Seafood at Swan Oyster Depot
An immaculate seafood spread is awaiting you at Swan Oyster Depot.

The Best Places
to Dine Solo in San Francisco

Don't wait on a plus-one to experience incredible San Francisco dining. These are the restaurants where it pays to fly solo.

Dining alone has its advantages. Solo dining keeps the tab down; no one talks to you into a $7 bottle of mineral water or sharing an appetizer you don’t really want. There is usually less of a wait for parties of one because you can opt to sit at the bar or at that awkward table in the corner. For the solo traveler or the local hitting the city by the themselves, here are great spots in the city to dine alone.

Chez Maman

1401 18th St. and 401 Gough St.

Chez Maman has a few locations but the one in Potrero Hill is on point. It’s cozy, seating about 12 people at the counter across from the galley kitchen. This is a place where being alone definitely gets you in faster. You'll never feel rushed while you enjoy your coffee or a book with your meal.

Kate's Kitchen

471 Haight St.

A lazy weekday solo brunch is absolutely legit. Like many of San Francisco’s favorite brunch places, Kate’s can have a long wait on the weekends. You'll want to make any excuse to stop in for the restorative powers of cheddar-bacon pancakes and strong coffee.

Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe

566 Columbus Ave.

Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe is classic North Beach. The antique mirror and wood-paneled bar is the spot for slow meals with a half-carafe of the house red. The focaccia sandwiches are served from the oven open-faced with melted cheese. Italian-American classics like eggplant parm are just how you want them to be: old-school and gooey. Eavesdropping on neighborhood characters is free of charge.

My Father's Kitchen

1655 Divisadero St.

My Father’s Kitchen is a North Vietnamese restaurant on Divisadero. One benefit to eating pho alone is you can slurp all you want and not be embarrassed. 

Puerto Alegre

546 Valencia St.

Puerto Alegre in the Mission has a fun bar for the single diner. It’s definitely a place where groups go to celebrate; but if you’re in the mood for guac and a margarita, you’re probably not going to mind. The soups are the surprising standout on the menu. If it’s baseball season, there is a lively contingent of Giants fan regulars who will likely rope you into their conversations.

The Rotunda

150 Stockton St.

The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus is a great refueling station when you’re in Union Square. Sometimes you should go for their classic chicken salad, but other times a quick martini away from the shopping. There is a lounge area, but also check out the small tables that ring the restaurant, offering sweeping views.

Swan Oyster Depot

1517 Polk St.

There is always a line at Swan Oyster Depot on Polk Street. Be sure to arrive long before they open at 11 a.m. You will still be confronted with groups of twos, threes and fours. However, going alone early or late in the afternoon when you can fill in a single spot at the bar is the way to go.

Zuni Cafe

1658 Market St.

Zuni Cafe is a favorite restaurant to many. The tiny tables just inside the door are ideal for single diners. A dish to order would be a bowl of creamy, perfect polenta with mascarpone and parmesan. The sidewalk tables along Market Street are divine on a sunny afternoon, when it’s mandatory to have a glass of rosé and Marin Miyagi oysters.

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