Hawkers, Markets & Restaurants
Updated: Oct 27
The 4th in a Five blog series of “Singapore in Pictures-Telling your Singapore story with photos”.
"HAWKERS, MARKETS & RESTAURANTS"
It's no secret that Singapore is known the world over as one of the top cities for both fine dinning, and incredible Street food.
In this blog we'll discuss some your options ranging from the ultra- upscale restaurants to the awesome cuisine at the neighborhood Hawkers.
Knowing we all love to make our family and friends overwhelmed with envy by taking photos of our food and posting online, lol... I'm going to help you with some great tips to make your Singapore cuisine look even better in photos, if that's possible lol.
Neighborhood Market places also offer fantastic opportunities to photograph the Culture & Color of Singapore. What is available at these markets will vary widely depending on the ethnicity of the neighborhood. Hence… Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam (the Arab quarter) and so on…
Singapore Markets are about more than just food, there is tones of great shopping you can do there. Everything is available from Scarf’s & Sari’s and Pramanik Dresses to baju kurong‘s.
Want to learn more about using the MRT & BUS system to quickly get around Singapore? See our Blog Using Singapore's MRT & BUS System to save time and money
Visiting some of Singapore’s neighborhood Hawkers & Food Centers is a must for every traveler. The verity of different cuisine is incredible, you’ll find stalls featuring dishes from every corner of Asia.
Hawkers have been serving up delicious food to Singapores hungry people since its Malay beginnings, offering a fast affordable meal as they go about their busy lives.
In the 1800’s after the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles, came a flood of new immigrants from all over Asia. For some of these new arrivals Hawking food on the streets became an avenue to support themselves in their new land.
Today’s Modern Hawker centers are somewhat different. Gone are the days when Hawkers set up their stalls along the busy streets, or roamed the streets with a mobile cart serving Tasty meals to Singapore’s busy inhabitants.
Todays modern Hawker centers have evolved as Singapore has become a modern first world country, most are centrally located in every neighborhood and consist of more than just food. Now many have markets, wet markets and local shops integrated as well, providing Singaporeans with almost everything you need for daily life. Indeed, they are the center point in the lives of almost every Singaporean.
Prices at hawkers are very affordable, usually you can get an entire meal & drink for $6-8 SGD… Looking closely at each stall and you will notice a sign with a letter (A, B, C) prominently displayed, this shows how well the stall is maintained and operated. Mostly you will see A’s and B’s with an occasional C, it takes a lot of hard work to achieve A or B status as Singapore inspectors are tough & thorough. However it’s the long lines of locals waiting patiently which give away the quality of a stalls cuisine.
Traveler’s will also find some large multi-level Hawker centers located in the tourist sections, these are great places to enjoy a bite to eat, do some shopping and explore. However, I encourage everyone to get off the beaten path and into the outlying neighborhoods. Vist the local Hawkers, and have conversations with the folks you meet while discovering these neighborhoods and shops.
You’ll definitely want some photos of all that food, and some short videos of the stalls chef’s in action preparing your delicious dishes. So below are some great tips...
Purchase a couple of different dishes. If you’re with a large group of friends or family encourage everyone to order different dishes and share. Be sure and get those great photos before you dive in.
Arrange your dishes, Chop sticks & drinks and get photos before you dig in.
Get in close and fill the frame with your dish or dishes, hold your camera at a 90 degree angle… (Consider using flash)
Get lots of photos and selfies of everyone enjoying their food, have fun, be creative and silly...
Make sure you include a nice photo of the Stall or Stalls, it’s name, location and address along with your incredible food photos when you post online. It helps the Stall owners, so make a mini advertisement out of it.
VIDEO TIP 1- Setup your Smartphone for 4K video and keep videos short, 10-20 seconds. When shooting videos, slowly move your camera around your subject or slowly move in closer to the subject for a more cinematic look.
Checkout our list of great Singapore Hawkers, Restaurants & Roof-top Bars to fit every budget, along with links to their websites & addresses...
At the heart of every neighborhood is the Market Place, its a place that everyone young and old are connected to. This is basically true all over the world, that's why people are so fascinated and drawn to them when traveling to distant lands. They love to see the differences in how people live, what they eat and how they go about their daily lives.
It’s these differences you want to capture in your photos, so look for local fruits and veggies that are not available in your country. Be sure an get some photos of what’s inside these fruits as many vendors already have them displayed that way.
Always start by cleaning your lens first.
Get Selfies and Portraits with the venders & locals, as they are an important part of your Singapore story. Start a pleasant conversation with venders, inquire about the different fruits & veggies, maybe purchase some samples before asking to take a few selfies and photos. That way everyone benefits form the experience.
Don’t leave out the Wet Markets (Seafood And Meat sections), these locations offer many cool photo opportunities. Create some photos with the fish heads in the foreground and fishmongers in the background (TIP- Be sure your focus point is on the eyes of the fishmonger).
Never use a camera flash for these photos, as these folks are often using Knives & Clever’s…
Get photos of all the different fruits & Veggies normally not found in your country. Buy some to taste and be sure to photograph what's inside before you eat them.
Take a lot of different photos, you can always delete what do don't like later.
Singapore’s restaurants offer a wide variety of cuisines from countries not just around Asia, but all over the world. There are many great restaurants to satisfy the appetite of every traveler, from folks who have a budget$, To the Sky is the limit$$$$.
Personally I recommend you use your visit to the Lion City as an opportunity to discover new foods. Hence, If you’re from the west try all the wonderful Chinese, Indian and Malay foods, if you’re from the East then visit some of the many Western, South American or Middle Eastern restaurants Singapore has to offer.
In Singapore, the sky really can be the limit. Enjoy world class wines, imported beers or top shelf liquor at a Marina Bay Rooftop bar while enjoying the nightly laser show, or have a toast with a few pints at a Hawker and watch a football game with the local boys.
For a more moderately priced evening of Dinner & Drinks look into Chinatown, Little India or Kampong Glam as there are many restaurants & bars that offer great cuisine at reasonable prices that won't break the bank.
Below I've listed a few great restaurants along with their websites below.
Photo of Ilonka & I at a Rooftop Bar in Chinatown
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Mark Stevens & Ilonka Guenther
Business Owners, Photographers & Travelers
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At Singapore Street Shots our Blogs are meant to give you tips & advice for exploring Singapore and creating stunning photos. You will discover and photograph more if you do some research and create a good plan.
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Singapore - Off the Beaten Path - Discover the Singapore most tourist never see
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Tips for Travelers: Capture your Memories with Pictures
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