The street food culture in Singapore dates back to the 1800s. But in recent times, many of the street food stalls have been moved to Hawker centers, and the culture seems to be on a decline.
Today, the country has more than 14,000 licensed hawkers across 110 hawker centers and markets, with about 6000 cooked food stalls, offering tasty meals at affordable prices. Hawkers enjoy government subsidies, and pay an average of $200 a month, against an average of $1,250 for other stallholders. But this still additional cost and often times unaffordable with raw material costs and low retail price of the food.
There are other reasons why the culture seems to be fading. The younger generation does not wish to takeover the wok of their hawker parents, and the job is not rewarding enough anymore. High government rents are one reason of increasing fixed and maintenance costs. Moreover, the space for hawker centers is not enough, and it is difficult to accommodate new entrants. Another reason is that most people in these families are now getting educated and seek better opportunities.
But one may still be able to enjoy the delights in food courts, which appear to be extensions of hawker centers. In addition, the food offered, caters to people coming from all kinds of backgrounds and cultures. So although, it may seem that the street food culture is on the decline, if you are looking for food, you will be able to authentic street food in hawker centers or food courts, but if you are looking for street food experience, it does not exit any more.