Being alone is something that makes many people uncomfortable. In fact, one in three adults has a fear of being by themselves. Although this fear is valid, learning to spend time by yourself can be an enjoyable, and often life-changing, experience.
One of the best ways to try out some solo time is by eating out alone. Although it can take some time to get used to dining alone, it can end up making for some of the best meals you’ve had.
If waltzing into a restaurant by yourself seems daunting, we’re here to help you out. We’ll cover the best tips for solo dining in our handy guide.
Choosing the Right Place to Eat
The first step to dining alone is to pick the right restaurant. Find an eatery that has a welcoming atmosphere, a bar area, and friendly staff. A restaurant with small booths is also one you’ll want to look for. If you’re dining solo, there’s nothing worse than being by yourself at a table in the middle of the room.
If you’re new to dining alone, try to go at a time when the restaurant isn’t busy, which is typically early or later. Avoid the popular 7:00pm time. You’ll have less time to wait for your table to be ready.
Make a reservation
Another tip is to make a reservation ahead of time. You can skip over the potential “just one” questions and the wait time altogether. And no awkward clearing the other place setting when you sit down. Your table will be ready just for you.
Interacting With the Bartender
Once you’ve picked your restaurant, you’ll have to decide on the best spot to sit. Eating at a restaurant’s bar is less noticeable for solo diners, and will give you the opportunity to chat with the bartender (if that’s your thing) plus usually a great vantage point to take everything in.
Don’t be afraid to ask your bartender for recommendations on what to eat or drink. And a good bartender will be there to chat if you want or to leave you alone—they’re good at reading guests. If you feel like talking to the bartender, you may hear some fascinating stories about the restaurant or the people who have visited before.
Have Fun With the Menu
When you are solo dining, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone with the food you order. When trying new dishes, you may find your new favorite food. You don’t have another diner with you to judge your selection or pressure you into something you don’t really want, so take the opportunity to branch out.
Don’t limit your solo dining experience to an entrée only. Start with an appetizer, try a new cocktail, or splurge on dessert. Your server will be able to recommend wine pairings from the restaurant’s by-the-glass list, so try a new wine or two with your meal.
One of the most enjoyable things to do when dining by yourself is to people watch. Try to find a seat where you have a good view of the restaurant. From marriage proposals, to birthdays, even mid-meal arguments, you can come across some entertaining scenarios. It’s easy (and probably most comfortable) to spend all your time looking at your phone, but you can do that at home.
Solo Dining: The New Best Way to Eat Out
Although dining out alone can feel intimidating, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. With a little planning, you may find that solo dining is a great way to get out of the house. After all, you need to eat, and why spend another night in front of the television?
If you’re looking for a place to try out dining solo, there’s no better restaurant to go than Richard’s Restaurant & Bar. Our staff will make you feel welcome and comfortable. You’ll find locally sourced ingredients and exceptional service here. Make a reservation today!