Singles have begun to dread the inevitable return of February 14. Whether you’re still wrapped up in last year’s heartbreak or you’ve fully embraced flying solo, no one wants to watch couples rub their unconditional love in everybody’s faces. But don’t get caught up in the depressing drama of Valentine’s Day.
Use this opportunity to enjoy some alone time. There’s no better way to pamper yourself than with a delicious plate of food. As long as you know the right nondate places to go, eating alone can be surprisingly satisfying. No expectations, awkward conversations, or arguments over the bill, and let’s face it — candlelit dinners are so cliché. So avoid those romantic restaurants at all costs and head to one of these eateries instead. They’re perfect for indulging in a fantastic meal alone without turning any sympathetic heads or looking like you just got dumped. Table for one, please.
At Lung Yai Thai Tapas, guests can watch skilled chefs create authentic and flavorful dishes right before their eyes.
5. Lung Yai Thai Tapas
Dining solo provides the rare chance to truly immerse yourself in a culinary experience and concentrate on a restaurant’s fare. Lung Yai is the ideal spot for getting up close and personal with food. It offers authentic Thai dishes with complex flavors that warrant thoughtful dissection. Grab a stool at the small counter and watch as the chefs slice whole chicken fresh from aromatic poaching liquid or julienne papaya for one of the crisp, bright salads. With small plates ranging from $5 to $9 and most entrées priced under $15, you won’t need a plus-one to sample multiple plates on the menu.
Photo courtesy of Coyo Taco
4. Coyo Taco
Miami’s most prized taqueria is always a great go-to for lunch with friends, but sometimes it’s even better solo. There’s no one to judge when you order extra churros to go or spill salsa on your shirt. Plus, the open atmosphere makes this place superinclusive, so don’t be shy — slide your tin tray next to a stranger and spark up a conversation. Or hit up Coyo after hours, when the back room of the fast-casual spot becomes a hidden bar for in-the-know taco lovers seeking a locals-only nightlife experience.
Café Demetrio is a tranquil spot for a solo lunch break.
Photo by George Martinez
3. Café Demetrio
If you prefer to dodge the lovey-dovey crowd, opt for a leisurely lunch. Just a block from the bustling shops on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables is a laid-back eatery offering coffeehouse classics, sandwich-salad combos, and — most important — peace and quiet. It might seem like a traditional café, but it's tucked inside is a beautiful hidden space. Down the narrow hallway of the dining room, double doors open to a cozy patio tucked between two stone walls and shrouded in greenery. There's no better way to enjoy some me time than under the shade of a palm tree next to a steaming cappuccino.
This La Sandwicherie sub will be your valentine.
Photo by Leah Gabriel
2. La Sandwicherie
One bite of a hearty sandwich filled with all manner of goodies can make all lonely feelings disappear. The consistently delicious subs, stacked high with freshly sliced premium deli meats, are more reliable than your ex, and we guarantee no one has ever satisfied you like the melty, buttery hot Nutella sandwich — and for just $5. If that's not enough to cure the Valentine's Day blues, stroll across the street to Mac’s Club Deuce and drown your sorrows. The oldest bar in Miami, Mac’s is, well, a rustic dive. The atmosphere definitely doesn’t elicit romance, but the drinks are cheap and the place is open till 5 a.m.
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Café at Books & Books
1. The Café at Books & Books
It’s a sunny spot for coffee and a good read, but at night, the Café at Books & Books in Coral Gables transforms into an elegant patio restaurant illuminated by string lights and featuring international dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. The dinner menu offers items such as grilled mahi-mahi salad ($16) and Cuban sliders ($13), which are light yet satisfying, and live music eliminates any need for conversation. Only a handful of seats are arranged around the cozy outdoor bar, where the friendly staff serves signature cocktails with a personal touch. It’s a surprisingly good spot for meeting someone new — laid-back, classy, and far removed from the exhausted cliché of hovering over a lone martini in a swanky hotel bar.