9 Places Where It's Totally OK To Dine Alone In Manchester
Ain't no company like your own sometimes...
With all the fab eateries popping up all over the city, it's becoming a little like the London culture: where it's fine to dine alone.
Here's our list of 9 top places - because a table for one isn’t always a bad thing.
1. Five Guys
Whether your friends are health freaks or you’re hungry, alone and outside the Trafford Centre's Five Guys (or the new city centre location) this is a great bet for a burger for one. The fries might be big enough for two, but it’s a better option than being presented with a creation from Almost Famous to munch on alone.
This Northern Quarter 'hang out' style cafe offers local espresso, scrummy brunches, salads, lunches, handmade cakes, a hardworking girl gang, and an independent vibe.
It tends to be filled with freelancers, solo diners, and groups sipping coffees, so don't worry about heading over there for a slice of cake and a latte, pulling up your own pew.
Where to find it: 36 Oldham Street, under Pop Boutique.
3. Smoak Bar and Grill, Malmaison
While you won’t be ushered into a room of dozens of other solo diners, the energy from the other tables is what sets this establishment apart. Smoak Bar and Grill is highly commended for its roast dinners and steak, but is a little on the pricier side.
Where to find it: Piccadilly, Gore Street, between the Gardens and the railway station.
At Vap’s you can stay for three hours with wine and a made-before-your-very-own-eyes pizza (or pasta) or you can be in and out within half hour to 45 minutes having feasted on a fresh, nutritious home-made meal. Simple but delicious, their 'Risotto Funghi' is pretty damn good. Accompany it with a glass of their finest prosecco (not exactly a natural accompaniment I know - but hey I'm a northern lass - sue me) and you'll be feeling like a royal, even if you are, well...alone.
Where to find it: The Corn Exchange, Manchester city centre.
5. The Refuge
With a large restaurant space, a winter atrium, a cosy vibe and a 40 foot granite bar with 18 craft ale taps, there are so many areas at The Refuge you can nestle yourself into and eat away.
The People’s Lunch offers an express, no-nonsense big hearty bowl of soul food for £7.50 – perfect for solo dining. It’s a comfortable spot to work from if you’re a freelancer or just want to escape the office, too, with WIFI and plenty of sockets.
Where to find it: The Palace Hotel, Oxford Street, M60 7HA
6. Viet Shack
Another stand-out grab-and-go vendor, Viet Shack at Arndale Food Market is popular throughout the day for its quality and prices and it remains a solid choice for a lunch that will line your stomach ahead of happy hour. Seating can be an issue at peak times, but take-out is also an option for al fresco dining (in about seven months’ time.)
How to find it: Head for the Arndale Food Market, head left, follow your nose.
If you fancy a fine dining experience for one head over to Abode Restaurant. Definitely a payday treat, Abode is brimming with clientele on business lunches, happy couples and happy hour aficionados so peak days can be especially busy. Don’t let that deter you though, Abode offers great-tasting meals and drinks and pretty speedy service too - so it's perfect if you need a filling bite before you embark on a lengthy train journey.
Where to find it: Piccadilly, opposite the Gardens. Can’t miss it!
The whole set up of this Japanese inspired eatery makes it perfectly OK to dine alone. You get the long, wooden tables lining the restaurant, where Wagamama's actually bring the food out as and when its ready. So even if you were dining with friends, there is no guarantee you'd get your meals at the same time.
The menu offering of ramen, noodles and the infamous Katsu curry can easily be enjoyed alone, with it's laid back atmosphere and 'quick fix' dining vibe.
You can even add on a bottle of beer or a glass of wine...
Where to find it: Spinningfields, Hardman Boulevard, Manchester
Of course - an all-you-can-eat buffet has to make the list. Cosmo world buffet is a stylish, modern chain dining room with Pan-Asian cooking stations and global banquet options.
Based at the very top end of Deansgate, you can just turn up when you like, fill your plate as high as you like and go up for seconds, thirds and fourths, and just pay upfront. It's a busy, fuss-free place, where you can tuck into your piled high plates without ever feeling conscious about dining alone.
Where to find it: Deansgate, Manchester