When you’re a solo traveler, you have to get used to doing things on your own. Solo dining is one of them.
It seems a lot of people are really afraid of or at the very least mildly bothered by the idea of eating alone at a restaurant. I admit it, I used to put these ridiculous limitations on eating out, saying that a solo lunch was fine but somehow a solo dinner was too awkward.
I now realize that my way of thinking was not only illogical, but also unnecessarily negative. A meal out should be enjoyable, not just a way to keep your body fed, whether you’re solo dining or not.
Here are my top 5 reasons to take yourself out to a meal alone.
1. You can order whatever you want
Okay, you can order whatever you want with friends too, but be honest- do you always?
Solo dining means getting what you want, how you want it, and spending however much on it you want. No messy splitting of the bill.
No one else to judge you when they decide they aren’t very hungry, and you get dessert.
While I really believe you should always feel comfortable ordering whatever you want, we all know it’s much easier when there is no one to influence you with their cravings or budget. Solo dining is freedom. Repeat after me!
2. You can catch up on your reading
It can be so hard to find time to read when there are so many other distractions. While you are traveling you want to see and do everything, it’s hard to take a moment to just sit down and read.
When you go out to eat on you own, a book is an excellent companion. Don’t have a book? Pick up a magazine, a newspaper or just spend your time scanning a menu in a foreign language.
Solo dining gives you time to invest in some lovely quiet time.
3. Quality people watching
When you’re dining alone you are so much more aware of your surroundings. Pick a table near a window or with a good view of other tables in the restaurant and you are bound to spot some interesting people.
I love making up personalities and conversations for the people around me. Though dining solo seems intimidating at first, you might quickly find that you’ve spent your entire day just enjoying the scenery and the people watching from your little cafe!
4. Get some writing done
Whether it be poetry scribbled in a notebook or blogging on your laptop, you can get a lot of work done during a meal alone. You’ll also find that being alone in public with your notebook or laptop can really get you focused and immersed in your travels in a way the hostel couch cannot.
Grab your journal, settle in, and enjoy having some quiet time to get your thoughts on paper.
5. Take as long as you want
No rushing! You have only your schedule to deal with so you can enjoy as much food as you want while you read, write, people watch or whatever else you want to do. In fact, you can even admire that restaurant’s commercial kitchen equipment.
Remember to tip your server for their time, but other than that, dining solo means you’re really free to leisurely enjoy your meal.