The best spots in New York City for a solo date

5. Best for dining alone: Chinatown, Lower Manhattan and omakase

The benefits of a solo date compound in the city where getting a reservation at a restaurant can be a game of chance and skill. Long wait times evaporate when you roll up alone; popular spots like Thai Diner just north of Chinatown and Torrisi in SoHo usually have immediate seats available. “[Torrisi] just got a Michelin star this year, so it’s always slammed,” Romero said. “But I could just walk in for lunch solo and grab a spot at the bar. I would never be able to do that with two people.” 

According to Romero, anywhere with a bar is usually a safe bet. “I like going to lobby bars of hotels. The Beekman [in Lower Manhattan] has always been one of my favourites. The environment is just beautiful. Anytime I’m there I feel mysterious.”

Romero also takes a page out of Japan’s book, where a table of one is more culturally common. 

“I love omakase for being alone,” Romero said of the classically intimate sushi bar dining experience, where the chef prepares for the diner a personalised multi-course meal based on seasonal ingredients and their personal whims. 

“I always end up talking to the chef. I can also really have a good time with anyone around me,” Romero said.

Her favourite Omakase spot is Matsunori on the Lower East Side which also allows diners to bring their own booze. “You can grab a bottle of wine and treat yourself,” Romero suggested. If Matsunori is full, Romero proposed the nearby Taikun. “The chef was cracking me up the whole time,” she said. 

Romero’s most-asked questions from fans afraid to make the jump to solo dates come from fears of dining alone. Her most valuable pearl of wisdom is derived from the city’s anonymity: “No one’s really focused on you. Everyone’s living their own lives, so who cares if you’re sitting at dinner alone? You need to get out of your head and be present and in the moment. Be grateful for this time. It’s the best.”

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