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Jan 2, 2014 01:53 AM

Solo dining in London?

Hello! I'm working in Paris for 6 months (I'm from NYC) and therefore I'll be spending my birthday in Europe. I've decided to go to London for the weekend as I love the city and lived there after college for a bit.

Can you suggest a great place for a gregarious, late-20's lady to dine solo (at the bar perhaps) that night? I was looking at Pollen Street Social, which has a good-looking bar at which you can eat, but are there any others you know of?

In Paris it's hard to eat alone- it's totally fine in NYC.

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  1. Similar question from a few weeks ago (2 women from NYC rather than solo ) but the advice is still good.

    1. For eating on my own in town, I usually go to Terroirs in Charing cross. But you need to get there early or you can have a bit of a wait if you want to eat at the bar, or you can book a table. Great ambience and food. Not open Sundays.

      1. There aren't many places that have any particular problem accommodating the solo diner. Eating at the bar isn't necessarily your only option.

        Some places, however, are particularly easy to just walk into. I like:

        Bocca di Lupo
        St John

        NOT impressed, it will be said, with Pollen Street Social. I'm not sure what others see in it. Quality has been mediocre.

        BTW, in Paris have you tried the Christian Constant establishments (Violon d'Ingres, Les Cocottes, Cafe Constant)? I can't recommend them highly enough; lovely service and really first-rate food, and they had no trouble whatsoever with serving a singleton.

        1 Reply
        1. re: AlexRast

          Thanks for your comments- I'd love to hear more about St John and how it varies from St John Bread & Wine, which I loved (but have bad juju with due to an ex and maybe dont want to eat my birthday meal alone there!)

          I haven't tried those but I've seen Violon d'Ingres on the boards here. If they're good for a solo diner I'll check them out - I've mostly been cooking French/Asian at home here, and my few friends here are students so they don't have a budget for nice meals. My boyfriend is visiting next week so we are doing Septime, Bones, Le Bistrot Paul Bert, L'Avant Comptoir, and all of my favorite cocktail spots (Le Calbar, Experimental CC), and trying to find good brunch (Holybelly at the Canal St-Martin? Derriere? La Bellevilloise?) I'll report back once my week of eating is done...

        2. Thanks everyone! Good to know about Pollen St Social. I've been to St John Bread & Wine and had an amazing meal (although it was with an ex and we broke up days later, so some bad vibes there)- what's the difference w/ the original St John? Either of the two are at the top of my list now...

          Also sorry for not clarifying earlier- I really want to look for British food, especially somewhere that takes a modern spin on it. I get enough French and Asian food here in France (I live in glamorous Chinatown here) :) and I'm doing a bit of traveling around Europe in the next few months.

          Also, I'm staying in Shoreditch, whereas I used to live in West London, so the ideal would be something in East London as I haven't explored the area, beyond Brick Lane/Spitalfields/etc.

          2 Replies
          1. re: alialiali

            Trinity and The Dairy in Clapham both offer modern interpretations of British/European cooking and are both outstanding. Restaurant Story near Tower Bridge is also excellent.

            I don't recall seeing Singapore/Malaysian places in Paris - you might want to fill up at Sedap or Tukdin before heading back to NYC, whose respective offerings aren't in the same league the last I tried.

            1. re: limster

              These are great ideas- thanks! I've never had the opportunity to try Singapore/Malaysian food so thanks for the heads up!