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Five of the City’s Best Spots for Solo Diners

SPQR counter

Your seat awaits at the kitchen counter at SPQR. Photo by Ed Anderson.

Some folks are uncomfortable dining out alone and would rather keep their eyes glued to their iPhone all night, while others enjoy the adventure of solo flight; it certainly makes it easy to meet new people, and to get to know the restaurant staff. Here are five of the city’s best counters where solo diners can score a totally delicious meal (and not feel like a freak).

 

Bar Tartine

Not only is this counter always packed with interesting people, but the menu really lends itself to solo dining. The hospitable staff has a passion for beverages, so expect to taste and learn about some unique beers and wines.

 

ICHI

Sushi bars are a natural spot for solo diners to gravitate toward; this Bernal Heights hotspot will not only have you well fed, but well-entertained, too. Order omakase from chef-owner Tim Archuleta, and let the show begin.

 

Kokkari

A favorite among bar diners, the staff here will treat you like a regular by your second visit. While the hearty, rustic Greek fare lends itself to sharing, you’ll just have to get used to the idea of having the best leftovers in the world the next day.

 

Nopa

One of the longer bars in the city, this is also one of the busiest (since you’re solo, you’ll have a better chance of scoring a spot). Nopa’s cocktails and wine list are legendary, so this is an ideal spot to learn about new things from the bartenders. With the kitchen open until 1 am, you won’t be alone while indulging in their famed burger late into the night.

 

SPQR

This popular Upper Fillmore restaurant has a fab wine bar where solo diners can happily perch (or snag a cozy seat facing the kitchen and watch the cooks’ busy ballet all night). A big advantage to dining solo here: You don’t have to share a single bite of chef Matthew Accarrino’s incomparable pastas.

 

Marcia Gagliardi is the editor of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe and read more at tablehopper.com. Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper.