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Mar 20, 2011 06:11 AM

Recommendations for a woman dining alone in NYC (preferably at the bar)?

I am in a position to rekindle my love affair with NYC restaurants after an absence of many years. I am hoping to do a regular "tour" of excellent restaurants but am, quite frankly, intimidated at the idea of being "the woman eating alone at the bar". Does anyone have any good experience and recommendations in this regard? Are there any fun dining groups that maybe I could join?

BTW I am really not looking for a "pickup spot", just a good atmosphere and a great meal. Any advice is appreciated!


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  1. Women eat dinner alone at restaurant bars all the time in NYC - don't be intimidated - it's quite normal and common.

    One really fun one is Hearth - at "the pass" - you're sitting looking right into the kitchen, and you're served by the chef. And the food is quite good.

    403 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10009

    1 Reply
    1. honestly - there aren't many places in NYC that are not accommodating to solo diners

      3 Replies
      1. re: thew

        I am sure I will get into the swing of it eventually. It's more that I only have a few nights each month when I am on my own and don't want to waste an opportunity to go somewhere fabulous.

        1. re: luvgdfud

          well, i'm not a woman, but i do eat out alone at least once a week. used to be more. what i'm saying is that there is no reason to waste an opportunity for fabulosity just because you are alone. from dive to high end i've done it all alone. and fully fabulous

        2. re: thew

          yep thew is right- NYC does not frown about solo diners. They are very receptive and welcome you wherever you decide to eat.

        3. I have happily eaten solo at the bar at the Union Square Cafe and Grammercy Tavern ever since they opened. I am sure that any of the restaurants of the Danny Meyer group would be equally hospitable. (Complete disclosure: Yes, I do know Danny somewhat distantly. I would never announce that at one of his restaurants, though; it's just way not necessary, anyway.)

          Gramercy Tavern
          42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

          Union Square Cafe
          21 East 16th St., New York, NY 10003

          2 Replies
          1. re: lemons

            Thank you. Curiously, those are the first two that came to mind when I was thinking about this for myself. I haven't eaten at either (yet). Is there an optimal time to get to these restaurants if you want to dine at the bar?

            1. re: luvgdfud

              Consider Craft at the bar.

              43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

          2. This topic has been dealt with repeatedly on these boards, lgf, which leaves me a little puzzled that there're no references at the bottom of the page linking you to them. Do a search, perhaps, or wait for the C'Hound resident archivists to save the day for you.

            P.S. "Dining groups" -now that's as good an idea as book groups! I suspect there are sub rosa groups of hounds who meet & dine together, but they're not easy to find. Then again, I don't tweet.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Phil Ogelos

              Yes, I saw some of the other threads for dining at the bar. I just thought there might be some specific suggestions for a woman alone, or, as you say, a dining group. Maybe I should start one!

              1. re: luvgdfud

                Yes, you should initiate a dining group; you'd find a lot of takers here, I think.
                And there are numerous threads specific to women dining alone at bars, although as others have noted above, it's really not an issue in this city.

            2. NYC is a great dining alone at the bar city...probably the best in the US...(Tokyo is wonderful too)...

              A few places that come to mind: Gotham Bar and Grill, Ushi Wakamaru, Keens, and Scarpetta...i'd put Scarpetta at the top of the list...

              Gotham Bar and Grill
              12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

              355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014