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Need recs for good places to eat alone in Manhattan

Hi there! I am from SF and am going to be in NYC for a week for the holidays. No one I know in NYC is quite as obsessed with tasty delights as I am, so I'm looking for some good places where I can have a lunch or two by myself.

Specifically, Japanese (real japanese, not rolls & tempura) & Indian food, the two types of cuisine I can never get anyone to eat with me. I'm also a huge fan of new american food, so I would love recs for that as well.


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  1. For Indian - loads of Indian restaurants on 58th street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue (at least 4, I believe). I love the lunch buffet at Chola (total foodie friend took me and helped me navigate the buffet very well). They bring lots of appetizers to the table and the buffet itself is a deal - $13.95 or around that price, I believe. Waiters are attentive, lots of lunch business and always see people dining alone. Not a 'luxury' atmosphere but delish indian food.

    1. Oooh, I love Indian buffet! Thanks chownyc!

      1. I think Perry Street qualifies as new American, and lunch is $24!!!! I love it and I ALWAYS eat alone.


        1. Have lunch at the bar at Sushi Yasuda. One of the best in the city. And a pleasant solo lunch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: gutsofsteel

            thanks! i've heard excellent things about that place, i think i will end up going there for a lunch this week, hopefully will get a seat at the bar.

          2. I am not sure about lunch, but I have had many dinners alone at Bar Masa. The food is excellent and the wait staff is very cordial.

            1. Go to Yama in Irving Place!! Have a spicy tuna roll - it is unbelievable.

              1. Some other ideas:

                Telepan (UWS Sunday Brunch or Dinner, sitting at bar)
                Tia Pol (Tapas in Chelsea, sitting at bar)
                Casa Mono (Tapas in Gramercy, also has a bar)
                I second Sushi Yasuda and also try the new
                Sasabune UES, amazing sushi bar (no rolls!, except
                the Blue Crab -- a house specialty).

                1. I was not impressed at all by Sasabune.

                  1. Eating at the bar at Marumi on LaGuardia makes for a great solo meal. Great Japanese. Get the bento!

                    1. In the New American category, I recommend Westville - it's cute, affordable and great for people-watching (not to mention the great food, esp. the specials).

                      1. oooh, one of my friends in SF is a japanese food connoseiur and he recommended both sasabune & sushi yasuda. unfortunately, i only have time for one. which do you think is better overall?

                        these are all great recs! i can finally venture out on my own without the family and look forward to some eating!

                        1. If you can get a seat in front of the bar with Yasuda, definitely go there. But reservations may be hard to come by. If you can't, I would go with Sasabune.

                          1. Have you tried Tabla Bread Bar?

                            One of my favorite spots to bring a book and get a great meal for one.

                            1. Chikubu. 44th b/t 5th and Madison. Order anything. Daily specials begin at around 11.50 (not incl. tip and tax) for a full meal, and prices only get crazy with special order sushi/ sashimi. Friday is a little crazy busy, unless you want their Ramen soup which is only served for lunch on Fridays. And, as much as I love Chikubu, I prefer the Ramen at Rai Rai Ken.

                              1. Shimizu on 51st Street is my favorite restaurant of any kind to eat alone at. Enjoy your trip!

                                1. If you like ramen and pork buns Momufuku Noodle Bar is a great place to eat alone.

                                  I also like the noodle soups at Republic in Union Square for solo dining.

                                  And for real japanese try Ichimura on 54th and 2nd

                                  For new American try bar at The Modern at the MoMa

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jenniebnyc

                                    Republic is fun when you're alone because of the communal tables. Same goes for Angelika Kitchen, though I realize not everyone's into the food...