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dining solo in philly

dining solo - any recommendations for solo friendly atmosphere?

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  1. lots of solo friendly places - what section of the city? Food preferences,? Cost?

    1. For most of the places that get discussed here, I think places that aren't solo-friendly will be exceptions. I can vouch for Will, Bibou, Serpico, and the bar at Avance as being solo friendly.

      1. sorry - to be more specific
        Center City
        Fairmount

        no Japanese/Sushi/Vegetarian eateries
        open to any other type of cuisine

        1 Reply
        1. re: lisaannello

          Osteria and Alla Spina, both Vetri places on North Broad near Fairmount Ave, are good for solo diners. I agree about Serpico (not familiar with solo dining at the others agozoic recs.

        2. I also like Parc, a.kitchen, Village Whiskey (the bar), the bar at Sbraga, Amuse the restaurant at the Le Meridien, in Chinatown DimsumGarden (Soup dumplings), Pub & Kitchen.

          1. Lots of good options. You might want to check out the bar area of Volver. Excellent drinks and a good crowd starting around 7. A la carte dishes are available.

            1. While I am only infrequently solo; I do not know of any restaurant that is specifically solo 'unfriendly". Have any CHs experienced an unfriendly attitude when they have been a single? Could this manifest it self when making a reservation for one and, unknowingly, being denied that reservation because they want at least a couple for a reservation?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Bacchus101

                That is a real interesting question. When I dine solo, I tend to eat at the bar, so I am not taking away a two top. I wouold feel uncomfortable trying to get a solo table at a place like Bibou on seven oclock on a Friday night, in deference to the owners. I can tell you that there are some restaurants that do not allow you to book a single person on Opentable.

                1. re: cwdonald

                  Me too, I've never tried to sit down as a single diner at a two-top in a small place. I think lisaannello meant solo-friendly in the sense that the place either has a bar or is casual enough that a single diner wouldn't be out place, not whether the staff was friendly to someone eating solo.

                  I've found that some places are even more friendly when you're a solo diner at the bar, maybe they realize that if you're there by yourself and you seem into food, you must really want to eat there to come by yourself.

                2. re: Bacchus101

                  I did a lot of solo dining when my wife was in grad school. No place was ever unfriendly to me, but service usually slacked off. In larger restaurants, it wasn't uncommon for there to be a long wait at some point in the meal. At smaller places, service could turn perfunctory. Occasionally I'd gain powers of invisibility as at one place, the front of house manager would stand right at the opposite end of my table while directing the troops. I never got chased out of a place with an unceremonious dropping off of the check when they felt my meal should be finished.

                  At the small BYOBs, I think the best time for a solo diner is late (9:00 on) in the evening when things wind down and folks get a little more relaxed.

                3. i think the bar at Fork is great for solo dining. people are friendly, and it's a really nice space, with the full menu.

                  1. thanks to all for your input. I dine solo a lot of the time and there are definitely places I feel more comfortable (La Fortuna Della Citto, LaScala, Las Bugambilias) than others (Prime Rib, Devon, Serafina, Little Nonna's) moreso because of the layout than less than optimal treatment. I enjoy dining solo because I can focus on the meal more and read a good book but it's definitely not for the feint of heart. I avoid eating at the bar, although everyone says that's the way to go. I never thought of not eating at a two top out of deference for the manager. The key for me is I do it at off hours (5:30-ish, 11:30-ish)--never prime time (for a variety of reasons), so the place is usually quiet. Just looking for suggestions for new places; thanks.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lisaannello

                      I dine solo more often than not. I've had great experiences at a.kitchen and at bibou, at tables or the bar (or chef's counter) for both, and both during off hours and prime time, though I generally avoid Fri-Sat because high noise levels annoy me.

                      Very rarely I'll notice poor service. I think usually they know you're there for the good food, as stated earlier, and appreciate the business.

                    2. Vernick is solo friendly; however, I do eat at the bar. It's a pleasure to watch Vince, the mixologist, execute his work to a high level with such enjoyment.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Seeker19104

                        Anyone ever eaten solo at the kitchen bar in the back? Seems like they'd be amenable to solo diners there.

                        1. re: Buckethead

                          Yes, I've eaten solo at the bar overlooking the kitchen in the back as well as at the bar in the front at Vernick. Found front bar more social.

                          1. re: Seeker19104

                            True but back bar far quieter and less tumult at Vernick
                            Will add bar at Petruce et All

                      2. A nod to Tria on 18th Street. I frequently dine their solo - at the bar - and there are always many single women at the bar having wine and food. Nice atmosphere and friendly vibe.