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Aug 18, 2006 08:32 PM

Dining Alone

I've seen requests for restaurant recommendations for dining alone; does it make a difference where you eat when you're alone?

For the many years I was single (travelling for business or pleasure), eating alone never stopped me from going where I wanted. Sure, sushi restaurants are single-friendly...but I've never encountered a place that was anti-single-diner. I guess I don't understand why this makes a difference....

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  1. Nor I. I have eaten from low to high, across many countries and never felt I needed to choose restaurants based on "single friendliness." Maybe some restaurants treat single diners not as well because of the lower tab and people are asking for recs because of this? I don't know, never had it happen to me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chaddict

      That surprises me Chaddict. I usually come across it at least once on every trip. A single diner usually gets the crappy table. Especially if you're visiting as "who cares what s/he'll say?" Ahh! The power of CH! I do think it had to do with the single diner = small tip mentality.


    2. I dine alone frequently, especially when I am traveling. I think it depends on the individual and where the restaurant is. Some people are not comfortable at a table by themselves, therefore, prefer counter seating. Or they might feel more comfortable in a bustling restaurant so that they can blend in and don't feel so self conscious. Through my travel experience, I've noticed that I am much more comfortable dining alone in Western Europe than in Asia. This pertains to mostly sit down dinner restaurants, where in Asia, nobody eats alone. They glance at you as if you have no friends or family. In many cases, I get better service when I am dining alone.

      1. I travel a fair amount and eat alone at least some of the time. There are times I need the peace and quiet to unwind. I think the wait staff may be less attentive because the tab will be lower (I don't drink alcohol), but I don't see a big difference in the service.

        I think the main advantage in eating with at least one other person if you're on the road is that it helps in finding the restaurant. Many times I've settled for a place that's easy to find to save myself driving around in circles.

        1. I travel quite a bit and often want/have to dine alone.

          Some restaurants won't even take a reservation for 1. In the past I've resorted to making the reservation for 2 and then pretending I got stood up. But I gave that up cuz it was so silly ... if a restaurant doesn't want my solo dining $$ then I don't need to play games with them.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Been there, done that too! Usually though, if it's a nice hotel, I just have them make the reservation for me. After all, that's what the Concierge is for!


          2. I probably eat 60-70 solo meals on the road. I have made reservations for one and have rarely been turned down. I also sometimes walk around the neighborhood and decide what place looks interesting.

            I have noticed the service is most times less than when I am with others, but there have been numerous posts about that subject, maybe given being alone your a little more focused on the service since no one there to chat with. Also a 20-30 minute delay between app and entree is welcome when with others, when solo, it seems much longer. Who knows.

            To answer the OP question, I do not avoid ANY restaurant when eating alone.

            I was chatting with my wife on an unusual situation about what people expect from a single diner and am preparing to post that question to hear other opinions.