There's nothing like enjoying your time at a pasar malam in Singapore for a dose of nostalgia.
Sure, you can find nostalgic local snacks like muah chee, Ramly burger, vadai, Taiwan sausage, cotton candy, tea egg, putu piring and keropok lekor elsewhere. But nothing beats the rush, vibes, smells and overall experience of a pasar malam (‘night market’ in Malay). And now, after two years, the pasar malams are back!
Pasar malam origins in Singapore…
Back in the mid-1950s, weekly pasar malams were organised by hawkers near British military bases. The number of markets increased over the next decade as they were located near public and private housing estates, providing easy access to food, snacks, clothing, footwear and even household furnishings.
However, the pasar malams were slowly phased out in 1978 due to the requirement of licensing. They were believed to be the cause of traffic congestion, noise pollution and public health problems. These street hawkers moved to hawker centres – that’s why we have a prominent number of them today.
Later on, the night markets made a comeback in the 1980s with strict government control measures. Today, you’ll notice that the night events pop up during festive occasions around Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa and Deepavali.
Excited to check ‘em out? We’ve rounded up a list of ongoing pasar malams in Singapore.
Best pasar malams in Singapore
1. Bukit Panjang Pasar Malam
It’s an absolute feast at this pasar malam. Get your otah fix at Otak-Otak Hyda.Co, Loco Loco’s churros (there’s a chilli crab one too!), Gemok’s Takoyaki, and the usual mix of Ramly burgers, Thai milk tea, vadai and more. Don’t forget to try your hand at the claw machines.
Where: Block 227, Pending Road, Singapore 670227
When: until 11 November
2. Yishun Pasar Malam
The pasar malam at Chong Pang reminds us of a night market in Bangkok. Tuck into Thai delights like grilled skewers, steamed pork dumplings, and salad rolls; along with local faves such as rojak, tahu begedil and apam balik. Cool down with a cup of coconut juice and walk along the shops selling women’s apparel, potted plants and more.
Where: Blk 101 Chong Pang Market, Yishun Avenue 5, Singapore 760101
When: until 13 November
3. Tampines Pasar Malam
The pasar malam at Tampines MRT is probably one of the biggest night markets in the east. Make a date with your loved ones and enjoy scrumptious street food (sweet potato balls, durian goreng, crispy chicken, corn dog, seafood skewer, fried Oreo), and hearty mains (boat noodles, Japanese curry katsu, kebabs). There’s also a small selection of carnival games, furniture shops, potted plants, home furnishings and casual wear for some retail therapy.
Where: Tampines MRT Station, 20 Tampines Central 1, Singapore 529538
When: until 23 November
4. Tampines Street 81 Mini Fair
If you don’t plan to brave the crowds at Tampines MRT, make your way to Street 81 for a mini fair. Though smaller in size, there’s a steady mix of traditional classics and modern delights that’ll satisfy your cravings.
Where: Blk 826, Tampines Street 81, Singapore 520826
When: 1 November – 16 November
Upcoming pasar malams in Singapore
5. Pasir Ris Pasar Malam
Where: Blk 105, Pasir Ris Street 12, Singapore 510105
When: 12 November – 27 November 2022
6. Khatib MRT
Where: 201 Yishun Avenue 2, Singapore 769092
When: 12 November to 11 December 2022
7. Hougang MRT
Where: 80 Hougang Central, Singapore 538758
When: 26 November – 11 December 2022
8. Yew Tee MRT
Where: 61 Choa Chu Kang Drive, Singapore 689715
When: 1 December – 1 January 2022
9. Boon Keng MRT
Where: 900 Serangoon Road, Singapore 328260
When: 3 December – 18 December 2022
10. Boon Lay Blk 207
Where: Blk 207, Boon Lay Place, Singapore 640207
When: 16 December – 31 December 2022
11. Rivervale Plaza
Where: 118 Rivervale Drive, Singapore 540118
When: 21 November to 6 December 2022
Brave the crowds and experience the true pasar malam experience in Singapore – it’s totally worth it!