Eating your way through Singapore? Don’t miss out on the ever-popular Maxwell Food Centre, one of Singapore’s best hawker centres! Located on the edge of Chinatown, Maxwell Food Centre offers some of the city’s tastiest local dishes in a location that’s perfect for travellers seeking out some culinary brilliance in the heart of the city.
Among Singaporeans, Maxwell Food Centre has long been a fixture in the city’s food scene. It’s been open for business since 1986 and has gained a deserved reputation among locals and travellers alike as one of the best places to eat in Singapore.
As of late, the hawker centre has experienced a resurgence thanks to none other than everyone’s favourite travelling chef/foodie, the late Anthony Bourdain who deemed the signature dish at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice as “so fragrant & delicious that it can be eaten on its own.”
What to expect at Maxwell Food Centre
One of the things I love most about Maxwell Food Centre is the wide variety. Coming from the nearby (and also absolutely amazing!) Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre, you’ll notice a more extensive selection of ethnic foods here.
Unlike the mostly Chinese-inspired dishes in Chinatown, Maxwell Food Centre offers a larger palette of options from Singapore’s other two main ethnic groups, Indian and Malay. Thanks to its simple one-floor layout in rows, it’s also a bit easier to navigate than other hawker centres in the city.
If you’re visiting at peak lunch or dinner hours, don’t be surprised to find it difficult to secure a seat. It’s a testament both to the hawker centre’s popularity and the relatively limited number of tables in comparison to the number of food stalls.
Where & what to eat
As with any hawker centre, my normal advice is to walk through all of the stalls first to see what catches your eye. Of course, given the popularity of Maxwell Food Centre, there’s a mix of particularly popular (some my say downright famous) hawker stalls here serving up some of the tastiest dishes in Singapore. Keep your eyes peeled for a few of these gems:
- Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice (#01-10/11): Chicken rice
- Lau Pa Sat Bak Kut Teh (#01-48): Bak kut teh (pork rib herbal soup)
- Zhen Zhen Porridge (#01-54): Pork congee
- Chee Cheong Fun Club (#01-38): KL-style curry chee cheong fun
- Marina South Delicious Food (#01-35): Char kway teow
- Guangdong Wan Ton Mee (#01-99): Wonton noodles
- Tong Xin Ju Special Shanghai Tim Sum (#01-92): Xiaolongbao (Shanghai-style dumplings)
- Teochew Rice and Porridge (#01-98): Pork porridge
- Hup Kee Wu Xiang Guan Chang (#01-97): Guan chang (pink sausage)
Maxwell Food Centre is located on the edge of Chinatown with several MRT stations (Outram Park, Chinatown, Telok Ayer, Tanjong Pagar) within about 10- to 15-minute walking distance. The closest is Chinatown MRT Station on the North East Line. From Exit B, it’s less than a ten-minute walk via South Pagoda Street and South Bridge Road.
Where to stay near Maxwell Food Centre
With its proximity to Chinatown and the CBD, picking a hotel near Maxwell Food Centre sets you among among some of the best options for where to stay in Singapore. Here are some of our favourites in the area…
- Bliss Hotel: One of the top choices in the area for travellers on a budget, this modern hotel features spacious rooms with a few extras usually reserved for more expensive accommodations including a free smartphone rental for the duration of your stay in Singapore.
- The Scarlet Singapore: Situated in a beautiful heritage building amidst the bustle of Chinatown, this mid-range boutique hotel charms with ultra-contemporary rooms and excellent amenities including a rooftop bar and outdoor hot tub.
- Ann Siang House: Another superb boutique hotel occupying an old Chinese shophouse. In addition to their regular rooms, you can also book self-catering studio apartments for a more homey feel.