The Best Austin Restaurants For Dining Solo

Whether you want to take yourself out for a nice meal or just eat something quick with minimal human interaction, here's where to go.
The Best Austin Restaurants For Dining Solo image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

There are two types of people in this world: those who like to eat alone, and those who don’t know what they’re missing. While you can comfortably go to 90 percent of Austin restaurants on your own, certain places are better suited for parties of one than others, which is why we put together this guide to our favorite spots for dining solo. Some of them have great bars, while others have patios where everyone will be working on their laptops. The next time you’re looking for somewhere for a solo meal, head to one of these great spots. 


photo credit: Richard Casteel




$$$$Perfect For:BreakfastBrunchCasual Weeknight DinnerCoffee & A Light BiteEating At The BarLunchOutdoor/Patio SituationDining Solo
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Post up at Better Half in Clarksville when you need a good all-day spot to work on the latest draft of your business plan, or when you need to catch up on all the memes you’ve missed in the past week. Grab a coffee in the morning, then slowly transition over to cocktails as the day progresses. There’s a dedicated parking lot, so you don’t have to worry about feeding the parking app, and there’s a food menu with everything from biscuit sandwiches to a very good cheeseburger, for when you eventually remember to eat something.

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary



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Pasta is a great food to share. If you’re on a date, you can split a few different types so you won’t end up second guessing your choice of rigatoni over orecchiette later on. Some nights, though, you just want to drink a glass of wine, and eat a bowl of carbonara or gnocchi in silence. When that’s the case, head to L’Oca d’Oro in Mueller. The patio is great for people watching when the weather is nice, but we also like to grab a spot at the bar and chat with the staff about whatever new orange wines they just got in. 

The bar at Bouldin Creek Cafe in South Austin is one of the best solo eating destinations in the city, especially during brunch hours when there’s rarely more than one seat open at a time. Bouldin also has some of the nicest staff around, so even if you’re eating some sweet potato tamales or tofu scramble by yourself, you’ll probably end up knowing one of the bartenders’ entire life stories by the time you leave. And if that’s too much interaction for you, just ask for a small table on the patio instead.

This butcher shop and restaurant on East Seventh is a great place to go with a few friends and share some charcuterie. However, on the nights when you don’t want to hear about your friend’s second promotion this year, or see pictures of her new dog, it’s an ideal spot to pull up a seat at the bar and order some pasta, a burger, or a steak for yourself. Feel free to ask the bartender 100 questions about where the meat in your bolognese came from, or just ask them for a second beer. They’ll be happy to help either way.

Between the long lines, and the soundtrack that could only have been picked by a DJ-turned-ramen chef (true story), getting into Ramen Tatsu-ya feels like you just walked into Austin’s hottest club. But unlike at the club, where you’re probably showing up with others, at Ramen Tatsu-Ya you can post up at the long row of single seats lining the kitchen and have a few moments alone with a bowl of noodles, while basking in the energy around you. 

Counter Cafe captures all the energy of an old-school diner, without ever feeling like some new-age restaurant trying to capitalize on nostalgia, where you can grab a seat at one of the barstools looking out across the large flat top. It’s only open for breakfast and lunch, so plan to start your day here with some crab cake benedict or an order of hotcakes bigger than your plate. They have two locations in town, one on East 6th, and the other by campus, but we’re partial to the East Side spot.  

Head to Péché in the warehouse district when you need an escape from the busyness of downtown Austin. Saunter through the dark and always-full dining room to the long bar for a cocktail or some absinthe—Péché has one of the biggest selections in town—then order some classic French comfort foods while you chat with the bar staff about how much downtown has changed. There’s also a great Happy Hour, with plenty of cocktails and menu items discounted heavily for a few hours every night, and all day Sunday and Monday (including a half-priced burger with fries). 

One of our favorite ways to wind down a weeknight is by grabbing a seat at Quality Seafood’s huge bar and ordering a dozen oysters and a ton of peel ‘n’ eat shrimp (show up during Happy Hour when they’re just $0.35 a piece). But if you want something a little more substantial, try one of the fried seafood baskets. The portions are large, and the seafood quality is as good as it gets. Don’t believe us? Head on over to the market side of the store and have a chat with the fishmongers about where they got their latest catch from. 

Texas Chili Parlor near the Capitol has that “old dive bar aroma” mixed with the lingering smell of beer and chili spices, and there are usually a handful of people sitting at the bar that look like they’ve been there since the restaurant’s inception in the 1970s. Get the Freidas Enchiladas plate—two cheese enchiladas topped with a giant ladle of the chili of your choice—and a Mad Dog Margarita, and you’ve just found the perfect recipe for a good Tuesday night. 

 In a lot of ways, The Cavalier is the perfect neighborhood pub, especially if you happen to live anywhere near 7th and Webberville. The food’s just a little better than it needs to be, and it’s consistently busy, but never crowded, even during Austin’s never-ending festival season. Grab a table or a seat at the bar, order some wings or a po’boy, and enjoy the relaxed and casual atmosphere it’s all in.

One of our favorite weeknight activities is to sit down with a flight of Japanese whiskeys and a hot bowl of ramen. And when that time comes around, we like to do both of those at Sazan’s bar, in the Crescent shopping center, where the friendly bartenders can walk you through tasting notes (for both the whiskey and the ramen, if you want). Grab an order of signature or spicy paitan ramen and some excellent wings, then start working through their little book of Japanese whiskeys. 

Near the end of a busy stretch of South Congress, June’s is an effortlessly cool all-day bistro and wine bar. The dining room is bright and airy—accented with tiny round tables, checkered tile floors, and a vintage jukebox—while the outside feels like a Parisian sidewalk cafe, where you can enjoy a long, drawn-out conversation with your dog about what you’re going to order. But when it’s not patio weather, we like to grab a spot at the long marble bar and order a glass of wine and an excellent fried chicken sandwich

Show up to Launderette during brunch on the weekends, and the whole place feels like a fun, buzzy scene from a show about millenials living in Austin. Show up just about any other night of the week, and you can usually snag a seat at the bar and grab a couple of small plates and a glass of wine. Or just get the burger. One of our favorites in town, it’s refreshingly simple—petite, with american cheese and thin pickles on a challah bun.

A seat at the bar sometimes means a seat in the back of the restaurant, staring at stacks of beer crates. But a bar seat at Odd Duck means a prime spot in the heart of the action, as well as the full attention of the bartender (who will make you some excellent cocktails). The menu here constantly changes, but there are a couple of things you can count on: a tasty ceviche with homemade chips, and a great burger. 

Perhaps best known for the action-packed sushi rolls (that are often topped with their go-go sauce, a spicy mayo), Komé is a low-key and homestyle Japanese restaurant in Ridgetop. The menu is super-broad, spanning from sushi to gyoza to ramen to bento boxes to yakitori. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait during peak hours, but we really like to eat at the long sushi bar, our go-to solo sushi spot. 

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