Eating Peanut Butter Out of the Jar Does Not Count As “Cooking for One”

Every time the mr. goes on a business trip, I get these pie-in-the-sky ideas of calling up friends and making dinner dates all over town. But, after a day in the editorial trenches, I’m often too beat to even pick up the phone. Flash forward to dinner time when instead of swanning all over town, I end up laying on the couch with a bowl of leftover spaghetti or (as I did last night) standing in front of the refrigerator eating Skippy with a tablespoon.

I never said this was going to be pretty.

Now, I don’t have a problem going to a restaurant by myself, in fact, I love eating at the bar—it’s friendly, communal, and usually comes with some great people watching.

So tell me, where are your favorite places to eat when you’re flying solo? Do you know of any restaurants with true community tables where singletons can dine together? (No fast food, though. I do have to draw a line somewhere.)


  • Jeannie

    This is a great topic. I tend to go to places with counter service. Hotel restaurants are good since there is a possibility of seeing other single diners. I would at least upgrade your peanut butter! Allgood Cafe is good.

  • Molly

    Teppo (or any good sushi bar)
    Eatzi’s outside tables
    The bar at Houston’s
    The bar at The Place at Perry’s
    Village Burger Bar
    The Mint
    Whole Foods

  • Margaret

    I like the bar at Al Biernat’s. Good people watching and Jesse and Danny will take care of you!

  • Stacy L.

    I spent a lot of time at the counter at Roy’s when my husband was in Iraq. Everyone took exceptional care of me…they’ve all left, though. Lots of fun watching the action in the kitchen!

  • Scagnetti

    As gleaned from Chowhound. These are all “at the bar” places

    Pappadeux’s on Northwest Hwy
    Nonna during the week
    Ruth’s Chris
    Ziziki on Knox

  • CB

    Stephan Pyles. Good flatbreads and hooks to had your purse under the bar.

  • DFW75208

    The bar at Nova. You can watch TV or join the crowd and make friends. You don’t get people pushing into you like you do at other places (Bolsa). And the food is very good.

    Sushi bars are great too, but it’s not as much fun because you can’t order different things to try.

  • Honcho

    My favorite is the bar overlooking the kitchen at NOSH. Other good spots are: Oceanaire, Bolsa, the bar overlooking “Dean’s Kitchen” at Fearing’s, the bar overlooking the chefs at Rise No. 1, the bar overlooking the chefs at Stephan Pyle’s and the bar at Mignon.

  • Honcho

    I forgot the bar at Hillstone (formerly Houston’s). Also, Pyles does have a true community table.

  • manfredmannsearthband

    what about for singles over 40/50/ 60

  • Captain America

    @manfredmannsearthband – Highland Park Cafeteria

  • R.S.

    Great topic – I’m single and eat out alone at least once a week since most of my friends are married with kiddos and can’t get away very easily.

    Lately I’ve enjoyed the patio at Toulouse on Saturday afternoon.

  • Steven C

    I second (third?) the bar at Nova. Great food, great staff, great people watching/eavesdropping, and I’ve always wound up in good conversation with someone at the bar. Great topic. Single folks gotta eat out too!

  • Citizen

    Singles over 40/50/60 should eat anywhere they want; if there is a restaurant that doesn’t want my money because I may be of a certain age, I don’t want to be there! Oh, and here’s another tip; the bar at LOCAL down on Elm Street; mmm…mmm…makes me think of those delicious crab cakes and a refreshing mojito as I type this; see you there! 🙂

  • Rebross

    Parigi, Celebration, Stephan Pyles, Screen Door and Bolsa.