We did a straw poll amongst our friends and family and unsurprisingly established that there are two types of people when it comes to eating alone; those who love the peace and solitude and would happily luxuriate for hours at a table for one, and those who see it as an introvert’s nightmare, only to be undertaken when necessity (i.e. extreme hunger) dictates. Eating alone has some up-sides though; you’re more likely to nab a space without a reservation, you can spend as long as you want staring at your phone, and you get to order exactly what you want. Any restaurant can accommodate a solo diner (how willing they are is another story), but some are that bit more suited to eating alone than others, whether because of the layout of the room, the menu, or the seating options. These are some of our favourites.
Little Mike’s, Mount Merrion
One of our favourite things to do while eating alone is to sit on a high stool, and watch the world around us, and the counters at Little Mike’s offers views out onto the street or into the kitchen to see the chefs at work. The menu features small and big plates so you’ll plenty to suit all appetites, there’s a decent choice of wines by the glass, and you’ll be welcomed so warmly that you’ll feel like you’re amongst friends. Pro tip: get the seafood bowl. Rarely will you have the opportunity to save something so delicious all to yourself.
Gertrude, Pearse St
With a selection of books available for anyone to pore over while they eat, Gertrude is the perfect spot to take a bit of you-time. The big communal table along the middle is regularly occupied by individuals and small groups, and the menu comprises a mix of snacks and full meals so you’re covered whether you want a quick bite or something more substantial. Another big plus is the desserts, all priced at €6 or under and the perfect portion for one. They've stopped opening in the evenings (we're not sure if that will return at any point), so breakfast, brunch or lunch are your only options for this one. Read our Gertrude once over here.
Laine My Love, Talbot St
Laine My Love on Talbot Street features some of the most adorable tiny tables designed for you and you alone. Perfect for when you don’t want to feel in the way, but still want really great coffee and food. It’s also right near Connolly Station so ideal if you’re catching a train and can’t face a pre-packed sandwich.
Queen of Tarts, Dame Street and Cow’s Lane
Both Queen of Tarts locations have plenty of little nooks so you can retire to a quiet corner, or sit outside on the Cow’s Lane terrace to soak up some buzz on a sunny day. The soup option changes regularly, the salads are fresh, and the cakes are famously good. Just make sure you order enough for the whole table.
L. Mulligan Grocer, Stoneybatter
It seems the whole word is in love with Stoneybatter right now, with Timeout recently calling it Dublin's coolest neighbourhood. L. Mulligan Grocer has long been setting out the D7’s neighbourhood’s stall as a destination for Irish food, and dining alone will be no barrier. The vibe in LMG is laid back and friendly, with a carefully curated drinks menu, and lots of food and drink options. Have a scotch egg in the snug, or chat to the friendly bar staff if you want a bit of interaction and an education on all things beer.