Minds across New York City’s five boroughs exploded when our NYC Senior Staff Writer, Hannah Albertine, finally answered a reader’s question: “Where can I be sexy and eat fries by myself?”
When the guide flew into our inbox last month, it was like an angel had descended from heaven, just to give us a kiss on the forehead. A part of her ongoing series, Dear Hannah: A Restaurant Advice Column, the reader’s question was as follows:
I’m an introvert who resents the culture of needing to go out with others to have a lovely evening. I also have a closet full of beautiful evening gowns and dresses that I never have an occasion to wear. Where can I go to dress up, be sexy, have a cocktail, and maybe a plate of fries by myself?
Thanks, All By My Lonesome”
It’s a query that’s daring, yet extraordinarily simple. “Can you just… ask that?” we mumbled to ourselves while blankly staring at the computer. Apparently, yes. So, we created our own version of the guide, applicable to San Francisco: 6 Spots Where You Can Be Sexy & Eat Fries By Yourself In SF. Go forth.
Dear Hannah: A Restaurant Advice Column
Sitting at Nopa’s bar in a beautiful evening gown, with a negroni frizzante in one hand and a perfect, golden-brown fry in the other, it’s literally impossible not to look hot as f*ck. And since the cushy booths and long wooden tables are filled with everyone from families or first dates to groups of friends catching up, there’s a buzz in the air that feels exciting, sexy, and even a little mysterious. Or maybe that’s the pheromones. Get a side of fries with aioli, and a burger if you’re more hungry, and don’t forget to bring a book so you can pretend to read while periodically making eyes at the hottie a few seats down.
It’s time to rip the tags off of that silky black cowl-neck dress you bought in February of 2020 and channel your innermost main character energy—you’re headed to Zuni Cafe. To avoid a wait, make a reservation for their dining room (white tablecloths are very sexy), but they’ll accept walk-ins too. Either way, you’ll be making your way through their iconic, massive pile of shoestring fries in no time. It doesn’t get much better than this.
The inside of this French restaurant in Hayes Valley looks like a fancy museum cafe with a minimalist design and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide impeccable lighting. There’s also a full bar with an extensive wine list, and, yes, the fries are plentiful. In other words, Monsieur Benjamin is exactly where you want to be when you’re looking to dress up like Moira Rose, order a glass of wine or two, and let the Ratatouille soundtrack play on loop in your head as you dip more fries into their house aioli.
Taking yourself out on a date at Causwells is never a bad idea, but it’s especially tempting when you want to pull out your furry coat and those cute shoes that make your feet hurt a bit, and strut down Chestnut like you own the damn street. Sure, you’re here for the fries, but the crispy onion strings are even better. You can’t go wrong with their cheeseburger, either.
The fries at Violet’s in the Richmond are made with garlic and parsley, plus a blanket of freshly-shaved parmesan—a trio more powerful than the Sanderson sisters. Grab a seat at their long, curved bar and order a bright purple cocktail or a glass of wine, and sip on it as if you have a deep, dark secret. And while the fries are great, don’t pass up on a slice of their key lime pie—it’s perfectly sweet and tart, topped with whipped cream and almonds, and is almost as alluring as you.
Chez Maman West
This French restaurant in Hayes Valley is a great place for a solo date, especially when you’re feeling like the hottest, most dramatic version of yourself. Because nothing says "I am the Beyoncé of San Francisco" like lounging on a bar stool, and making prolonged eye contact with everyone in the room as you sip on some rosé and lick salty potato grease off your fingers. The walk-up only spot gets pretty packed during dinner, so if you have to wait for a seat, just stand out on the sidewalk and let the wind do very sexy, Beyoncé-like things to your hair.