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Jun 19, 2007 12:01 AM

Dining alone in Toronto

I'm in town for business and I love to explore local restaurants even when it's by myself. Would love some recommendations for some good food, in a nice setting that doesn't make someone eating by themselves feel extremely out of place.

Would prefer it to be near either the Park Hyatt in Yorkville or the Westin Harbour Castle by the lake if possible.

If you have any favorites, please let me know. Cuisine wise, I'm very open to all. Would love to try something that Toronto is well known for!


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  1. Definitely Jamie Kennedy's Wine Bar - it's about 10 minutes walking distrance from the Westin. Sit at the bar and watch them cook. JKWB features local products in season, menu is small plates so you can sample a few different things. For the most part it gets very good reviews on this board and it's very friendly to solo diners.

    2 Replies
    1. re: midtowngirl

      Agreed - I go here solo quite often, and they're always spot on.

      1. re: midtowngirl

        I agree as well. I've been here solo a few times. I would also recommend Beer Bistro - decent food with a friendly sit-up bar for solo diners.

      2. In Yorkville (trendy neighbourhood, but with not-ideal food choices), I would go with Caren's Wine Bar, Bar Mercurio (Italian), Pho Hung (Bloor Street) if you wanted a quicky dinner (great pho/Viet), Sopra (jazz bar at Davenport... perhaps a little romantique, but I think the room is cool enough that it would be OK eating alone, plus you'd be distracted by the entertainment), I don't hate the Bloor Street Diner (reliable, reasonable, and fine for eating alone), also the bar at the Four Seasons always feels good, if you have to drink alone.

        At Harbourfront, my picks would be Harbour Sixty (steakhouse, great bar for solo dining - but be warned that this place is expensive), Starfish (seafood in the St. Lawrence - fun to sit at the bar and watch oyster shucking), Crush on King West (has that big California resto feel, but fine to sit at the bar alone), Pizza Rustica (casual Ital and great thin crust pizza on Wellington), Amadeus (Adelaide and York... Bavarian beerhaus, big space, but often a little on the empty side - great, hearty German food).

        Just my opinion, but I wouldn't want to eat alone at JKWine Bar. The restaurant is fab - one of my favourite in the city, but I tend to think of it more as a "date" place. It's a small plate menu, so when everyone else is sharing and picking and cooing, I would feel left out going solo. However, I reiterate that food-wise, great choice.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Rabbit

          Agree. I think it will be kind of uneasy to eat at the bar alone too. Don't know, just my opinion.

          1. re: Rabbit

            my experiences at jkwb range quite a bit although i don't ever recall doing it on my own... but for the most part there's actually a fairly limited number of couples "cooing" at the bar and i'll often see friends hanging out more so. many people also don't share which doesn't increase the whole intimate atmosphere that a solo diner may dislike.

            i've also found other patrons at jkwb to be fairly friendly and have gotten into conversations with them... you just gotta be open ;)

            1. re: Rabbit

              I've eaten alone at the bar at JK many times while in town on business, always had good service.

            2. I often dine alone and have done it for many years, everywhere from the cheapest greasy spoons to high end restaurants. I can't recall ever being made to feel out of place for being alone. Maybe I'm just oblivious to the attitude, but I'm actually wondering if there really are still places where a solo diner is out of place. Where have people experienced this in Toronto?

              3 Replies
              1. re: idnas

                Bar Mercurio, JK Wine Bar and Blowfish. Sit at the bar at all these places.

                1. re: The Macallan 18

                  For sure Bar Mercurio is the perfect place for solo eaters, excellent wine list (say thank you to Joe and his wonderful Mama for that) and close to the Hyatt.

                2. re: idnas

                  I by no means meant to imply that the service would be sub-par for the solo diner. I agree with you, idnas, that we're pretty much beyond the days where table-for-one means back of the room or beside the kitchen door.

                  Still, I do dine alone quite often, and I think there are places that are more and less fun to be eating alone. I was only stating my opinion that JKWB wouldn't be a place I would choose to eat-by-self (don't like small plate dining alone). But many people are reporting quite the opposite, and it is a great place - don't let me dissuade.

                3. Lots of great recommendations here. I'll just throw in my vote for Starfish, JK Wine Bar and beerbistro. I'll also throw in a recommendation for Senhor Antonio's Wine Bar for fantastic Portuguese small plates and wines. It's the sister restaurant to Chiado.

                  1. It won't be right for Kamibear, but I do love to sit at the bar at Terroni on Queen. Always have to stop, and appreciate that it is what I imagined sitting at a restaurant bar by myself would be like when I was a kid. Also, a nice place to sit and draw, write or read while you eat.