clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A cocktail in a coupe at Copycat Co. DC.
Copycat Co. is a top spot for a solo drink or dinner.
Copycat Co./Facebook

8 Places to Dine Solo Around D.C.

Go ahead and treat number one

View as Map
Copycat Co. is a top spot for a solo drink or dinner.
| Copycat Co./Facebook

Sometimes “me time” shouldn’t mean binging on Netflix and takeout in your jammies. And while there are restaurants that give solo diners second-rate treatment, the restaurants on this list know how to treat number one. From warm bowls of ramen and crab-deviled eggs to cornbread muffins and kale chips, there’s something to fit everyone’s taste.

When it comes to dining solo in D.C., here are some of our favorite spots to people-watch, tuck into a book, or just enjoy a meal alone.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

Read More

With its extensive all-day brunch menu, lunch plates, and selection of espresso drinks, the laid-back Adams Morgan cafe is fit for any solo diner. Take a seat on one of its couches and get some reading in with a featured latte, warm up while with a bowl of tomato and basil bisque ($7), or start the day off with a chorizo breakfast burrito stuffed with a cheese frittata ($13).

Izakaya Seki

Copy Link

For a solo reservation at Izakaya Seki, a counter seat is the perfect perch to peruse the hand-written menu as chef Hiroshi Seki masterfully presides over the sushi bar. The sashimi omakase with a choice between three, seven, or ten types of chef-selected sashimi is a solid choice.

Unconventional Diner

Copy Link

Brunch at Unconventional Diner includes globe-trotting dishes like Lebanese fried rice, sweet potato shakshuka, and Caribbean shrimp and grits. Evenings bring plates of cornbread muffins, kale nachos, and a near-constant stream of people going to and from events at the nearby Walter E. Convention Center.

Morris American Bar

Copy Link

The bartenders at bright and airy Morris love to chat about the cocktails on its ever-rotating menu, providing some entertainment, education, and friendly banter. For those not into a buzz, Morris pours spirit-free and low-alcohol cocktails to sip as well. And for those in the mood to mull over an artisanal cheese or charcuterie board ($18 each), chef Adam Shanta has some lovely offerings.

Copycat Co.

Copy Link

H Street NE’s dimly lit perch is the perfect place to plunk down and enjoy warming soups, dan dan noodles, pot stickers, and other Chinese street snacks for one. Big bar stools with comfy backs provide an extra reason to sit and stay for that extra daiquiri. The popular industry hangout fills up fast, so snagging a stray seat is sometimes the only option anyway. Artistic chalkboard drawings of the cocktail menu add to its allure. — Tierney Plumb

Copycat Co Interior
Copycat’s dark interior.
Copycat Co. [official photo]

Daikaya (Ramen Shop 1st Floor/ Izakaya 2nd Floor)

Copy Link

The best escape from the cold weather may be a piping hot bowl of ramen at Chinatown’s intimate Daikaya, where seats come with a clear view of the chefs making ramen in real-time. Besides that, solo dining is common in Japan. Its sleek Shaw sister Haikan is also a worthy one-seater contender, with lots of interesting Japanese whiskeys to sample at its bar.

Part art gallery, part wine bar, and part new American restaurant, it’s hard to group Whino into one dining category. While large parties a fairly common, a sizable portion of the restaurant is dedicated to an elongated bar and small high-tops. Take in whichever art show is currently on display (right now it’s Briana Hertzog’s eccentric “Reign,” featuring brightly colored paintings of royal subjects) and flip through an extensive drink menu, where cocktails include “Can I Speak to Your Manager” made with elderflower liqueur and Deep Eddy Vodka.

Shilling Canning Company

Copy Link

Shilling Canning Company’s open kitchen seating arrangement allows a view of the kitchen’s magic from most spots in the house. For a closer look, pull up to the chef’s counter for a seven-course tasting experience ($110, $65 beverage pairing) with a menu featuring wood-fired Chesapeake rockfish and Lancaster “beet tartare.” Or sit back, sip a cocktail, and people-watch from the restaurant’s u-shaped bar.

The bar at Shilling Canning Company
Shilling Canning Company

Tryst

With its extensive all-day brunch menu, lunch plates, and selection of espresso drinks, the laid-back Adams Morgan cafe is fit for any solo diner. Take a seat on one of its couches and get some reading in with a featured latte, warm up while with a bowl of tomato and basil bisque ($7), or start the day off with a chorizo breakfast burrito stuffed with a cheese frittata ($13).

Izakaya Seki

For a solo reservation at Izakaya Seki, a counter seat is the perfect perch to peruse the hand-written menu as chef Hiroshi Seki masterfully presides over the sushi bar. The sashimi omakase with a choice between three, seven, or ten types of chef-selected sashimi is a solid choice.

Unconventional Diner

Brunch at Unconventional Diner includes globe-trotting dishes like Lebanese fried rice, sweet potato shakshuka, and Caribbean shrimp and grits. Evenings bring plates of cornbread muffins, kale nachos, and a near-constant stream of people going to and from events at the nearby Walter E. Convention Center.

Morris American Bar

The bartenders at bright and airy Morris love to chat about the cocktails on its ever-rotating menu, providing some entertainment, education, and friendly banter. For those not into a buzz, Morris pours spirit-free and low-alcohol cocktails to sip as well. And for those in the mood to mull over an artisanal cheese or charcuterie board ($18 each), chef Adam Shanta has some lovely offerings.

Copycat Co.

H Street NE’s dimly lit perch is the perfect place to plunk down and enjoy warming soups, dan dan noodles, pot stickers, and other Chinese street snacks for one. Big bar stools with comfy backs provide an extra reason to sit and stay for that extra daiquiri. The popular industry hangout fills up fast, so snagging a stray seat is sometimes the only option anyway. Artistic chalkboard drawings of the cocktail menu add to its allure. — Tierney Plumb

Copycat Co Interior
Copycat’s dark interior.
Copycat Co. [official photo]

Daikaya (Ramen Shop 1st Floor/ Izakaya 2nd Floor)

The best escape from the cold weather may be a piping hot bowl of ramen at Chinatown’s intimate Daikaya, where seats come with a clear view of the chefs making ramen in real-time. Besides that, solo dining is common in Japan. Its sleek Shaw sister Haikan is also a worthy one-seater contender, with lots of interesting Japanese whiskeys to sample at its bar.

WHINO

Part art gallery, part wine bar, and part new American restaurant, it’s hard to group Whino into one dining category. While large parties a fairly common, a sizable portion of the restaurant is dedicated to an elongated bar and small high-tops. Take in whichever art show is currently on display (right now it’s Briana Hertzog’s eccentric “Reign,” featuring brightly colored paintings of royal subjects) and flip through an extensive drink menu, where cocktails include “Can I Speak to Your Manager” made with elderflower liqueur and Deep Eddy Vodka.

Shilling Canning Company

Shilling Canning Company’s open kitchen seating arrangement allows a view of the kitchen’s magic from most spots in the house. For a closer look, pull up to the chef’s counter for a seven-course tasting experience ($110, $65 beverage pairing) with a menu featuring wood-fired Chesapeake rockfish and Lancaster “beet tartare.” Or sit back, sip a cocktail, and people-watch from the restaurant’s u-shaped bar.

The bar at Shilling Canning Company
Shilling Canning Company

Related Maps