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Best options for dining alone?

Food_is_yum Oct 17, 2011 05:32 AM

Hi all,

I will be visiting Boston Thursday-Sunday this week, and am interested in dining suggestions around Boston. I am looking to grab the best bowl of New England Clam Chowder, the best slice of pizza in North End, etc. Sadly I will be alone for this trip, but I am still eager to go out and experience all the great food options that Boston has to offer. I am not afraid to sit alone, but I know some places are better for solo-dining than others. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!


  1. m
    mvi Oct 18, 2011 03:20 PM

    Dining alone in Boston and Cambridge is very accepted and typically very welcome. I've never had a problem.

    The suggestions here are all great. Rialto especially. I'll also add Central Kitchen and Number 9 Park into the mix. The bar at both places can be very accepting to solo diners, but you can also get a table and feel comfortable. (When dining alone, I often go on the early side.)

    Lineage in Brookline is very easy for solo diners, and all of the smaller, ethnic spots in the area that are quite low key will be happy to have you. (Don't ignore our amazing Brazilian, Chinese and Korean food, among others.) I really like the pizza at Posto in Davis Square. They have a nice bar and a casual atmosphere, but I am not sure if I'd go alone on a Friday or Saturday night as it gets very crowded. If you get there early and park yourself at the bar, you should be fine.

    We actually have some very good hotel restaurants in the area including Dante at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge. (Really good Italian.)

    Have fun. There are some good suggestions here.

    Central Kitchen
    567 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

    1 Reply
    1. re: mvi
      greenstate Oct 19, 2011 05:52 PM

      Davio's on Arlington St is a great bar to eat at - fun atmosphere, great bartenders and great food.

      75 Arlington St Ste Lbby, Boston, MA 02116

    2. BostonZest Oct 17, 2011 03:14 PM

      My husband and I had dinner at Hamersley's Bistro last night. We always sit at the bar and almost always see one or more solo diners enjoying an excellent meal or just a glass of wine and a nibble.

      They have just introduced the Fall menu and the duck meatballs are going to be a new addiction for a few folks including me.

      Neptune Oyster is fine for solo diners and you might just sneak in ahead of the parties of two or three. And, Island Creek's staff knows how to care for a diner a the bar.


      Neptune Oyster
      63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

      Hamersley's Bistro
      553 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

      Island Creek Oyster Bar
      500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

      2 Replies
      1. re: BostonZest
        teezeetoo Oct 18, 2011 01:36 PM

        if you are staying near South Station you might enjoy Les Zygomates which is a good bistro and often has good music. For Italian, I'd try Erbaluce. In general, I don't see a problem eating alone at many restaurants, with or without a bar. If you feel more comfortable at a bar, the food at the Rialto Bar in Cambridge, which is a red line train from south station to harvard square, is excellent.

        69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

        1. re: teezeetoo
          hotoynoodle Oct 19, 2011 08:44 AM

          i frequently dine alone and support all the rec's mentioned so far. i'll add the north end's prezza to this mix also. it's an easy walk from south station and a relatively large bar for the neighborhood with a friendly vibe and fabulous food and wine. get the egg ravioli and swoon.

      2. ttoommyy Oct 17, 2011 12:05 PM

        One night, try the bar at the Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons. We stayed there a couple of weekends ago and ate at the bar our first night. The food is great (try the crab chowder and the Bristol burger with truffle fries) and the bar staff is fun and friendly. It's an all around great atmosphere.

        1. e
          emannths Oct 17, 2011 05:59 AM

          Many seem to think dining at the bar makes for good solo eating. Many restaurants in the area offer this option, including board favorites like Pizzeria Regina, Santarpio's (neither pizza place does by-the-slice, but you can get a small for $10 so that shouldn't stop you), Island Creek Oyster Bar, Neptune Oyster, East Coast Grill, etc. Galleria Umberto would also be a good solo-diner option. You can find more info on specific dishes and restaurants in other threads here on the board like these:

          Chowder: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/714558
          Pizza: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810131

          If you can fill in a few details about where you'll be while in town, and where you're coming from/what you can't get at home, we

          Neptune Oyster
          63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

          East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
          1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

          Umberto Galleria
          289 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

          Pizzeria Regina
          11 1/2 1/2 Thacher St, Boston, MA 02113

          Island Creek Oyster Bar
          500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

          2 Replies
          1. re: emannths
            Food_is_yum Oct 17, 2011 01:24 PM

            Thanks for the suggestions and links to other discussions.

            I am traveling from Washington D.C. and will be staying near the South Station T. I will also be at the Boston Convention center (work-related) for most of my mornings. I am familiar and love using public transportation, so I am up for traveling to any part of Boston for great food. I have looked at Yelp for the "best reviewed" restaurants, but I feel these are just the popular ones, and not necessarily the best that Boston has to offer. When it comes to large cities (DC included), I always seem to have the best experiences at quaint, less-known restaurants.

            1. re: emannths
              digga Oct 18, 2011 07:05 PM

              We've had slices at Regina NE at the bar. Is that only for lunch?

            2. Dave MP Oct 17, 2011 05:57 AM

              If you haven't read it already, this thread from last winter is a good place to start: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/766099

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