Solo dining in London: 21 of the best restaurants for when you’re on your tod

Self-care is IN, and there’s no better way to treat yourself than indulging at some of London’s best restaurants

Updated on • Written By Tara Spink

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Solo dining in London: 21 of the best restaurants for when you’re on your tod

When we think of heading out to a restaurant, we think of long dinners, elbow to elbow with friends and family, tucking into large sharing plates and working our way through copious amounts of wine. But the question is, why must these special moments of indulging be reserved for those in a group, or even couple? Eating good food is one of the most important acts of self-care in our books, and gives us a chance to truly enjoy every bite. Long gone are the distractions of conversation - or worse, awkward silences - and instead you can deeply appreciate every mouthful, layer of flavour, and skill that has gone into the dish.


Of course, some restaurants are better suited to solo diners than others. A restaurant might have made this list due to the table layout, such as the fact that there’s plenty of counter seating which lends itself well to eating alone (plus the added bonus of being able to marvel at the chefs whilst you eat). Or it could simply be down to the menu; sharing plates have hugely grown in popularity in recent years, and whilst there’s certainly a time and a place, it doesn’t quite cut the mustard when you’ve got no one to share it with. So you’ll also find plenty of small dishes that allow solo diners the option of ordering multiple plates for one, or quick dishes like noodles that work well for a speedy lunch alone. Whilst there is certainly a variety of restaurants included here, the one thing we can guarantee is the quality of food.

So whether you need somewhere to stop and kill time between meetings, or you’re simply looking for a place to treat yourself, we urge you to take a moment to explore the culinary landscape that London has to offer, with the best company of all - yourself. Granted, the amount of choice can be a little overwhelming, so why not kick things off by taking a look at our best solo dining in London list, and work your way through the spots that we believe have every diner in mind, but particularly those just after a table for one.


Solo Dining in North London

North London is known for it's cricket and one of London's hottest football rivalries, but it turns out it's also a pretty great spot for those looking to eat out alone.

Sambal Shiok, Holloway

Noodles and chopsticks

What: If you’re after somewhere that’s super chilled but still packs a punch with flavour, then Sambal Shiok is the place for you. Known for its fried chicken, rice dishes, and of course the spicy laksa, this is a guaranteed good time for one.
Where: 171 Holloway Road, N7 8LX
Book now: Sambal Shiok

Pig and Butcher, Islington

Chicken meal greens

What: Pig and Butcher is a favourite among Islington locals and visitors alike, known for it’s farm to table ethos you can expect all meat to be butchered, smoked and cured on site. Don’t forget to stop by for a Sunday roast - the potatoes are second to none.
Where: 80 Liverpool Road, N1 0QD
Book now: Pig and Butcher Islington

Xi’an Impression, Islington

Noodles in bowl

What: Xi’an Impression is a proper locals spot, with the Chinese haunt dishing out bowls of hand pulled noodles all day. The service is quick, and makes for the perfect place to stop by for a solo lunch, with bar stool options, or some window seats if you’d rather watch the world go by.
Where: 117 Benwell Road, N7 7BW
Book now: Xi’an Impression

Black Axe Mangal, Islington

Meats fire

What: When a restaurant’s website specifically mentions single diners, you know you’re in good hands. Black Axe Mangal only offers a fixed price menu, but offers alternatives for those who plan to eat on their own - plus there’s always some walk in tables kept in case you’re heading out for a last minute meal.
Where: 156 Canonbury Road, N1 2UP
Book now: Black Axe Mangal

Solo Dining in South London

We know South London is spoilt for choice when it comes to food markets, but it also has an equally impressive list of places perfect for solo dining.

Berenjak, Borough

Mezze plates

What: Berenjak is the Persian restaurant known for providing Londoners with some of the best kebabs the city has to offer. With cooking focusing mainly on open fire and grilling, the bar seating doubles up as front row to the action, with meat cooked to perfection right in front of your eyes. Make sure to save room for dessert, the Darlish baklava ice cream sandwich is iconic.
Where: 27 Romilly Street, W1D 5AL
Book now: Berenjak Borough

Arcade, Battersea

Flatbread with mussels

What: Arcade Battersea is a welcomed addition to the area, with its plethora of choices from American smash burgers to Nepalese dumplings. We love to head here by ourselves for its ease of ordering through an app and the dishes being delivered straight to your table, without the restriction of only choosing from one cuisine. Prawn toast followed by tacos and gelato anyone?
Where: 1st Floor, 330, Battersea Power Station, SW11 8DD
Book now: Arcade Battersea

Garden Museum Cafe, Lambeth

Burrata and peaches

What: Solo dining has many perks, but our favourite part is that it gives us time to truly be in the moment, and sit alone with our thoughts - much like heading out in to nature. So why not head to Garden Museum Cafe where you can combine the two? Enjoy the greenery as much as you do the ingredient-led British plates - although it’s worth noting that it’s open for lunch daily here, but only Tuesday - Friday for dinner.
Where: 5 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB
Book now: Garden Museum Cafe

Pizarro, Bermondsey

ribs and chips

What: Does it still count as dining alone if you bring the pooch along too? We think so, and we also think Pizarro is the perfect place for the occasion. Offering window counter seating where you can watch the buzz of Bermondsey Street, there’s also a snug spot below for dogs to watch the world go by. Of course, the food here is top quality too - think pan con tomat, croquettes and Iberico pork shoulder.
Where: 194 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ
Book now: Pizarro

Solo Dining in East London

East London is brimming with some of the city's best restaurants, and we've picked our favourites for those perfect for when it's just you. From glamorous counter top to cosy Italians - it's got it all.

Pearly Queen, Shoreditch

Fried buffalo oysters

What: Sister restaurant to Tom Brown’s Cornerstone, Pearly Queen is the oyster loving, fine dining take on some of our favourite dishes. Take a seat at the bar, chat to the friendly staff (maybe even the man himself), and tuck into anything from BBQ monkfish to massaman mussels. Want our advice? Don’t leave without trying the buffalo fried oysters with ranch dressing.
Where: 44 Commercial Street, E1 6LT
Book now: Pearly Queen

Brutto, Clerkenwell

Pasta and cake

What: Brutto quickly made its mark as one of London’s best Italian restaurants - which is quite the feat in a city that seems to have a relentless appetite for them. Choose between counter seating, a table for one, or dining al fresco, plus Brutto also offers a free spritz for anyone dining alone!
Where: 35-37 Greenhill Rents, EC1M 6BN
Book now: Brutto

Hawksmoor, Wood Wharf


What: When one thinks of Canary Wharf, they think of London’s business district with slick financiers keeping money circulating through the world, and heading out for quick lunches when they get a spare minute. So it’s no wonder that this location has made it on to a list for solo dining; and where better to eat than at one of London’s best steak restaurants.
Where: 1 Water Street, E14 5GX
Book now: Hawksmoor Wood Wharf

Quality Wines, Farringdon

Chicken and cannoli

What: Quality Wines is a restaurant with a Mediterranean-inspired menu that changes weekly, and a wine shop where you can stock up after sampling some glasses alongside your food. It comes from the brains behind Quality Chop House, and if that’s not enough reason to get you through the door, we don’t know what is. Don’t miss out on the pig fat cannolo - it’s a pretty big deal.
Where: 88 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3EA
Book now: Quality Wines

Roti King, Euston

Curries and rice
Image credit: Anton Rodriguez

What: Roti King is a slice of cheap eats heaven, serving up Malaysian dishes like curries, laksa and roti with a seriously modest price tag. You can easily dine here for under a tenner, but even if you’re particularly peckish, you’d be hard pushed to reach the £20 mark. As if that’s not good enough, it’s also BYOB - but be warned it’s walk-ins only so you may have to queue at peak times.
Where: Euston House, 40 Doric Way, NW1 1LH
Book now: Roti King

Solo Dining in West London

If you're looking to splash out on a dinner for one, then West London is probably not a bad place to start; but fear not, we've also found some with a much more modest price tag.

Normah’s, Bayswater

Roti and curry

What: Normah’s was founded by Normah Abd Hamid, who can often be found working away in the kitchen, perfecting her family recipes for service. This is certainly more rustic than a lot of other spots on our list, but that’s largely why we love it. No fussy presentation, just unbelievable flavour and a whole lot of love.
Where: 23, 25 Queensway, W2 4QJ
Book now: Normah’s

Sushi by Masa, Knightsbridge

Oysters and caviar

What: Gold top counters, waiters dressed in black tie, and a menu that is brimming with truffle and caviar; if there’s ever a place to truly treat yourself, it’s at Sushi by Masa in Harrods food hall. Perfect for dining alone, you can choose to either take a moment for yourself, or marvel at the immaculate sushi skills performed in front of you.
Where: 87, Harrods Dining Hall, 135 Brompton Rd, SW1X 7XL
Book now: Sushi by Masa

Wild by Tart, Belgravia

Mezze food table

What: We love WIld by Tart for solo dining for its choice of seating - from counter to hidden corners of the room with comfortable sofas and a plethora of cushions. The room is flooded with light from the conservatory style roof, and makes for an ideal lunch spot. As far as the food is concerned, you can expect Mediterranean inspired plates like spiced lamb ragu flatbread, aubergine satay, and onglet steak with chimichurri.
Where: 3-4, Eccleston Yards, SW1W 9AZ
Book now: Wild by Tart

Harry’s Dolce Vita, Knightsbridge

Plates of pasta

What: This vintage Italian bar and restaurant in Knightsbridge is an iconic spot known for it’s mediterranean plates and sophisticated interiors. Tuck into plates like porcini risotto and seafood spaghetti before rounding off with the infamous Harry’s toadstool dessert (think chocolate, pistachios and fresh blackberries wrapped up in an immensely impressive mushroom shaped parcel).
Where: 27-31 Basil Street, Knightsbridge, SW3 1BB
Book now: Harry’s Dolce Vita

Solo Dining in Central London

Central London is full of big name restaurants from chains to smaller independents, and these are some of the ones we think are a must try.

Kricket, Soho

Plates of curry

What: Step through the door and you’ll be welcomed by the smell of warming spices and friendly faces. Kricket Soho is one of three sites from chef Will Bowby, who honed his Indian cookery skills whilst travelling the country and working in restaurants over there. Kricket has built a reputation for itself for good reason, and we’d recommend tucking into anything from the menu (all whilst sat at the counter, of course).
Where: 12 Denman Street, W1D 7HJ
Book now: Kricket Soho

BAO, Soho

Bao bun and steak rice

What: BAO has multiple sites across the capital, and quite frankly we’d eat at any of them by ourselves, but we love BAO Soho for it’s great choice of counter seating (our favourite style for dining alone) and of course it’s prime location in central London. Plus the dishes are small enough to still order a substantial selection, even if just for one.
Where: 53 Lexington Street, Carnaby, W1F 9AS
Book now: BAO Soho

Koya, Soho

Noodles in broth

What: Koya has long been regarded as a go-to for solo dining, with ample bar seating and speedy service of Japanese dishes. Perfect for stopping by for a quick lunch of curry soup noodles, or settling in for a selection of small plates like marinated mushrooms and grilled fish; whatever reason you’re heading out alone, Koya is well worth a visit.
Where: 50 Frith Street, W1D 4SQ
Book now: Koya Soho

Rita’s, Soho

Plate of chicken

What: If you’re looking for somewhere to get some good seasonal grub in central London, Rita’s is ready with a menu of American-inspired dishes made with the best of British produce. This low lit, relaxed restaurant is great for a slow dinner for one, where you can truly sit back and enjoy the moment. Pull up a pew at the window, or nestle into the corner on one of the tables - whatever you do, don’t forget to order a glass of the natural wine to enjoy alongside your meal.
Where: 49 Lexington Street, Carnaby, W1F 9AP
Book now: Rita’s

Solo dining not your thing? We understand it’s not for everyone, and we’re the first to admit that we love a laissez-faire lunch with friends as much as the next person. So we’ve also scouted our favourite spots for when you want to head out with the entire gang, be it for a casual cheap eats, fine dining blow out, or somewhere mid-range. In a city that is spoiled for choice, it can be hard to know where to go, but taking a look at our list of best restaurants for groups in London is a pretty good start…

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