Singaporean’s obsess on food. And why shouldn’t they? Singapore boasts everything from Michelin-starred eateries to affordable street eats in their famous hawker centers. The city’s legendary street food stalls and are part of the cultural fibre of the Lion City. More than 6,000 food stalls fill 110 hawker centers serving tastes from around the region and across Asia.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently announced that hawker culture will be nominated for inscription into UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Mr Lee calls hawker centers “community dining rooms”, and having them accepted as a UNESCO will “help to safeguard and promote this unique culture for future generations”. He added, “It will also let the rest of the world know about our local food and multicultural heritage.” Food in Singapore is taken quite seriously. And as such the results are great. Hawker centers are renewed for their diversity and quality of of food.
In the 1970’s Singapore’s government started moving street food vendors into purpose-built facilities and in the process created hawker culture. Since many food vendors were migrants the food they served reflected the multicultural makeup of Singapore. Today they are still building new hawker centers. The official government plans calls for 127 different hawker centers by 2027 up from 110 today.
The success of hawker centers in Singapore showcases the city’s love of food, their embrace of multicultural ideals and their community spirit. We’re big fans.