Michelin Guides, known by upscale travelers and foodies, tend to deliver followers to the doors of some of the most elegant restaurants, places where multi-course affairs empty your wallet as easily as they please your palate.
But there's another side of Michelin Guides, and that's recognizing noteworthy local cuisine—places where you probably don't need a reservation.
Case in point is the first edition of the Michelin Guide for Singapore. The launch of the guide this month includes not one but two food stalls inside local hawker centers for which this country is famous.
No, that's not a misprint. At two food stands where you can eat for less than $2, you can check off a Michelin-rated restaurant. Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle (in the Crawford Lane Food Centre) and Hong Kong Soy Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle (in the Chinatown Complex Food Centre) were each given a Michelin star. The latter food stand serves up one of those dishes that is a staple of affordable day cuisine and which Anthony Bourdain called "the Singaporean national dish."
If you'd rather go for a more traditional sit-down but with supremely delicious local food, the Michelin Guide for Singapore also included Candlenut (also one star). It's a fantastic restaurant specializing in Peranakan cuisine, and it's located near the Outram Park metro station at the entrance to the luxurious Dorsett Hotel.
Check off these three Michelin-starred restaurants, and you can unequivocally say you've tasted the local cuisine.