What are the best sit-down restaurants for solo travelers?

Discussion in 'Disney for Adults and Solo Travelers' started by jmbarnes101, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. jmbarnes101

    jmbarnes101 Mouseketeer

    Apr 1, 2016
    I'm going solo, have an annual pass so discounts are welcome, in January and wondering what everyone would consider the best sit-down restaurants for solo travelers. I'd like to do a sit down meal once a day during my six day visit. I've eaten at a lot of places but not solo. Currently, I have a reservation for the new Snow White dinner at Artist Point and I want to eat at Chef Smith's. Beyond that what are your folks' recommendations? Thank you.
    CassieRuns likes this.
  2. Zakery

    Zakery Mouseketeer

    Jan 8, 2013
    I loved going to Jiko. I sat at the counter as opposed to the table. I only chatted a bit with the people working and was left mostly to my own other than getting good service.

    The bread service was amazing and steak was delicious. Going solo was nice as it didn't cost me a tonne. It was pricey as I did drinks, bread service, steak and desert but I didn't have to pay for a whole family.

    I came away having had really a good amount of really good food. Plus I also got to walk around the resort before for an hour which was nice.
    CassieRuns likes this.
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  4. georgina

    georgina DIS Veteran

    Apr 21, 2003
    I don't do many TS restaurants solo, though I have done the Plaza. I prefer to eat at the bar, favorites are at Yak & Yeti, Tune in Lounge at 50's prime time, and The Wave. I have had some good appetizers at Nomad Lounge. I would think any restaurant you want to go to would be fine solo.
  5. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

    Aug 26, 1999
    I've done lots of restaurants solo, since I've taken at least 15 solo trips over the years. The best have been any that have a view of something-Chefs de France at a window table has a great view for people-watching, Sci-Fi has a fun view of the movies, Coral Reef has an enjoyable view of the fish tank, etc. I love character meals, even if I'm not really interested in character visits. It's so much fun watching the families and especially the kids seeing the characters. What I don't like are restaurants that have communal tables (like Biergarten and Teppen Edo)-sometimes you might get friendly table-mates, but once I got tablemates that ignored me, and that's when I decided that from now on I'd rather dine alone than wish I was.
  6. StageTek

    StageTek It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

    Apr 20, 2007
    I don't think there is a best for dining solo. All are about the same. I've never had a best or worst solo dining experience at any of the TS restaurants. Even Biergarten. I, too, once (out of four) was seated with a family who ignored me. But three times I had a terrific time with fun people.
    What are your favs when not dining solo?
    Lilsia likes this.
  7. xlsm

    xlsm Snow White

    Oct 19, 2013
    The best places to dine solo are wherever you want to eat ::yes::

    I've done Be Our Guest, Tiffins, and Boma solo, and was nervous about how they would be alone. In the end, I wish I'd booked more b/c I hated eating so much QS!! On my next solo trip I'm going to branch out and do more solo TS.

    Good luck choosing and have a great trip!!
    CassieRuns, Lilsia and StageTek like this.
  8. Bete

    Bete DIS Veteran

    Sep 14, 1999
    I tend to be friendly; so, I like Biergarten and Teppan Edo. If you want a conversation it's usually easiest at these restaurants. I did have a family once at Teppan Edo that didn't want to be friendly, but that's more rare in my opinion.

    I do agree it's nice to have a side show like characters or the fish tank to view.

    Some restaurants have tables for two or one together in a row like LeCellier. It's easy in those locations to talk to your neighbor.
  9. kwdw

    kwdw DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2010
    My favorite's solo:

    Boma - breakfast - don't drink too much juice!
    Sanaa - get the bread service, really. Lunch or dinner, if the day is planned right, I prefer lunch; menu is same though
    Jiko - dinner
    LTT - lunch only - pot roast!
    Tiffin's - for lunch (bread service at Sanaa is better but this one is interesting; I like doing a wine flight here at lunch or going to Nomad's Lounge mid-afternoon for a break)
    Sci-Fi Diner - either lunch or dinner - I try to schedule mid-afternoon.
    The Wave - breakfast or dinner
    Grand Floridian Cafe - breakfast or lunch

    I have that new Artist Point character meal on my To-Do list - I haven't been to Disney in 9 months (I've still got withdrawal from 2 years of AP's, but I am not buying one again until 2019).

    I actually didn't like Chef Smith's Homecoming solo. I got a crappy table, poor service, and the day I was there - it was alot of 30 somethings hanging out in friend groups drinking alot. It wasn't obnoxious or anything - I just felt like a left-over.

    At Disney Springs - I did actually love Jock Lindsay's Hangar Bar for an early lunch one day. It was "cool" out (maybe upper 60's/low 70's) - but they had heaters on the patio and I thought the view and sun that day was awesome. I had a really pleasant waiter and he didn't rush me.

    I'm with you - with an AP - I think one TS meal per day as a solo is perfect. I go enough on an AP year (and typically travel as a couple and with family once during an AP year, too) - that I buy TIW - but you gotta do the math to determine if that's for you)
  10. raddisneyfan

    raddisneyfan DIS Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    I totally agree with this. I've done many solo and I don't really see a difference. I tend to get great service every time. As this poster asks, what are your favorites when not dining solo? Just go to those.
    Lilsia and StageTek like this.
  11. KNovacovschi

    KNovacovschi DIS Veteran

    May 30, 2007
    I’ve only been on one solo trip but have one coming up in April. When I went on my solo trip I ate at CP and 1900 PF for breakfast and had an amazing time, the characters were just as interactive as if I was in a group and the people next to me offered to take pics. I also did 50’s Primetime and BOG for dinner, 50’s was great and my “cousin” kept me company a lot when he wasn’t busy, lol. I did BOG for lunch and dinner and lunch was fine but dinner at BOG was the only time I was made to feel like a loser or something for dining by myself. My waitress was horrible, on one side I had a couple and on the other a family and she treated them completely different. I have never felt so bad at a restaurant. With that being said I’m excited about my upcoming trip with dining, I just won’t be eating dinner at BOG(mostly due to price and new menu though).
  12. Kimrlav

    Kimrlav Mouseketeer

    Jul 24, 2017
    Some of my favorites for solo dining are the lounges or bars of the restaurants because do not need an advance dining reservation, enabling me to go with the flow for vacation. Some of my favorite lounges are Hollywood Brown Derby, Tune in Lounge, California Grill Lounge, and Nomad Lounge. Also, I like the bar at Flying Fish and for more casual the bar at Beaches n' Cream.
    need2travel likes this.
  13. bryanb

    bryanb DIS Veteran

    Sep 10, 2013
    Another way to ask this question is to start by listing what preferences/concerns you have about eating solo at WDW table service restaurants. And then we can find examples of restaurants that address those thoughts.

    For example, I don't want to be seated with or too close to other guests.
    I want a place that will let me relax and people watch for a long time.
    I want something quick, where I don't have to sit by myself for a long time.
    I want a place where it won't look weird that I'm reading a Kindle.
    I want a place where I can meet new people.
    I want a place where I can be distracted and not have to think too much about dining alone.
    I want a place where I can be tucked into a corner, so that people aren't looking at my solo party.

    Many of us can dispel the majority of myths and anxieties that people have, but if we can get the list of questions on why one is concerned about solo dining, it is easier to give a good answer.
  14. jennie622

    jennie622 Earning My Ears

    Jun 16, 2010
    Definitely California Grill the bar has lots of business travelers who dine solo. Anything at the Swan or Dolphin (also convention hotels with lots of solo folks). Territory Lounge in WL is my favorite. Sit at the bar or in an oversized chair - food is from Artist Point’s kitchen. Also at WL, Geyser Point! Right on Bay Lake, try to eat when the electrical water pageant goes by. Citricos and Flying Fish both have fabulous bars to dine at as well.
    cdg121990 and need2travel like this.
  15. NickDubs34

    NickDubs34 Earning My Ears

    Nov 10, 2018
    Going to be at Disney next week, arriving on Thanksgiving day and planning to hit Homecomin' for dinner. I didn't make a reservation because it looked like they have bar seating. Will I be good to walk up and grab a seat at the bar? They serve the regular menu there, yes?
  16. DaisyDuck001

    DaisyDuck001 DIS Veteran

    May 5, 2006
    My favorite place to dine solo is anywhere that isn't a character meal (because there is no one with you to take your picture when staff isn't available) or communal seating (because this could go badly if your table-mates aren't welcoming -- although it could also go great if they are). For character meals or communal seating places, I prefer to meet up with other Dis'ers. :)
  17. Sugardimples

    Sugardimples DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2001
    I really like eating at the bar at Splitsville. I think Splitsville has really good energy and have found the people at the bar and the bartenders to be sociable.
  18. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

    Aug 26, 1999
    For character dining solo, I've found a great way to always get my picture taken with the character. I whisper to the character "I'd love to get my picture taken with you-do you know anyone who might help?" and hand him/her my camera (cell phone). Usually, the character has a CM friend help. However, a few times the character has gone to an adjacent table, handed someone the camera, then motioned for them to take our picture. No one dares say "No!" to Mickey or whoever it is. And people always get a good laugh out of being ordered to do something by a character.
    Regarding communal dining, I've had one bad experience-for me, one was plenty!
    CassieRuns likes this.
  19. 2xcited2sleep

    2xcited2sleep DIS Veteran

    Jan 5, 2008
    My favorites for dining solo are Flying Fish, Bluezoo, Boathouse - I prefer the dockside bar but inside is nice too, Wine Bar George, and Jiko (sitting at the Cooking Place bar is really fun to watch the chefs prepare items). Not table service but there are many lounges that are great too -- Nomad Lounge in AK, Tutto Gusto in Epcot, Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge in Hollywood Studios (I like the restaurant proper as a solo as well), Crew's Cup or Ale & Compass at the Yacht Club. I love doing a "monorail crawl" as a solo as well and hit California Grill (if availability) or Wave, Tambu Lounge and Mizners. Geyser Point or Territory Lounge at Wilderness Lodge are fun as well. Really no bad options. Have fun!!
    TresGriffin likes this.
  20. disneylove69

    disneylove69 DIS Veteran

    Oct 21, 2008
    I'm not into the character meals alone. Snow white will be different as it's not buffet. Other than that all are good solo. I have even done Ohana alone.
  21. jsmla

    jsmla DIS Veteran

    Mar 19, 2001
    I still struggle with feeling awkward as a solo diner and that definitely affects my choices. I'm pretty much there to have a decent, relaxing meal and don't need a lot of interaction with the server. I would never consider anything like Biergarten or a character meal solo. That said, I like:

    Magic Kingdom
    -Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch-not a character meal and the servers don't mess with you.
    -Jungle Skipper for dinner-could do without the joking but the food is more to my taste. Solo seating can sometimes be awkward here if you get stuck between two large parties.

    -Chefs de France for lunch-I book for opening and have always had a window.
    -Spice Road for Illuminations-this is one of my favorites!

    -Brown Derby for lunch. Dinner is $$$. Nice service and a great break from the park, another favorite. The lounge is great too, especially in nice weather.

    Animal Kingdom
    I really like the QS here so tend to go with that. Tiffins is nice but a little pricey for me. I love the Nomad Lounge.

    Bon Appetit!

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