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Foodie Restaurants to Eat for Singles / Solo Diners

nycsmile6 Aug 9, 2011 02:32 PM

I've lived in NYC for 7 years but rarely dine alone. I want to change that as sometimes I have a hankering for an excellent meal and my friends don't happen to always be available to dine last minute. I'd like to get a list of restaurants together that meet the following requirements:

1) Eat at the Bar available (preferably COMFY bar seats/stools rather than hard wood ones)
2) Excellent food - Prefer small bites to large dishes. Good wine options too.
3) Friendly bartenders and/or other single eaters around for conversation.
4) Not so crowded that I won't get a seat in the afternoon (btw 12 & 4).
5) Upscale, professional crowd - nice ambiance.
6) In Midtown (east or west is fine)

I'm a female in my late 20's but don't mind eating at a Steakhouse. Price is no object but expect food to be worth the cost.

  1. a
    Asperges Aug 10, 2011 04:39 PM

    It's not Midtown but for years Union Square Cafe has been my go-to (when I worked at the MetLife building it was just a few minutes away on the 4/5). The food's always good and occasionally great; the bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable; and I've always had interesting conversations with other solo diners when I've eaten at the bar, for either lunch or dinner.

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

    1. r
      RGR Aug 9, 2011 05:38 PM

      I would suggest the Bar Room at The Modern. It fits all your criteria. I do think going there after the lunch rush, i.e., b/t 2 and 4, would better guarantee getting a seat at the bar.

      Bar Room at The Modern photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157627136466638/


      The Modern
      9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

      1 Reply
      1. re: RGR
        Cheeryvisage Aug 9, 2011 05:48 PM

        I second The Modern's Bar Room. That's the first place that popped up on my mind after reading your question.

      2. s
        Sneakeater Aug 9, 2011 03:14 PM

        Just pick any restaurant you feel like eating in, and (in New York) it'll probably satisfy your criteria. Even Le Bernardin. Really.

        Le Bernardin
        155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

        5 Replies
        1. re: Sneakeater
          nycsmile6 Aug 9, 2011 03:20 PM

          Thanks, I forgot they had a bar there - from what I read there are only four seats though. Seeking a place I can go and be pretty sure I will get a seat… and also prefer the type of place where bar dining is not just where people get drinks but a dining destination (thinking of Craftbar and Collichio & Sons off the top of my head).

          900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

          Colicchio & Sons
          85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

          1. re: nycsmile6
            Sneakeater Aug 9, 2011 03:53 PM

            Understand. I've seen people eating at that bar. There are very few (if any) New York restaurant bars anymore where there aren't people eating. (It's gotten to the point where people who just want to drink are complaining -- since of course restaurants give preferential seating to people who are going to order meals.)

            After the lunch rush, I can't believe you wouldn't get a seat there.

            But my real point is, just about any restaurant you'd want to go to, probably has a bar you could eat at (with other diners nearby).

            1. re: Sneakeater
              Sneakeater Aug 9, 2011 03:54 PM

              I like Seasonal a lot, BTW. Eat at the bar there all the time.

              132 West 58th Street, New York, NY 10019

              1. re: Sneakeater
                nycsmile6 Aug 9, 2011 04:09 PM

                Cool. Thanks. Will have to try it out.

                1. re: nycsmile6
                  Sneakeater Aug 9, 2011 04:40 PM

                  Without wanting to be cantankerous, I think your biggest obstacle to finding good places is more "Midtown" than "bar dining".

        2. k
          kathryn Aug 9, 2011 02:48 PM

          > 4) Not so crowded that I won't get a seat in the afternoon (btw 12 & 4).

          Is this for the weekday or on weekends?

          1 Reply
          1. re: kathryn
            nycsmile6 Aug 9, 2011 02:50 PM


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