Solo Travel/Travel Tips

Eating alone as a solo traveller: tips on the art of dining for one

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Last Updated on 15th February 2021 by Sophie Nadeau

I remember it like it was yesterday. I walked into the room, heart pounding, and a million thoughts racing through my head. No, I wasn’t about to take a particularly difficult exam. Instead, I was actually just about to dine in a restaurant. Alone. For the first time. But I needn’t have been worried! Eating alone as a solo traveller can be one of the most rewarding things you do on your travels. Here are five easy to follow, simple steps and practical advice for those dining alone:

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Solo Travel Tips- Eating alone as a solo traveller, the art of dining for one!

Start small

If you’re worried about going into a restaurant and ordering a three-course meal, don’t do it. (By the way, you never have to do this. If you fancy, you could spend every meal time simply eating gelato- that’s the beauty of travelling on your own).

Instead, start off small. Head to a coffee shop and get a latté or other drink you love alone, or order ice cream on your own. Practice until it feels more natural to walk in on your own (trust me, it gets easier every time). Plus, if you think about it, most people are probably wrapped up in their own situations to even notice that you’re dining alone!

Bring a book

If you feel strange about going totally alone, take a good book with you. That way, while you’re waiting for your food, you’ll have your favourite author to keep you company! If you’re in search of some reading material, then why not check out these books about France? Alternatively, you can always bring along your Kindle, or simply just your phone!

Don’t be too self-conscious

It’s easier said than done, but try not to feel too self-conscious when you’re ordering/ asking for a table. More often than not, chances are everyone’s too busy concentrating on their own meal (and their own lives) to even notice that you’re having a party for one! Try not to feel awkward and focus on your food, and enjoying this experience in becoming comfortable with your own company.

Bring along some language learning/ trip planning guides

If you’re dining alone, chances are you’re away from home, and maybe in a country where you don’t even speak the language that well. Bring along a phrase book (perhaps you can even practice with your waiter if the restaurants not too busy) or a guidebook to make plans for what to do tomorrow!

Chat with the staff!

If there’s the option to sit at the bar, then feel free to go there! I often do this, especially if I’m looking to enjoy a coffee or a small glass of wine. That way, you’ll always have the opportunity to sit and chat with the bartender if you’re feeling lonely. After all, they’ll often have the coolest stories and be more than happy to talk with you.

Focus on the positives

You choose the cuisine. You choose the budget. You choose the time. When you’re dining out with a friend, partner or family member (or worse still, your boss), you have to share the decision of where to go, what to eat etc.

You never have to worry about impressing anyone. Eating alone as a solo traveller means that, much like the rest of solo travel, you can do what you like, when you like! Oh, and no one judges you for getting that sauce on your jacket- oops! 

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Solo Travel Tips- Eating alone as a solo traveller, the art of dining for one!Eating alone as a solo traveller: tips, tricks and practical advice for those dining for one.

About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!


  • Christa Adams
    23rd May 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Yes! I love this post. There is beauty to eating alone. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Donna
    26th September 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Any suggestions for London at Christmas time?

    • Sophie Nadeau
      27th September 2017 at 2:52 pm

      I’m actually working on a post and will have a complete list of suggestions out in the next few weeks 🙂 In the meantime, I suggest things like Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum, visiting the Christmas markets at Hyde Park (which is also home to Winter Wonderland) and the Tate and seeing the Christmas lights along Oxford Street! I’ll have a more comprehensive list (with plenty of photos very soon) so I hope this was helpful in the meantime!

  • stephanie
    17th August 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Great article! Whenever I eat alone, I always bring a phone, a book or a diary that I can spend time on…. but I also think it is great to just look around….
    it might feel awkward, but it shouldnt be 🙂
    Whenever I travel I do not mind eating alone…….but in my hometown, I do not go out alone LOL

  • Tom
    16th August 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Sophie, it is amazing how much you travel?

    Do you actual do this solo?

    • Sophie Nadeau
      17th August 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Sometimes I travel alone, other times it’s away with friends. I go away once every month or two for a few days to somewhere in Europe or in the UK. It’s normally somewhere where I can stay with friends/ family, or if I’m collaborating with a brand or destination as this way I’m always able to constantly create new content, even while away. While I’m travelling, I’ll take dozens of notes and hundreds of photos so that I have plenty of content for when I’m not travelling. I’m lucky in that I work from home and so my schedule is quite flexible. As a result, I’m also able to go on a couple of day trips to somewhere in the West country each week to create new content and just get out of the house (from where I’m currently based in Devon). I studied for my degree in London and did a year abroad in Paris (which is where I made all my French content). So, as you can see, my content isn’t necessarily chronological at all and I do spend a lot of time at home creating/ writing/ researching and editing! However, I prefer it to be varied, which is why I try to do a different country/ destination each day, rather than focusing on one area, and then another etc.


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