Eating out alone can seem daunting at first. Maybe a little frightening. You look around the restaurant at the sea of couples and groups. Your confidence disappears and you want to run back to your hotel or apartment. But do not run away. You have a right to eat out as much as those couple and groups.
Whether you choose to go it alone, or there is no-one else who you want to eat out with, there is no reason to feel like the odd one out. Let those couples look and wonder why you choose to eat alone. Let them assume what they want.
Successfully dining out alone is about confidence. Your confidence will show that you are not afraid to be seen in a restaurant alone.
My top five strategies for successful solo dining are:
Read your favourite book – You will soon notice how many other people do this. A good book and a delicious meal are the perfect way to relax at the end of a big day.
Write in your journal – this is a great way to catch up on your writing when travelling. Sometimes it gets so busy exploring a city and there is no time to really write during the day. I always look for a small cafe or vibrant restaurant during my travels to spend time reflecting on my day.
Choose a seat at the bar – not only can you get seated first, you can also strike up a conversation with the bar staff who are always happy to meet people. It is also a great opportunity to practice your language skills or get local tips about the city.
People watching – this one works best in Europe where it is a popular pastime with the locals. Find a cafe in a popular area with lots of activity and surround yourself with locals. You will not look out of place as everyone else is there for the same reason. My favourite place to people watch is by the Notre Dame in Paris or on Piazza Navona in Rome.
Repeat Business – if you are staying a week or more in one city, find a restaurant you like and return a couple of times during your stay. This will enable you to strike up a friendship with the waiters who will remember you. Not only will you get a good table; there is the opportunity to practice your language skills, get tips on local things to do and make a new friend. This is one of my favourite things to do when I visit Rome.