New research by restaurant booking platform OpenTable has revealed that solo dining is becoming more popular in London and the rest of the UK.
Some people may be hesitant about going to a restaurant by themselves and dining alone, particularly if they’re fearful about being made fun of, looking like they’ve been stood up or worried about the restaurant not being able to accommodate them.
However, if the latest figures revealed by OpenTable are anything to go by, it seems that solo dining is becoming quite the phenomenon. According to the research, solo reservations in the UK increased by more than 160% from 2014 to 2018.
The research shows that the UK’s attitude towards dining alone is shifting, with people now seeing visiting restaurants on their own as a great way of enjoying their own company without having to be concerned with how somebody else is finding the experience, or listening to your mate complain about their latest dramas with their friends.
Restaurants have cottoned on to the trend too, with several London dining establishments now accommodating solo diners. For example, at Taiwanese tea house Xu in Soho (pictured above), there are tables that have been specially designed for those dining on their own, while the counter at Benihana is the place to go if you want to indulge in top-quality Japanese food and a little culinary theatre.
In fact, chef’s tables and dining counters are a great way to first experience solo dining, as everyone else at the counter is normally flying solo too. At Temper in Soho (pictured above), you can sit around the counter which overlooks the restaurant’s central grill, while if you’re on the hunt for a Michelin-starred solo dining experience, plump for a seat at Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs, where you’ll watch the chef’s whip up a tasting menu right in front of your very eyes.
If you like the sound of any of the restaurants above for your first (or latest) solo dining experience, they are all available to book through OpenTable.
For a fuller picture of the capital’s solo scene, check out our pick of the best restaurants for solo dining in London.