Who Eats Alone Anymore?

Observer’s Scott Reitz named his five favorite places to eat alone in this week’s print edition. Local, Mesa, Bolsa, Yutaka, and Taco Stop made the Lonely List, but who actually ventures out to a restaurant by themselves these days? Anyone who does is either a sketchy guy picking up chicks or glued to their iPhone 4s screen and secretly talking dirty to Siri.

“Siri, how do you like the steak?”

“What do you think of the waiter, Siri?”

“Siri, your microphone icon is lookin’ sexy tonight.”

A better title for your column, Mr. Reitz, would be “Five Places to Take Your Phone Out on a Date.” That means you need a fifth restaurant, though, because it’s pretty impossible to eat tacos and touch your phone at the same time.

Editor’s Note: Please come back after you pick up your sense of humor from the dry cleaner’s! Have a nice weekend.

SideDish @scottreitz I question people who eat out alone and commenters are bashing me for it. bit.ly/y6COek #nobodycantakeajoke

Scott Reitz @DSideDish Siri is a shit date anyway. She doesn’t put out.

SideDish @scottreitz Sounds like you have some experience, eh?

Scott Reitz @DSideDish try. It’s funny. She’ll tell you “she’s not that kind of assistant.”


  • hold on…i eat alone all the time for lunch. sit down, order, get your food, pay your bill – you can get in and out in 20 min and have some silence.

  • Stacy L.

    Good grief, this post is obnoxious. Plenty of people still dine solo. I went out to eat on my own both when I was still single and when my husband was deployed to Iraq for a year. I didn’t think there was anything terribly extraordinary about it until about three minutes ago.

  • are you ACTUALLY eating alone or eating with your phone?

  • ozonedude

    We could be reading a book or talking to the bartender Carol. Notwithstanding that Lucky Campbell at The Chesterfield would put you out on the street in a second for being annoying. I forsee many golden year evenings at home for you with a quart of chocolate yogurt and a fifth of cheap vodka. Just wait for it.

  • Droopydave

    I eat out alone everyday. I’m single, doing in contract in Reading, PA (from Dallas). I have a furnished apartment with kitchen and everything I need, but just can’t get into cooking alone without MY kitchenware.

    Do I use my iPhone to catch up on blogs like this one? Sure… don’t think much of it, though… Odd post..

  • Food Girl

    What was the point of this???

  • TG

    Single woman, demanding job with irregular hours, I eat out alone several nights a week. Sometimes I play words with friends while I wait for my food, but I usually read a book or paper, or chit chat with the bartender. And either way, it’s fine. I tip well, and nobody seems to feel sorry for me. I don’t. I also think this post is pretty stupid.

  • nancy

    Really? Are you saying solo diners should just pick up something and take it home? I don’t eat alone much lately, but do you think I should feel bad about it if I eat alone? BTW, I notice many people dining with SOMEONE else, they are often looking at their phones. Echoing the sentiment of this being a stupid post.

  • Phil

    Carol must have a blog post quota to meet, that’s the only reason I can think of for this sad excuse for an entry.

  • Mary

    I think being unable to eat at a restaurant alone shows a large amount of insecurity.

    Sure, it’s fun to go out to eat with my friends or boyfriend, but sometimes you just want to have a nice, quiet meal without taking the time to cook, and I think most people agree that there is nothing weird about that.

    Maybe you should try it before you kick it, Carol.

  • DesignBoy

    Come on, people. Lunch and dinner aren’t in the same league. Yes, we all eat lunch alone. In fact, I prefer to get away from my co-workers at lunch and de-stress. But dinner? Nope. I don’t go it alone. Not because I’m insecure. I simply think of dinner as a more communal meal. If I’m alone for dinner, I’ll just cook at home or order delivery. Go ahead, Carol. Lob those grenades. Get the blogosphere riled up!

  • Phil

    don’t see where she specified dinner

  • Amy S

    I love to eat out alone where the people watching is a good show. I’ll throw out the patio at Mignon as one of those excellent places. Anyone else?

  • Droopydave

    @DesignBoy – yeah, I agree that one reason I like to eat alone at lunch is I work with these people all day and why do I need to see them at lunch? I do the going away lunches at the Jumbo China Cafe and that’s it. Otherwise I get away from co-workers. Dinner? Irish pub across the street has an outstanding kitchen. So I’ll go alone and end up meeting up with my new friends here.

  • Amy S

    Why did I say Mignon? I meant Toulouse on Knox. Haven’t been to Mignon in years.

  • Beda

    I eat out alone at lunch or dinner frequently. I don’t limit the type of restaurant I go to, etither. I’m not the least bit uncomfortable and couldn’t care less what anyone at another table thinks.

  • graceL

    I think this post was meant to be a humorous one, so I hope people can chill out just a little on the comment firing. I have eaten alone on occasion as well, and as I do not have a smartphone, I don’t have dates with one. To those of you who still enjoy eating alone without the feeling of insecurity, I say kudos!

  • Sarah

    I love have to have lunch or a late afternoon beer by myself. Please post again when you are not so sensitive to criticism.

  • LJT

    When I was single I dined alone and it didn’t bother me a bit. I am a big people watcher and never lacked for entertainment…I can pick out a bad match.com first date in 25 seconds. I’d MUCH rather be alone that on one of those awkward nightmares.

  • cb foodie

    I like eating at the counter with the kitchen view at Stephan Pyles. There’s lots of action in the kitchen, and you get to talk to the chef working that area.

  • I have some of my best conversations eating alone. Chef counter at nosh is my personal fave.

    Re reitz it’s the observer. So there’s that.

  • bluebird

    Snootyfoodie – right on

  • Stacy L.

    All those meals I mentioned earlier? Dinners. Smartphones weren’t even around yet. I people-watched, chatted with the bartenders and servers, and…ate. Still don’t see anything wrong with it. At least I can spend time on my own without having to be constantly entertained. Maybe it’s an age thing.

  • What, did I pick the wrong paper?

  • Baited N. Switched

    This is a conceited and elitist post.

  • K.Cho

    Found this hilarious! You could technically eat tacos and talk to Siri if you use your mic-headphones, but I suppose that would open a whole different set of issues 😉

  • Christine

    All New Yorkers know the pleasure of dining alone. Very civilized. Favorite neighborhood spots for dinner, a book, and a glass of wine are (now) Bistro 31, Mint, La Duni.

  • As a food writer, I dine out alone all the time, either because I’m working, or I want to try a new place, or even because I want to enjoy a good meal. A person who feels the way this writer purports to feel, must have very low self-esteem indeed, to require company in order to find value in themselves. I would hate to be your dining companion. I can just imagine you spend the entire meal talking about yourself, or criticizing the other diners. What a bore.

  • Tanya

    Gosh, I must be a total loser! I dine alone. I home office and when i can get a break, I like to eat out. Just so I can have conversation with someone besides the UPS guy. It would be great if I had someone to dine with, but sometimes, I don’t have “lunch” until 1:30 or later and most of my friends are already back at their office.