The Best Atlanta Restaurants For Dining Solo
photo credit: Cameren Rogers
We’re calling bullsh!t on the philosophy that good food is meant to be shared. We’ve had some seriously good meals that were soured by unsavory tablemates. Dining alone is sometimes preferable—if not a necessity. And we don’t really care whether you’re looking to carve out a little more “me” time, breaking free from deep-seated co-dependency issues, or just can’t stand people who talk with their mouths full. But we do care that you get the best meal possible. All for yourself.
A reservation guarantees you a private booth in Nagomiya, but you can also likely grab one if you just walk into this Midtown izakaya during lunch hours. Draw the yellow curtain to close your private dining booth, so you can tune out the outside world and even eat your giant lobster tempura rolls with a fork if you desire. Then take out a book. Hell, start a new television series since their giant menu of solid Japanese small plates, ramen, and sushi options give you every reason to make this a long, multicourse meal. A button discreetly summons the wait staff if and when you decide you’re ready for another Sapporo beer.
While most of the high-end omakase tables in this city prioritize two-person reservations, Omakase Table welcomes the single reservation. And those solo guests are usually given prime real estate at the 12-seat counter—right in front of the head chef, who if asked, might give you a glimpse of his prized collection of heirloom sushi knives. The meal will run you $235, but with more than 20 courses, which include some super silky cuts of toro and kanpachi, Omakase Table is well worth the birthday treat or special occasion gift to yourself.
The Local has been a go-to watering hole and wing-lovers paradise off Ponce for decades. It’s easy to dismiss this O4W bar as a group-only destination, particularly because of their infamous (and rowdy) Monday night karaoke sessions. But eating here alone has some perks. For starters, Local’s wings are legendary (among the best in the nation), so we wouldn’t sacrifice our last lemon pepper drum for anything—not even another Braves championship. And because the wings regularly sell out, more dinner friends just means more competition. As a bonus, it’s never awkward here because the divey neighborhood bar atmosphere always makes us feel right at home.
Let sounds of hamburger patties sizzling on the griddle lead you back to the counter at Little’s, a Cabbagetown grocery store and grill. Just think of it as a quick pit stop at a convenience store to pick up a few essentials. And nothing is more essential than a classic cheeseburger. Neighborhood folks moseying in to grab a tube of toothpaste or a soda are quick to say hello, giving the place a friendly small-town feel. While most people take their food to go, it’s almost spiritually enlightening to devour one of the city’s best burgers in relative silence without feeling rushed by servers eager to turn their table.
Monday and Sunday nights (a.k.a. Monday eve) notoriously suck and are the days we most-prefer to sulk alone. The pop-up So So Fed is the perfect remedy because they operate out of OK Yaki’s kitchen in EAV on those two nights. A solo seat at the uber casual bar provides the company of chefs who churn out Lao dishes like thom khem moo with tender pork sitting in a cilantro soy broth. Although one bite of their spicy red curry beef noodle soup won’t magically solve our sour mood, it makes us hate the beginning of the week a little less.
Old-school, classic diners like The Majestic in Poncey Highland are basically designed for solo diners. Single-seat red leather booths and a row of stools at the counter welcome loners like us to sit for a spell and self-reflect over a plate of fluffy biscuits and gravy with chopped up sausage bits. When we need alone time to calm our thoughts, the smell of bacon sizzling on the griddle and the familiar rattle of pots and pans cradle us with sensory comfort as we gaze out at the ever-present traffic on Ponce. It’s a rite of passage to join the generations of Atlantans who have sat alone on a stool inhaling their reliable breakfast and lunch offerings since 1929.
Seasoned solo diners relish in the joys of polishing off a multi-course meal in solitude. But newbie solo eaters might need to ease into this new style of dining. And Yeppa and Co. is the ideal place to start. Winding through tables where everyone looks like they’re from a reboot of Gossip Girl is at first intimidating. But within minutes of snagging a seat at the giant oval bar, the bartender or a fellow bar sitter will strike up a convo with you. Maybe it's because everyone has had a few glasses of Aperidiva Spritz, but Yeppa's bartop diners generally seem to be an extra chatty variety, so it’s easy to enjoy creamy ricotta- and pork-filled tortellini with your newfound bar friend who you’ll never see again.
Few places are more welcoming to solitary souls than a sports bar. And if there were an Atlanta soccer bar ranking, Brewhouse in Little Five would get the golden boot. They do occasionally have other sports on the countless TVs situated throughout their bar and giant patio. Their bar bites, like a juicy cheeseburger and tasty wings, are a step up from standard pub food. Plus, after toasting a pint, nothing forges new friendships quicker than cussing out a ref together.
Any food hall is an ideal place to eat alone. But because Southern Feedstore in EAV tends to be less busy, you won’t get lost in the shuffle like you would at bigger halls like Ponce City Market or Krog Street. With a calmer mood and elite stalls like TKO, Woody’s, and Waffle Bar, we often slide in and out for a quick, satisfying meal when we’re in no mood for socialization but also don’t want to eat in our car.
We have no trouble rolling into this West Midtown staple on our own for their legendary, buttery lobster roll—the walk straight back to the oyster bar counter is almost committed to muscle memory now. The oyster bar is much more intimate and personable than the cavernous main dining room. Plus, watching an oyster shucking show is better than our default mode of zombie phone scrolling. After devouring a dozen oysters and several strong cocktails (the tequila-heavy Glory Days specifically), we may get back on our phones to fall down a Wikipedia rabbit hole on mermmeliers.
We don’t need a date for motivation to enthusiastically slurp down 48 oysters at this divey seafood joint (especially if we’re footing the bill anyways). If we’re ridin’ solo, it’s easy to snag a booth or sidle up to the bar and have a full-on seafood feast at this VaHi spot. Low lighting and dark wood paneling means we can disappear in plain sight. After we put away an impressive amount of oysters, we captain our own ship to the perfectly crispy fried grouper and polish off a bowl of spicy seafood gumbo. There aren’t a lot of distractions here (only a few tiny TVs), but the food is solid and the sounds of nearby slurping helps drown out any intrusive thoughts.