Wet markets are more than mere trading bazaars.
Just like shopping centres, community clubs and parks, wet markets in Singapore have been the glue that binds communities together. Whether it is the diligent mom snatching the most affordable groceries at the break of dawn, or the hardworking man butchering fresh meats – wet markets are bustling destinations filled with charm.
Tip: Meats, produce and other goods sold at wet markets tend to be more affordable and fresher than elsewhere, although supermarkets and online grocers aren’t doing that bad a job too. Also, contrary to the stereotype that wet markets are grimy, dirty and unappealing – many markets around the country will surprise you. Here is the guide you need to make the most out of your next trip to a wet market.
*Note: Most vendors and stallholders operate in the early hours, unless otherwise stated. To get the freshest and cheapest of the batch, do head down to the wet market early.
**Please note there will be further changes to the Covid-19 restrictions post the Phase 2 Heightened Alert on 13 June 2021. It goes without saying, the safety of everyone remains a top priority.
Wet markets in the NORTH
1. Chong Pang Market + Food Centre (Yishun)
Nestled in the town of Yishun, the Chong Pang Market + Food Centre has attracted both nearby residents and not-so-near travellers alike for decades. This market is a vibrant marketplace for produce, meats, and fish. Plus, it has a famous hawker centre with dozens of food vendors. Food tip: This is where to go to try the famous Chong Pang Nasi Lemak (coconut rice with fried chicken wing, ikan bilis, and spicy sambal chilli). The market sees eager shoppers and diligent merchants trading as early as 5 a.m. in the morning, while the food stalls serve hungry residents till late at night.
Address: 105 Yishun Ring Rd., 760105
Opening hours: From 5.00 a.m. onwards (wet market)
2. Admiralty Wet Market
Part of the newly renovated Admiralty Place, the Admiralty Wet Market continues to serve residents affordable groceries and fresh ingredients for their everyday meals. Previously operating from a temporary site, the market has since moved into its newly renovated premises at the Admiralty Place Neighbourhood Centre. Just a short walk away from this, is the Admiralty MRT Station. The newly renovated market now features improved lightings, ventilation and a more efficient layout to enhance the marketing experience for patrons.
Address: Block 678A Woodlands Ave. 6, 731678
Opening hours: Hours vary with each stall
3. Senoko Fishery Port
Hailed as “Singapore’s Tsukiji Market”, the Senoko Fishery Port is more of an undisclosed trade secret rather than popular community gathering hub. Of course, there is a whole community of fishmongers, restauranteurs and homemakers who still diligently make their way north to this waterside fishery port for the freshest and cheapest seafoods. We heard that crabs go as low as $5 here. Make sure to set your alarms early, as the fishery port opens in the wee hours, and closes even before much of Singapore wakes. However, one safety tip: Wear shoes with good traction as it can get real slippery!
Address: Block 678A Woodlands Ave. 6
Opening hours: 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. (Tuesday to Sunday)
Wet markets in the SOUTH
4. Tekka Centre
As one of the largest wet markets around the island, Tekka Centre houses more than 280 vendors. This popular market is a haven for food lovers and fashionistas. Situated in the heart of Little India, the centre is also a melting pot diversity. Do not be surprised if you find Chinese stallholders speaking Tamil and Indian vendors communicating in fluent Mandarin. Go here for fresh vegetables, quality seafoods (especially for its famous Sri Lankan crabs!), as well as other goods and provisions that you might need. Tekka Centre’s sprawling multi-storey complex is a stone’s throw away from the Little India MRT Station, and is served by many public buses as well.
Address: 665 Buffalo Rd., 210665
Opening hours: 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Tue. to Fri.), 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Sat. + Sun.). Closed on Mondays, hours may vary with each stall.
5. Chinatown Wet Market
One of the more unique wet markets out there is the Chinatown Wet Market. Located at the heart of Chinatown in the iconic Chinatown Complex building (along Smith Street), this market offers both the familiar and the eccentric. Live frogs, eels and even turtles are on the menu here, alongside other vegetables, meats, tofu and seafood. After your shopping trip, head upstairs towards the food vendors for some old-school Singaporean food like popiah, lor mee and dumplings.
Address: Chinatown Complex, 335 Smith St., 050335
Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. daily (wet market)
6. Tiong Bahru Wet Market
Tiong Bahru Market remains a landmark that many may miss despite its huge stature erected in a neighbourhood teeming with both old and new wonders. This place is famous for its exceptional freshness and quality of produce. At some of its stalls, produce is packaged like those found in supermarkets for the shoppers’ convenience. It is also a great place to get flowers, enjoy coffee and recharge before you explore the charming neighbourhood that is, Tiong Bahru. Oh, and don’t forget the plethora of food options at level 2, too! And guess what, you can get the freshness of Tiong Bahru Market delivered right to your doorstep through TadaFresh!
Address: 30 Seng Poh Rd., 168898
Opening hours: 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Sat. + Sun.)
Wet markets in the EAST
7. Geylang Serai Wet Market
Another one of the biggest and busiest wet markets in Singapore, the Geylang Serai Wet Market is both a vital social hub and a great destination to get everything you need for Malay cuisine. Asam pedas stingray (sour and spicy stingray stew), beef rendang (braised meat cooked in coconut milk and spices) and goreng pisang (fried banana fritters) are just some of the Malay dishes offered at the hawker centre at level 2. Even the architecture pays homage to the rich Malay culture as it is built to mimic a kampong house (traditional attap houses found in rural villages). The nearest MRT Stations are the Eunos and Paya Lebar stations.
Address: 1 Geylang Serai, 402001
Opening hours: 6:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. daily (wet market); 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (food centre)
8. Hougang Hainanese Village Wet Market
Hougang has traditionally been a Teochew enclave (a group of people with roots from Guangdong, China). The Hougang Hainanese Village Wet Market (and Food Centre), nestled among old and charming HDB blocks, brings life to this residential town. The wet market provides affordable and fresh groceries to the residents living nearby, who frequently stop by the food stalls on the upper levels for a taste of Teochew and other Singaporean dishes. Take a bus to this market from the nearby Hougang or Kovan MRT stations.
Address: 105 Hougang Ave. 1, 530105
Opening hours: 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. (wet market)
9. Bedok 85 Fengshan Market & Food Centre
Fengshan Market – a.k.a. Bedok 85 – has been a popular supper spot among Easties (a cheeky moniker given to residents living in the East of Singapore). However, the market is equally lively in the morning with various stallholders and vendors supplying produce and groceries to residents living in the area. The market and food centre was closed for renovations during February 2020, but has since gradually reopened since June of the same year. Cool tip: Its food centre is known to be home to some of the best local dishes around the island.
Address: 85 Bedok North St. 4, 460085
Opening hours: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., hours may vary with each stall.
Wet markets in the WEST
10. Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre
Bright lights welcoming life in the wee hours of the early morning can be found at the Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre. With more than 30 stalls, it is easy to be spoilt for choice amidst this sprawling market. Don’t let the competition among vendors fool you; stallholders and sellers here are friendly and welcoming, and are always eager to market their affordable products to you. From fruits to dried foods and live seafood, you’ll be bound to find what you need at this market in the West.
Address: 448 Clementi Ave. 3, 120448
Opening hours: Hours vary with each stall
11. West Coast Market Square
This well-sized market in the West of the country has the best deals on meat, seafood, veggies and eggs. Situated a few minutes from West Coast Plaza and Clementi MRT station, this market has everything you need, fresh and affordable. The high ceilings also help with the market’s ventilation, so you’d feel less claustrophobic when navigating your way around this bazaar.
Address: 726 West Coast Rd., 120726
Opening hours: 5:30 a.m. to 12 a.m., hours may vary with each stall.
12. Boon Lay Place Market
A rival of Chong Pang’s famous Nasi Lemak can be found here at Boon Lay Place – the Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak. Of course, this wet market also has everything you need to make your own Nasi Lemak at home, too. Apart from all the usual groceries and provisions, the many hardware and fruit shops around the area makes this the go-to place for inexpensive daily essentials. Buses here connect the market to Lakeside and Boon Lay MRT stations.
Address: 221A Boon Lay Place, 641221
Opening hours: Hours may vary with each stall
Wet markets in CENTRAL Singapore
13. Cheng San Market & Cooked Food Centre (Ang Mo Kio)
In the heartlands of Ang Mo Kio lies one of the liveliest markets you can find in this mature and charming estate. The Cheng San Market, probably more well-known for its Cooked Food Centre, is another grocery destination for Singaporeans young and old. After loading up on your vegetables, meats and seafood, why not pop by the food stalls for a traditional Singaporean breakfast of kopi (coffee) and toast?
Address: 527 Ang Mo Kio Ave. 10, 560527
Opening hours: 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Mon. to Sat.), 5 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Sun.). Hours may vary with each stall.
14. Toa Payoh Night Vegetable Market
Veggie lovers will love this one. Bustling full of operation while the country prepares to go to sleep, the makeshift Toa Payoh Night Vegetable Market is aunique open-air market that opens at night only. For about 120m along Toa Payoh East, you can find fresh produce like kailan, broccoli, lady’s finger, aubergines, and almost any type of vegetable under the sun. And they are cheaper than what you’d get at supermarkets too! Depending on the season, you can even score some Himeji mushrooms and other seasonal vegetables.
Address: Toa Payoh East
Opening hours: 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
15. Chung Ling Wet Market (Bishan)
For Bishan residents, the Chung Ling Wet Market is the place to go for vegetables, fruits and other essentials. Located along Bishan Street 11, this small but mighty wet market is a focal point of activity for those living in the vicinity. Surrounded by other eateries, shops and provision stores, this is where you would go if you need something. Tip? Follow the park connector just opposite it and you’ll find yourself at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in no time. Oh, it is less than 10 minutes away from Bishan MRT too!
Address: 151 Bishan St. 11, 571151
Opening hours: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
By Pinky Chng, January 2018 / Last updated + Additional Reporting by Derrick Tan