It’s hardcore grocery shopping time! Best to hit the wet markets to stock up on the freshest produce in Singapore - and local treats from noodles to curry paste and fishballs, made on the spot
Grocery shopping isn’t limited to massive air-conditioned supermarkets in the malls of Singapore. Our first choice? Wet markets! We love our neighbourhood wet markets. On the outside, these pungent and produce-laden emporiums may be a bit daunting if you don’t know where to go and what to look for. But suck it up, put on some anti-slip shoes and prepare to haggle at these spots. This is where the good stuff is at…
With the selection of fresh vegetables, good butchers and a mad collection of spices, Tekka is a gem and definitely one of the cooler wet markets around. One of our favourite stalls is Chia’s Vegetable Supply – you’ll know them from the jazz tunes they blast at the store. Chia’s always has an abundance of seasonal and imported vegetables like fennel, vine-ripened tomatoes and arugula. Head to Joe’s Butchery for some good quality meats like an Angus steak for dinner or a serving of lamb ribs.
Tekka Centre, 665 Buffalo Road, Tekka Centre, Singapore 210665
Chinatown Wet Market
This is a large and bustling arena full of fresh produce and quality dried goods in the basement of the Chinatown Complex. It’s fairly wallet-friendly, particularly if you show some love to smaller stallholders who will often throw in some extra pieces of vegetable for ‘regular’ customers. Most of the fresh produce are imported from Malaysia or is supplied from farms near Kranji so it’s all sustainable. The market is also known for live seafood including cockles, lobsters, crabs and tiger prawns and exotic meats like eels, frogs, and turtles (sadly).
Chinatown Wet Market, Chinatown Complex, 335 Smith Street, Singapore 050335
Geylang Serai Market
One of the biggest and busiest wet markets in Singapore, the Geylang Serai Market has undergone quite a few changes, yet it remains a pillar of heritage in the Joo Chiat precinct. Head here early for fresh produce, Malay and halal supplies, a wide array of spices (for all those lemak dishes!), a trusty cup of teh halia (ginger tea) with a snack, and even fashion.
Geylang Serai Market, 1 Geylang Serai, Singapore 402001
Empress Road Market
A favourite with expats, Empress Market is where you can find a good mix of local and international produce. You’ll find stuff like jalapenos, nectarines and also black chicken (good for its health properties). You can also get your meat de-boned, chopped, minced and whichever way you like from the local butcher.
Empress Road Market, 7 Empress Rd, Singapore 260007
Jurong Fishery Port
Put on the wellies for this one, and bring along your passport/ID (seriously). Our advice: go between 2-4am to get in on all the action, and the freshest seafood in Singapore. Sort of like the Tsukiji Market in Japan, you can procure local and imported seafood from catch to you with no middleman in between. This also means you’re getting next to near wholesale prices. Song Fish Dealer stocks uncommon types of fish, like black cod and Spanish mackerel if you’re looking for something fancy. Plus, they also have a delivery service if you really can’t face waking up that early.
Jurong Fishery Port, Fishery Port Road, Singapore 619742
Tiong Bahru Wet Market
Tiong Bahru might be popular for hip eateries and old-school architecture, but the wet market is the heart of this gentrified enclave. It’s not too big, not too small, recently renovated, clean and open – a good one if you want to bring the kids along for an adventure. Find tofu, leafy greens and other seasonal produce, organic vegetables (you have to be quick – they get snapped up fast!), Aussie and New Zealand beef, and also fresh blooms and house plants.
Tiong Bahru Wet Market, 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898
50A Marine Terrace Market
Another go-to market for the Easties? 50A Marine Terrace Market. Just a short walk from Marine Parade central, Parkway Parade, this grocery haven is where to stock up on fresh meat, vegetables and beautiful flowers – and even air plants! After that, a cold dessert and some local breakfast to start your day. Other faves? Locally roasted coffee, quail eggs, handmade fish balls and fresh noodles for under a dollar a bag. We particularly love hitting up the curry paste stall, where the auntie experty dollops the likes of freshly minced turmeric, lemongrass and chilli into a bag for you to cheat your way through dinner.
Marine Parade Market, Blk 84 Marine Parade Central, Singapore 440084