Image adapted from: TheSmartLocal, @nggyty
If seeing couples going all out on Valentine’s Day makes you either a) stressed or b) cringe, it’s time to rethink what romance means to you. For some of us, it’s a luxurious date at a 5-star restaurant with steak and red wine, but for the rest, it could be something as simple and sweet as a lunch date.
If you and bae aren’t about spending a bomb on Valentine’s Day, look no further. Here are 10 romantic restaurants and cafes that prove that romance doesn’t have to be expensive.
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If your date takes her carbs super seriously, take her to Tipo SG, a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant where all pasta is made from scratch. In fact, in the Build-Your-Own-Pasta section of the menu, you can try one of Tipo SG’s many unique pasta creations, including Dill & Lemon Fettuccine and Beetroot & Garlic Angel Hair. They come with a sauce of your choice for $9.90.
If you can’t seem to decide on your own customised pasta, go for one of their fixed house specials like Creamy Chicken Mushroom ($14.90) and Prawn Aglio ($15.90) which are all freshly made as well.
On top of serving pasta that’s both fresh and affordable, Tipo SG takes it a notch higher by nailing a romantic ambience. The limited seating makes it feel exclusive, while the cosy interior and earthy tones set the mood for an intimate lunch date.
Address: 785 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198753
Opening Hours: Sun-Thur 12PM-10PM | Fri-Sat 12PM-11PM
Telephone: 8768 0785
Image credit: KARA Cafe & Dessert Bar
Located along Tan Kah Kee, KARA Cafe & Dessert Bar is easily recognisable by its pastel-themed interior. There’s a wide array of dishes you can have for lunch, including toasties like Classic Grilled Cheese ($10.50) and quinoa grain bowls like Tempura Fish Kimchi ($19) and Pork Belly Miso ($19).
Mochi waffle in the Plain Banana Nutella flavour
Image credit: @cptslowyeo
If your date is up for dessert, show how thoughtful you are by serving some from the cafe’s self-serve frozen yogurt machines ($3.20/100g). Alternatively, share some homemade mochi waffles ($12.50), which go well with any of their speciality teas ($7).
Address: Bukit Timah Road, 617, Singapore 269718
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11AM-10PM | Sat-Sun 10.30AM-10PM
Telephone: 6468 8940
Some might think that bread is exclusively a breakfast food, but Breadyard shows that you can enjoy it at all times of the day. You’ll find this cosy 72-seater cafe in Buona Vista, with large windows and wooden furniture. The smell of freshly-baked bread adds on to its rustic charm.
The menu is great for brunch, especially the Bread Yard Big Breakfast ($18) which pairs any bread of your choosing with eggs, sausage, bacon and mushrooms. If you love breakfast meats, try the Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict ($14) or the Ultimate Ham & Cheese ($12).
Breadyard also serves an assortment of grain bowls (from $12) and pastas (from $10). Other options include sandwiches, soups and of course, good coffee to go with your meal.
Address: 1 Fusionopolis Place, Galaxis, #01-23/24, Singapore 138522
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8AM-7.30PM | Sat 9AM-230PM (Closed on Sun)
Telephone: 9773 5318
Going on sushi dates can get expensive, especially if both you and your date have a liking for premium Japanese ingredients such as raw fish. Say hello to Umi Nami, a restaurant that lets you enjoy your atas Japanese dishes on the cheap.
Umi Nami is located deep in Holland Village, but it’s not at all difficult to find. The mood lighting and spacious seating make it a relaxing spot to get away for a midday lunch date.
You’ll be happy to treat your date to the Aburi Salmon Don ($13) and Bara Chirashi Don ($10), both dishes that usually cost upwards of $20 each. They also serve smaller snacks to share like the Truffled Edamame ($5) and Marinated Scallop Bits ($4).
Address: 8 Lorong Mambong, Singapore 277674
Opening Hours: 12PM-3PM, 6PM-11PM, Daily
If you think your love is pure, match it with food of the same calibre at Real Food. This cafe serves up dishes with zero processed ingredients, artificial preservatives or trans-fat, which sounds like an impossible feat – until you find out that it’s owned by Real Food Grocer, which specialises in selling organic groceries.
Try their gluten-free Tom Yam Vermicelli ($9.50) and dairy-free Curry Noodles ($12.80) for a healthier twist to these local dishes. If your date prefers Western cuisine, go for the Portobello Burger ($14.80) or the Veggie and Cheese Bagel Sandwich ($10.80).
Image credit: Real Food Singapore
Out of its 4 outlets around Singapore, the Orchard outlet takes the win for being the most date-worthy based on its interior. With lots of natural light and cushioned seating areas at the outlet, you’ll feel more than comfortable bringing a date there.
Address: 181 Orchard Road, #02-16/19, Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
Opening Hours: 10AM-8.45PM, Daily
Telephone: 6737 9516
Image credit: @nggyty
Meet your date at Novena MRT station and head towards The Clueless Goat, which is a mere 3 minute-walk away. The interior of this cafe is modern and industrial-styled, with geometric floor-to-ceiling windows that make this small cafe seem more spacious and classy.
Image credit: Home Deco Bazaar
Come with empty stomachs as most mains sold here are under $10, meaning that you can feel free to feast on brunch items like Scrambled Eggs on Toast ($6), Avocado BLT ($8.50) and Smoked Salmon Sandwich ($9).
Address: 189 Thomson Road, Goldhill Centre, Singapore 307631
Opening Hours: Tue-Thu 8AM-6PM | Fri 8AM-10.30PM | Sat 9AM-10.30PM | Sun 9AM-6PM (Closed on Mon)
Telephone: 8283 0885
Image credit: @hugodoxie
First opened as Cafe Les Amis, Casa Verde has been part of the Singapore Botanic Gardens since 1998. Feel free to bring along your dog to this pet-friendly restaurant, as long as you’re sure that your date doesn’t become the third wheel!
For such a prime location and tranquil atmosphere, you would expect the price of food to skyrocket, but meals are priced rather affordably.
Enjoy Singaporean delights like Seafood Hor Fun ($15) and Bak Kut Teh ($15) on the mezzanine, or if you’re feeling a little more indulgent, mains like Aubergine Parmigiana ($20) and Arrabbiata ($19).
Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569
Opening Hours: 7.30AM-9.30PM, Daily
Telephone: 6467 7326
Image credit: @thegreenducklings
If your date’s the adventurous sort, wow them at The Green Ducklings, a cafe that serves up intriguing dishes that fuses local delights with western dishes. You can try new dishes like Fried Carrot Cake with Nacho Cheese ($5.90), Shrimpy Seaweed Fries ($5.90) and Century Egg Pasta ($16.90).
Image credit: @thegreenducklings
With such quirky creations, the cafe certainly has the ambience to match. Make cheerful memories with your significant other with its bright turquoise hues, white brick walls and adorable mural.
All of the food on the menu is easily under $20, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. In fact, their most expensive dish is the Cereal Prawn Carbonara, a creamy pasta that’s served with deep fried cereal and a large prawn at just $18.90.
Address: 302 Beach Road, #01-06, The Concourse, Singapore 199600
Opening hours: Tues – Sun 8AM-7PM (Closed on Mon)
Telephone: 9664 1518
Image credit: Redpan
At first glance, your date might think you’ve brought her to an expensive restaurant, and she’s not to blame. With a custom-made glass feature hanging from the ceiling, to specially sculpted wooden pieces, Redpan feels like a high-end restaurant.
Image credit: @redpansg
Here you can dump the blazers, cufflinks or pearl necklaces and dig into mains like New England Fish & Chips ($16), Deluxe Cheeseburger ($18) and Beef Bolognese Pasta ($16). There’s also an assortment of fun starters, such as Salted Egg Popcorn Chicken ($8) and Char Siew Nachos ($8.50).
The best part? Redpan is located in Marina Square, a short walk away from many offices, so you can easily hop by for a quick lunch date even on weekdays.
Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard, #02-03/04, Marina Square, Singapore 039594
Opening Hours: Daily, 12PM-10PM
Telephone: 6255 5850
Image credit: @canopygardendining
Though it’s located in an outdoor park, the greenery at Canopy Garden provides more than enough cover to protect you and your date from the heat even if you drop by the middle of the day. On top of that, you might just win points for the romantic setting with its canopy roof and its floor-to-ceiling windows.
Indoor seating area
Image credit: Canopy Garden Dining
With $20, you can enjoy most of their brunch menu anytime till 4pm, including brunch staples like Eggs Benedict Classic ($17) and Scrambled Egg Croissant ($14). Meat-lovers may want to try the Baba Ganoush Chicken Sandwiches ($16) or the Canopy Angus Cheese Burger ($19).
Image credit: @canopygardendining
If you have extra cash to spare, end off your date by sharing a dessert like the Banana & Ice Cream Waffle ($12) or the Buttermilk Pancake ($10).
Address: 1382 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Bishan Park 2, Singapore 569931
Opening Hours: Mon – Thu 9AM-10.30PM | Fri 9AM-11PM | Sat – Sun 8AM-11PM | Public Holidays 8AM-10.30PM
Telephone: 6556 1533
If anything, this list is proof that romance doesn’t have to cost you that much. With just $20/pax, you have options like handmade pasta, Japanese rice bowls and outdoor dining – all with good food and good ambience to nail the lunch date. Your date will be more than impressed by these locations – and your knowledge of these hidden spots.
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