Is it weird to eat out alone? Sure, it’s a little embarrassing to be eating out alone in any restaurant where the tables are full of busy families or couples enjoying each other’s company.
But that doesn’t take away from the fact that you’re still hungry and there’s food to be eaten. Here are some ways to enjoy your meal and not look like you are totally down on your luck.
Reasons Why So Many People Eat Out Alone
That’s why many people prefer eating out solo! Let’s find out what are some reasons why so many people go on their own:
Home is sometimes too cozy and not always exciting enough. You’re forced to stay present in every moment while at a restaurant serving dozens of people who want your attention. The space seems to shrink around you, and there’s nothing more exciting than new people, sounds, and smells.
You can’t always get the same quality of food at home. But you can get pretty much anything when dining out single!
Usually, when eating alone, your interest level in what you are eating is higher than when you’re sharing a meal with others. So it gives you a chance to taste more carefully and learn more about what’s on your plate.
People have to work overtime to get out for dinner, and some people eschew the idea of eating alone and choose to take the night off.
People can only connect with others through eating in common places. When we share a meal with strangers, we’re more likely to interact than if we want to eat alone.
When people go out to eat on their own, they tend to enjoy their food more because they are paying attention and taking it in that much more minute detail. It’s a selfless act, really.
The Restaurant Industry
It’s no secret that the restaurant industry is one of America’s biggest and healthiest. It would literally tank without the millions of people eating out on their own!
It can be a good way to decompress from work since it gives you time to appreciate the food and befriend yourself.
The main reason for eating alone is that people enjoy time for self-reflection and relaxation, away from work and any daily stress. They want to recharge themselves after a long hard day, so they go out at night or on weekends with no obligations other than having fun!
Eating alone is also a personal experience. People are not expecting personal interaction nor to entertain someone else with stories.
Is It Weird To Eat Out Alone? 20 Tips For Eating Out Alone
Whether it’s your first time eating alone in public or you’re currently a regular lone wolf dinner diner, here are 20 tips to help you with your next solo dinner out.
1. Eat Dinner By Yourself
You don’t have to be too shy, and you can be as loud as you want. You can eat in front of the television, but that’s it. Have a nice dinner, share your experience, and most importantly, enjoy the moment!
2. Don’t Order Anything That’s Too Heavy Or Boring
You’re not a kid who needs something satisfying or filling to go with his meal! Pick something simple and light that goes well with rice, for example (“Sautéed rice noodles in peanut sauce” is always a safe bet).
3. Focus On Eating Slowly
This will relax your mind and allow you to engage with what you’re eating.
4. Drink With Your Meal
A nice glass of red wine is perfect with almost any dish!
5. Always, Always, Always Bring Cash
You can’t pay with a card in many places, so make sure to have cash for the bill.
6. Make Friends And Strike Up Conversations
If you are going out alone on purpose, why not make it social? Have fun, and people watch! Talk to strangers if you feel like it or sit quietly if that’s what you’d prefer.
7. Learn About Other People Eating By Themselves As Well
But without being creepy! You can also ask the waiter questions like “Is this place popular?” or “How often do you come here?”.
8. Look For New Restaurants
You’ll get to know and enjoy places you wouldn’t have otherwise.
9. Trust Your Instincts
If it’s not fresh, eat it! If it’s too heavy or if you don’t like the taste of it, avoid it and move on to the next place!
10. Ask The Waiter What They Recommend
They will be happy to hook you up with their personal favorite, so this is a great opportunity for you to learn about new places to eat in your area!
11. Don’t Make It A Big Thing
You’re not doing anything weird! Just put on your favorite music and have a good time!
12. Look At The Menu Carefully
You don’t want to order the same dish as other people if you can avoid it. Avoid ordering food that may cause severe allergic reactions— which is especially important if you have had an allergic reaction in the past.
13. What Are Some Of Your Favorite Places To Eat Out Alone?
When I eat with others, I often find that there is too much talking and not enough relaxing and enjoying my food, but when I eat alone, I am forced to slow down, enjoy my food, and enjoy what’s around me.
14. Go For Dessert
A piece of cheesecake just seems more satisfying than a slice of cake when you’re on your own.
15. Ask The Waiter To Bring You Something
I’ve done this with my boss, and it’s so much fun! You can always ask the waiter to bring you something like a small plate of pomegranate juice or a special soup that they’ve made especially for you!
16. Try New Things
You may find that there are new and exciting ways to eat out without a lot of people around. Enjoy them! They’re sure to be delicious because it’s all about what’s on your plate!
17. Try Different Types Of Restaurants
People rarely go to different kinds of restaurants on their own because they’re bored with the places they already know. This makes it easier for you to find new spots and discover a whole new side of your favorite cities!
18. Don’t Be Shy
Casual dining places are the best because you don’t have to feel like you’re on display. You can also be as loud as you want or even ask for suggestions from the wait staff. Nobody will judge you if you ask for something else or don’t like something!
19. Eat At Strange Times
There’s no rule of thumb or advice that I can give you when it comes to eating alone. Eat when you’re hungry, and don’t wait for any special occasion to indulge in your favorite comfort food.
20. Take A Risk
It’s true that not everyone is comfortable around people who eat alone, but I can tell you from experience that if you eat respectfully (and don’t get drunk), people will not be judgmental. In fact, most people will ignore you anyway!
Now go out there and have some fun! Join me on my blog for unique content about everything travel and lifestyle related…this time for the solo traveler!
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of amazing benefits to eating alone. You are allowed to indulge in delicious food, which can be hard to find on your own. You get to learn about new restaurants and enjoy life by yourself.
When you eat out alone, there is no need for a crowd or for someone to pretend that everything is okay when it’s anything but okay.
If you have friends who refuse to check in on you and make sure you’re okay, do yourself a favor and cut them out of your life! There are so many great people out there!