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Posted at 5:10 PM ET, 02/14/2008

Solo Suppers

By Erin

The reasons for dining alone are many: It offers time to catch up on reading, your date is there, but invisible or you're just hungry. But dining alone can be a big pain. Restaurants are often loath to offer a coveted two-top table to just one being. Even the promise to eat two people's meals won't cut it. Fortunately, there are several spots that smile upon the solo.

The bar is a lovely thing for solos looking to make conversation. Bartenders are friendly and proximity to other people can often necessitate communication. A simple "how are you liking that burger?" can open up a world of topics with the right diner. In his solo bar piece last week, Fritz offered some good bars for singles, but I'll add a few with particularly good food.

Hook is the perfect destination for anybody who's dressed up. The bartenders are friendly and the bar always has a nice buzz.

On the opposite end of the poshness spectrum, I can drop in on the bar at Stoney's anytime for a Super Grilled Cheese. The bartenders are among my favorites in town and they usually acquiesce and flip the channel to my game of choice.

Buck's Fishing and Camping, Sakana and Cafe Atlantico are also go-to bars when I'm in the mood to dine without fanfare.

If you're hoping to avoid being judged by servers or interacting with them, head to a spot where you can place your order at the counter.
Vapiano is a breeze when it comes to interacting with staff. Place an order at the counter, eat at a communal table and pay at the door as you leave.

Teaism -- particularly the Dupont location -- is also good for low-maintenance counter service. If you're healthy, you can stick with a bento box. If you're prone to indulgences, you can get a Salty Oat Cookie or do a taste test between it and its chocolate cousin and the chocolate toffee. Then you can taste them with various teas and chai. That's the beauty of being there alone. Who will judge?

For the nights when you want to hunker down with a book, you'll find few better places than Busboys and Poets. I am always impressed with the stacks of impressive reading material on the various tables. If your dog-eared "War and Peace" is on loan to a friend, you can always stock up on interesting titles at the in-house bookstore.

--Erin

By Erin  | February 14, 2008; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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