Dine solo

Illustration by Mark Stivers

I enjoy eating out unaccompanied every so often. It’s a chance to treat myself to a delightful bit of alone time. I usually take a book along with me, but other times I go with nothing at all, as I’m perfectly complacent with simply people watching, idling with my own thoughts or simply focusing on the taste of the food.

There seems to be a stigma about eating out alone. Some may think that other diners may pity them or whatnot, but I don’t mind if they do. And, most likely, they probably aren’t.

I usually hit up small places I love, yet every so often, I go somewhere with a tablecloth and black-slacked waiters. What I do hate about dining alone then is making a reservation. “Oh, just you? That never happens. Just drop in. We’ll find a place.” I imagine them scribbling down to put the single in some dark corner. I guess single diners translate to little tip and a supposedly sad spectacle in the dining room.

On the plus side, though, I’m learning which places I can hit up without a reservation.