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Dining room of La Bonne Table, with an intimate bar, tables and bright interior.
Dining room of La Bonne Table.
La Bonne Table

Where to Dine Solo in San Diego

Eat a meal by yourself in comfortable bars and quiet dining rooms

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Dining room of La Bonne Table.
| La Bonne Table

When it comes to creating a true solo dining experience, some places are better than others. It’s gotta feel right. (You can’t be made to feel weird about it or like you’re taking up too much space or like your date ghosted you.) It’s gotta look right. (We’re leaving out places where you can dine alone and highlighting places where you should dine alone because they’re just lovely.) And it’s gotta taste right.

So whether you’re sitting down for a midweek lunch or taking yourself out for a special-occasion dinner, here’s where to enjoy a fabulous meal in your own company.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Lobster West

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Lobster roll lovers know that when the craving hits, it doesn’t matter if you’re alone or in a group of 20: You just need to make a beeline for the nearest source. This shaded spot in Encinitas is in the middle of one of San Diego’s more charming strip malls, but Lobster West operates another location in Coronado.

The exterior of Lobster West in Encinitas, with steps leading to a patio covered by a white roof. The door leading inside is in the background.
The exterior of Lobster West in Encinitas.
Lobster West

NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar

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Whether you’re a tourist in the area or a local who wants to savor a well-crafted meal in an elegant setting, NINE-TEN delivers. Gracious bar seating is one option, but its tables for two are actually sized just right for one. Recent offerings include Japanese sweet potato agnolotti with thyme-roasted Bosc pear, Point Reyes blue cheese, and crispy Brussels sprout leaves, a roasted cauliflower steak with pine nuts, mint, parsley, raisins, cipollini onion, sprouting cauliflower, and a romesco yogurt sauce, and eight house cocktails.

Halibut with summer squash, zucchini and corn, displayed on a plate, photographed from above. The food is colorful and the plate is a dark slate.
Halibut with summer squash, zucchini and corn.
NINE-TEN

Taegukgi Korean BBQ

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It’s hard to find an AYCE Korean barbecue spot that allows solo diners, but Taegukgi plays by different rules. So here, lone barbecue hunters can have it all: a spacious and bright dining room, friendly staff, and all the glorious sirloin, pork belly, and octopus they can devour (within the two-hour time limit).

Palmys Cafe

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This tranquil corner coffee shop and restaurant in Pacific Beach has always been a haven for solo diners, students, and bohemian souls, whether it was Cafe 976 back in the day, or any of its more recent reincarnations. This freshly updated, Aussie-inspired restaurant and cafe has tables scattered around its ample shaded garden. Grab a menu, grab a book, and commence your perfect afternoon.

Lucianna McIntosh

Woody's Breakfast & Burgers

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This unfussy beachfront eatery is the perfect spot to grab a simple, reassuring bite (breakfast burrito, yogurt bowl, chicken fingers, and more) and feast on the view.

Bleu Bohème

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French comfort food, friendly staff, classic French mixed drinks, a covered patio, and a long bar that seems plucked out of a village in the Dordogne make this a lovely locale for a relaxed, indulgent meal.

Bleu Bohème’s long bar, with bottles of liquor on one side and tables on another. Above are wooded ceiling beams.
The bar at Bleu Bohème.
Bleu Bohème

Tajima Ramen North Park

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Pair its from-scratch ramen (which comes in both classic and creative takes) with a seat at the bar or a communal table and you are set. Tajima’s locations around North Park, East Village, and a few other spots ensure that within central San Diego, ramen is just a bike ride or quick drive away.

Fort Oak

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This bustling Mission Hills restaurant is perfectly suited to people feasting alone. Find a perch at the bar, where you can survey the whole scene, inside and out, while savoring the creativity of chef Brad Wise.

The whimsical yet cool bar at Fort Oak, has tile floors, blue paneling and vintage industrial chairs.
The bar.
Fort Oak

Sushi Deli 1

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This casual sushi restaurant (with another location in Kearny Mesa) draws crowds for miles, and especially if you’re traveling light — solo, that is — it’s an easy spot to pop in, devour a roll or two, and take off.

La Bonne Table

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For someone eating alone, this tiny gem of a French restaurant in Hillcrest might just feel like the hug you didn’t know you needed. Friendly staff, well-executed French standards, and a petite dining room scaled for intimacy (and eavesdropping, shh) all give this place its warm, welcoming aura.

Underbelly North Park

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One key advantage to dining solo at Underbelly: It will be a lot easier to find a table at this North Park hot spot, where lines at peak dining times can reach down the block. At off times, it’s a peaceful spot to grab a bowl of warm, silky goodness and take in the fresh air and the action on 30th Street.

Liberty Public Market

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This market has a daily and weekly rhythm: quiet hours, meal time hustles, the tourist frenzy. When you’re flying solo, any of these moments is perfect. Alone, you can weave through the crowds faster, find seating more easily and make decisions on the fly. Burger, oysters, or beignets? Yes, please. (Dinner seekers, be alerted that it shuts down on the early side — at 7 p.m.)

CUCINA urbana

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This Bankers Hill institution may be great for large groups, girls nights and date night, but it’s also ideal for solo dining at the bar when you want to do right by yourself. You could go dainty, with a small plate or two. Or go Italian (pizza, pasta, yum). Or go umami (e.g., their roasted carrot, beet, goat cheese, hazelnut, and pomegranate mostarda). Or you could go big, with a whole roasted fish, a side of foccacia, and a bottle of their finest gruner Veltliner. 

Cucina URBANA’s dining room, with two tables against a wall. On the far side is bench seating with pillows in warm, subdued colors, and on the near side there are two chairs.
Cucina URBANA’s dining room.
Cucina URBANA

Point Loma Seafoods

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This venerable waterfront restaurant and market is now almost 50 years old — it opened in 1963. Order some sushi, a seafood plate, or a seafood salad, then head up to the broad terrace for views of the bay and seagulls duking it out over fallen French fries.

A pair of gloved hands are preparing raw swordfish. The meat is a rosy pink color and the gloves are bright blue.
Swordfish being prepped at Point Loma Seafoods.
Point Loma Seafoods.

Little Italy Food Hall

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There are many great places to dine solo in Little Italy, from casual pizza by the slice to somewhat more formal restaurants. This elevated food court, with its oblong bar dropped in the middle of the action and several excellent dining options (from rice bowls to gelato), might be the most exciting in terms of people-watching.

The food hall has soaring ceilings. In the background is vendor Mein St. Asian Kitchen. On the right is the bar.
Interior of the food hall.
Littly Italy Food Hall

Westgate Dining Room Plaza Bar

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This upscale piano bar has a rotating roster of performers, such as jazz trumpet great Gilbert Castellanos and versatile jazz flutist Holly Hofmann. On the menu: seafood chowder, Kobe burger, a black truffle and leek quiche, and feeling like royalty (or James Bond).

Lobster West

The exterior of Lobster West in Encinitas, with steps leading to a patio covered by a white roof. The door leading inside is in the background.
The exterior of Lobster West in Encinitas.
Lobster West

Lobster roll lovers know that when the craving hits, it doesn’t matter if you’re alone or in a group of 20: You just need to make a beeline for the nearest source. This shaded spot in Encinitas is in the middle of one of San Diego’s more charming strip malls, but Lobster West operates another location in Coronado.

The exterior of Lobster West in Encinitas, with steps leading to a patio covered by a white roof. The door leading inside is in the background.
The exterior of Lobster West in Encinitas.
Lobster West

NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar

Halibut with summer squash, zucchini and corn, displayed on a plate, photographed from above. The food is colorful and the plate is a dark slate.
Halibut with summer squash, zucchini and corn.
NINE-TEN

Whether you’re a tourist in the area or a local who wants to savor a well-crafted meal in an elegant setting, NINE-TEN delivers. Gracious bar seating is one option, but its tables for two are actually sized just right for one. Recent offerings include Japanese sweet potato agnolotti with thyme-roasted Bosc pear, Point Reyes blue cheese, and crispy Brussels sprout leaves, a roasted cauliflower steak with pine nuts, mint, parsley, raisins, cipollini onion, sprouting cauliflower, and a romesco yogurt sauce, and eight house cocktails.

Halibut with summer squash, zucchini and corn, displayed on a plate, photographed from above. The food is colorful and the plate is a dark slate.
Halibut with summer squash, zucchini and corn.
NINE-TEN

Taegukgi Korean BBQ

It’s hard to find an AYCE Korean barbecue spot that allows solo diners, but Taegukgi plays by different rules. So here, lone barbecue hunters can have it all: a spacious and bright dining room, friendly staff, and all the glorious sirloin, pork belly, and octopus they can devour (within the two-hour time limit).

Palmys Cafe

Lucianna McIntosh

This tranquil corner coffee shop and restaurant in Pacific Beach has always been a haven for solo diners, students, and bohemian souls, whether it was Cafe 976 back in the day, or any of its more recent reincarnations. This freshly updated, Aussie-inspired restaurant and cafe has tables scattered around its ample shaded garden. Grab a menu, grab a book, and commence your perfect afternoon.

Lucianna McIntosh

Woody's Breakfast & Burgers

This unfussy beachfront eatery is the perfect spot to grab a simple, reassuring bite (breakfast burrito, yogurt bowl, chicken fingers, and more) and feast on the view.

Bleu Bohème

Bleu Bohème’s long bar, with bottles of liquor on one side and tables on another. Above are wooded ceiling beams.
The bar at Bleu Bohème.
Bleu Bohème

French comfort food, friendly staff, classic French mixed drinks, a covered patio, and a long bar that seems plucked out of a village in the Dordogne make this a lovely locale for a relaxed, indulgent meal.

Bleu Bohème’s long bar, with bottles of liquor on one side and tables on another. Above are wooded ceiling beams.
The bar at Bleu Bohème.
Bleu Bohème

Tajima Ramen North Park

Pair its from-scratch ramen (which comes in both classic and creative takes) with a seat at the bar or a communal table and you are set. Tajima’s locations around North Park, East Village, and a few other spots ensure that within central San Diego, ramen is just a bike ride or quick drive away.

Fort Oak

The whimsical yet cool bar at Fort Oak, has tile floors, blue paneling and vintage industrial chairs.
The bar.
Fort Oak

This bustling Mission Hills restaurant is perfectly suited to people feasting alone. Find a perch at the bar, where you can survey the whole scene, inside and out, while savoring the creativity of chef Brad Wise.

The whimsical yet cool bar at Fort Oak, has tile floors, blue paneling and vintage industrial chairs.
The bar.
Fort Oak

Sushi Deli 1

This casual sushi restaurant (with another location in Kearny Mesa) draws crowds for miles, and especially if you’re traveling light — solo, that is — it’s an easy spot to pop in, devour a roll or two, and take off.

La Bonne Table

For someone eating alone, this tiny gem of a French restaurant in Hillcrest might just feel like the hug you didn’t know you needed. Friendly staff, well-executed French standards, and a petite dining room scaled for intimacy (and eavesdropping, shh) all give this place its warm, welcoming aura.

Underbelly North Park

One key advantage to dining solo at Underbelly: It will be a lot easier to find a table at this North Park hot spot, where lines at peak dining times can reach down the block. At off times, it’s a peaceful spot to grab a bowl of warm, silky goodness and take in the fresh air and the action on 30th Street.

Liberty Public Market

This market has a daily and weekly rhythm: quiet hours, meal time hustles, the tourist frenzy. When you’re flying solo, any of these moments is perfect. Alone, you can weave through the crowds faster, find seating more easily and make decisions on the fly. Burger, oysters, or beignets? Yes, please. (Dinner seekers, be alerted that it shuts down on the early side — at 7 p.m.)

CUCINA urbana

Cucina URBANA’s dining room, with two tables against a wall. On the far side is bench seating with pillows in warm, subdued colors, and on the near side there are two chairs.
Cucina URBANA’s dining room.
Cucina URBANA

This Bankers Hill institution may be great for large groups, girls nights and date night, but it’s also ideal for solo dining at the bar when you want to do right by yourself. You could go dainty, with a small plate or two. Or go Italian (pizza, pasta, yum). Or go umami (e.g., their roasted carrot, beet, goat cheese, hazelnut, and pomegranate mostarda). Or you could go big, with a whole roasted fish, a side of foccacia, and a bottle of their finest gruner Veltliner. 

Cucina URBANA’s dining room, with two tables against a wall. On the far side is bench seating with pillows in warm, subdued colors, and on the near side there are two chairs.
Cucina URBANA’s dining room.
Cucina URBANA

Point Loma Seafoods

A pair of gloved hands are preparing raw swordfish. The meat is a rosy pink color and the gloves are bright blue.
Swordfish being prepped at Point Loma Seafoods.
Point Loma Seafoods.

This venerable waterfront restaurant and market is now almost 50 years old — it opened in 1963. Order some sushi, a seafood plate, or a seafood salad, then head up to the broad terrace for views of the bay and seagulls duking it out over fallen French fries.

A pair of gloved hands are preparing raw swordfish. The meat is a rosy pink color and the gloves are bright blue.
Swordfish being prepped at Point Loma Seafoods.
Point Loma Seafoods.

Little Italy Food Hall

The food hall has soaring ceilings. In the background is vendor Mein St. Asian Kitchen. On the right is the bar.
Interior of the food hall.
Littly Italy Food Hall

There are many great places to dine solo in Little Italy, from casual pizza by the slice to somewhat more formal restaurants. This elevated food court, with its oblong bar dropped in the middle of the action and several excellent dining options (from rice bowls to gelato), might be the most exciting in terms of people-watching.

The food hall has soaring ceilings. In the background is vendor Mein St. Asian Kitchen. On the right is the bar.
Interior of the food hall.
Littly Italy Food Hall

Related Maps

Westgate Dining Room Plaza Bar

This upscale piano bar has a rotating roster of performers, such as jazz trumpet great Gilbert Castellanos and versatile jazz flutist Holly Hofmann. On the menu: seafood chowder, Kobe burger, a black truffle and leek quiche, and feeling like royalty (or James Bond).

Related Maps