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Jul 14, 2013 04:12 PM

Dining Solo

Long time lurker, first time poster here.

I'm a native New Yorker, solo, in my mid 20s and I'm always looking for a good meal whether with a friend or by myself. With that said, I've searched previous posts on solo dining and find them to be a bit outdated, nonetheless useful. I've been to many restaurants in the city with friends and whathaveyou and have many restaurants on my go-to list but I'm a bit intimidated to go by myself. Though I did recently go to Ippudo alone.

I was wondering what places you Chowhounders like? I don't mind spending anywhere between $60-$80 on a meal [including one drink, an appetizer, entree, and dessert]. I'm open to all types of cuisine and anywhere in the city [these feet were made for walkin']. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Did you also search on great bar dining? Good places for dining at the bar are typically solo diner friendly.

    Does the $80 also include tax and tip?

    6 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      I've seen that post. A lot of those places are definitely on my go-to list.

      $80 includes tax and tip, $60-$70 does not.

      1. re: AquaAllegoria

        Which places interest you the most? What places have you tried and liked?

        1. re: kathryn

          I definitely want to try Kin Shop [I've been to Perilla and The Marrow and loved both], the Boulud franchise [recently went to Boulud Sud and loved it], Alder [I've been to WD-50 and thought it was overrated], and ABC Kitchen/Cucina that just opened, also Lincoln and Balthazar. My tastes run the gamut unfortunately.

          I also have been to Cafeteria and Delicatessen, La Oficina Latina, Boqueria, Plan B, The Smith, Yerba Buena and Yakiniku West. I don't know if that helps at all or just makes it more confusing.

          1. re: AquaAllegoria

            Your list looks pretty solid. Kin Shop has a nice bar towards the back of the room, and I've had a good solo dinner there. Nice bartenders, friendly service.

            1. re: AquaAllegoria

              I second Kin Shop, it's perfect for solo dining. Wong also fits the bill.
              Pig and Khao is a perfect spot for solo dining.
              The bar at Blau Gans, Petit Abeille, Edward and Walker's are all good solo dining spots in Tribeca.
              Zutto is a good solo spot for ramen and short rib buns.
              The Musket Room tasting menu ( at the bar) is excellent.
              Uncle Boon's or Ngam for Thai food at the bar , both are good.
              Yokocho easy for solo dining.
              Blue Ribbon Izakaya at the sushi bar, if you pick and choose with a calculator you can come out with a good meal in your price range.
              Neta: is comfortable for solo dining but you must order a la carte to be in your budget.
              Terroir is a good solo dining place, the meat ball sandwich is their best dish
              Misoya for ramen
              Pok Pok ( Rivington) is meant for solo diners
              Katz's is not a problem to eat solo
              Pearl Oyster Bar at the counter is perfect.
              So is Mary's

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                foodwhisperer: I've been to Petit Abeille for brunch [the West Village location], I thought it was really good, I don't know how I feel about it for dinner though.

                Also, I really love Terroir for a glass of wine and a small bite.

                Pok Pok Phat Thai was good, but I didn't love love it, I need to get myself to the Brooklyn location, it's just so far out of the way for me.

                I'm eh on Katz's. I use to go as a kid. It's definitely iconic New York but best left to bring one of my tourist friends, not somewhere I'd go by myself.

                I'm all about the Asian inspired cuisine. I'll definitely try out Kin Shop, Pig & Khao, and Uncle Boon's. The others you mention I'll have to look up.

      2. I love your post! And completely encourage you to launch out.

        First, you might want to try to track down one or two articles that have been published in the last few years, probably in New York magazine or Time Out, which listed a bunch of single-friendly restaurants, although maybe those were mostly ones that served at the bars. I think Babbo was one of them.

        In my experience, Danny Meyer restaurants are terrific. Their staff is great, friendly, helpful, never intimidating. I had a friend who often used to sit at the bar at Union Square and chat with the bartender. I've been there, and Madison Park and Gramercy Tavern, repeatedly. Now that I think of it, Blue Smoke and Maialino as well. But during Restaurant Week, if I can't coax someone to join me, I'll go anywhere at all by myself. They're always nice. The only place that was remotely intimidating was Del Posto, and that was because we got into a tussle when they were too uppity to give me change. (However, I'm not easily intimidated, and made enough of a fuss that they caved.)

        I suggest:
        -Dress nicely.
        -Even if you're intimidated inside, project relaxed confidence.
        - Bring something to read. I like magazines, because you don't have to hold them open.
        -Remember that NYC probably treats solo women diners better than anywhere else in the country.

        Compile a list, and report back to us!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Fida

          Fida, thank you so much for your response and suggestions!

          I've wanted to try Babbo for years now! I hear it's easier to get a seat at the bar anyway than at a table, especially during the week.

          I'm thinking of trying out Balthazar in SoHo, I've also wanted to try that place for years too. I'll probably end up going in a few weeks. I have dinner plans at NoMad this week! [which I'm extremely excited about!]