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London casual dinner recommendations for solo traveler

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London casual dinner recommendations for solo traveler

Old Apr 9th, 2017, 02:25 PM
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London casual dinner recommendations for solo traveler

I don't know about others here but I often experience an attitude at dinner service at hip establishments when I'm dining solo. I appreciate I represent a lower bill and thus a lower tip so I try to be friendly and a generous tipper to offset my solo status. That said, I'd love some recommendations that may be more welcoming to a solo visitor.

I prefer casual yet trendy and lively places (nothing that requires a dress ... probably jeans and a smart jacket and heels). As for budget, I'd like to stay at or under £35-40 for an entree and glass of wine. I'm not a fan of Indian, Thai or Greek but otherwise am game for anything. Even if I receive nothing more than a list of pubs with great food, then I'll be happy. My hotel will be in the west end, somewhere between Chelsea and Soho. I'd prefer to stay in or around that area.

Thank you.
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Old Apr 9th, 2017, 03:10 PM
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Well, tipping isn't a big deal in London and I eat wherever I want. Anywhere from 3 Michelin star to wagamama.

There are a handful of places that won't accept an online booking for 1, but other than that, I think your misgivings are unfounded. At least in London.
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Old Apr 9th, 2017, 03:48 PM
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Most major European capitals (or cities in the US for that matter) don't have Sardinian restaurants, but London does have a few. You might want to check one out.
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Old Apr 9th, 2017, 04:55 PM
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Thanks Janisj. That said, I'd love some recommendations. I've compiled a list from Londonist, TripAdvisor, and some threads here but I'd love some recommendations for casual dinner spots. Most of what I've seen on here has been more on the romantic or upscale side.
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Old Apr 9th, 2017, 05:08 PM
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Like janisj's, I have been dining solo in London for years at places like The Ivy and Rules as well as the occasional pub and everything in between and have never experienced a problem or an attitude. However, here are a few suggestions:

BBar Restaurant next to The Rubens at the Palace. Great ambience and food is South African themed but menu offers a great looking salad and hamburgers and other non- African items. BTW, South African cuisine is really good, IMO.

The Wolseley

The Fountains at Fortnum and Mason

Orsini near South Kensington

On my trip this June, I plan to dine at Brasserie Zedel near Piccadilly as it's been recommended on this forum and looks good.
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Old Apr 9th, 2017, 05:15 PM
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That's the thing -- I almost never plan ahead for truly casual places. There are thousands and I typically eat where I am at the time whether it be sightseeing, shopping, taking a London Walk, or just strolling around. If it is truly a 'casual place' then most likely not worth crossing town to get there when there is something decent where you are at the moment.

One great tip -- almost every museum, gallery, major site will have a nice restaurant -- often more than one.

There are casual and posh restaurants in both Tates, the V&A, the National and National Portrait, the Tower, the British Museum, the Wallace Collection, Westminster Abbey, St Martin's in the Fields, St Pau's, Somerset House, the Globe, etc etc etc

Plus all the places in and around Covent Garden . . .

Just countless places --
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Old Apr 9th, 2017, 05:18 PM
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It's a chain, but I'm a fan of Nandos. If you're in Covent Garden Sarastro is kind of fun.
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Old Apr 9th, 2017, 05:38 PM
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ottolenghi!
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Old Apr 9th, 2017, 10:20 PM
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Dining or lunching alone, I like to sit at a bar, preferably with a view of the kitchen. Palomar is great - but do book in advance for a place at the bar. Granger's in Westbourne Grove is another - view of the barman rather than kitchen, but a very nice chatty one
On the same street; Farmacy - also has a bar where you can eat. Really good vegan - honestly, and I'm a meat eater - and hip and trendy too.
Cecconi's has a bar - good Italian.
Nopi - Ottolenghi's restaurant - has a communal table in the basement area.

By the way there is no restaurant in London that I can think of where you would be out of place in jeans, heels and a smart jacket.
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Old Apr 9th, 2017, 11:50 PM
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>

The Refuel Bar and Restaurant at the Soho Hotel is certainly that. Great cocktails too.

https://www.firmdalehotels.com/hotel...ar-restaurant/

Several bars/restaurants in the Firmdale chain are very nice indeed, eg Charlotte Street Hotel and Ham Yard, with it's roof terrace.
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Old Apr 10th, 2017, 05:26 AM
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Google Maps will show restaurants and pubs in the vicinity of wherever you are. Go to the Nearby function and click the appropriate link. It isn't comprehensive and doesn't offer ratings, but it is handy for orientation and many of the listings include a website. ViaMichelin's equivalent draws on its history of reviews.
Travelling solo (and male) to London for decades, I have almost never encountered "attitude", no more than at home. But I do not look for "trendy". No tipping, either, unless something is special. I always find a pub to be my local for the stay and they always welcome me back each night without expecting a reward. That's what pubs are for.
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Old Apr 11th, 2017, 03:52 PM
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I like to eat at the bar alone or with friends often. Historytraveler, how do they make those ice cubes for an old fashioned at The Ivy? I have looked for a tray.
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Old Apr 13th, 2017, 01:27 PM
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Maybe if you picked less "hip" and "trendy" places you would receive less "attitude"?
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Old Apr 13th, 2017, 01:40 PM
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Macross: I've eaten at the Ivy a few times but never had an Old Fashioned. (there I typically have a champagne cocktail or a Pimms and then wine w/ my meal). What sort of ice cubes do they use?
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Old Apr 13th, 2017, 01:49 PM
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Just got back to this post. My usual drink is a pre-dinner glass of Prosecco or like and a glass of wine with meal ( or two ). Certainly can't remember anything special about ice cubes but then it's been several years. I do remember that their fries were fantastic.
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 07:46 PM
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Suze, please don't respond if that's all you have to offer.

To others, thanks to all for your wonderful recommendations. I wanted to drop a few spots into my google maps so that if I've got a late night and don't feel like searching I have some options. These are perfect.
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Old Apr 14th, 2017, 08:02 PM
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I'm a big fan of barrafina in soho and the only seating is bar counter watching the cooking. It's always easy to strike up conversation with fellow patrons and the food and wine is fantastic.
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