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FOOD & DRINK

Where to Eat Solo When You Just Need Some You Time

Just because you're hermitting that doesn't mean you have to eat every meal at home.
By Yelena Bidé
October 05, 2017
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Where to Eat Solo When You Just Need Some You Time

Just because you're hermitting that doesn't mean you have to eat every meal at home.
By Yelena Bidé
October 05, 2017
  shares

WHERE TO EAT SOLO WHEN YOU JUST NEED SOME YOU TIME

in partnership with

Just because you're hermitting that doesn't mean you have to eat every meal at home.

We love our friends. Really, we do. But sometimes we just need a little me time. And when the urge for a few solitary hours strikes, one of our favourite things to do is take ourselves out on a little solo lunch or dinner date. But, with many restaurants and bars set up for dates or groups, finding a place to go solito can often be a bit of a challenge, tempting you to get that alone time by skipping lunch with the colleagues to eat a wilted salad at your desk or holing up at home with takeout and a series.

To make sure that doesn't happen, American Express has helped us find nine spots, all Amex-accepting, where eating by yourself is both totally acceptable and incredibly fun. Equipped with single tables or bar seating, and with food so good you wouldn't want to share it anyways, these places make solo dining perfectly, deliciously comfortable. Whether you want a quiet break from the office during a particularly hectic day or are on the hunt for a bar you can go to when you don't feel like being with the mates, we've found the perfect place. Bring a book and you'll be well-prepared to linger over dessert and a few glasses of vino.

Got yourself in another dining situation and need some guidance? Whatever it is, we know a place. Visit The Shortlist and we'll sort you out.

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    Taking a delicious cue from Singapore’s hawker markets, this open-air courtyard in Chippendale is an excellent spot for some solo street-style dining. When you’re in an ‘I’m-by-myself-but-actually-want-some-social-interactions’ mood, the tiny shared tables are the perfect place to sit down next to a stranger and make a new friend. Choose between a handful of exceptional food outlets, including Hong Kong Diner for Cantonese comfort food, Alex Lee Kitchen for some classic Singaporean, and Old Jim Kee for a delightful taste of Malaysia. The space is a beautiful mash-up of street art, brick walls and colourful lanterns. It’s also perpetually packed, giving it a truly authentic Asian hawker market feel. So, while you’re technically still in Sydney, you’ll feel miles and miles away.  

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    Jangling Jack's

    Cocktail bars can be tricky places to go alone. It often feels like everyone and their mum is out on a date, making your solo drink feel a bit more conspicuous than you’d like. Enter Jangling Jack’s, that rare breed of small bar where you’ll feel perfectly comfortable being all alone. Between the warm decor —walls made of what looks like pressed tin, vintage posters of blues legends, mismatched rugs and stunning Victorian-style lampshades — and the friendly bartenders, this place does unpretentious, neighbourhood vibes to perfection. Grab a stool at the beautiful wooden bar (made from 120-year-old Aussie spotted gum) and order yourself a cocktail or a glass of wine from the tightly-curated list. When hunger strikes, there’s a good selection of mouthwatering small plates. We’re particularly partial to the fried chicken drenched in honey butter.

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    Donny’s Bar

    A solo excursion to this Manly gem feels a bit like a mini escape to a hipster mate’s Brooklyn loft. The tiny space has a vibe that’s both industrial chic and totally inviting — think exposed brick walls, glass bottle lights and a bar clad with antique train sleepers. Pull up a stool and ask the bartender to whip you up a Blueberry n Rose Bramble, where Plymouth gin rubs shoulders with homemade rose syrup and a blueberry float. Once you’ve got a couple of drinks in you, turn your undivided attention to the food. For casual, satisfying bar fare, stay downstairs and get yourself a burger or some dumplings. If this is more of a bougie solo date, though, wend your way up the spiral staircase to the second-floor foodie heaven. The seafood dishes here are out of this world, with impeccable presentation and uber-fresh ingredients.

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    Save this one for a day when you’re in the mood for a solo splurge, because a meal at nel. is going to cost you a pretty penny. But with the way everything from the food to the wine is curated to perfection, believe us when we say a meal here is worth every cent. The menu is degustation only, so splurge on the eight-course dinner menu ringing in at $108, or look to the shorter lunch version at $55.

    Located in an underground bunker on Wentworth Avenue, this stylish space boasts an impressive open kitchen, leather benches, wooden furniture and warm copper lighting. Request a seat at the bar, order a cocktail and let the exemplary staff guide you through what is guaranteed to be an incredible culinary experience.

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    Sometimes ‘me time’ means you may need a break from human interaction, but you still want to hang with your four-legged bestie. If so, you’ll love The Carrington. With its palm tree wallpaper, barnyard shutters and a slew of hanging plants, this Bourke Street pub is actively dog-friendly, so even if you’re not bringing your own pup, there’ll be plenty of pooches to admire. Come in for one of their weekly specials ($15 for pasta and pinot on Mondays, $20 for steak and wine on Thursdays) and don’t forget to order something off the doggo menu for your furry mate.

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    Love, Tilly Devine

    One of Sydney’s original small bars, this is still one of the best places in the city to go when you’re in the mood to quietly read a book while sipping on a good glass of vino. You’ll have plenty of options to choose from; the wine list at this little place is almost 300 varieties long. Looking out over a calm Darlinghurst alley, this cosy spot has brick walls, chalkboard menus and weathered timber accents. Get there early enough, and you’ll be able to grab one of the coveted window seats — great for a cheeky bit of people-watching. Throw in a few nibbles from the constantly changing European menu — if the roast cauliflower or scallops are around, look no further — and you’ve got yourself the perfect solo evening.

     

    As you drink and dine with your American Express, reap all the sweet rewards of being a Card Member. Explore the many ways American Express has your back here.

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