If there’s one thing we’ve come to learn over the years about dining out with kids, it’s that the key to a successful family meal (the ones with no food throwing and tantrums involved) is FUN. If the kiddos have a side order of entertainment or distraction to go with their meal, the chances of leaving the table without wanting to spontaneously combust are vastly increased.
Hawker centres are great for getting a relatively quick bite to eat, without putting a kid-sized hole in your wallet (because none of us like shelling out for expensive food that ends up on the floor). We already know which local foods are our favourites (have you printed our handy checklist?), and now we know which hawker centres serve up family friendliness in spades…
East Coast Lagoon Food Village
“Oh we do like to be beside the seaside…”, especially when it comes to 24-hour al fresco dining with the kids. Perennial weekend activity spot, East Coast Park, has plenty to keep the kids occupied before and after a great plate of satay or delish bowl of chicken rice at East Coast Lagoon Food Village.
East Coast Lagoon Food Village, 1220 East Coast Parkway, 468960 (open 24 hours a day, every day)
Satay by the Bay
After all that scooting, garden exploration and serious fuel-burning escapades in the adventure playground and water play area at Gardens by the Bay, Satay by the Bay (pictured up top) is the perfect pit stop for a quick, easy and yummy feast with the kids. We love that it’s breezy, spacious and has great food picks including western fare, satays (of course) and nasi lemak. We also have a soft spot for the BBQ stingray…
Satay by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, #01-19, 018953; www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/dining/satay-by-the-bay (open 11am – 1am daily)
Kopitiam, Changi City Point
If there ever was a great bribe tactic to use to get kids to sit through a meal, a water playground would be it. Not only is the food great here (we’re big fans of the Thai stall), but right outside the window (for the kids to see while eating NICELY) is a wet and dry playground adventure zone.
Kopitiam, 5 Changi Business Park Central 1, Singapore 486038; www.changicitypoint.com.sg (open 7am – 10pm daily)
Chomp Chomp Food Centre
Trying to get the kids to sit still for more than five minutes can definitely prove to be a challenge, which is why we’re regulars at Chomp Chomp Food Centre, where there’s a great open space at the entrance for little legs to run around while we chow down on our dinner. Our tip? Bring bottles of bubbles, it seems to be a popular pastime for kiddos at this particular hawker centre. There’s also a gigantic playground just up the road from the eats – promise the small people a trip there if they behave during dinner!
Chomp Chomp Food Centre, 20 Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557269; www.chompchompfoodcentre.business.site (open 4pm – 12.30am daily)
Changi Village Hawker Centre
Start (or finish) your day trip adventures to Pulau Ubin island with a quick dish or two at Changi Village Hawker Centre. Noodles don’t get much better than the fine fare at Weng Kee Ipoh Hor Fun – our ‘lil ones are big fans of the chicken chop hor fun. After your meal, head to the back of the hawker centre so the kiddos can stretch their legs at the playground – which has slides, poles and a climbing area. They’ll also love watching the boats go by at the jetty and having a run about in the open field.
Changi Village Hawker Centre, 2 Changi Village Rd, Singapore 500002 (open Mon-Thurs 6am – 2am, Fri 6am – 12am, Sat & Sun 24 hours)
Makansutra Gluttons Bay
With views across Marina Bay, and plenty of space for kids to move about, Makansutra Gluttons Bay makes for the perfect easy family dinner date. It’s definitely quality over quantity here as there are only 12 stalls, which means making a cuisine choice is also less overwhelming. One of the prettiest hawker centres on the island, in our opinion, it’s also on a pedestrianised street, making it safe for little ones to run around. Our fave stall? Majestic Peking Duck, Singapore’s first Peking Duck hawker outlet!
Makansutra Gluttons Bay, 8 Raffles Avenue, #01-15, Esplanade Mall, 039802; www.makansutra.com (Mon-Thurs 5pm – 2am, Fri-Sat 5pm-3am, Sun 4pm-1am)
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Lead image: Choo Yut Shing via Flickr