New York City can’t add the Taj Mahal to Times Square, plant Machu Picchu in Central Park, or tow one of the Galápagos islands next to the Statue of Liberty. Those UNESCO World Heritage Sites will be staying right where they are, thank you very much.
But in September of 2022 the city did manage to score one of that venerable organization’s items off the Intangible Cultural Heritage List: It opened an authentic Singaporean hawkers’ market.
Called Urban Hawker, the market is home to offshoot stands of 11 of the most celebrated food vendors in Singapore, plus 6 additional stands representing more foods that are sold there.
The project was originally dreamed up by the late, great Anthony Bourdain in 2013, who brought in his friend KF Seetoh (pictured), himself an iconic foodie TV star in Asia, to choose which master chefs should be included in an ideal food venue.
Located between Times Square and Rockefeller Center, Urban Hawker promises to become a go-to place for New Yorkers and visitors alike in midtown Manhattan.
I had the privilege and pleasure of eating my way through Urban Hawker market in the company of Seetoh. Here’s where I think you should pig out, along with some insights from Seetoh about what makes the foods unique.