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Strategy for Dining Alone

My favorite way to dine solo is to sit at the counter. 

Do you enjoy dining out alone, and what’s your strategy?

Illustration by Mari Andrew


13 comments for “Strategy for Dining Alone”

  1. Gigi says:

    When I dine alone which I enjoy, I will ask for a booth if they have them otherwise I will ask for a quiet table off to the side. The middle of the dining room makes me feel on display and VERY uncomfortable.

  2. Karen says:

    A couple of years ago, I took myself to a fairly upscale restaurant for dinner here on the Upper East Side of NYC. There were a number of tables available, but they sat me at what was undoubtably the worst seat in the house, immediately adjacent to the open door of a sort of service/utility closet where, I kid you not, there was a bucket and dirty mop, cleaning products, etc. I decided to “have some fun” with it, so rather than complain I simply accepted the table and ordered a drink. I then took out my phone and snapped a photo of my “view” of the closet, which I then posted to Instagram and Twitter (I have over 1,200 followers on the latter dating back to when I used to have a book blog), naming the restaurant and noting in my caption that this is the sort of seat unaccompanied women get. I proceeded to peruse the menu, order my meal, and then settled back to wait. I began getting sympathetic responses on my social media posts, “retweets,” etc. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later, just as the waiter was arriving with my food, along came the hostess and the manager, falling all over themselves, bowing and scraping, offering to move me to a different table, comp my meal and would I please take down the post. I declined to do so, finished my meal, paid, left, and never returned. I like to think of it as one of my finer moments.

  3. Lauren says:

    I like being in restaurants alone. I make a little small talk with the waiter, and I always bring a good book. I only really eat in restaurants when I’m traveling, though, so it may be more delight in being in a new place than actual enjoyment of the dining alone.

    One of my favorite cartoons shows a woman by herself at a center table in a restaurant, and the waiter says to her, “We’re going to relocate you to the bar. Your contentment is unnerving the couples.” It makes me chuckle. (Wendy, I don’t know if you permit links in comments, but the cartoon is here: http://nickandzuzu.com/2015/06/single-3/)

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