Where can you go in Edinburgh when you just want to enjoy a quiet, casual meal alone without sticking out like a sore, lonely thumb or getting looks of pity from other diners?
We recommend avoiding places where large, rowdy groups meet, and instead going for those cosy, quaint restaurants which attract other solo diners. Here are some of our favourites.
This Swedish themed cafe come bar-cum-venue – one of six Swedish bars and restaurants of the Boda Bar group – is the perfect destination for a solo diner.
Although many big family or friend groups often take over the central part of Akva, a lone visitor can easily hide away in the sofa area located at the front. Make sure to check their website out in advance, as Akva hosts various live music nights – ideal to keep you entertained if you’re on your own.
129 Fountainbridge, EH3 9QG – bodabar.com/akva
An established family-run bistro serving local Scottish produce, Cafe Grande in Bruntsfield is a great place to blend in whilst dining alone. Try and grab yourself seat at two-person table by the window – a great spot for people watching if you’ve made the school boy error of forgetting to take a book or a paper to read.
184 Bruntsfield Place, EH10 4DF – cafegrande.co.uk
The name of this Old Town restaurant says it all. The Outsider serves hip Euro dishes, made with local and fresh produce from various different countries and served in a laid-back environment.
The ‘try-get-a-window-seat’ rule applies here more than ever, as the back of the restaurant looks out on beautiful views of the city and Castle.
George IV Bridge, EH1 1EE – theoutsiderrestaurant.com
The Edinburgh Browns location (situated on George Street) is the ideal place for solo dining after a day at the shops. It offers plenty of various seating options – close to the bar if you want a chat with the bartender, by the window looking out on the bustling city centre, or at the back of the restaurant in a snuggly corner booth.
131-133 George Street, EH2 4JS – browns-restaurants.co.uk/edinburgh
This rustic restaurant in a romantic setting merges African, French and Scottish cuisine. It might sound odd but – trust us – the result is outstanding.
Mostly offering tables for two people, Maison Bleue is the perfect location to dodge big groups and enjoy a quiet meal, alone with your thoughts.
36-38 Victoria Street, EH1 2JW – maisonbleuerestaurant.com
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Main image: Jenni Douglas / Flickr / CC