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Atlanta Hound Visiting, Looking for Solo Options and Thoughts on my Current List

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Hey Fellow Hounds,

Visiting your city a few times over the next couple months on business, and looking for some places to dine solo when I'm not with my team. I'm looking for a good mix of restaurants... some with a "scene," others where I can just sit down and relax with a good drink and good food. I usually prefer to dine at the bar, but I guess I wouldn't be against a table for 1.

Here's a current list of recs I got from family and friends. Any additions you guys have? Anything on here that I can skip? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Salt
Nopa
Wayfare Tavern
Tadich Grill
Chez Panisse
Boulevard
Swans Oyster Bar
Chapeau
Zuni Cafe
Delfina's

Thanks for the ideas. These boards have been so helpful as I've traveled to other cities, and I always try to report back with where I went and how it was. It's the least I can do for all the recommendations!

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  1. Chez Panisse is closed until at least June after a fire.

    Swan is a great choice but be aware it is not open for dinner.

    I don't think of any of those places as particularly scene-y.

    There are quite a few discussions of good places for single diners (one is now appearing in the box at the top of the right column) -- SF is a very solo-diner-friendly city.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      My box is at the bottom of the page.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/884970

      1. re: wolfe

        Thanks wolfe and Ruth... that thread will be really helpful!

    2. Salt? Do you mean Salt House? (I haven't been there, just trying to clarify)

      Nopa is a great pick both for food and scene. It's loud and has communal walk in tables if you're feeling potentially social, as well as bar seating if you want some more privacy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hyperbowler

        I heard Salt, but after looking around I'm guessing my friend meant Salt House. Thanks for the clarification.

      2. Skip Chez Panisse. Try Commis instead in the East Bay. You might be able to get a seat at the chef's counter. Also, having lived in ATL I really enjoy Souley Vegan; you might too for a twist on southern comfort food.

        Make sure you get a mission style burrito at Cancun Taqueria too, since ATL has somewhat sketchy mexican fare outside of americanized taco places. Bay area mexican food was one of the things I missed most when living in ATL.

        Also, although I love Gu's on Buford highway for szechuan, and Chef Liu's for XLB, you might want to check out the Bay's superior Dim Sum and other Chinese options like Yank Sing, R&G Lounge, etc. (there's good threads on this elsewhere).

        Skip the burger spots---don't think you'll find anything better than Farm Burger in SF.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hungree

          Ah good to hear from a former ATL-er. Will DEFINITELY try Cancun Taqueria... although I do love Taqueria del Sol and El Taco in Atlanta, it's probably pretty different from Bay Area Mexican.

          Atlanta is quickly becoming the burger capital of the world... with so many good ones to choose from, I'd be looking for a change down here anyway! Thanks!

        2. Cotogna (a current fav of mine) and Barbacco have great bar seating. Barbacco is pretty "scene-y." They each have next-door much more upscale sister restaurants: Quince and Perbacco, respectively.

          Slanted Door is fun for a visitor.
          You might check out Canteen as well.

          None of these, nor any on your list, would qualify as "budget" dining to the extent that matters.

          1. Will you be staying in SF? I like sitting at the bar at AQ & Barbacco.

            If you make it to Oakland and like ramen, I like sitting at the bar at the Ramen Shop.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JonDough

              Yes, staying in SF on 3rd and Howard. Don't think I'll be able to find my way to Oakland, even though I do know it's not that far of a trip... just probably going to stay pretty close to downtown SF if I'm honest with how far I want to go.

              1. re: joond1

                You can get to Lake Meritt Bart (10 minutes walk from Jack London) in 11 minutes from Embarcadero Bart. Or you can take the ferry strait from the ferry building to Jack London Square.

                Berkeley is about 20 minutes on Bart and it will pop you out 2 blocks from Gather.

                Edit -- confused this with the Vegetarian anniversary thread! Your list (and my recs below) are mostly SF so no need to go East, but if you want it's not that far :).

            2. My current favorites for solo dining at the bar are Barbacco, Perbacco, Cotogna, AQ, Bar Tartine, and Incanto. Recent topic on the same subject:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/884970

              1. Your list has more American and Americanized food than I'd recommend overall. Boulevard is a place for an anniversary or a business lunch more than a fun night out on your own.

                Spend more time in the Mission and less in the Financial District. Also add some cafes.

                Delfina's bar is tiny and uncomfortable; go next door to Pizzeria Delfina instead, or get pizza at lunch when you can get a table. Or go to Locanda (open very late) instead.

                Good places for eating alone:
                Commonwealth
                Piccino
                Namu Gaji
                Hog Island Oyster Bar (I love Swan, though--cash only)

                La Folie has a lounge. I've only been to their restaurant next door.

                I had a really poor experience at Barbacco and would recommend ordering food at Perbacco's bar instead.

                Hog Island or La Mar would be good one night after the sunsets to see the Bay Lights on the Bay Bridge.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Windy

                  It's been a little while since I've been to the La Folie lounge, perhaps over a year, but that's a great place to relax and have a nice snack. Great, great pate, great truffle popcorn (with actual truffle!), etc. If you wanted, you could go in, grab some pate and a glass of wine, and bounce after spending only $30 or so.

                  1. re: Windy

                    Boulevard has nice bar seating overlooking the kitchen.