London eateries where being alone could actually be a good thing

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Dining alone is an experience which can bring even the most confident of us out in a cold sweat. The awkward glancing around at groups of friends wondering whether they’re talking about you, coupled with the inevitable “table for one?” question that feels way louder than it needs to be, can turn eating, something which should be fun, into a chore. It doesn’t have to be this way however and London has some great restaurants, where being alone is not only acceptable but may actually give you an edge on other diners. So next time you find yourself travelling solo and your tummy starts a’rumbling, hit up these restaurants, where an empty chair just means you don’t have to share.

Ramen is the perfect solo cuisine, with nobody to laugh when you splash soup down your chin. At Kanada-Ya being alone gives you a distinct advantage, cutting your queue time in half… and the diners are queuing for a reason, as Kanada-Ya’s grub has made critics all over put down their poison pens and pick up chopsticks with glee.

Bocca di Lupo
It’s hard to feel lonely at Bocca di Lupo, even if you’re alone. With counter-seating facing the open kitchen you’ll be both entertained and well fed. Their menu is changed twice daily to keep up with the changing seasons, so you can be assured at this Italian joint your food will be incredibly fresh.

Home of the friendliest chefs in London, who you’re so close to you might as well be sat in the kitchen, Palomar thoroughly embrace the solo diner. They describe their food as “a menu influenced by the rich cultures of Southern Spain, North Africa and the Levant”, which they pair with wittily named cocktails, like ‘Chai Them On’, ‘It Won’t Kill Ya’ and ‘Au Revoir Shoshana’.

Shuang Shuang
With a sushi style conveyor belt to sit at, you don’t have to stare at an empty chair all night. Shuang Shuang, with their Chinese hotpots and DIY dining ensure that your meal is enough of an adventure that you’ll completely forget you went in alone… In fact the food there is such an event that Time Out have created a handy step by step guide to make the most of your trip.

Hare and Tortoise
You’ll find fellow solo diners in all six of the Hare and Tortoise venues. With a friendly atmosphere and Japanese food that lends itself to a pick and mix style dinner, you’ll be hard pushed to feel awkward here, and the food is so mind-blowingly delicious that concentrating on anything else will be impossible.