There are plenty of reasons to dine solo. Maybe you’re an introvert who likes to feel like part of the scene or just simply can’t wait to finish the next chapter of a juicy bestseller. Whatever the reason, these eight Austin eateries provide the perfect spot for enjoying a little alone time.
Have a craving for late night waffles or want to fuel up prior to an early morning meeting? 24 Diner’s casual atmosphere is welcoming any time of the day. With a menu that includes comfort classics like biscuits and gravy and craft cocktails, this downtown diner draws in a diverse crowd — providing some of the best people-watching in the city.
One warning: The downtown location of this beloved cafe has tight quarters. If you truly want to be left alone, maybe order delivery instead. But if exchanging an occasional pleasantry in the bustling dining room isn’t a bother, its juicy burgers and rich eggs Benedict demand to be eaten on-site.
Elizabeth Street Cafe
One of Austin’s buzziest hot spots also makes for splendid solo dining thanks to the bar to the left of the entrance. Zone out while watching the hubbub in the kitchen or face the window to get in a little daydreaming time. Either way, the menu of Vietnamese entrees and French pastries is worthy of a reverie.
For the indecisive solo diner, Fareground’s vast dining options and ample seating make a quick lunchtime run or leisurely happy hour even sweeter. Order an Antonelli's cheese plate, a pretzel sandwich from Easy Tiger, or a kolache from Henbit. Then, settle down on the expansive outdoor patio with a good book.
Fine dining is usually considered a group activity, but this downtown Italian spot makes it work with front of the house seating and a large bar. Treat yourself to a big bowl of pasta and a glass of red from the extensive wine menu. (And be happy in the knowledge that this date is guaranteed to be a success.)
Dining alone doesn't have to mean eating in silence. Slide up to the bar at this East Austin farm-to-table restaurant and order a Water Moccasin shot. The upscale version of the dive bar favorite is sure to get the other patrons talking and maybe even joining in for a round or two. Soon, a solo outing becomes a full-on party.
Truth be told, ramen is not the most sociable of foods. For one, it’s difficult to make conversation while slurping heaps of noodles. Take advantage of the moment by turning off that phone and spend some time savoring the nuances of every bite.
Salt Traders Coastal Cooking
After a long day of work and seemingly endless Austin traffic, park it at the raw bar at this suburban hideaway, one of the coolest seats in town. The $1 Gulf oysters, snapper collar, and ceviche tostada feel like a quick vacation, and provides the perfect buffer between the office and home.