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Feb 28, 2012 09:16 PM

Looking for good Back Bay restaurant with comfortable bar for solo diner

I'm heading to Boston next week and have a couple nights to kill. Staying at the Westin Copley Place and looking for good food but prefer a comfortable bar to sit at since dining solo. Willing to travel a bit if exceptional.

Uni looks interesting and so did a tapas place (name escaping me). Like a "lively" spot but not a scene. If the place has a DJ later in the evening then likely not the spot for me (made that mistake at Butter in NYC once).

Up for any cuisine. Like some of the divey North End Italian spots but those don't strike me as great for solo diners. Appreciate any thoughts.

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  1. Did a little more research and Uni and Toro look interesting. The Avery Bar or Artisan Bistro makeover at the Ritz sound interesting but kind of a hike from Copley for mixed reviews. The bar at the Taj is a great location but looks like they haven't redone the old furniture since it was a Ritz. Looked like there was a Back Bay pizza place that received good props (basically I'm all over the map and feeling indecisive).

    4 Replies
    1. re: NapaTJ

      If you don't mind the hefty price tag, Mistral is a great place for a meal at the bar.

      1. re: NapaTJ

        well you said divey North End, so I'll say the obvious, Regina's bar seating is great for solo eating. I get lunch there (close) to once a week or so, and solo it at the bar and always enjoy it. The bartender, Doug, who's usually working when I go is just about the nicest bartender I've met, and really makes me feel at home when I eat there. The nice thing about soloing the bar is it's MUCH easier to get a seat than if you were with a group and trying to get a booth.

        1. re: devilham

          Neptune Oyster (not on the weekend) and Prezza are my two favorite solo bar dining spots in the North End. Neither is a dive.

        2. re: NapaTJ

          artisan bistro is meh food for sure.

          the bar at the taj was renovated not long ago and is a super nice spot to have a cocktail.

          close-by is the bristol lounge at the four seasons. very nice bar.

          and in addition to c. hamster's list, i'll add the bar at bistro du midi.

          there is no good pizza in the back bay.

        3. From your comments you'll go beyond Back Bay ...

          I am a dedicated bar-eater.

          Close to you:

          Brasserie Jo always has lots of solo diners at the bar for both lunch and dinner.

          Salty Pig


          Haru or Douzo

          Tico (can get pretty loud, depending on time and night of the week)

          A walk to Kenmore:

          Island Creek Oyster Bar

          Eastern Standard

          A quick zip up the Green Line:

          Lineage ($1 oysters on weeknights)

          South End

          Union (though I havent been there for awhile)


          Estragon (less of a crowd than Toro plus bar tapas)

          Toro (get there early; it's tiny and is always packed)


          Meyers and Chang

          2 Replies
          1. re: C. Hamster

            I've also had several good solo bar dinners at Coda.

            1. re: C. Hamster

              Brasserie Jo is a great recommendation. The food is consistently good, the drinks too, and the mood is just right for solo dining. Plenty of room, handsome decor. I've eaten there solo on a number of occasions.

            2. Not in Back Bay proper, but a short walk across the Garden to Charles street gets you to my favorite dinner at the bar spot- Beacon Hill Bistro in the Beacon Hill Hotel. Cozy little spot- great menu & drinks, too (especially the pomme frites!).

              2 Replies
              1. re: bmmommy

                Ate there for the first time on Sat and it was terrific. The bar is tiny but it is a lovely cozy spot.

                1. re: C. Hamster

                  I'm not sure what NapaTj's criteria for "comfortable" is, but the bar at the Beacon Hill Bistro is really, really small. I would say "cozy" is being generous. If you have a drink, some bread, a salad plate, a dinner plate, and water glass, you're going to be encroaching on those sitting beside you.

                  Which is not to say that the Beacon Hill Bistro isn't a fine place to eat and drink, it is. I just think that eating at the bar would be pretty tight.

              2. The bar at La Voile on Newbury St. looked inviting when I dined in the restaurant.

                1 Reply
                1. re: CookieLee

                  i prefer bar-dining and that bar feels extremely cramped. food quite good though and a lovely little space.

                2. I would not recommend Tico. The bar is too scene-y after work. You don't want folks handing drinks and money over your shoulders while you are eating. And their food is barely past so-so.

                  Salty Pig is a bit different, nice vibe.

                  Pigalle, not to eat at the bar, but OK to have a table on your own.

                  Meyers+Chang -- great bar for eating alone....the one with a view of the kitchen!