When we were in high school, there was no greater fear than ending up at an empty table in the cafeteria. Eating alone was considered weird—the mark of a loner and sure evidence that your virginity was still intact. But now that we’re all adults whose self-worth isn’t tied to how many touchdowns we scored or whether we got invited to Becky’s party, we can all chill the f**k out and embrace the fact that dining solo can be an amazing experience—even one that you’d choose to do purpose.
Business trips and late nights at the office are common reasons for dining alone. But circumstance isn’t the only excuse for rolling dolo. We live such frenetic lives in NYC that sometimes it can be refreshing to enjoy a great restaurant or barroom without having to pretend to be interested in someone else’s life for an hour and a half.
Choosing the right place to settle in can be a tricky proposition though, as there are many factors that contribute to the alchemy of an amazing dinner-for-one experience. You want seating that doesn’t put you on Front Street as the guy/girl who’s eating alone (a comfortable bar or counter is ideal). You want servers who don’t treat you like a second-class citizen just because you happen to enjoy the #ForeverAlone lifestyle once in a while. And you want food that makes sense to eat alone, not the ubiquitous “shareable” plates that are only acceptable if you’re getting drunk with a crowd and not fixating on how ridiculously overpriced they are.
If, like us, you love to eat alone from time to time, we’ve got your back. From “treat yo’ self” lunches (just don’t actually say treat yo’ self) to the best bar burger in the city, here are our ten favorites ways to dine alone in NYC.