Hello Everyone! In this post, I’m going to talk about dining solo. Yes, you read that correctly–going out to eat alone. Since living in NYC, I’ve been doing some eating out by myself and initially I thought it was a weird and bad idea. I thought to myself, “Everyone is going to stare at the girl dining in a restaurant by herself because that’s just not what people do.” The first couple of times, it was a bit unnerving, but then I came to a realization: no one cares! I recently went to Tacombi in Chelsea for lunch and eating solo at this popular Mexican lunch spot definitely had its advantages. Even though it might seem like a strange idea at first, there are some perks to dining out solo:
- Seating is usually always available: Many times if you dine alone, you’ll be seated at the bar. Single bar seats are generally always open and will more often than not serve food in addition to drinks. When a restaurant is especially busy and bar seats are the only option, dining solo is a benefit! This way, you avoid needing a reservation as well.
- Really enjoy the atmosphere and the food: When you eat out by yourself, you’re not obligated to engage in conversation. In this case, you can really enjoy what you’re eating and be mindful about your food; same goes for your environment. If you consider yourself a “foodie” (like I do), then dining solo allows you to focus on your food rather than conversation.
- Spontaneity: I often find myself REALLY wanting to try a new restaurant or food spot, but either don’t have someone readily available to go with me or no one with a similar schedule to mine can accompany me. By going out to eat alone, you’re able to just go out and get the food and be spontaneous and adventurous about it! You don’t have to wait around for friends or find an available person to go eat with you.
- Portion control is easier: I notice when I go out to eat by myself, I don’t feel obligated to order an appetizer or a dessert, but just an entree of an appropriate size. Maybe it’s a mentality thing, but I think dining alone can affect how much you order and eat because you don’t feel the pressure of others regarding what or how much they are ordering.
- Asking for suggestions/recommendations: I feel less pressure to order quickly when I dine alone and feel more free to ask the server questions that I normally wouldn’t when eating out with others. I also feel like you receive more personal attention from your server and they can make the experience more enjoyable for you since they don’t have to divide their attention amongst multiple people.
These are just some benefits that I came up with; they’re probably are more! I think my favorite benefit is #3–spontaneity. I try to go on a new walk each day (see my latest post in a new series I’m starting, “Walking in NYC,” that’s live now and about the Chelsea neighborhood) and I’ll see a restaurant or food stand I want to try, but am alone when I want to try it! It’s really all about mindset and getting over the idea that dining alone is “weird,” when it really isn’t and can be a more convenient and enjoyable way to eat out and be adventurous with your dining choices! I hope you enjoyed this post and live an adventurous lifestyle!