Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
Sep 25, 2010 08:36 PM

Dining Solo in London

I am travelling to London alone on business next week from Wednesday to Friday. Normally when I travel for pleasure I book far out, but this trip came up last minute. I need help with some dinner suggestions- essentially I would appreciate any feedback on the below restaurants I am considering. Please take into account I am a 20’s something female, dining alone. I live in NYC and dine/drink alone, as long as the atmosphere is comfortable I don’t mind. I am also perfectly comfortable eating at the bar of a restaurant so please let me know if that’s an option.
I have three lunches and two dinners and will be staying in Kensington, so please let me know if there’s anything I'm missing that you would recommend as a single diner, I’m fairly adventurous.
I’ve been to London before and had some amazing meals, but I was with friends and I’m looking to try some new places.
-Bocca di Lupo (I actually booked a 10PM table for Thursday for 2 as single wasn’t an option! Is this necessary or can I take chances and walk in at 8:30 and dine at the bar?)
-Quilon or Amaya? Something upscale and Indian
-J Sheeky
-St. John B&W

Additionally, I definitely want to try some pub food- I think could work. Harwood Arms is already booked of course, I was thinking anchor and hope, but any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks in advance, I’ve searched all over chowhound UK and haven’t had much luck with the dining solo angle!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. At Harwood Arms, you can eat at the bar, which is lively and great for a single diner. J Sheekey would be fine alone, since it's also quite lively and there's great people watching. I love the dover sole and oysters there. St. John B & W would be fine as well. I haven't been to the others on your list, so I cannot comment.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Nancy S.

      Thanks so much, I still may check this out for lunch even if it is booked.

    2. Mohsen for outstanding Persian food -- on Warwick Road, walking distance from Kensington High Street. It doesn't have a bar, but one should feel perfectly comfortable eating alone.

      I like Quilon, but Indian Zing might be a lot closer to you in Hammersmith, if you're willing to trade Quilon's Keralan cooking for Indian Zing's Maharastrian cuisine.

      Aside from not being able to try more dishes, or ordering dishes meant for 2, I haven't had problems dining alone anywhere in London. And even those problems are due to the fact that I can't eat as much as 2 people, rather than anything to do with the restaurant.

      1 Reply
      1. re: limster

        Thanks, I haven't heard of Indian Zing yet, but it definetely looks tasty and up my alley. It's on my list! And it is more convenient. Thanks for all your help!

      2. -- i love SJBW...i also like Vinoteca, which is right across the street...

        -- Bocca de Lupo is also fantastic: my fav dish is the baked sea bream...the Romanescu broccoli and the salads are yummy is the rustic pork and foie gras sausage w/ farro...

        -- for gastropub, if you happen to roam north by Westbourne Grove/NH, The Cow serves a fab seafood stew...

        -- Morro and it's cheaper smaller spinoff Morito are also good solo places...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Simon

          Quick clarification - St John B&W is near Spitalfields Market, which is a different location from St John in Clerkenwell. It's the latter that is across the street from Vinoteca.

          1. re: limster

            true -- i realized my misinformation and was just checking back to correct it, but you got here first :)

            on a related note, re: SJ vs SJBW, while i like both, i might give the edge to SJ for solo dining as you can sit in the bar area (though it's a slightly different/overlapping menu from main room it's still delicious) and the bar area is a bit more convivial/pub-like...SJBW is one rectangular room w/ tables...another advantadge of SJ is that you could conceivably make a Clerkenwell night of it and have snacks&wine at both SJ and Vinoteca...

            1. re: Simon

              Thanks again, that does sound like a delicious night! I may do SJ over SJBW based on that.

          2. re: Simon

            Thanks! I'm keeping my Bocca de Lupo res and I'm printing out your recs for my reference when I'm there.

          3. The original comment has been removed
            1. I have found in some Japanese restaurants if you are a solo diner they seat you at the counter where you can watch the chef make the food - best seat in the house.