One of my favourite things to write about has to be the joy of the table for one, mainly because it encompasses both solo adventure and food – two topics I could happily discuss all day with any one that would listen! And having written a blog about this a few months ago, this week I’ve delved in once more, spreading my enthusiasm for solo dining a little wider with a short article featured on sheerluxe.com.
Reworking my previous post got me thinking about some of the best solo dining spots I’ve discovered for myself from my base camp of London town and I wanted to share some of them with you for the day that you might be in the vicinity to try one, or a couple!
Living in this extraordinarily bustling city, we London residents are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to where we can eat. But of course too much choice can be overwhelming and I have become something of a creature of habit when I do have the opportunity to dine by myself. Depending on what I’m in the mood to eat, I tend to return to some of the same places because of the good experiences I’ve had, the anonymity I find or simply because I feel comfortable having a table for one there. Equally though, I am always on the lookout for new places to try for a change of scenery, particularly if I’m exploring a new area of the city that I haven’t seen much of yet.
Now the following list is a very small slice of London’s culinary scene, but I have visited each one of these restaurants several times and I can honestly recommend them to you as wonderful solo dining locations if you find yourself searching for a table for one. On top of that, the food at each is budget friendly and absolutely delicious. Any one of these places will be a lovely treat so remember to dress up if you fancy it, leave technology at the door and delve into a great read, or simply take in the atmosphere around you. Most importantly though, relax and enjoy your solo dining experience in London!
Until next time…
The Spitalfields branch of Yotam Ottolenghi’s superb chain of informal dining outlets in London is a great solo dining option. It’s always bustling with trade so you can easily get lost among the crowd without notice. The food is quite simply divine and make sure to leave room for something from their exquisite array of cakes (picture below of my salted caramel macadamia nut cheesecake!).
With three locations in the city, the down-to-earth philosophy at each branch is perfectly suited to solo diners. The menu is a wonderfully healthy but tasty affair and interestingly there is no Wi-Fi available, so reading or striking up a conversation with others next to you is actively encouraged!
This is one of my favourite informal and laid back solo dining spots in central London. Choose from their delicious selection of Milanese-inspired pizza slices, salads and hot dishes. Princi is the kind of place where you can easily blend in by yourself and there is enough entertainment available simply from observing the happenings around you.
Busbaba Eatthai, Pho, Tonkotsu, Cây Tre
When it comes to satisfying any cravings for delicious Asian flavours, solo diners have ample choice in London. I’m particularly fond of Busaba Eatthai, but each of the above mentioned places are great lively dining locations where you can relax by yourself with minimal fuss.
This is a very reliable choice for solo dining and I’d particularly credit the very friendly and efficient staff I’ve encountered at every branch I’ve visited. The all-day menu is informal and perfect for one – I can never resist their comforting Matcha tea latte to accompany a little reading time for myself.
Something of a Soho institution at this stage, there are now branches of this wonderful vegetarian restaurant in Camden and Kings Cross. The lovely easy-going and informal setting is ideal for your solo self and as there is a no booking policy, you will have to wait like everyone else at busy times – but it’s worth your patience.
Nab a counter seat, order your tipple of choice, choose from the incredibly tasty small plate menu and simply indulge, unwind and enjoy the atmosphere at this reliably buzzing chain of Venetian-style restaurants. The staff are charming and it’s the type of setting that invites conversations with those around you if you wish, but equally somewhere that gives you the freedom to dine incognito.
What about you? Where are your favourite solo dining spots in London or elsewhere? Please do comment and share!
8 thoughts on “London’s best solo dining”
Great list, I love Polpo – and Ottolenghi does the best cakes! I often end up in Kingly Court in Soho as there’s so much choice – Shoryo and Senor Ceviche are two of my favourites. I also really like Fez, a Turkish place on Ladbroke Grove. While the Nordic Bakery in Soho and Marylebone’s good if I’m just after tea and cake. Their cinnamon buns are incredible.
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Thanks @littleoldworld😊 I have not been to Shoryo but it always looks very appealing when I pass it so I must try some time and I and definitely on a mission now to get a cinnamon bun from the Nordic Bakery, I’ve never been there!
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I just read this and your “table for one” post and remember when I realized that I never saw anyone eating alone as weird but for some reason thought it was weird when I did it. Once I realized that it didn’t matter anymore and nobody ever cared. I’m totally going to keep your list for whenever I visit London one day 🙂
Thank you so much @lindseylivings for your lovely comment, this is so true, we really don’t notice others eating alone but can be so self conscious when we do it ourselves – here’s to more solo dining experiences! I do hope you get to try some of these places when you are in London!
I adore your posts .. solo travelling sounds so liberating!
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Thanks @awakenandbreathe it is my favourite thing in life right now and I’m very fortunate to be able to travel and write about it, two of my favourite hobbies united😊I hope you enjoy what I’ve got coming up next!
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