Suddenly hungry but far from home and no one available to join you at a restaurant on short notice? Driving by a restaurant you’re eager to try but not comfortable requesting a table for one? Realize the refrigerator is empty but don’t want to shop, prep, cook and then clean up when you can much more easily head to a favorite restaurant for an impromptu meal?
Eating out doesn’t always have to be a group effort. Singling out the right spot for a solo breakfast, lunch, or dinner may actually empower you to master the art of eating alone.
Whatever the reason your dining reservation dwindles to a party of one, there are places that make it less conspicuous and more comfortable than others to go out to eat and mingle as a single.
Check out these locations in Tampa for good food and a chance to enjoy your own good company.
Bazille is typical of bistros located inside major department stores, particularly in places like New York and Chicago. Found on the second floor of Nordstrom at International Plaza, this lovely dining spot is as stylish and smart as the fashions featured throughout this store.
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Guests may be seated among others on a lunch break from a nearby workplace, across from acquaintances leisurely catching up with friends over food, or alongside avid shoppers taking time out from their retail rounds to fuel up or sip cocktails. Crowds come here dressed for success, attired in the latest trends or looking chicly casual, so feel free to dress up, dress down, or just make your own fashion statement while dining here.
Counter seats place guests within a comfortable conversational range to engage with the culinary team and mixologists, providing ample opportunity to ask questions, observe them in action, or survey the entire room.
Otherwise, select a booth or table, many featuring window views, or just observe as others arrive clutching bags, hangers, and boxes containing their latest retail conquests.
A bright, bold decor and lively, boisterous crowds define the morning-to-nighttime dining scene at this re-imagined version of an iconic Tampa brand. The original Goody Goody quickly became a local favorite for its signature burgers and homemade pies when it opened in 1925, but its doors closed in 2005 leaving longtime fans with only memories.
Years later, renowned restauranteur Richard Gonzmart of Columbia Restaurant fame announced he was bringing the beloved brand back.
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With its selection of swivel chairs bordered the counter and old-school style of combination desk and chair seats, there’s no need to be holding down a table or booth by yourself.
This place is not just fun to look at but fun to be at because of the vibrant decor, interesting wall decorations, attention to detail found throughout, and the warmth everyone working here exudes that makes everyone dining here feel like they’re a part of a big, extended family.
The popular diner-style restaurant occupies a street corner in the heart of Hyde Park Village, ensuring there’s always something- or someone- of interest passing by.
Sometimes an intimate, sedate space offers the best escape from crowds and clamor for someone with an appetite but no one else along for the meal.
The scale of this restaurant also makes it a much more personable place, in comparison to so many that look, and feel, large and unwieldy.
There are a few seats at the bar that put people in a close proximity to the culinary professionals at work to observe all that happens as it happens in the cozy, open kitchen. It’s a perfect perch for those who love to watch sushi and sashimi carved and created.
Servers are happy to offer recommendations, explanations, and guidance through the modern Japanese menu, so feel free to ask questions before deciding to order a la carte or indulge in an omakase experience, comprised of seven or 15 courses.
This is fresh, flavorful food beautifully prepared and presented, so take advantage of focusing on it rather than a conversation.
Discover by yourself, and for yourself, why the Tampa Bay Times ranks Noble Rice among the top 10 restaurants in Tampa Bay.
Pop into this inviting cafe for freshly-baked pastries, made-to-order pizzas or flatbreads, housemade pasta, and more. You’ll celebrate every single bite without having to take a break to make conversation or talk with your mouth full. The food is that good! So good you don’t want anything to interrupt your eating enjoyment.
Located near the University of Tampa and within view of Downtown Tampa, all guests are immediately greeted by tantalizing aromas from the kitchen, displays of colorful, creative, hard-to-resist sweets, and the sound of French accents welcoming you.
Owned and operated by two brothers who moved to Tampa from France, they make all of the food, take orders from all of the guests, and keep checking on, and chatting with, you throughout your meal.
Or you can opt to sit outside and pretend you have been transported to a French cafe while you sip coffee, raise a glass of wine, or nibble on those delicate and oh-so-very-delicious pastries that proved impossible to ignore.
There are a lot of restaurants in the area, but these are some of the best places to eat out alone in Tampa. Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Goody Goody interior image provided by Goody Goody. TamPIZ interior image courtesy of TamPIZ.