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Is dining alone a problem where you live?

Queens, New York
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25,046 posts
12 reviews
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Is dining alone a problem where you live?

Every month or so, someone asks how to navigate the challenge of dining alone in NYC.

This makes me wonder if dining alone is such a cultural no-no in other cities or locales, foreign or domestic, that I should begin to worry. Do annoying beggars, crazy people or lonely hearts glom onto you in your part of the world?

I don't go on many business trips anymore, but when I used to go to D.C. regularly, I'd simply dine by myself, and didn't have, or recognize, any food or service problems.

United Kingdom
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304 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: Is dining alone a problem where you live?

Yes - I am originally from a small town in Scotland where, quite frankly, people would think you were a weirdo and/or loser for turning up at a restaurant on your own on a Saturday night.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Is dining alone a problem where you live?

QB--I lived in DC for a little while, and trust me, we were mocking you relentlessly. You just didn't notice. We called you the Solo Scarfer, and stories of your appearances were used to frighten children into behaving at bedtime.

Yalesville...
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3. Re: Is dining alone a problem where you live?

Well if you were treated like a weirdo or a loser, figure it out.

So, why did you not just stay home, if it was such a social stigma?

I just returned from lunch - at Dino's in North Haven, eating alone, well not really, there were 3 other guys and one woman all dining alone........waht's the big deal.

BTW I had the Dig Dog special with FFries and coleslaw with an unsweetened ice tea,.

New York City, New...
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for Yucatan Peninsula
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19,245 posts
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4. Re: Is dining alone a problem where you live?

In Central America women rarely go anywhere alone, so you get a lot of stares and questions. I'll never forget Christmas Eve in Roatan, when my friends were too tired from diving to go out to dinner, so I had to go alone. Every waiter in the place came over to ask why I was alone and where was my family. If they spoke better English, I might have sarcastically joked that I should kill myself now!

If I was a Christian who was upset that I was alone on Christmas Eve, did they think they were making me feel better? its just another night to me, but it drove me crazy!!!!

Silver Spring...
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10,740 posts
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5. Re: Is dining alone a problem where you live?

This comes up at Fodor's as well (usually in the Europe forum) and some of the posters will recommend to bring a high-falutin newspaper or magazine (ex. Financial Times) and flash it at the door to get more respect and better service as a solo diner.

Goofy, if you ask me.

New York City, New...
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1,384 posts
105 reviews
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6. Re: Is dining alone a problem where you live?

I was in Venice last month and they refused to seat me as a solo diner in a couple of places (arguing the restaurant was too small to have me take up a WHOLE table and that I would only be served at a large restaurant) and a couple of places rolled their eyes when I held up one finger (a polite finger mind you) but relented and sat me practically in the kitchen.

I was unprepared for that.

Syracuse, New York
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560 posts
119 reviews
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7. Re: Is dining alone a problem where you live?

I dine alone frequently because I am single and I do not like to cook.

I use to travel frequently on business and, again, dining alone was the norm for me. If I stayed in the hotels, I felt more at ease because other women and men were dining alone. If I ventured out, I would receive more stares etc. (especially in the southern states and the finer the establishment....the worst it was). I haven't traveled in a long time and I rather assumed things may have improved.

Today I still dine alone but I do not choose the finer restaurants. I always carry a book with me.

UK
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199 posts
8 reviews
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8. Re: Is dining alone a problem where you live?

First of all Poppa why don't you read the question properly, and then answer in a polite manner.

I have dined alone on a few occaisions with no problems in various countries, but I must admit they were not the over expensive eating places just a regular welcoming eating establishment.

In this multi national society I do believe standards are changing for the better.

Good luck wherever you go.

Queens, New York
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25,046 posts
12 reviews
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9. Re: Is dining alone a problem where you live?

This is very intersting. Thanks for the stories. It makes sense that it would be an issue or a curiosity more for women than men.

icf
stoke on trent
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1,222 posts
7 reviews
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10. Re: Is dining alone a problem where you live?

Tbh,i don't see many people dining alone in the uk,but what i have noticed from previous visits to nyc is that some single diners sit at the bar to have there meals,

tbh,if i was out on my own and wanted a meal in a pub it would not stop me,

Darren