How to make dining alone an enjoyable restaurant experience
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There is a lot to be said about going out alone. You will get time for reflection, you will have nobody to compromise with, and you will be open to meeting new people. But that does not make it easy for everybody.
There are a lot of stigmas attached to people spending the evening by themselves, particularly when it comes to going out for a meal. If you are one of those people who find it very hard to dine alone, here are some tips on making the most of a solo meal out.
Decide the type of restaurant where you want to eat
To start, it is always a good idea to think about the type of restaurant you are going to select. If your main worry is feeling alone in a restaurant filled with couples, do not go to a romantic restaurant.
If you think you will be missing your family or friends, do not go to a familiar place. Take as a standard goal to avoid whatever could make you feel uncomfortable. Common table restaurants are always a safe choice.
Bring a distraction
It can be weird to sit through a meal without a companion to talk to. You start to feel very self-conscious. To combat this, come prepared with some sort of distraction to keep you busy. Some ideas would be a book, a newspaper or a phone.
Talk to the staff
If you cannot find fellow diners to talk to, bartenders and servers are often up for talking to customers. This could give you interesting information about what you are eating.
Dining alone gives you an opportunity to spend time talking with your server or bartender and learn more about the menu, how dishes are paired, which cocktail compliments your meal, and where they source their ingredients from.
Find a seat at the bar
Especially if you are new to eating solo, sitting at a bar on your own can be a less intimidating choice. Chances are someone will come to sit next to you at some point or you could choose to tell your whole life’s story to the barman.
This is not the time to deny yourself. Order the nicest wine you can afford by the glass, or make sure you opt for that dessert you have had your eye on.
Treating dining alone as a ‘solo date’ will help you enjoy it and make sure it is an experience you want to repeat.
Plus – you will be more mindfully aware of these pleasures because you are not distracted by a companion.
Savour your food
When there is nothing else to focus on, you will be amazed at how different the actual physical experience of eating is.
I seriously enjoy my food so much more when I am alone. It is like I can taste everything more sharply without all the distractions. I take slower bites and each ingredient seems to jump out more vividly.