7 London restaurants for solo diners
Portions for one, window seats with a view, and stellar food.
London, my home, is a magical place full of multiculturalism, which feeds into its sprawling dining and drink options. In my 20s, I started to see the city through the eyes of a solo traveler, doing a bit of soul-searching while snacking in every café I could afford. What I found were options for just about everyone—from remote-work-friendly spots to fine-dining affairs with solo-friendly portions—that went far beyond the hyped restaurants at the top of everyone’s must-dine list (looking at you, Dishoom). As a local with a decade-plus of solo meals under my belt, these are some of my favorite spots to try whether you’re watching your budget or splurging on your next solo trip.
White Mulberries, London Bridge
Why it’s great for solo diners: Tasty banana bread, solo seating, and above-standard coffee
Stashed in Hays Gallery, White Mulberries is the spot for busy people looking for quiet time and a simple dining experience. Founded by a husband-and-wife duo, it honors their love of coffee, large acai bowls, and fully loaded banana bread (do not skip the banana bread). In London, coffee shops tend to blend together with their dark aesthetics and clean-cut countertops, but White Mulberries offers a refreshing change, with rustic interiors and softer tones. The natural light of the nearby Hays Galleries invites you to take your coffee into the adjoining space, surrounded by people chattering, laptops clicking, and water flowing from a nearby fountain.
Kin and Deum, Bermondsey
Why it’s great for solo diners: Fancy Thai food, window-facing solo dining, and an Instragrammable interior
Kin and Deum may look like a standard London spot from the outside, but inside, you’ll find beautiful designand Thai favorites with flair. The core menu is vegan with the option to add protein, making it suitable for any diet—the eggplant, tamarind garlic, and iced Thai tea are my faves. The price tag may leave you a fiver out of pocket, but you’re paying for the cool vibes and window-facing seating with plenty of natural light that’ll make your food pics shine.
Seven Dials Market, Covent Garden
Why it’s great for solo diners: Options for every budget, comfortable seats, and outlets
If you don’t have the time (or stamina) to wait in the winding lines at the original Dishoom, make the five-minute walk to the Seven Dials Market. On the ground floor, you'll find an inviting space equipped with outlets and co-working-style tables—ideal for catching up on work while enjoying a beverage. Or, venture to the basement where canteen-style tables await, surrounded by street food vendors offering hearty meals as affordable as $10. Options span karak chai, katai rolls, and even masala chips. It's a beautiful fusion of culture and charm.
Travelers say: "The variety on offer is impressive... I went on a Friday at 6 p.m. and it was busy but [I] got a seat pretty quickly as people rotate quite often, you don’t stay there for ages."—@MarinaLussich
Cheeky Scone, Notting Hill
Why it’s great for solo diners: Funky scones and quiet secret gardens
While wandering Notting Hill, I walked into the Cheeky Scone, best known for its funky scones—forget the traditional butter scone and try charcoal, lavender, or pandan-coconut scones accompanied by an English breakfast tea. It’s an interesting space to escape the city's hustle, too, with ample seating available downstairs and a secret back garden—a little hideaway to enjoy your treat. Everyone keeps to themselves; for those looking to recharge their social batteries, know that simply walking in feels like donning an automatic “do not disturb” sign.
Emilia's Crafted Pasta, East London
Why it’s great for solo diners: Small plates, beautiful views, and access to the chef's kitchen
Emilia’s Crafted Pasta is a quaint restaurant in St. Katherine’s Docks. The seating is especially great for solo diners: high chairs face the chefs' kitchen or look outside over water (and expensive river boats). Besides the menu (I recommend the burrata), the best thing about Emilia’s is the portion size. You can order smaller renditions of most entrees—at lower prices—making it an excellent spot to try everything from the menu without breaking the bank.
Tip: In the winter, outdoor diners can borrow a blanket for an extra cozy experience.
Travelers say: "I didn’t have reservations but came in decently early for dinner and they accommodated me immediately (with a table time limit, of course!). The server was super sweet (I hope she finds her place for university) and the food was amazing."—@kwest206
British Library London, Kings Cross
Why it’s great for solo diners: Free entrance, cultured cafe, and typical British menu
The British Library (which is free for all) houses a hidden gem for those seeking a snack or lunch. Its canteen-style cafe makes it easy to connect with others, talk about your latest favorite novel, and make a few friends. You can grab a coffee, croissant, and culture, all for less than £7—truly a bargain in London.
Love My Human, Chelsea
Why it’s great for solo diners: Animal-friendly and great for eating on a budget in a bougie part of town
Skip the pricey entrees of nearby Bluebird and walk a few doors down to Love My Human, the woman-owned cafe serving humans and animals alike (there’s a doggie daycare above the restaurant). The regular menu—filled with dim sum, a crunchy salad, and buckwheat pancakes—encompass modern British cuisine with a Vietnamese twist, while the dog-friendly menu has adorable cupcakes made specifically for Fido. You don’t have to have a four-legged companion to stop in, but with canines all around, the atmosphere alone can be a great salve when you're feeling stressed or lonely.
Tip: Grab yourself a table at the entrance with a cute window view into Chelsea—and access to all of the pets as they stroll through the door.