I’ve pretty much been writing this in my mind for maybe 6 months at this point. I keep forgetting/ getting carried away with final year stuff *sigh* BUT the girl is almost a grad!!!!
So, solo dining! Let’s talk about it!
Why’s it stigmatised? Do you do it? Does the thought scare you? Do you judge people you see eating alone?
It’s something I do ALL the time. Actually, something I do most of the time. By now we all know that I am DEEPLY introverted and these days it seems like i’m becoming even MORE introverted (which I didn’t think was possible). There’s just nothing that beats enjoying your own alone time.
I think from the outside a lot of people assume that I just don’t like people (for the most part yes, they’re not wrong LOL) but I think its more that I really enjoy my own alone time and space. While I do most things alone now, the value of community and having a tribe is definitely NOT LOST ON ME. One thing the pandemonium has taught me, is definitely the importance of community. So a quick shout out to my people – I appreciate you all!
But sometimes, community is not available or maybe you don’t really care for community! It’s always good to be able to do things on your own. I STAN independence.
When I tell people I’m going to eat alone, I get 2 responses.
The first is often along the lines of “how do you do it”, “I wish I could” or this
The second… (a lot less encouraging)
I enjoy dining out alone for SO MANY reasons. Going wherever YOU want, no small talk (or talk in general), people watching, taking however long to take pictures and not having to share?! Hello?! Why wouldn’t i enjoy it.
You’re not waiting for anyone to confirm or cancel plans, no being stood up or being kept waiting. I don’t love lateness but for some reason all my faves are always a bit late….
Often, you can go to places that are high in demand and get a table easily too!
I’ve become so used to eating out alone that I hardly ever invite people to come with now (soz friends).
Solo dinning is also another opportunity for reflection (we love this over here) and TREATING YO SELF!
Here are some tips to help you on your solo dinning journey!
Solo dining tips:
- just do it (literally no one cares that you’re alone and if they do then they need to drink water and mind their business 😒)
- take a book or your headphones to listen to something
- book a counter seat if available! The best ones overlook the kitchen- you get some entertainment and you might even become friends with the chefs!
- you could start with a restaurant you’re familiar with to ease nerves
- try lunch time to avoid couples on date nights if you’re a hater of romance 🤭
I stumbled on this series on Hulu called “Eater’s guide to the world”, narrated by Maya Rudolph and the first episode is about solo dining. Did you know that in Japan soba is usually eaten alone? Soba master Chef Mutsuko says if you talk too much, you can’t taste! Now why would you wanna do that? Tasting > Talking!
She also says when you’re eating alone you don’t have to worry about manners, open mouth while chewing, burping and co…. and to that I say PLEASE and please, do not throw away your table manners cos you’re alone, okay? Your fellow solo diners DON’T want to see the contents of your mouth.
I’ve started a tradition where I make sure to go out alone on my birthday for some prime reflection and enjoyment . I feel like having a dedicated time to go solo dining makes it feel like more of an occasion. There’s also no better day to treat yourself than your birthday!
I’ve been seeing more people embrace solo dinning more especially on these tiktok streets recently and I LOVE TO SEE it honestly. Not even just solo dinning, but solo everything! It’s really such a treat and 10/10 would recommend – always!
So if you’ve been thinking about it, take this as your sign to go out and spend some quality time with yourself (we love quality time over here).
Goodluck on your journey!