Home Miscellaneous Where would you dine alone in London?

Where would you dine alone in London?

by Krista

You know that sometimes, I don’t mind taking myself out to lunch or dinner. Which has me wondering…if you were to recommend a place to dine solo in London, where would you recommend? And why?

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Shari March 21, 2009 - 2:31 pm

Yo! Sushi. I go there often alone ’cause it’s not a big deal to dine there solo. I also notice a lot of other people eating there by themselves.

Charlie McVeigh March 21, 2009 - 3:45 pm

I suggest Le Cafe Anglais for calm buzz, people-watching, sweet service and London’s largest (?) menu.

But then I would, wouldn’t I?

simon darwell-taylor March 21, 2009 - 5:21 pm

nobu is great, either at the counter in ‘siberia’ or one of the booths along the windows – great people watching and never a dull moment. I’d also recommend Wagamama, Cha Cha Moon, Pho – all casual and friendly. But the one I go to the most alone is the Indian YMCA – suprisingly good – the nearest thing to the late Mandeer I’ve been able to find and any place that allows you to reheat your food via a customer microwave just has to embrace the lost and lonely single diner. And finally, Spearment Rhino do a lunchtime special – which, while I’ve never been, just has to rate as one of the most bizarre lunches going with or without a partner

Krista March 21, 2009 - 5:42 pm

Oh God, totally dying over Spermint Rhino. Dare I ask what the lunchtime
special is?

simon darwell-taylor March 21, 2009 - 6:22 pm

I kid you not when I say, it’s chicken in a basket, chips (fries to you) and salad. Beer or glass of wine. Plus one dance. All for a fixed price.

I work across the road and they use to leaflet all the offices.

simon darwell-taylor March 21, 2009 - 6:27 pm

I kid you not, it’s chicken in a basket, chips (fries to you) salad, a beer or glass of wine and one dance – all for a fixed price.

How do I know? I work across the road and they use to leaflet all the local offices.

llgb March 21, 2009 - 6:39 pm

I like eating the burger in the National Gallery cafe and reading a book by myself (also Ed’s for burgers). Or eating okonomiyaki at Abeno. Or Ten Ten Tei, it’s nice and quiet.

Fat Les March 21, 2009 - 7:00 pm

I absolutely enthuse with the thought solo dining; two advantages include photography without others sighing and loads cheaper as I don’t have to buy a lady companion dinner. Major disadvantage is I either look like a fruitcake or dork involved in some espionage activity.

These are the places I feel most at ease and eat with utter fervour-

Dehesa- latish lunch (2pm onwards) on any days except Saturdays, by then the world here is quite literally your oyster.

Le Bouchon Breton- like Café Anglais, a huge place where lonely hearts can disappear within a quiet corner.

Hereford Road- ask for the top right end corner of the main dining room, the ambience in here is perfect for solos to view the other diners and not vice versa.

Bocca di Lupo- only if one sits by the bar next to the open kitchen.

Wong Kei- the infamous singles only section in the front of restaurant is difficult to ignore. Do order off-piste (menu thankfully in English) one dish meals like eel and roast pork belly on rice or their signature beef brisket on rice. Tea is gratis but service is disappointingly human now.

Krista March 21, 2009 - 9:40 pm

Wong Kei has a singles only section???? I had NO IDEA! That’s fantastic!
Agree with you on Dehesa. And I’ve admired the bar at Boca di Luppo in

Krista March 21, 2009 - 9:44 pm

Yes! I just recommended Abeno Too for solo dining! Must try Ed’s.

Krista March 21, 2009 - 9:45 pm

Good to know. I wonder if ladies can dine and drink for free? OK, really, I
don’t wonder that. But I had to ask.

Su-Lin March 21, 2009 - 11:30 pm

Yeah, I think it’s the ground floor at Wong Kei, no? If not, I like Jen Cafe by myself too.

And any cafe serving fryups/sandwiches, you know the kind!

Neil March 22, 2009 - 11:04 am

I’d agree with some of the above.

I work in London a lot, but as I live in Birmingham a lot of evening meals can be solo. (Plus I’ve done this for 2 years!)

Waga (If one is lazy)
Ferdanez&Wells (if one wants wine with a snack after large lunch!)

I pretty much eat anywhere on my own, I have no qualms with it. Plus I love people watching and listening in!

Anytime I see a new restaurant that has been recommended, and is within my budget then I’ll probably head over and dine solo!

Krista March 22, 2009 - 11:15 am

F&W is one of my fave places for dining solo. Am actually trying to decide
right now if I want to trek into central London, or head East to Brick Lane
for lunch.

Daniel March 22, 2009 - 1:24 pm

I’d go as far to say that I’d rather go to Bocca di Lupo alone than with friends. While the dining room is an amberish-brown bore with modern designer flourishes that might’ve seemed cool five years ago in an Upper Street lounge bar, the kitchen-facing counter gleams in white, stainless steel and possibility. The contrast is startling. It’s possible, yes, to dine with a friend at the counter. But it’s difficult for me to smoothly executive frequent half-neck turns while I’m trying not to get bucatini on my sweater. Besides, I’d rather watch the frantic yet accomplished performance of Jacob Kenedy’s kitchen without worrying that I’m showing much more interest in it than my companion.

Lizzie March 22, 2009 - 8:03 pm

I usually go to Wong Kei alone if I need a quick feed. The singles section is the ground floor. Also agree with Jen Cafe.

Other places I like to alone is Atari-Ya, Busaba, F&W, and I imagine Princi would be fine if I actually had the motivation to visit – the queueing at the counter puts me off.

Gourmet Chick March 23, 2009 - 11:45 am

Places with a chefs counter/bar so you can perch there and have something to look at. Bocca di Lupo and Zuma both fit the bill.

Ally March 26, 2009 - 12:57 pm

I like to sit at the counter of Busaba on Wardour and watch people pass by.

Tim March 30, 2009 - 6:42 pm

As a regular solo eater – I would recommend Barafina in Soho – brilliant for sitting at the bar with a book or a copy of the evening standard. Or Kulu Kulu on Brewer street, Bustling, friendly. Or Randall and Aubin for a touch of the camp – great sea food.

Jess March 31, 2009 - 9:56 pm

I sometimes go to Sausage and Mash as well, in Notting Hill or Islington, I just take a good book, enjoy the day and watch the people walking past the window.

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