Eating out is something we all love to do. It’s a chance to catch up with friends over a plate of delicious food or indulge in a bit of romance with your main squeeze. However, it isn’t a pleasure reserved only for groups or couples, it’s something that can be enjoyed alone too.
We know what you’re thinking: eating alone at a restaurant is weird, right? In short, no. Absolutely not. And despite what you may think, no one is there judging you. We believe that eating alone should be celebrated. See it as a little act of self-care, a time to reflect on the day and make plans for the one ahead.
It’s hard to choose where to eat alone in London when there are restaurants, bars, pubs and eateries as far as the eye can see. To make things a little easier for you, we have listed our top 5 places to enjoy solo dining in London.
Where: Borough Market
Voted as Time Out’s Best Cheap Eat 2016, and The Evening Standard’s Worth The Queue 2016, Padella is the perfect place to enjoy an affordable meal alone in London.
The restaurant has plenty of bar seating (and even more pasta dishes), making it the perfect spot for Clink’s solo travellers to enjoy a quiet bite to eat, or chat to Padella’s chefs as they prepare your meal. If that doesn’t sound like a little slice of heaven on earth, we don’t know what does.
Where: King’s Cross
Because nothing beats a juicy burger with a side of finger-licking fries after a busy day exploring London alone. For beer lovers, burger junkies and solo wanderers this friendly abode is the perfect place to indulge in some much-needed comfort food.
Top tip: If you’ve done a whole lot of walking and need to up the calorie intake, then plump for a side of the naughty but oh so nice ‘Mac Balls.’ Yep, that’s Macaroni cheese, rolled into bread-crumbed balls and fried…
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Dubbed as ‘the best place to get Sri Lankan food in London’, Hoppers London and solo travellers work as well as Yin and Yang. The bright and airy space allows diners to reflect, relax and enjoy one of lifes’ greatest pleasures: food (and really delicious food at that!)
Hoppers feels a bit more upmarket than your average backpackers’ haunt, but for those dining alone in London, it’s worth splashing a little extra cash to while away a few hours here. Plus, the window seats are the perfect spot to people watch as you chow down!
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Where: Covent Garden
Cuisine: Mexican influence
Temper is a great place to enjoy a meal alone in London, particularly for you meat lovers out there. Expect top-quality in-house butchered meats cooked over fire, giving dishes that distinctive smokey flavour. Choose from a window seat to watch the world go by, or a bar stool where you can watch the talented chefs cook up a storm in the open kitchen.
With dedicated lunch and pre-theatre menus, it’s also a great shout if you’re planning to catch a show during your time in London.
Where: Soho, China Town
XU Teahouse and Restaurant is definitely pricier than other spots on this list, but with its 1930s style decor and charming little booths dedicated to intrepid solo diners, we reckon it’s worth pushing the boat out if you’ve got a bit of extra cash to spare. Nestle into your personal nook and and order from the creative, Taiwenese inspired menu. The pre-theatre meal, which includes 3 small dishes to start followed by a main, at £19.50 is a good bet if you’re trying to keep an eye on the purse strings.
We hope that some of the places above tickle your fancy but, if not, we have formulated a recipe to determine where to eat alone in London:
- A casual atmosphere that has customers of all age groups
- Seating that has plenty of nooks and crannies to allow solo travellers to pull up a pew and journal, read a book or listen to a podcast
- Incredible food with dishes that you can pick at or binge on
- The ability to take the rest home (because there’s nothing better than leftovers)
- Affordable prices