THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SOLO DINING IN NYC

Grandlife guide

THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SOLO DINING IN NYC

back to list

Dining solo is a beloved pastime in New York. Every night of the week, New Yorkers can be found at bar stools and sidewalk tables across the city, savoring the pleasure of time spent alone. Here are some of the most welcoming places in lower Manhattan for your next solo cocktail or meal.

Rintintin

This petit bistro on Spring Street in NoLIta is a neighborhood favorite for flavors of the Mediterranean. By day, outdoor tables are topped with light fare like baba ganoush, while by night, aromas of slow-roasted lamb tagine fill the space. Solo diners will be equally comfortable at a sidewalk table, the cozy L-shaped bar, or one of the small booths. This restaurant’s intimate size often results in conversations sparked between fellow diners and bartenders.

14 Spring St, New York, NY 10012; T. (646) 666-0114

Tetsu

Located on a quiet block in TriBeCa, Tetsu is the relaxed sibling of Chef Masayoshi Takayama’s renowned sushi restaurant, Masa. Instead of sushi, the focus here is the robata, or grill. Seats at the long bar face chefs at work in the open kitchen preparing grilled skewers (try the pork belly or coco curry shrimp) along with rice and noodle dishes (order the ink pasta with bottarga). Diners seeking an exclusive experience may want to make a reservation at the counter in the omakase-only basement, where Chef Masa is often cooking in the open kitchen.  

78 Leonard St, New York, NY 10013; T. (212) 207-2370

Via Carota

This West Village trattoria is the Italian restaurant every New Yorker wishes was on their doorstep. It’s an ideal blend of rustic and refined, with a menu for every type of craving. For lunch, watch the neighborhood walk by at one of the sidewalk tables over a glass of wine and grilled artichokes. The bar has a welcoming atmosphere and bartenders happily chat about the wine list, cocktails, and snacks (don’t miss the ‘Nduja Arancini). Open daily until midnight, it is one of the neighborhood’s coziest spots for a late solo dinner; try the tortelli with smoked ricotta.

51 Grove St, New York, NY 10014; E. ciao@viacarota.com

Smith & Mills

A converted carriage house is the setting for one of TriBeCa’s tiniest and most intimate restaurants, Smith & Mills. A handful of stools at the bar are prime positions for watching bartenders mix cocktails until 2am (3am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). A small but varied menu includes raw oysters, a decadent cheese plate, and steamed mussels with toasted miche. No reservations are accepted, so solo diners can often squeeze in at the bar. A few sidewalk tables add extra space during the warmer months.

71 N Moore St, New York, NY 10013; T. (212) 226-2515

Acme

Formerly a New Nordic restaurant, Acme has been reinvented as a New American bistro. That means thoughtful cocktails, quality bar snacks, and a main menu with everything from a kale Caesar salad to brick chicken with shitake mushrooms. This restaurant on Great Jones Street in NoHo is divided into two floors; there’s a bar on the bustling main floor that’s welcoming to solo diners, while those seeking a quieter experience can grab a stool at the intimate cocktail bar downstairs where additional small plates are on offer.

9 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012; T.  (212) 203-2121

Café Select

From an early breakfast to afternoon drinks to late night snacks, this Swiss-inspired café on Lafayette Street offers a casual retreat at any time of day. Swing by first thing in the morning to grab a sidewalk table and read the newspaper over coffee and croissants, or opt for a hearty lunch of croque monsieur with melted gruyere at the bar. A friendly atmosphere and talkative bartenders keep the café steadily buzzing until 2am; dinner is served until midnight (check out the spätzli with wild mushrooms).

212 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012; T. (212) 925-9322

Words Jessica Colley Clarke

You May Also Like

New York Record Store Live Broadcasts events record labels commend Mexican Summer A1 Records Baby's All Right Baby TV The Lot Radio

Time for a Sonic Intervention

music
stories
Live broadcasts and rare releases—here’s what our favorite record labels, stores, and venues are up to. 
Downtown Cocktails to-go happy hour drinks new york

Happy Hour: Cocktails To-Go

stories
It's 5 o'clock somewhere...
Guide downtown delivery takeout wayan i sodi raoul's soho diner Miss lily's llama san il buco

Feed Me: Downtown Delivery & Takeout

food & drink
stories
Italian classics, bistro fare, island cooking and more—these local restaurants have you covered morning, noon and night.
Lower East Side New York shopping Boutique Designer Bode Maryam Nassir Zadeh Assembly Only NY Eckhaus Latta

Walk This Way: Boutique Shopping on the LES

shopping
stories
We’ve rounded up our favorite LES-based boutiques for your shopping pleasure. 
New York Spring Gardens Downtown Elizabeth Street Garden Gramercy Park Washington Square Park

Diggin' It: Downtown Garden Escapes

food & drink
stories
Lunch date, garden party, solo respite—these 5 outdoor spots have your alfresco needs covered.
Yayoi Kusama Cosmic Nature Brooklyn Botanical Garden may New York Art Exhibition

Spring Forward: Must-See Art Shows

art & design
stories
Art lovers, get that calendar app fired up and drop in these can’t-miss spring art shows.
Kerry Pieri Lauren McCarthy Gabrielle Korn Harpers Bazaar Nylon Editors Guide NYFW New York

NYFW: The Editors Have Spoken

fashion
stories
As the Fall Winter 2020 international runway collections kick off in New York, three heavyweight fashion editors share their insights.
Natural Organic wine Guide NYC Wildair Ten Bells Frenchette Racines Hemlock

Natural High: Where to Sip Organic Wine Downtown

food & drink
stories
If you ever needed a reason to drink wine, this is sure to be it.
Best Rate Promise
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000
The Roxy Hotel Tribeca

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600