The Best Miami Restaurants For Dining SoloWhere to eat alone. But not, like, in a depressing way.
Whatever the reason, there comes a time in every person’s life when a solo meal is necessary—and we think those times are actually pretty great. People can be annoying anyway. So whether you want to drink a martini alone or have a big plate of sushi all to yourself, use this guide to find a good place to dine alone.
Uchi is a great Japanese restaurant in Wynwood. They have counter seating that they hold exclusively for walk-ins, and you should try walking in at some point between 5 and 6:30pm. That’s when Uchi does its daily Happy Hour. You can get small plates for $12 and under, two pieces of nigiri for under $10, plus $9 cocktails and more solid drink specials. It’ll help you try a lot of food without spending a lot of money—which is very easy to do here.
The Jaguar Sun bar (specifically the seat wedged into the very left corner) is one of our favorite places in Miami to eat at the bar. Come on the early side because this place can get crowded. Once you’ve secured a seat (hopefully that corner one), get a martini, a bowl of pasta, and (if there’s even the tiniest bit of room left in your stomach) the Parker house rolls, which are Miami’s greatest restaurant bread. Service is always friendly whether you’re here alone or with a party of ten, and the people watching opportunities are plentiful.
Mr. Omakase is one of our favorite sushi omakase restaurants in Miami, both because the price point ($89 to $149) is more reasonable than most, and also because the two-hour dinner is an unforgettable blur of nigiri and sashimi so delicate and tender you barely have to chew it. The space, which only has a dozen or so counter seats, is peaceful and seats are spaced far enough apart that you won’t have to worry about bumping elbows with a stranger.
Beauty & The Butcher is an upscale Coral Gables restaurant where you can take yourself on a date at the U-shaped gray quartz bar. The dining room is decorated with farmhouse chandeliers, leather bar stools, and there’s a dry aging cabinet behind the bar. There are some tasty dishes on the menu with portions ideal for a solo meal, like duck prosciutto with warm olives, smokey jerk charred carrots, and a crispy-skinned juicy chicken. Unfortunately, unless you have four stomachs, you won’t be able to order the $395 44oz wagyu tomahawk chop. But you can sip pork belly-washed bourbon while you watch it get wheeled out and set ablaze tableside.
Katana is a North Beach classic, and one of the very few restaurants with floating sushi boats in Miami. It’s small in here—just a squiggly circle of counter seating—and there is almost always a wait. But being a solo diner will work to your advantage, and your wait will probably be much less severe than the various couples and small groups around you. When you do get a seat, prepare to spend the meal sipping sake and plucking nigiri from passing plates. There is a bar conveniently located next door where you can have a beer in case you do need to kill some time.
There is bar seating at Walrus Rodeo, but try and make a reservation for one and sit at the kitchen counter. If you do that, you’re not really eating alone. You’ll be so close to the kitchen that you’ll feel like part of the team feeding fluffy potato gnocchi and anchovy pizzas into a wood fire oven. The menu is small, and portions are large enough to be shared—but if you order the carrot tartare and mustard green lasagna, you’ll leave full and happy knowing you ate two of Miami’s best dishes in one sitting.
Makoto is an upscale Japanese restaurant inside the land of very thick credit cards known as Bal Harbour Shops. It's got a colorful dining room that feels like eating inside a perfectly ripe peach, as well as some lovely patio seating and a cute outdoor bamboo bar. If you're eating alone, you'll probably end up at that outdoor bar or inside at the sushi counter—both fine options. Makoto is the kind of restaurant great for a luxurious lunch after an afternoon of buying irresponsibly expensive clothes, or any occasion when you want tasty raw fish and a cocktail in a space that feels fancy, but not needlessly ostentatious.
If you want to eat alone while also being close to other people (and possibly even strike up a conversation with one of them) try Gibson Room. The Coral Way spot has the soul of a fun cocktail bar with the menu of an ambitious restaurant. About half the restaurant is bar seating perfect for solo diners, there’s almost always some sort of live music happening (including lots of jazz), and the menu has options, to say the least. You can get a towering double cheeseburger, oxtail ramen, a tamal en cazuela with roasted foie gras, or more dishes on our list of Things We Never Thought We’d Be Eating At A Casual Bar On Coral Way.
Frenchie’s Diner in Coral Gables is a real French bistro, where the focus is entirely on the quality of the dishes listed on a chalkboard. If you’re looking to make friends, sit at the bar, where the bartender and owner are generally happy to strike up a conversation. But if you’re hoping for some privacy and they aren’t too busy, you can sit at one of the small tables. There, the parchment paper on your table will read like the tea leaves of a good meal—with oily trails of butter from tender escargot, a smattering of tangy steak tartare, and drops of french onion soup. Finish things off with the chocolate mousse that’s thick, bittersweet, and served in a coffee cup.
Doya in Wynwood is a solo diner’s friend thanks to their massive bar, a long rectangle right in the center of the dining room. It’s not exactly a quiet restaurant. It’s usually the opposite: busy and crowded. But at the bar, you’ll get to enjoy great people watching and personal space (especially compared to every other Wynwood restaurant). The menu is mostly very good meze plates, so you can try a few different things without needing eating support. Start with the octopus salad, which has pieces of octopus as tender as fresh mozzarella. Then, any of the kebab options will make you happy you don’t have to share a single bite.
Not every indulgent solo meal has to be fancy. At Little River’s Off Site, you can sit alone at the bar and order one of life’s greatest combinations: a cold beer and a cheeseburger. Or make it a hot dog, a fried chicken sandwich, grilled wings, or Cuban sandwich. It’s all tremendous, because Off Site treats bar food the way fancy restaurants treat foie gras. And just because it’s pretty chill here doesn’t mean Off Site won’t give you a meal that’ll live inside your head for the next 365 days.
Even though Miami is about as south as you can get in this country, good Southern American food is tragically hard to find. That’s why we really like South Beach’s Joliet. We also like it for a wonderful solo meal, because they have a spacious bar and mains that are big enough to fill you up without needing the support of a dozen small plates. There's usually some sort of fried seafood po'boy on the menu as well as a cornmeal fried yellowtail with a side of hushpuppies and chow chow. Order either to satisfy those cravings you’ve had ever since your iPhone started showing you pictures from that New Orleans trip you took six years ago.
Vinya is a restaurant and wine bar that has a couple great options for eating alone. The bar is where you’ll want to sit if you’re feeling social. It’s right by the entrance, so you can watch everyone who comes in while eating morcilla spring rolls and sipping wine. But if you’re looking for a quieter spot where you can pretend to read a book, then the banquets tucked in the shallow coves are where you’ll want to enjoy the huge smoked short rib. The menu is diverse and we’re not totally sure how to categorize this place, so we’ll just call it what it is: a pleasure. The food is great, service is affable, and browsing their excellent wine and liquor selection is the perfect way to keep yourself entertained before the food arrives.