NEW YORK, NY - JULY 17:  Anthony Bourdain attends the "An Inconvenient Sequel:  Truth To Power" New York Screening" at the Whitby Hotel on July 17, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Food - Drink
NYC's Urban Hawker Brings Anthony Bourdain's Asian Market Vision To Life
New York City's first hawker center officially arrived in September 2022, but it was conceptualized years before by chef Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain envisioned a first-of-its-kind center with over 100 different vendors, including a farmers market, an oyster bar, a bakery, and a rooftop beer garden, and thanks to a friend, his vision was realized.
Inspired by Bourdain, Urbanspace food hall and Singaporean street food enthusiast K. F. Seetoh opened Urban Hawker, the first NYC-based Singapore-style hawker market, in September 2022. Following an appearance on Bourdain’s “No Reservations,” Seetoh joined Bourdain in planning the market and kept the vision alive after the chef’s death.
In a 2018 tribute to the late chef, Seetoh wrote, "I can unreservedly tell you that he was a champion of all things authentic, the unheralded, and the disadvantaged." Urban Hakwer maintains these ideals in a brick-and-mortar capacity, housing 17 vendors selling Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian, Malay, and Peranakan culinary stylings among others.