Sometimes, you feel like being alone, lost in your solitude and contemplating your next moves in life. This loneliness could also be inevitable such as when you are travelling alone or are on a business trip or taking a solo lunch break. At such times, you can also indulge in a small solo party for yourself and visit one of the many London eateries where you can enjoy delicious food and remember that very old song “In my little room, I’m all by myself…”. At these eateries, you will not feel awkward at all enjoying your food all by yourself. .
London has gradually moved away from stiff British formalities and its bland food has given way to hot and spicy cuisines from all over the world. Moreover, the etiquettes of formal group meals have now been taken over by casual dining on counter seats whereas scores of solo diners can be seen at communal tables. As a solo diner, you will get the benefit of finding a seat more quickly. You should therefore not be bothered by any taboos and just carry on. The five famous restaurants in London that are ideal for this purpose are:
Opened in 2007 at Frith Street, Soho, this tapas bar favours solo diners and it does not accept reservations. The nearest tube stations are Tottenham Court Road; Leicester Square; and Piccadilly Circus. You may have to wait for one of the 23 counter stools to be vacated but it is easier for one person to get a place. It offers small plates portions, sufficient for one person, at GBP 5+ per plate and serves authentic Spanish tapas (such as tortilla and chorizo). You can also have plenty of entertainment as you can see the buzzing open kitchen. It also offers a good Spanish wine collection, mostly by the glass. The working hours are Mon.-Sat.: 12:00pm-3:00pm, 5:00pm-11:00pm; Sun.: 1:00pm-3:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm. Its famous dishes are Gambas al ajillo; chorizo; tortilla; and the daily specials.
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Bocca di Lipo:
Opened in 2008 and located at Archer Street, Soho, this Italian restaurant offers the best counter seats as customers can watch clearly the chefs at work while creating handcrafted dishes in the open kitchen. You can enjoy not being disturbed by anyone while you are watching how the chef is preparing a plate of spaghetti with mussels and tomato. Reservations are recommended and the price of the appetiser is GBP 5-8 and of the entree GBP 12-26. The restaurant offers good value all-Italian wine list and well-made cocktails. Private rooms are available and its working hours are Mon.-Sat.: 12:30pm-3:00pm, 5:30pm-12:00am; Pre-theatre Menu: Mon.-Sat.: 5:30pm-7:00pm. It offers 50-100 seats and the nearest tube stations are Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. It is an ideal place for lunch, dinner and pre-theatre dining. Its famous offerings are Spaghetti with lobster, mussels, and ginger; crisp fried artichokes; burnt almond granita with bitter chocolate sorbet.
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This is a London branch of the famous Italian bakery in Milan and it attracts chaotic crowds that clamour for its excellent sweets and savoury pizza and sandwiches. If you are a solo diner, you can get plenty of seating options as it offers long communal tables and counter seating. It is ideal for a sumptuous breakfast or lunch break. Reservations are not accepted and the price for an appetiser is GBP 3-5 whereas entree is for GBP 4-10. It offers a small selection of wines, tea and Italian coffee. No private room is available. The working hours are Mon.-Sat.: 7:00am-12:00am; Sun.: 9:00am-10:00pm. The nearest tube stations are Piccadilly Circus; Tottenham Court Road; and Leicester Square. It is an ideal place for Lunch; quick bite; takeaway and light breakfast. Its famous dishes are Olive bread; pizzas; desserts and pastries. It was established in 2008.
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Sake No Hama:
Established in 2010, this restaurant offering Japanese cuisine has a stunning interior that will give you the feel of dining in a futuristic forest. It is frequented by business executives and knowledgeable foodies and as such you will have good company beneath the towering bamboo at the counter. Your solo food needs are properly designed with its exquisite fare of hot and cold snacks and charcoal grill dishes and sushi. For getting a seat it is essential to make a reservation. The price of an appetiser is GBP 3-15 and entree GBP 6-35. It offers an excellent sake selection and sophisticated cocktails. You can opt for a private room that seats 10 people. Its working hours are Mon.-Sat.: 12:00pm-3:00pm, 6:00pm-11:30pm; Sun.: 6:00pm-10:30pm. There is a lounge bar on the ground floor. It offers a seating capacity of 50-100. The nearest tube station is Green Park. Its famous dishes are Tempura and sushi.
This Pacific Rim Fusion joint offers high-boy communal tables and there is no reservation accepted. It is ideal for solo dining while seated alongside cool Marylebone locals and savvy hipsters. You will relish its samosas stuffed with spiced coconut, turmeric, lamb and peas with tamarind yogurt. The price of appetiser is GBP 2-12 and entree GBP 10-18. It offers excellent New Zealand wine list. Its working hours are Mon.-Fri.: 9:00am-11:30am, 12:00pm-10:30pm; Sat.: 10:00am-3:00pm, 4:00pm-10:30pm; Sun.: 10:00am-3:00pm, 4:00pm-10:00pm. It seats 48 people and it offers a wine bar. The nearest tube station is Baker Street; Bond Street; and Regent’s Park. It is best for brunch, lunch and drinks. Its famous dishes are Grilled chorizo with soft-boiled egg, sumac and saffron aioli; and Turkish eggs.