The 6 Best Cities For Dining Solo
Food and company often go hand in hand. But when you’re traveling solo, or have just moved to a new city, dining can be more of a solitary pursuit.
Eating alone in a restaurant might feel weird if you’re not used to it. Where do you look? What do you do between bites? Give it a chance, though, and you’ll soon realize that solo dining is actually one of life’s little pleasures.
You can order whatever you want (without worrying that someone might steal your balsamic-glazed Brussels), savor every mouthful without distractions and even get through a few chapters of your novel.
Some cities make it easy with communal spaces like food halls and dedicated “tables for one”. Here’s our pick of the best places for solo dining in North America.
Because, you can do anything in New York. No one is going to even think twice when you request a table for one. With countless counter-style dining options, street-food hubs and restaurants with comfortable bar seating, New Yorkers practically celebrate eating alone. Plus, the buzz and the opportunity for people-watching will keep you entertained for hours. Slurp soba noodles at cozy Cocoron on the Lower East Side or squeeze into tiny Parisian bistro, Buvette, in Greenwich Village.
The elegant Canadian capital has a food scene to match its inspiring art and architecture, with plenty of places for relaxing and people-watching. Laid-back choices like Citizen dish up small plates and cocktails at the bar, or try Town’s patio for sunny solo dining. Farm-to-table spot Riviera saves its bar stools for walk-ins, while seasonally focused Fauna has a handful of tables designed to seat one.
Whether you’re staying in the heart of this Colorado town or looking to pick up a Zipcar and head off on a day trip from Denver, Boulder’s food scene is as warm and welcoming as its people. Oh, and it’s delicious, too. Eat seasonal fare on the patio at The Kitchen, or watch your sushi being rolled from a counter seat at Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar.
The streets of this hip Oregon city might as well be made of cake, or perhaps pasta. It’s that much of a foodie city. And, with all those pastries, Cuban sandwiches and plates overflowing with seasonal vegetables to devour, who needs the distraction of a dining companion? Noble Rot’s long, elegant bar is a classic spot, while the chef’s counter at Roman restaurant Ava Gene’s has some of the most coveted seats in town—perfect for savoring every mouthful while marveling at the chefs in action.
Food halls are the gateway into solo dining. If the thought of sitting alone in a restaurant makes you cringe, browsing food vendors in a bright, airy warehouse is totally unintimidating. And Georgia’s state capital has them by the dozen. There’s the old-school Municipal Market on Auburn Avenue, lined with stalls serving burgers, poke and pies, or Caravaca Market and Krog Street Market, which draw hip crowds for brunch, late bites and after-work cocktails. No restricted menus, no awkwardly hovering waitstaff.
The best foodie cities are often the most welcoming for solo diners. They take their food seriously, so why does it matter whether you want a table for one or six? Vibrant Toronto shares that attitude, with many of its hottest tickets providing ample bar and counter space for those eating alone. La Banane, for example, offers its Gallic menu at an elegant, marble-topped bar, while Thai restaurant Pai Market has an upstairs area with stool seating and smaller tables. Bonus: you’re much more likely to get a last-minute spot going it alone than arriving in a group.