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A brick-walled corridor with a kitchen in the back and a bar built into one wall.
In Off Alley’s 14-seat dining room, solo diners often strike up conversation with their neighbors over glasses of natural wine.
Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle

8 Comfortable Restaurants For Dining Alone in Seattle

Restaurants with warm vibes where you don’t stand out for eating alone

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In Off Alley’s 14-seat dining room, solo diners often strike up conversation with their neighbors over glasses of natural wine.
| Suzi Pratt/Eater Seattle

Sure, we all know dining is often an experience made better by the friends, family, or lovers you’re sharing the meal with. But what do you do when you want to eat out but you also need a moment to yourself? (Or those times you don’t have anyone else to get dinner with.) Luckily, solo dining, when done at the right places, can be just as comforting, or transformative as a meal with company, and can, at its best, serve as a loving act of self-care.

The following Seattle restaurants are places where you don’t feel left out, or worse, actively stand out, for eating alone. Some have communal bars where diners can hunker over a bowl of noodles and be left alone, or just as easily strike up conversation with a neighbor based on their mood. Others simply have friendly service and an atmosphere that makes you feel at home, regardless of who you’re dining with.

Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com. As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Kisaku Sushi

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This Greenlake sushi restaurant is one of Seattle’s true hidden gems. Though the restaurant itself isn’t as flashy or modern as other better-known sushi spots in the area, owner and resident sushi chef Ryuichi Nakano makes nigiri that rivals those of any other restaurant in the city. At the same time, the vibe is more casual than the other spots, making it a great spot to enjoy the sushi bar alone without feeling intimidated.

Sen Noodle Bar

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This restaurant on Northwest Market Street in Ballard has some of the friendliest service in Seattle. Regulars often stop here for a bowl of noodle soup alone for lunch, or for a comforting portion of ginger chicken rice for dinner. Sen Noodle Bar also stands out from many of the other neighborhood Thai restaurants by using local, sustainable meat, while keeping prices reasonable.

The Walrus and the Carpenter

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Chef Renee Erickson’s original Ballard seafood bar is just as perfect for a celebratory meal as for some oysters and a glass of wine enjoyed alone at the bar. Most of the dishes here are so small that it’s easy to order a couple of plates alone. Don’t miss out on the grilled sardines, served drenched in olive oil and flecked with pieces of crushed walnut.

COMMUNION Restaurant & Bar

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It’s been hard to get a reservation at Communion since it made a couple of national best restaurant lists in 2021 (and nabbed an Eater Award). So showing up alone to snag a seat at the bar has sometimes been the only way to experience Kristi Brown’s “Seattle soul” cooking, which blends Southern Black food traditions with the diverse flavors of Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. Luckily, everyone, from diners to bartenders, are welcoming at Communion, and you’ll feel part of the fold immediately.

Le Pichet

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Le Pichet is a classic Seattle hangout for food writers, off-work bartenders, and other restaurant industry insiders. That’s because it’s about as close as you can get in the city to a traditional French cafe, where it’s perfectly normal to have a cafe au lait and a croissant alone at breakfast, a baguette sandwich alone at lunch, or a solo glass of wine anytime in between. At Le Pichet, it’s perfectly normal to find solo diners chatting with others at the bar or enjoying a fluffy quiche in a corner alone.

Pho Bac Súp Shop

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Pho Bac, undoubtedly one of Seattle’s best pho shops, is also one of its most popular for solo diners. The atmosphere here is colorful and loud, but not in a way that makes one feel left out of the fun, and the bar is always packed with solo diners enjoying piles of shrimp fresh rolls and slurping big, satisfying bowls of pho.

Gan Bei 21 and up

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Gan Bei used to be the late-night C-ID hangout for chefs who wanted some Chinese fried chicken or sausage claypot with a beer after their shifts. Last call for food is now at 9:30 p.m., but the small restaurant remains a refuge for those who want to enjoy the comfort of a meal without conversation. And the XO-sauce green beans are not to be missed.

Off Alley

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This 14-seat Columbia City small plates restaurant in a renovated alleyway might be pretty packed for a while, following its inclusion in the New York Times’ list of the 50 best restaurants in America for 2022. But Off Alley remains one of the most communal restaurants in Seattle, where everyone talks to their neighbor and maybe even winds up splitting a couple of small plates and a bottle of natural wine with them by the end of the night.

Kisaku Sushi

This Greenlake sushi restaurant is one of Seattle’s true hidden gems. Though the restaurant itself isn’t as flashy or modern as other better-known sushi spots in the area, owner and resident sushi chef Ryuichi Nakano makes nigiri that rivals those of any other restaurant in the city. At the same time, the vibe is more casual than the other spots, making it a great spot to enjoy the sushi bar alone without feeling intimidated.

Sen Noodle Bar

This restaurant on Northwest Market Street in Ballard has some of the friendliest service in Seattle. Regulars often stop here for a bowl of noodle soup alone for lunch, or for a comforting portion of ginger chicken rice for dinner. Sen Noodle Bar also stands out from many of the other neighborhood Thai restaurants by using local, sustainable meat, while keeping prices reasonable.

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Chef Renee Erickson’s original Ballard seafood bar is just as perfect for a celebratory meal as for some oysters and a glass of wine enjoyed alone at the bar. Most of the dishes here are so small that it’s easy to order a couple of plates alone. Don’t miss out on the grilled sardines, served drenched in olive oil and flecked with pieces of crushed walnut.

COMMUNION Restaurant & Bar

It’s been hard to get a reservation at Communion since it made a couple of national best restaurant lists in 2021 (and nabbed an Eater Award). So showing up alone to snag a seat at the bar has sometimes been the only way to experience Kristi Brown’s “Seattle soul” cooking, which blends Southern Black food traditions with the diverse flavors of Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. Luckily, everyone, from diners to bartenders, are welcoming at Communion, and you’ll feel part of the fold immediately.

Le Pichet

Le Pichet is a classic Seattle hangout for food writers, off-work bartenders, and other restaurant industry insiders. That’s because it’s about as close as you can get in the city to a traditional French cafe, where it’s perfectly normal to have a cafe au lait and a croissant alone at breakfast, a baguette sandwich alone at lunch, or a solo glass of wine anytime in between. At Le Pichet, it’s perfectly normal to find solo diners chatting with others at the bar or enjoying a fluffy quiche in a corner alone.

Pho Bac Súp Shop

Pho Bac, undoubtedly one of Seattle’s best pho shops, is also one of its most popular for solo diners. The atmosphere here is colorful and loud, but not in a way that makes one feel left out of the fun, and the bar is always packed with solo diners enjoying piles of shrimp fresh rolls and slurping big, satisfying bowls of pho.

Gan Bei 21 and up

Gan Bei used to be the late-night C-ID hangout for chefs who wanted some Chinese fried chicken or sausage claypot with a beer after their shifts. Last call for food is now at 9:30 p.m., but the small restaurant remains a refuge for those who want to enjoy the comfort of a meal without conversation. And the XO-sauce green beans are not to be missed.

Off Alley

This 14-seat Columbia City small plates restaurant in a renovated alleyway might be pretty packed for a while, following its inclusion in the New York Times’ list of the 50 best restaurants in America for 2022. But Off Alley remains one of the most communal restaurants in Seattle, where everyone talks to their neighbor and maybe even winds up splitting a couple of small plates and a bottle of natural wine with them by the end of the night.

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