Flying solo in London and looking for a bite to eat? Well luckily for you, there are plenty of places where you can kick back and relax and enjoy your own company. From Fortitude’s al-fresco benches perched outside to the bar at Ravinder Bhogal’s award-winning restaurant Jikoni, here’s our rundown of the best spots for solo dining in London.
1. Popham’s, London Fields
Kicking off this roundup of the best places to enjoy solo dining in London is Popham’s – the beloved artisanal bakery and restaurant in London Fields. It’s the perfect spot for solo diners, whether you’re here for a lovely brekkie, lunch or dinner.
Grab a window seat for the day and people watch Hackney’s finest, fixie-bike hipsters with some of the city’s most inventive pastries, or pull up a stool at the bar in the evening and watch the chefs in the open kitchen hand-shape and serve some of the best pasta in London. No, we’re serious, it’s bloody good! If you’re in this neck of the woods, don’t worry. There are branches in Viccy Park and Islington too.
📍You’ll find Popham’s at 197 Richmond Road, London, E8 3NJ.
🚇 Nearest station is London Fields.
2. St. John Bread and Wine, Spitalfields
We’d argue that the dining room at St. John Bread & Wine is as familiar and comforting as your own home, and it’s not out of the ordinary to see solo diners take a pew around the outer bar or indeed at one of the wooden tables in the main dining room. The perfect spot for a meditative dinner for one, the lack of music, or art, draws focus instead to the clink of cutlery and the scraping of plates.
You can enjoy seasonal staples and St. John favourites like cod’s roe and pressed potato cake, their lip-smackingly good pies and freshly-baked madeleines – take home whatever you don’t finish for an evening treat. We know we would…
📍You’ll find St. John Bread and Wine at 94-96 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LZ.
🚇 Nearest station is Liverpool Street.
3. Jikoni, Marylebone
Award-winning chef and author Ravinder Bhogal brings cross-cultural ‘cooking without borders’ to her much-loved and critically-acclaimed Marylebone restaurant Jikoni. Solo diners looking to enjoy an array of creative and indulgent seasonal dishes inspired by Ravinder’s mixed-heritage and joyful approach to a melting pot of flavours can position themselves at the restaurant’s cosy bar, located in the centre of the restaurant.
It’s a real winner in our books, and you tuck into dishes including hot and sour sweetcorn risotto, roasted hake and butternut squash and a smoked quail salad with watermelon and feta. Sign us up!
📍You’ll find Jikoni at 19-21 Blandford Street, London, W1U 3DH.
🚇 Nearest station is Baker Street.
4. Humble Chicken, Soho
Humble Chicken is an ideal location for solo diners looking for a fine-dining experience in the heart of Soho, as it’s got an intimate 18-cover counter overlooking the chefs at work – what more could you ask for hey?
Considered one of London’s most ambitious chefs, Angelo Sato has curated a Japanese-led eight-course tasting menu with a European accent, taking inspiration from his East Asian roots, along with time spent working in some of the world’s greatest European kitchens. The sashimi here is absolutely brilliant, and they’ve also got grilled oysters too. Fancy pants!
📍You’ll find Humble Chicken at 54 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SJ.
🚇 Nearest stations are Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road.
5. Fortitude Bakehouse, Russell Square
Relaxed enough to pop by, but not too casual to make an event out of lunch, Fortitude Bakehouse serves an array of sandwiches, soups, salads and pastries that have earned them cult status and a legion of viral followers from across the capital and further.
Solo diners can relax on the al fresco benches on the mews bakery, tucked away from the bustle of Holborn and a quiet oasis for a dinner for one. Opt for a Kimchi and comté hand pie, or a chicken caesar sandwich, and then finish with a legendary beignet or Moroccan seaside doughnut covered in soft serve. Naps not required after, but strongly recommended.
📍You’ll find Fortitude Bakehouse at 35 Colonnade, London WC1N 1JD.
🚇 Nearest station is Russell Square.
6. Forza Wine, Peckham
Now we all know about Forza Wine right? This Peckham-based spot is a rooftop wine, cocktail and snack bar boasting some of the best panoramic views of London. Hosting diners with an ethos of ’it’s fast if you want it to be, or slow if you don’t’, solo diners can sip on a cherry negroni and snack on dishes like cauliflower fritti with aioli or panzanella or opt for their signature soft serve perched on the balcony while overlooking the London skyline at any time of the day. To be honest, you wouldn’t really wanna be anywhere else!
Heck – they even do frozen margaritas here too if you’re wanting a bit of a tropical vibe – and why not?
📍You’ll find Forza Wine at 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST.
🚇 Nearest station is Peckham Rye.
7. Carousel, Fitzrovia
Solo diners can sit and watch the world go by at Carousel’s wine bar, open from noon till night, now offering a set lunch menu. Perfect to enjoy on one’s own, the set menu is available Tuesday to Friday from 12pm to 3pm and is priced £22 for two courses and £25 for three. Example dishes include merinda tomatoes, aged manchego, agridulce or leeks, asparagus, sesame followed by mains, with options including pumpkin, kimchi, kale, labneh or turbot, smoked butter, chintextle, spinach, which pair deliciously with any of Carousel’s 100-strong list of natural wines.
📍You’ll find Carousel at 19-23 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 1RW.
🚇 Nearest station is Goodge Street.
8. Origin Coffee, Shoreditch and Southwark
Origin Coffee is the perfect escape from their busy city, in a group, couple or solo. With sites in Shoreditch and Southwark, visitors are encouraged to sit in and take a pause. As coffee experts, on the menu are specialist house blends to be enjoyed any way you like from a cold brew to a flat white, or even a coffee soft serve on a hot Summer afternoon in their Southwark cafe. Pastries are available until they sell out, but the daily changing menu includes sweet treats like pastel de natas, chocolate and buckwheat cookies, and yummy filled doughnuts too.
📍You’ll find Origin Coffee at various different locations in London. You can find out more here.
9. Rockwell at the Trafalgar St. James Hotel, Charing Cross
Rockwell at the Trafalgar St. James Hotel in Central London is certainly a vibey spot for a drink – particularly if it’s free may we add – and that’s exactly what you get when you’re dining solo here! The tropical spot overlooks the landmark Trafalgar Square, and they also whip up some fantastic cocktails here too. Ideal!
📍You’ll find Rockwell at the Trafalgar St. James Hotel, 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, St. James’s, London, SW1A 2TS.
🚇 Nearest station is Charing Cross.
10. Cento, South Kensington
Rounding off this list of the best places for solo dining in London is Cento – a cherished Italian restaurant set right in the heart of bougie South Kensington. It’s set within the five-star 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel, and is a haven of beautiful floral arrangements and plush furnishings, with a menu featuring the very best of traditional Italian cuisine.
If you’re going solo here, you’ll be welcomed with an aperitivo on arrival (winner, winner), and you can tuck into delightful dishes like spinach gnocchi, chicken milanese and lobster ravioli, and then finish up with some tiramisu. When in Rome…
📍You’ll find Cento at 100 Queen’s Gate, Kensington, London, SW7 5AG.
🚇 Nearest station is South Kensington.
So there you have it – a rundown of the best places to enjoy solo dining in London. So if you’re ever on your tod fear not dear reader! There are loads of places in town to go solo and tuck into some excellent grub!