Did you know one of the best Hawker Centres in Singapore is actually outside the city? For over 50 years, the Old Airport Road Food Centre has been serving up delicious hawker dishes to hungry patrons. Even though it’s a bit of a trek to get there, it’s widely regarded as one of the best places to eat! Here’s why you should make the trip to Old Airport Road Food Centre in Singapore.
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How to Get to Old Airport Road Food Centre
As we mentioned, Old Airport Road Food Centre Singapore is a bit outside the city center. This means unlike the popular Lau Pa Sat or Chinatown Complex, you’ll have to plan a trip separate from your other activities.
This made it a debatable destination for travelers like us to prefer to walk everywhere. However, after our first visit to Old Airport Road Food Centre we were sold! Ever since it has become a must-stop whenever we’re in Singapore. Here’s the 3 best ways to get to Old Airport Road below.
Train: Singapore’s MRT train system is a fantastic way to get around the city. The closest stop is the Dakota MRT station which is just a 3 minute walk from Old Airport Road Hawker.
Taxi: We rarely take taxis in Singapore as they are the most expensive mode of transportation. Yet, if we’re short on time we will check the price on apps like Uber and Grab just to see if there’s a good deal available. On our last trip from Chinatown it was only around 10 Singapore Dollars ($7.50 USD) one way to get here, but it’s typically more than twice that price during peak hours!
Bus: The Bus lines 10, 16, 30, 30E, 31, 32, and 33 will all take you to Old Airport Road Food Centre. Still, we much prefer the train or taxi to this option.
History of the Old Airport Road Hawker
One of the draws to the Old Airport Road Food Centre in Singapore is that it’s a historic attraction in itself! The complex was built in 1972 as a home for the hundreds of street venders outside the closed down Kallang Airport. An estate was built with low-cost housing in 1955 on the old airport grounds and this is where the hawker stalls would congregate.
It wasn’t until the Hawker Centre movement in the 1970’s where the new building was constructed that you see today. Old Airport Road Food Centre now consists of over 160 food stalls!
It’s history and number of different food options from around Southeast Asia make it one of the oldest and largest hawker centres in Singapore. There is also a shopping area on the 2nd floor with miscellaneous stores and items.
5 Tips for Old Airport Road Food Centre
Bring Cash: Many of the most popular stalls at Old Airport Rd. don’t take credit cards. Make sure to bring cash with you so you can enjoy all the good food.
Arrive Early: Although the food court doesn’t close until 10:30pm, the best time to visit is early morning or lunch time. The morning is when many spots are just opening up, while the afternoon is when the greatest number of stalls will be open. This will also free up your night to experience the Singapore Light Shows and other fun things to do!
Sit Outside: Old Airport Road Food Centre is one of the few hawker complexes with outdoor seating. We always make our way to the tables near the front entrance on the ground floor for some fresh air.
Clear Your Table: Make sure to throw away your trash and discard your trays in the proper place. Singapore has some strange laws and many which are specifically tied to cleanliness. The last thing you’d want to risk is a fine at the Old Airport Road hawker!
Eat As Much Food as Possible: This almost goes without saying, but eat your heart out! There’s a reason so many travelers make the trip to this well known hawker center. We even recommend going with a group so you can order multiple dishes to experience more of the best foods.
Our Lunch at Old Airport Road Food Centre
At first glance, this might just look like any other old building in Singapore. However, once you step inside Old Airport Road Food Centre you’ll be introduced to an endless array of Southeast Asian cuisine. From the traditional char kway teow to spicy pork noodles and fresh fish, there’s so much to enjoy on Old Airport Road!
For our lunch hour we decided to start with a tasty juice. Once we cured our thirst and surveyed all the street hawkers, we ordered a duck rice and wanton mee. The chili and soy sauce combo that’s at most of the food stands really unlock the extra flavor!
Best Food at the Old Airport Road Food Centre
Keep it mind it may be a long wait for a Michelin plate compared to the other stalls. Yet, if you’re heading to famous street food stand like Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow know that it’s so worth it! Below are more of the best places to eat at the Old Airport Road Food Centre.
- Roast Paradise: Delicious char siew BBQ pork roasted to perfection.
- Whitley Road Big Prawn Noodles: Michelin Star noodle soup with prawn, pork liver, or pork ribs! Also be sure to try Albert Street Prawn Noodle which is said to be just as good.
- Freshly Made Chee Cheong Fun: Rice noodle rolls with a range of different fillings. A great breakfast treat.
- Xin Mei Xiang Zheng Zong Lor Mee: Flavorful and delicious hokkien noodles done right.
- Wang Wang Crispy Curry Puff: One of the many great bakery options at Old Airport Road Hawker.
- Toa Payoh Rojak: Legendary rojak salad dish that you won’t regret trying!
Have any questions about Old Airport Road Food Centre in Singapore or want to share more of your favorite hawker centers? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Where to Stay in Singapore
Luxury – Marina Bay Sands – We stayed at the Marina Bay Sands for Jake’s 30th birthday and it blew away our expectations. Aside from the luxury amenities, swimming in the rooftop infinity pool will be the highlight of your visit!
Iconic – Raffles Hotel – As one of the most historic hotels Southeast Asia, staying at the Raffles Hotel will be an experience like no other. Enjoy a Singapore Sling and take in the amazing architecture of this landmark built in 1887.
Fun Vacation– Parkroyal on Pickering– It doesn’t get much more green and lush then Parkroyal on Pickering! This fun vacation spot is literally one of the greenest hotels in the world. Plant life covers the entire property to make for a unique stay in Singapore.
Boutique – KēSa House – Located in Chinatown, this fantastic hotel was built in 1920’s. Enjoy the incredible setting in the heart of the city in a traditional building on Keong Saik Road.
Hostel – Hipstercity hostel – Fun hostel in downtown Singapore with both private and dorm rooms. Great place to meet other travelers to explore the city with.
Singapore Travel Planning
Flights: We always find deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Athens to Singapore for $230 USD, and Singapore to Thailand for less than $50!
Accommodation: Compare competitive sites for hotels such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Singapore. You can book everything from a Singapore Highlights Bike Tour to a Gardens by the Bay E-Ticket, and even a private food tour with 10 tastings!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Here’s all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists! Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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