Enjoy Travel by Taste Alone
Despite seeming like something of a school day nightmare, a solo meal is an enriching way to appreciate being alone, while slowing down to appreciate your food.
The concept of solo dates has emerged in recent years as an important trend of self-care has only continued to grow. Yet one easy idea that can be the most rewarding is a trip with just yourself to a local restaurant.
Local small restaurants offer all patrons, and particularly those dining alone, to feel welcomed while they are venturing out on a dining journey. At such establishments, there is the opportunity for new discoveries, whether it be creative dishes or meeting a community member through the serving staff. This charm is unrepeatable elsewhere due to their dedication to originality.
Take this a step further by venturing into the many international restaurants throughout the city. These local haunts offer a welcoming ambiance of staff or a chance to socialize, yet you can also enjoy a quiet meal alone and at a $50 or under price point. With ingredient forward menus, these spots in Uptown, Mid-City, and the CBD will inspire other adventures and stepping outside one's comfort zone.
When diving into the world of solo dining, it may be easy to start with a laid back and charming place such as Tartine. As owner Cara Benson shares, "Tartine is a casual French inspired breakfast and lunch café using homemade breads and top-quality ingredients. The friendly staff makes you feel at home." Benson's study of pastries at the French Culinary Institute shines in all cof the afé's dishes. Venture into their namesake tartine, or open-faced sandwiches, with options like pork or salmon rillettes. The cozy seating options and plenty of outdoor tables offer a cozy ambiance for a fabulous meal.
A step into Josephine Estelle's is like traveling to a different time period, and the vast architecture plays up to the rich history of the city. Modern touches with the decor add to the inviting charm factor. Bar seating and plenty of tables that can accommodate one make this restaurant sure to be kept on the list. With an American South meets Italian menu, the combination of these two cultures known for their inviting hospitality leads to a menu that lives up to the setting's hype. Located in the Ace Hotel, this is a place where community and all types of diners are welcome.
Offering an invitation to authentic Ethiopian cuisine, Addis Nola has combined hearty and nourishing meals with curated spice combinations that automatically invite diners in. From small plates like an Ethiopian jollof to specialties like mar mitmita shrimp and sides such as injera, or flatbread, there is an option for everyone. The solo dining deal is sealed here with plenty of bar seating and small top tables. With eye-catching touches and pops of color in the décor, Addis Nola continues to pay honor to the rich history of Ethiopia.
Trade relations that began long ago have led to fusions of new dishes and cuisines that still bring excitement today. At Jamila's Cafe, this Tunisian and Mediterranean bistro serves up dishes such as brik aux crevettes, which is phylo dough stuffed with shrimp, potatoes, parsley, and onions. That and more dishes like the Couscous Royal showcase just what delights can come from these cultures in a Crescent City setting. As the only Tunisian restaurant in the city, experience a brand-new culture during Belly Dancing Saturdays at Jamila's.
Another great spot with eye-candy decor, Mayas Nuevo Latino Cocina continues to draw diners into its inviting ambiance. Here, authenticity is not sacrificed but is elevated and showcased through items from all over Latin America such as Peruvian ceviche and Brazilian moqueca mixta. With a plethora of appetizers, small plates, and even paella-for-one, this means no one needs to feel left out while enjoying a great meal.
With flavor combinations that work harmoniously together, a trip to Maïs Arepas is entertainment in itself. With an expansive selection of arepas, a ground maize dough that is flattened and then combined with various fillings, the restaurant has plenty of great options for single dining dishes. Outside of these, look for other Colombian specialties with contemporary takes on classics like plantain cups with local mushrooms and toppings, as well as a bandeja paisa. The exquisitely plated dishes allow you to be fully immersed in this inviting setting.
When dining out, sometimes great options come from new takes on beloved classics. Saffron NOLA has done such with their innovative dishes such as salmon pani puri, tandoori squash, and oyster bed roast with caramelized onions and curry leaves served with naan. With bar seating and an intimate restaurant feel, the additional atmosphere at Saffron NOLA creates a great escape for time alone.
Nourish your appetite with menu items that taste of home comforts at Le's Baguette Banh Mi Cafe. Along with the namesake range of banh mis with homemade bread, find other Vietnamese and other Asian specialties like pho, vermicelli noodle bowls, a fun assortment of bao buns, and a great dessert with boba flavors. The inviting café makes for a great solo dining spot with Wi-Fi access and plenty of seats for one, yet the casualness lessens the intimidation factor of dining alone.
Finish with an Italian Dessert
As the saying goes, "Life is short. Eat dessert first." A gem within the city is Angelo Brocato's, who's old-school vibe showcases what an Italian dessert and ice cream parlor should be. For those still shy to do a solo date, dessert not only offers a great treat but also a welcome introduction to what it means to dine alone. Along with the decor, part of the joy in stepping into Angelo Brocato's is the amazement of all the options to choose from and the respect used to craft traditional Italian specialties. The number of artisanal-crafted options provides a wow factor to enjoy time alone while at Angelo Brocato's.