Travelling solo should never mean having to compromise on good food. From counter dining and welcoming pubs, to communal tables and supper clubs, check out our guide on where to eat in London for solo travellers without feeling uncomfortable.
*Please stay up-to-date with local regulations and maintain social distancing.
One of the best ways of dining solo without the awkwardness is to pull up a counter seat where you can watch the chefs at work without having to face other diners. London has plenty of great restaurants with counter seating, from luxury hot-dogs and champagne at Bubble Dogs, to Japanese cuisine at Roka, there’s a counter restaurant for everyone.
Nobody will raise an eyebrow if you walk into a pub by yourself for a beer and a meal, it’s also a great place to try traditional British pub food and you can choose to either spend time alone or talk to other customers if you’re feeling sociable. If you want to mingle with locals try avoiding the pubs in major tourist areas and venturing out a little to the more suburban parts of the city.
There’s plenty of restaurants in London where customers are placed on large communal dining tables, making it difficult to tell who is by themselves and who is in a group. Communal dining setups also make it easier to chat with fellow diners if you wish to. Some of the best affordable communal dining restaurants include cheap and cheerful Asian chain Wagamama’s, European bakery Le Pain Quotidien, and hipster burger joint, Meat Liquor.
London’s recent explosion of immersive dining events have taken eating out to a whole new level, providing entertainment for diners in group settings designed to create an experiential event. Although these tend to be on the slightly expensive side, if done well it’s worth the cost of the ticket. Popular immersive dining events in 2020 in London include the Secret Cinema events which theme each experience around a popular movie, and the Medieval Banquet which features entertainment such as sword-fighting, dancers, and juggling.
Supper Clubs & Foodie Meetups
London supper clubs are social dining events that are held in unusual locations and are a great way of meeting new people. Some of the quirkier venues include Supperclub Tube that serves up a 6-course Latin tasting menu inside of an old tube-train carriage, and The Disappearing Dining Club, whose past venues have included clothing stores and rooftops. As for Meetup Groups, there’s plenty of different options to suit your interests, from vegan events to café hangouts.
Designed for travellers, OodyMate is a free-to-use app that allows you to connect with locals in the city you’re visiting to find great restaurants without spending hours researching on the internet or paying to join expensive food tours. Simply download the app, post a request and arrange your meetup. You can choose in advance whether you want to split the bill or treat your local host, and you can easily customize your request based on your dietary requirements or interests. Try it here