S'pore-style hawker centre opens in New York, sells chicken rice, chili crab, laksa, kaya toast & prata

It also has a western food stall that sells western food to Westerners in a western country.

Fiona Tan | September 24, 2022, 06:42 PM

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Did you know that there is a Singapore-style hawker centre in the Big Apple?

New York's first Singapore hawker food food centre

Urban Hawker is a food hall modelled after Singapore's well-loved hawker centres and sells popular local hawker fare.

It is the first Singapore hawker food food centre in New York.

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Located at 135 W. 50th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Midtown, it is just a stone's throw from the glimmering bright lights of Times Square in Manhattan.

It had its soft opening on Sep. 21, but will officially open its doors from Sep. 28.

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Features notable local F&B names

The 14,000 sq ft food hall houses 17 vendors under its roof, all of which have been handpicked by Makansutra founder K.F. Seetoh.

Of that number, 11 are Singaporean vendors, according to The Straits Times (ST).

Notable local names include White Restaurant, which started from dishing out plates of its famous white bee hoon at Sembawang; Kopifellas, a drinks stall with multiple outlets selling Nanyang kopi across Singapore; Ashes Burnnit, a halal burger chain that expanded from a humble hawker stall in Golden Mile Food Centre; and Wok and Staple by the heritage Chinese restaurant Dragon Phoenix, which has a 59-year legacy in Singapore.

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Other Singaporean vendors include:

  • Hainan Jones, a Hainanese poached and roasted chicken rice stall
  • Prawnaholic Collections, a Hokkien-style prawn noodles soup stall
  • Daisy’s Dream, a Nyonya Peranakan food stall
  • Padi D'NYC, a Malay and Indonesian food stall
  • Mamak's corner, an Indian food stall
  • Smokin' Joe, a Singaporean style Western food stall
  • Mr Fried Rice, a fried rice stall

The other six vendors are Yum Yubu, Jakarta Munch, Tradisyon, Lady Wong, Dim Sum Darlings and The Sling Bar, according to Urban Hawker's website.

You can watch a video tour of Urban Hall below.


K.F. Seetoh was one of the partners

Urban Hawker was created through a partnership between Seetoh and Urbanspace, which has multiple food halls in New York and across the United States.

Seetoh told ST that he first had the idea of opening a Singapore-style hawker food hall in New York through the late renowned celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.

Eater reported that Bourdain had the idea to open Bourdain Market from as early as 2012.

He announced that the food hall would open around 2015, but it never came to fruition due to leasing issues and the plan was axed in 2017.

After Bourdain passed away in 2018, Seetoh carried on the torch and the project came back to life in 2019.

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Urban Hawker

Location: 135 W. 50th Street

Operating hours: 8am to 11pm daily

Other overseas places with Singapore food

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Top image screenshot from Don Tagala/Facebook and @mikejchau/Instagram