101 East

Singapore’s Street Food: Surviving COVID-19

We investigate whether Singapore’s food hawker culture can survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Singapore’s street food is a vital part of the country’s cultural heritage and identity.

But as COVID-19 hits hard, hawkers face a stark choice – innovate or admit defeat.

Ageing vendors are grappling with new digital ways of working, while younger ones struggle to attract customers amid Singapore’s worst-ever recession.

As deliveries soar during the pandemic, two entrepreneurs are stepping up to help older hawkers boost sales. Meanwhile, a chef is bringing hawker food into homes by creating a simplified version of a beloved dish, but at a steep price.

101 East investigates how the pandemic is changing Singapore’s food hawker culture.