5 Best Spots for the Solo Diner



Some of you readers may or may not have noticed that I’m a bit of a loner.  This isn’t because I’m really unpopular or that I don’t have a lot of friends— although on a good day, I’ll hit the double digits in the friend department—but because I actually really enjoy spending time by myself. I think there’s something totally underrated about alone time.  I especially like eating alone and my buds here at Dispatch agree. In fact, my twitter identity is the @thelonelymower because I often “mow” (meaning to eat quickly/aggressively) alone. Thus, we bring you a list of five great spots to go and have a meal in the company of yourself in Portland. Enjoy!

1. David’s

When I’m feeling on the fancy side, I go to David’s. I love to come here for their last leg of happy hour when the other bar is packed and they have to “put” you at the other bar that faces the open kitchen. Their happy hour prices are great and I love watching the cooks in action.

2. Veranda Noodle Bar

Now, I know that “getting take-out” food is often stereotyped as being the loneliest of the lonely activities one can do by themselves, but I reject that notion! Especially when the Veranda Noodle Bar is involved. I spent years trying to find the greatest take-out spot in Portland, and when I recently tried Veranda’s dish V-15, I knew that this was the place. The food is so good you don’t even remember you’re alone.

3. Bonobo

There is nothing sweeter than the simplicity of a piece of pizza paired with a great beer. Of course, Bonobo’s pizza isn’t “simple”—it’s delicious! My favorite pie is the Gruyere with potatoes, prosciutto ham, spinach and leeks. I like to come here, grab a beer and gaze at all the trendy West End couples for entertainment.

4. Shays Grill Pub

This is Ali’s favorite spot to go be a loner at. She likes to bring a book and nom on the sweet and spicy chicken sandwich at their very spacious and gracious bar.

5. Pai Men Miyake 

This Japanese noodle house is great in the summer and winter. Their steaming hot, brothy soups are to die for (order a bowl of the miso, which comes with fatty, delectable pork belly on top—I’ll say it again: it comes with pork belly on top). As if that weren’t reason enough to chow down, their bartender is charming company for all you lonely mowers out there.


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