A Woman’s Guide to Dining Alone: 7 Ways to Enjoy Dining Solo When Traveling

Table for one, please!

Does the thought of saying that make you cringe?

There are a lot of reasons why you may find yourself traveling and dining solo.

Dining alone, especially when you’re traveling, doesn’t have to be intimidating or lonely. In fact, it can be a really enjoyable experience if approached with the right mindset.

I travel a fair amount by myself and am very comfortable with it, but I’ve had to get more comfortable with it as I have done it more and more.

Here are some tips to make the trip safer and more enjoyable. 

First, be safe.

I know, I know, but I have to say it.

We’ll get to the fun soon, but you can’t have fun if you don’t keep yourself safe.

Choose well-lit, well-reviewed restaurants in safe areas. Keep your belongings secure and stay aware of your surroundings, especially in a new city.

Don’t tell people you meet along the way that you are traveling alone. That guy you met on a tour or the group that you met at the bar doesn’t have to know you’re traveling alone.

This simple precaution can help you maintain a low profile and minimize any potential safety risks.

Carry a personal alarm system. I carry my She Birdie everywhere, whether traveling or going to the grocery store. It stays on my keychain. You can use my code for 15% off NELNUN15 on their website.

Time & place matter

When and where you go makes a difference.

Dining during off-peak hours can be less hectic and allow for a more relaxed meal where the staff may have more time to interact.

Opt for places known for a welcoming atmosphere and perhaps are popular among solo diners. Cafés, casual dining spots, and restaurants with bar seating tend to be particularly solo-diner friendly.

Take a food tour or cooking class

I personally really like taking a food tour when I go to a new city, especially if I am by myself.  It’s a great way to experience local culture while being around and eating with others.

You may note that I am NOT dining alone in the photo above.

This was in Paris, where I traveled alone for a few days before a work trip to Lyon. On the day that I arrived, I went on a food tour and immediately met these 3 women who lived about 20 miles from me, and we had a mutual friend in common. They graciously invited me to hang out with them one night. It was a blast. We went to The Ritz and had such a great time.

I use Viator to book my tours. The cancellation policy is great, they have a book now, pay later feature, AND I like having all of my tours in one spot.

The cook that I met at The Paella Club Barcelona

Carry a book or a notebook

Whether it’s a book, journal, or even work-related tasks, having something to pull out at a restaurant or bar can be priceless. Having something to focus on can make you feel more at ease and less self-conscious about dining alone.

Use Technology

Leverage apps and websites to check out the restaurants beforehand. Reading reviews will often give you an idea of whether or not the vibe is one that you’d feel good about.

Sit at the Bar

Sitting at the bar is a great option for those who are dining alone. It can make it easier to engage with others, including the staff or other people at the bar. IF you want alone time (reading a great book, perhaps?), than you may want to skip the bar and grab a table.

Speak with the Staff

Engaging in light conversation with the waiter, bartender, or hostess not only makes the experience more personal but also can offer insights into the menu and the best choices.

By embracing these practices, dining alone can shift from a potentially daunting endeavor to an enriching and enjoyable part of your travel experiences.

If you would rather travel with a group of women, come join us! Morocco is happening in 2025.  Interested in hearing updates?  Sign up to get on the email list!

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