When it comes to Singapore dining guides, the River Valley hood often gets lumped into Robertson Quay, but we reckon it deserves a spot all to itself because this centrally located area has tons of great restaurants and cafes just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re looking for a quaint hideaway to pop into for a coffee and croissant or a lively lunch or dinner destination where you can feast on delicacies from around the world, you’ll find something to satisfy all tastes at these terrific River Valley haunts. (The restaurants are not ranked in any particular order).
1. Cibo Italiano
This cute little bodega type spot in River Valley is one of our go-to’s for easy Italian eats, imported artisanal Italian products to stock our shelves at home, and very reasonably priced wine that starts at just $12++ a glass. Try one of the pasta dishes made from scratch like the ravioli with ricotta and spinach or the to-die-for lasagna. Be sure to have a look at the specials board as well for seasonal eats like braised lamb shank with seared veggies or porcini pizza with black truffle paste.
Cibo Italiano, 428 River Valley Road, Singapore 248749. p. +65 6385 1310. Open Mon – Fri 10:30am – 2:30pm, 4:30pm – 11pm, Sat – Sun 10:30am – 11pm
2. Crystal Jade Kitchen at Great World City
Great for a weekend lunch, this modern eatery in Great World City specialises in Cantonese classics like dim sum, succulent roast meats, and wok-fried dishes. Gather the whole family or a group of friends and go for a range of shared plates like the steamed salted egg yolk custard buns and siew mai with crab roe. They also have set menus for anywhere from two to 10 people with delicacies like hot and sour soup, crispy chicken, and fried rice with crab meat.
Crystal Jade Kitchen, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World City #03-30, Singapore 237994. p. +65 6738 2911. Open Mon- Sat 11am – 10pm, Sun & PH 10:30am – 10pm
Love Indonesian food? If so, IndoChili is your spot. This homey restaurant serves up classic halal dishes from around the archipelago like Padang-style chicken curry, gado gado, hearty sup buntut with oxtail, and grilled prawns Jimbaran style. They also do party platters for big groups with their famous nasi tumpeng, which includes a heaping portion of turmeric-infused rice and an array of delectable sides like fried chicken, beef rendang, and sauteed veggies.
IndoChili, 54 Zion Road, Singapore 477779. p. +65 6445 1766. Open daily 11:30am – 10pm
4. Little Farms Cafe
Hello all-day breakfast and brunch; how we love you so, especially when you’re made with fresh produce sourced from stellar farms in Australia and Europe. Little Farms started as a speciality grocery store with online ordering and island-wide delivery, and they now have a lovely little cafe for in-house eats. It may be a bit pricier than your average cafe serving avo toast, granola, and hearty big breakfasts, but you can be sure everything is fresh, organic, and ethically sourced.
Little Farms Cafe, 491 River Valley Road, Valley Point Shopping Centre #01-20, Singapore 248371. p. +65 6262 0619. Open daily 7:30am – 6pm
5. 2it & Drink
2it & Drink is brought to us by the same owners as Otto Ristorante, so the food is authentically Italian, yet the vibe is much more casual than it is at the flagship fine dining spot. We love winding down our Sundays here with an easy-going feast of classic dishes like the light and crispy calamari fritti, linguine vongole, and white and red pizzas. Be sure to ask about the specials, there are always tempting new eats and wine promotions going on.
2it & Drink, 491 River Valley Road, Valley Point #01-01, Singapore 248371. p. +65 6737 3001. Open Mon – Fri 12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 10pm, Sat – Sun & PH 12pm – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10pm
6. Kuriya Dining
The Japanese word kuriya refers to a kitchen in a noble’s house where important guests are served, which is a fitting name for this fine dining spot that has played host to guests like former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and David Beckham. Here chef Tsuzuki makes his own dashi and homemade sauces to serve up alongside exquisite Japanese dishes prepared with panache. Monthly rotating dishes include ultra-fresh ingredients flown in from Japan like firefly squid, sea bream, and uni.
Kuriya Dining, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World City #01-28, Singapore 237994. p. +65 6736 0888. Open daily 11am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm
7. The Tavern
Set in a cosy shophouse on River Valley Road, The Tavern offers warm hospitality, inviting vibes, and tasty European fare. The focus is on quality ingredients from around the world, so you’ll find tons of tasty eats like fresh Irish oysters, Hokkaido scallops, Dingley Dell pork chops, and Australian wagyu beef. Do yourself a favour and try the raclette cheese with air-dried beef to start—it’s to die for. They also have a great selection of wines from the amply stocked cellar.
The Tavern, 227 River Valley Road, Singapore 238285. p. +65 6737 6995. Open daily 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm
8. Tsukune Ichigo
To get to Tsukune Ichigo, head to River Valley Road and search for the unassuming building with huge medieval-looking wooden doors. Once inside you will be privy to some of the city’s best yakitori skewers including the namesake Tsukune chicken balls. The Mixed Set allows you to try the Tsukune with a range of delicious toppings like cheese, chopped shiso leaves, and creamy avocado.
399 River Valley Road, Tel: +65 6736 1340
9. 13% Gastro Bar
With a carefully curated wine list featuring reasonably priced bottles around the world, a special counter dedicated to Iberico and cheese, and modern European comfort dishes like Belgian-style fries, grilled Spanish octopus, and tatins, there is much to love at 13% Gastro Wine Bar. Come here for sips and snacks, join one of their master wine classes, or book into their private wine room for special events.
117 Kilinney Road, Opening hours: Daily: 5pm – 12am, p: +65 6694 4708
LATE NIGHT DINING
10. Five Star
If there’s anything more homey and comforting for a late night feed than chicken rice, we don’t know what it is. Five Star makes some of the best in town using flavourful kampung chickens marinated in herbs and spices, cooked until falling off the bone and served with homemade chilli and ginger sauces. Even better, the River Valley location stays open until the wee hours of the morning, so even night owls can get their fix.
Five Star, 419 River Valley Road, Singapore 248318. p. +65 6235 6760. Open Sun – Thurs 11am – 2am, Fri – Sat 11am – 5am