London is an extremely fast-paced city and sometimes simply finding the time to eat can be a struggle. Whilst there are plenty of fast food restaurants and quick take-outs for solo dining, sometimes after a long day and nothing but boring sandwiches, all you want is something good to eat; without having to cook it yourself that is.
Well, throughout London there are plenty of places that trade the traditional four-man table for a communal counter or window seat, perfect for solo dining, while also offering quick service for those who haven’t the time to hang around.
Maybe you’ve worked up an appetite post business meeting or you have a few hours to kill before the next train; these top five locations for the solo diner will be your evening saviour.
Starting big, this stunning restaurant in lavish Mayfair is simply incredible. Presenting a treat for the eyes and the taste buds, the place is a gilded paradise. With an opulent green colour scheme and hand pained chinoiserie wallpaper in the toilets, luxury spills out of the walls.
If possible, grab yourself a seat at the central, four-sided bar that sits beneath an eclectic display of brass-ceiling lamps for the best solo spot. The warmly lit area paired with the ebony worktop creates a sophisticated dining experience.
– Soho & Covent Garden
Tapas is a solo dining dream and the Barrafina bars throughout the West End are some of London’s best. The relaxed and inclusive atmosphere means that diners here will usually end up chatting to their neighbour whilst they sample the food, ideal if you are new to eating alone.
The food here is just as delightful as the atmosphere. The milk-fed lamb is particularly popular while the well-loved traditional tapas options will not fail to impress.
Owned by Russell Norman, Spuntino, designed for people like Norman himself who prefer to eat alone, is perfect for the post meeting bite. We have to admit, the idea of enjoying our food without someone asking to share is very appealing.
Sit yourself down at the bar with some onion rings and a hearty sandwich and eat in private until your heart’s content with no judgement whatsoever.
– Soho & Fitzrovia
Being within an intimate setting, this is the perfect place to enjoy dinner alone. Sitting within a delightful window seat or sharing a counter with fellow diners, this Taiwanese restaurant is inviting and open.
Solo dining here usually means skipping the queues and sitting down for a delicious steamed bun whilst couples and group wait for a larger space.
Finally, this is a restaurant with a slightly different feel from the above. Although not counter-style seating, Palatino is the restaurant equivalent of co-working. Coming from the creators of Fora offices, there is a great, inviting atmosphere within this new Italian restaurant.
With a selection of tables laid out in a domino style formation, solo diners are not left feeling cold on a table for two but similarly not rubbing shoulders, literally, with the person next to them – it’s a win, win.
So, next time you find yourself torn between the awkwardness of eating alone and the desire for good food, head to one of these friendly solo dining restaurants and solve both issues!