There are few nicer things in life than taking yourself out to dinner. Why? First of all, you don’t have to make plans. You can just decide to go and not deal with other people’s schedules. Second, you get to eat whatever you want — no negotiating with a group about the appetizers and dessert. Third, you can bring that book you’ve been trying to finish. Should we go on? In Philly, there are more than enough places to take yourself on a solo date: Here are 10 to start. Just try to call ahead to let the host know — seating one can be a bit of a dance.Read More
Where to Dine Solo in Philly
Taking yourself on a date? These Philly restaurants offer the perfect atmosphere for a solo dinner
Buna Cafe Philly
Pull up a seat at Buna Cafe in West Philly for platters of Ethiopian stews and veggies on top of spongy, delightfully sour injera. Yes, it may seem like a lot of food for one person to enjoy alone, but wash it down with one of Buna’s house-made juices or teas and you’ll get farther than you think.
Booker's Restaurant & Bar
There is outdoor, indoor, and bar dining at Booker’s in West Philly, where soul food for brunch, lunch, and dinner will satisfy any solo diner. Try the black bean veggie burger and have cocktails for days: the margarita and spiked lemonade are lovely.
After a pleasant solo trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, stay to have a delightful meal at Stir. Executive Chef Hoon Rhee offers his signature take on global cuisine featuring East Asian and Nordic influences, simple execution, and locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Whether you’re a museumgoer needing a refresh or a foodie searching for something new to try, you won’t feel out of place as a party of one.
The Continental Mid-town
This Center City hot spot from Stephen Starr is perfect to dine alone on a chill weekday for lunch. Grab a cozy secluded booth near the front and devour their immaculate comfort food (such as their tasty cheesesteak egg rolls, blackened shrimp caesar salad, and Korean style wings).
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The lush outdoor garden at Le Virtu is a special place to have an Italian meal of maccheroncini alla chitarra with lamb ragu or mushroom tagliatelle. Especially on a summer night dining al fresco and with a glass of wine, you’ll feel transported from a solo dinner to a solo trip to Abruzzo.
River Twice is one of those beautiful restaurants that feels special in a group or alone, and the chef’s counter service is a special way to treat yourself. You can reserve a spot at the counter in advance — you pay up front for the extensive tasting menu, with 15-plus dishes.
The latest restaurant from Michael Schulson is Prunella, a wood-fired pizza and pasta place on 13th and Sansom in a beautiful airy space practically destined for solo dining. The bar is a lovely option for a walk-in dinner for one — you’ll be cozy and taken care of.
If you haven’t tried the Fountain Porter burger — the platonic ideal of meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and bun — you’re missing out. But don’t despair, there’s still time. Cozy up to the bar by yourself with a glass of natural wine, the burger, and some of Fountain Porter’s pickled green beans on the side, and you’ll have a solo date night worth remembering.
Reading Terminal Market
There are few better places in Center City to get a solo lunch, breakfast, or early dinner than Reading Terminal Market, and more than enough bar seats on which to post up. Try Pearl’s Oyster Bar for a half-dozen oysters and some excellent chowder, or one of the many great diners and sandwich counters for a mid-day lunch option.
Bánh Mì and Bottles
There’s always a nice spot to dine solo at this intimate restaurant that serves impressive Asian cuisine with an extensive wine and cocktail menu. Try their delicious pho and wholesome Bánh Mì servings (the one with crispy fried chicken, fish sauce glaze, and lettuce is remarkable)..
As far as classy, romantic restaurants go, Southwark is right up there with the best. A tight menu of curated fresh dishes — like grilled octopus and local tomato salad — make a solo date night a special occasion, and the bar is just a very nice place to hang out.
The ultimate BYOB for solo diners, this classic Italian restaurant has the perfect table for one while their signature meatballs, free-flowing pasta, and savory antipasti is being served. For first timers, start with their mussels and clams, bowtie pasta, and pair it with sausage and broccoli rabe,
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Whether it’s brunch or dinner, if you’re looking for a great time to yourself — this notable restaurant and wine shop is perfect for the solo occasion. Grab a glass (or bottle) from their exclusive wine collection and have a filling meal for one (try their grilled mangalista pork chop or succulent Keiser’s half chicken).
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The smiling cloud light fixture at Pizzeria Beddia is practically its own Philadelphia celebrity by this point, and dining beneath it at Beddia’s horseshoe bar has a calming effect. The famous pizzeria can get busy so off hours may be better for a solo dinner, but it’s always worth swinging by to check what the bar looks like. Don’t forget to order the soft serve for dessert.
With locations in the Northeast and Center City, Seorabol is Philly’s go-to for Korean barbecue, bibimbap, and delicious hot pot. The dishes come out fast and the space on Old 2nd Street is big enough to grab a table for one, whether you fancy an early dinner or a late lunch.
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