 stalls, visitors can try a variety of dishes, from traditional Singaporean breakfast foods like kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs to lunchtime favorites like Hainanese chicken rice and fried carrot cake. One of the most popular stalls at Maxwell Food Centre is Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, which has gained international recognition for its delicious and tender chicken.

Tiong Bahru Market

Tiong Bahru Market is a unique hawker center that combines traditional hawker favorites with modern cuisine. The market is located in a historic Art Deco building, and visitors can sample dishes like dim sum, char kway teow (stir-fried noodles with seafood and sausage), and artisanal coffee. Tiong Bahru Market is also home to a rooftop urban farm, which supplies fresh produce to some of the market’s food stalls.

Chinatown Complex Food Centre

As the name suggests, Chinatown Complex Food Centre is located in Singapore’s historic Chinatown district. With over 220 stalls, it is one of the largest hawker centers in Singapore. Visitors can try local favorites like popiah (fresh spring rolls), bak kut teh (pork rib soup), and oyster omelettes. One of the most popular stalls at Chinatown Complex Food Centre is the Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, which became the first hawker stall in Singapore to be awarded a Michelin star in 2016.

Artisanal Markets in Singapore

In addition to hawker centers, Singapore also has a growing number of artisanal markets that cater to foodies and shoppers alike. These markets often feature locally-made crafts, gourmet food products, and live music and entertainment.

Artbox Singapore

Artbox is a popular Southeast Asian artisanal market that was first launched in Thailand. In recent years, the market has expanded to Singapore, and it has become a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike. Artbox Singapore features over 300 vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to street food. Visitors can also enjoy live music, art installations, and other entertainment throughout the market.

PasarBella at Suntec City

PasarBella is a gourmet food market that first opened in 2014. The market features over 30 vendors selling artisanal cheeses, wines, meats, and other specialty foods from around the world. PasarBella at Suntec City is one of the largest PasarBella markets in Singapore, and visitors can enjoy live music, craft workshops, and other entertainment as they shop and sample the market’s offerings.

Boutique Fairs Singapore

Boutique Fairs Singapore is a twice-yearly event that features over 200 vendors selling fashion, home decor, and other artisanal goods. The fair showcases local and international designers, and visitors can enjoy workshops, music, and food as they browse the market. Boutique Fairs Singapore is a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs that are not available in mainstream stores.


Whether you’re a foodie or a shopper, Singapore’s market sets offer a wide range of products and experiences to explore. From the historic hawker centers to the modern artisanal markets, these markets are a reflection of Singapore’s diverse and vibrant culture. So why not take a break from the office buildings and skyscrapers and venture out to discover Singapore’s market scene?

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