Table for 1? 9 NYC Restaurants Where It's Cool to Dine Solo

Dining alone in New York City is an art form unto itself. Whether you’re traveling for business or looking to escape your roommates for the evening, you’ll be one of many looking for some food with your solitude. The following New York restaurants feature big, inviting bar areas where you can eat solo in style. And the food? That’s all the company you need.

Ichiran Times Square 


Ichiran is one of the only places where lone diners make up the majority. This Japanese import's new Times Square spot is filled with one-seater booths. At your little enclave, you can order a bowl of piping-hot tonkotsu ramen using a paper ordering system and specify preferences like spice level, noodle texture, and extra toppings. Your fleeting interactions with the staff and cordoned-off eating space, the owners believe, maximize a contemplative, ramen-rich dining experience. There’s even a button in your booth to request extra noodles without speaking a word. Times Square: 152 W. 49th St.,646-964-4294. Additional locations in Midtown West: 132 W. 31st St., 212-465-0701; Brooklyn: 374 Johnson Ave., 718-381-0491;


Buvette is a home-run for anyone looking for a French bistro experience stateside. Sit at the white marble bar or in the tiny backyard at this West Village treasure and enjoy thoughtful and unpretentious French cuisine with wine. There’s no wrong time to dine at this all-day restaurant from chef Jody Williams, who’s as talented with a Belgian waffle as she is with escargot and coq au vin. 42 Grove St., 212-255-3590,



Solo diners have a fighting chance snagging a coveted seat at Michelin-starred Satsuki, hidden toward the back of the exquisite kaiseki restaurant Suzuki. Behind this ten-seat counter, Chef Toshio Suzuki prepares some of the best sushi in the city right before your eyes. This is the height of omakase dining, in which chefs prepare a daily tasting menu according to seasonal ingredients from fugu fish to citrus. This restaurant near Rockefeller Center is a worthy splurge for those looking for dinner and a (culinary) show. 114 W. 47th St., 212-278-0047,

David Burke Tavern

David Burke Tavern

Celebrity chef David Burke has converted an antique Upper East Side brownstone for his newest venture. Visit the ground floor of David Burke Tavern for a comfy seat at the large, dark-wood bar, and enjoy seasonal selections from land and sea on the rotating menu. Favorites include Angry Lobster Dumplings, Burke’s signature Clothesline Bacon, and steak aged with pink Himalayan salt. Save room for the creme brulee! 135 E. 62nd St., 212-988-9021,


If you’re looking for prime outdoor dining for one, it’s Dante. This Greenwich Village bar/restaurant is a classic made over, as it’s occupied the same space for over 100 years. Have a negroni (there are no less than 10 varieties on the menu) and an appetizer, or a full-blown tureen of seafood stew. The outdoor tables are tightly packed and hard to come by on weekends, but come early on a pleasant weeknight and enjoy a perfect self-date. 79-81 MacDougal St., 212-982-5275,



Another chef’s counter, Colonie fits anyone who likes watching a kitchen staff do their thing. The dishes that come out of this open kitchen, all made with farm-to-table ingredients, are uniformly excellent. Come to Brooklyn Heights for your solo brunch or dinner at the counter, and savor a plate of oysters and duck with mole rojo sauce. For brunch, we recommend the Turkish eggs with fresh yogurt. 127 Atlantic Ave., 718-855-7500,


Bury your face in a plate of pasta at the East Village’s Porsena. This small Italian standout has not one but two bars for the book-reading, phone-scrolling eaters among us (or those up for chatting with the bartender). You’ll be treated to handmade pastas like pappardelle with mushrooms and brown butter, saffron pasta with lamb meatballs, and vegetarian orecchiette. In case you don’t want pasta, there are excellent apps and entree dishes like pork tenderloin with polenta. 21 E. 7th St., 212-228-4923,

Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop


Operating since 1929, Eisenberg’s is a reliable and authentic New York deli. The long bar dominates the space, creating a diner-like atmosphere where you can tuck into a bowl of matzo ball soup in solitude at this Flatiron institution. And if you’re looking for a reuben sandwich, you won’t find a better one in the city than Eisenberg’s. 174 Fifth Ave., 212-675-5096,

Jones Wood Foundry

Jones Wood Foundry

One of the best spots on the Upper East Side, Jones Wood Foundry has a seat at the bar for you. Chow down on a burger, toast topped with bone marrow, or calamari salad with chickpeas at this inviting gastropub. It’s the perfect place to unwind over a beer and some very good food. There’s also a brick patio in the back if you’re in the mood for fresh air. 401 E. 76th St., 212-249-2700,

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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