Written as I sit alone at dinner in Spokane
  1. Start with other solo activities
    Eating was really the last thing I did alone after shopping, seeing a movie, going to a concert and travel related stuff. I feel like it's the most stigmatized thing to do alone so start with other things so you get comfortable
  2. Remember--Everyone is allowed to eat good food
    Whether you are going to do it alone or with a big group. Not having a dining guest doesn't take away this right!
  3. Keep in mind no one is paying attention to you
    Seriously. They're too wrapped up in themselves to worry about you. And if they are, who cares? You have delicious food to eat.
  4. Are you going to observe stuff or do stuff?
    Will you sit there quietly with your thoughts and eavesdrop (legit the best part of solo dining) or are you going to read a book/listen to a podcast/ make lists?
  5. Decide if you're a bar person or a table person
    When you're alone, they'll often offer you a seat at the bar. If I want to be quick I'll go for it but you risk conversation from people and bartenders. A table means more potential for people to think I'm being stood up but im down for providing people a narrative.
  6. Don't be afraid to be a little bold
    Your purpose is the meal--not catching up with friends or seeing family--so I always get a little more bold and may go somewhere that is booked or has a long wait time because 1 can make hosts a bit more sympathetic. But have a plan b in case!
  7. Be cautious too
    Your eyes may be bigger than your belly and there's no one to share the plates! Also, bc I have a Jewish mother, I never share tooooooo much w bar tenders or fellow bar mates because I am usually staying alone in a city that isn't mine.
  8. If you're super nervous, start somewhere you've been before
    You probably know where to park, when the busy times are and what you want to order. Great way to still be in a familiar situation with one new variable.
  9. Don't be afraid to phone a friend
    Call someone to chat! Don't be loud and rude, but pretend they are there with you. I once had a delicious meal at Fandango in Pacific Grove, CA and was on the phone with @sally the whole time.