Commonwealth Avenue Food Centre

For more than 30 years and located off Margaret Drive in an old sleepy neighbourhood, the Commonwealth Avenue Food Centre has been a favourite makan spot for many Singaporeans living near that area.

Built in 1969, this food centre became the focal point for street hawkers after the authority rounded them up and provided permanent stalls for them here.

The two-storey food centre is spacious with good ventilation. Long queues are common sight during lunch hours. There are at least 80 stalls available, although many have already moved away before the closing down of the food center.

There are many delicious food sold in the food centre, such as teochew fishball noodle, curry rice, western food, Hainanese chicken rice, char kway teow (on the first level), dim sum, popiah and zi char (on the second level).

Many of the stalls possess simple yet nostalgic signboards that have been hanging there for three decades.

It is reported in the news that the food center will be relocated in June 2010, but it has been confirmed that the tearing down will be carried out after Chinese New Year. The food centre will thus cease operation in early February 2011.

Hawker centres were first set up in the early 1970s by the Singapore government to provide permanent and more hygienic stalls for the then-street hawkers.

Read up about the history of hawker centers.

There are currently 109 hawker/food centres in Singapore, housing more than 15,000 stalls and providing affordable and delicious local delights for everyone.

Ang Mo Kio is the new town with the most hawker centres, numbered at nine, while Toa Payoh comes in second at six.

The oldest food centres in Singapore are Chinatown Food Centre (also biggest) and the famous Lau Pa Sat.

Published: 24 October 2010

Updated: 27 January 2011

11 Responses to Commonwealth Avenue Food Centre

  1. ken says:

    the food centre is now closed, and waiting for its impending demolition.

  2. jauné says:

    thank you for sharing these photos, it brings back wonderful memories. tasted my first raw fish dish at Sin Kee chicken rice stall (situated on the second level at the corner ), there was a sugarcane stall next to it too.

    p.s.
    i enjoy reading your write ups, goes to show SG has many interesting places and stories. its not as boring as some claim it to be :)

  3. Hort Log says:

    My childhood usual routine on weekend – visiting the Queenstown Library, get a drink or ice kacang from this hawker centre, then walk 30minutes back home to Holland Road. The quiet street and the solitude of the long walk was very therapeutic

  4. I remember this place fondly. It was opposite the Tai Chong, a rather longish three-story building. Drinks and food were sold on the ground floor, Toys, stationery, etc was on the second floor and on the third floor there was a Chinese dim sum restaurant. I remembered there used to be a coffee shop on the ground floor before that. I lived in the Mei Ling Street-Mei Chin Road- Queensway area for almost 30 years and left the place around 1998. So much have changed since then..

  5. Vin @ JW says:

    I remembered on the 2nd level used to have sell very nice Craypot rice … every week after work sure go and eat with Friends … By the way, any idea where the craypot rice have moved to ?

    Appreciate advise(s) … thanks :)

  6. Commonwealth Avenue Food Centre in 1969…

  7. c-p-k says:

    Any idea whether the hawkers have been re-settled in another food centre?
    Would appreciate any info, sure miss the food, especially the char kway teow and fishball tar-mee.

    • Willie says:

      The famous Chicken Rice on the upper floor along Commonwealth Avenue (just walk along the service road) before Queenstown MRT station (from the old Hawker Centre). They also served something else, so you may want to check it out)

  8. I found the 2 fish ball noodle stalls and the chicken rice stall at the Mei Ling Street Food Centre.

    • Gerald Lim Vernon says:

      Oh my Savior…so thank you very much. I’ve been searching for ages for the chicken rice stall. Been eating there since residing in Tanglin Halt and then shifted to West Coast, me and my parents would brought us there fortnightly.
      Thanks again.

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