Dining out alone has become a defining feature of modern life. Meals are no longer perceived as solely a sociable activity best done in pairs or packs, and many people are happy to dine in the company of just themselves while enjoying the culinary experience and perhaps time on social media.
One of the pleasures of living in a bustling city such as Miami is the freedom to drink alone at a bar or dine by yourself at a restaurant. It's also a great way to meet new people. Simply ask the friendly person next to you what they're drinking, and you've struck up a conversation.
You can dine alone anywhere, but there are eateries where getting a table for one is more fun. From a swanky omakase experience to a low-key taco eatery, the following are the best tables for one in Miami.
1-800-Lucky143 NW 23rd St., Miami
Besides offering seven eateries ranging from Thai to Japanese, the Asian food hall 1-800-Lucky boasts two bars, a karaoke room, and a small convenience store/record shop, making it the perfect destination after a solo stroll through artsy Wynwood. Make your way around the vibrant food hall and start with an order of Peking duck buns ($9 for two) or hawker-style chicken wings ($9) from Lotus +Cleaver. Then move on to B-side's sushi roll of octopus, masago, and olive mayo ($10) or Poke OG's vegan bowl of pineapple, edamame, sweet onions, cucumber, and jalapeño, tossed in fire sauce and served over brown rice, greens, and zucchini noodles ($11.50). Hayato is where you go to slurp up some ramen like Tayato's tonkotsu, made with pork broth and topped with scallions, sprouts, kikurage mushrooms, and chashu pork ($15). Don't leave without visiting the patio, where live musical acts play every night and Tayaki NYC offers whimsical fish-shaped cones filled with ice cream in exotic flavors such as black sesame and green tea ($7).
BarMeli696927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Liza Meli opened her cozy establishment so she would have a place to listen to music, eat well, and meet new people. BarMeli69, her Mediterranean tapas and wine bar in Miami's MiMo District, is one of the most lively eateries in town and a perfect place to visit solo after a rough workday. Grab a stool at the bar during happy hour, when the wine of the day and Meli's red sangria are $6 a glass and bites of boquerones, prosciutto-wrapped dates, and Greek green olive tapenade with toasted almonds on crostini cost only $4 each. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights offer live music (sometimes paired with dancing and breaking plates) and generous courses of grilled lamb loin chops ($16); fresh wild cod casserole, baked with tomato, olives, capers, wine, and feta ($25); and baked lamb moussaka, served with grilled eggplant and labneh-cheese topping ($22). End your meal with cheese mousse, topped with spiced berry compote, almonds, and mint ($3).
Bodega Taqueria y TequilaVarious locations
If you like to venture out on your own in the wee hours, this late-night taco-and-tequila spot is the place to go. The South Beach location, for instance, doesn't turn off the lights until around 5 a.m. Enjoy plenty of taco options, including barbacoa, prepared with braised short rib, cotija cheese, charred onion, potato sticks, and salsa rosada ($4.50); and the vegan "pollo" asado, stuffed with the meaty plant-based product Oumph, tomato, onion, cilantro, and avocado salsa. There are also quesadillas with shrimp ($12) and roast pork ($9), and burritos, served with chips and salsa ranchera, such as the Phili, filled with plenty of grilled rib-eye steak, Mexican rice, Oaxaca cheese, rajas, black bean refrito, potato sticks, and red chili crema ($12). Down it with $7 beers and margaritas or $13 Palomas before enjoying a dessert of cinnamon-sugar-dusted churros served with Nutella for dipping ($6), or one of the eatery's many paletas ($4).
Cecconi's4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Laid-back and classy, Cecconi's is the place to visit if you're looking to enjoy flavorful Italian food in a breezy setting. Grab one of the 14 seats at the outdoor bar, where the friendly staff serves signature cocktails such as Picante de La Casa, made with Cazadores Reposado tequila, lime, agave, Fresno chili pepper, and cilantro ($16). Cecconi's also a great spot to meet someone new — it doesn't take much to spark up a conversation at a hotel bar. In the evening, tiny white lights in the trees transform the space into a scene from a fairy tale. It's the perfect time to enjoy the all-day menu of items such as ahi tuna tartare topped with capers, chili, and avocado ($22). Entrées include pizza topped with prosciutto, stracciatella, and arugula ($24); branzino served with spinach, tomato, and olives ($38); and spaghetti with tomato sauce and Maine lobster ($44). During happy hour Monday through Saturday, pair $4 beers or $9 cocktails with a Margherita pizzetta ($4), baked gnocchi with Gorgonzola ($7), or a Dirty Burger ($9).
Le Zoo9700 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Whether you're visiting for midmorning brunch or a three-course dinner, this French restaurant in Bal Harbour Shops warmly welcomes solo diners. The bistro-like setting offers a respite from shopping to indulge in a comforting Gallic meal. Try the escargots in hazelnut butter ($15), Du Parc steak tartare with capers and quail egg ($18), and onion soup gratinée ($13). People-watching views are made even better over plates of trout amandine ($29), black truffle pizza with egg and fontina ($22), or steak-frites served with a dollop of maître d’hôtel butter on top ($29). Do as the French and end your solo meal with a selection of three ($18), five ($28), or seven ($39) kinds of cheese.
Malibu Farm4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Dining alone is a wonderful time for contemplation and observation, and chef Helene Henderson's restaurant at the Eden Roc Miami Beach offers a scenic refuge of seaside peace and quiet, complemented by a reliable menu of seasonal dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Settle back with a watermelon cocktail made with cucumber-infused vodka, lime, and basil ($16), and enjoy dishes that are light yet satisfying, such as crab cakes with caper aioli ($21) and tempura fish tacos served in corn tortillas with avocado cream sauce, pepper jack cheese, and salsa fresca ($22). Try one of the pizza pies, baked in the wood oven, such as avocado with jalapeño ricotta, agave, cilantro, and lime ($24), or an entrée of seared Chilean sea bass with tomato, black-and-white rice, and tahini miso dressing ($44). During Sunday brunch, live music on the patio eliminates the need for conversation. Enjoy the beach view over an order of poached eggs Henderson, served with crab cakes, caper egg sauce, and arugula ($28), and gluten-free pumpkin pancakes with crème fraîche, quinoa, and pumpkin spice cream maple syrup.
Mercato Della Pescheria412 Española Way, Miami Beach
A table for one at Mercato Della Pescheria is a ticket to a great dose of entertainment, starting with window displays where you can watch chefs prepare the food. Inside the restaurant, pasta hangs from wooden rods, fresh fish is layered in buckets of ice, and cheese wheels are stacked on shelves just below the ceiling. The market-style eatery offers Italian classics such as Mama's lasagna ($25), cacio e pepe prepared tableside ($28), and bucatini carbonara ($24) to enjoy while watching people pass by on Española Way, but you will be equally pleased with meat dishes of osso buco with roasted vegetables and risotto ($38), Mediterranean sea bass ($39), and tuna alla Genovese served with caponata ($34).
Sushi by Bou1116 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
A reservation for one at Sushi By Bou is a serious treat. You'll find yourself dining in Italian designer Gianni Versace's former suite, converted into a Japanese speakeasy offering intimate six-seat omakase experiences ($125). You will join five other diners in a small bar and indulge in a feast of 17 pieces of sushi of the chef's choice. A meal could include smoked lean tuna crowned with a dash of gold flakes, or uni on seaweed. You'll also gain access to the G-Lounge, Versace's original cigar room. The cozy space comes with a personal bartender serving Japanese whisky and craft cocktails, as well as leather couches, a fireplace, and a Mr. Sake dispensing machine.
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Umi Sushi & Sake Bar1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Nestled in the chic lobby of the Delano South Beach, Umi Sushi & Sake Bar follows the white-on-white minimalistic decor of the hotel and is dominated by a couple of communal tables, great for prompting conversation over plates of snapper carpaccio with truffle ponzu and sea salt ($15) and bigeye tuna pizza aioli ($24). Keep the party going with the Delano roll, made with spicy tuna and caviar ($25), or miso sea bass with yuzu miso and shiso ($23). You can quench your thirst with not only sake but also beer, bubbles, or handcrafted cocktails such as Kami, made with Japanese whisky, ginger, and cherry bitters ($18), before deciding if you want to join the lively crowds at the hotel's indoor and outdoor bars.
Verde1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
It's easy to while away a portion of your day at Verde. This casual spot at Pérez Art Museum Miami overlooks Biscayne Bay and offers seasonal menus designed with a nod to the museum's exhibits. Dishes combine ingredients in innovative ways, like hummus and flatbread with heirloom cherry tomatoes, mint, cucumber, and feta ($13); red beet tartare served with crisp black bread ($10), or maple bacon Medjool dates smothered in blue boulder and hyssop balsamic syrup ($15). Entrées include chicken with roasted beets and carrots, preserved lemon, and beldi olive vinaigrette ($25); and pan-seared salmon in corn purée, served with french beans, crispy rice, and black olive crumble ($22). Imagination also flourishes in signature cocktails such as the spicy Verde margarita, made with Ancho Reyes verde poblano liqueur, lime, and agave ($14).