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Table for One: The Best Places To Dine Solo in Paris

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Lazare

Lazare

Who says Paris is just for lovers? With world-class museums, jaw-dropping architecture and monuments galore, exploring the City of Light alone can be fun, freeing and fulfilling.

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Maison F photo by Sylvano

Maison F (Sylvano)

But the one thing that can still strike fear into the solo traveler heart is the phrase: “table for one.” The easiest way around this dilemma is to skip the table all together and head straight for the counter seating at one of these picks from some of the city’s latest hotspots.

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Lazare

Lazare

For a leisurely lunch for one, check out Caillebotte, the latest from the team behind popular le Pantruche. Tucked away on a quiet corner in trendy SoPi, sit at the tiny counter to watch the busy kitchen turn out seasonal and fresh dishes like foam-topped skate, pumpkin soup with chestnut cream or tarragon ice cream desserts.

Dining Solo, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Lindsey Tramuta, Lost in Cheeseland

Caillebotte (Lindsey Tramuta, Lost in Cheeseland)

White marble, light wood, plenty of mirrors and windows lend the small space an open and airy feel. The place is always packed so food may take a little time to arrive, but genuine and friendly service make the wait more enjoyable. And, the plat du jour is a great value for the quality, making it easy to spoil yourself without spending too much.

Caillebotte. 8, rue Hippolyte Lebas, 75009. +33 1 53 20 88 70

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Terroir Parisien

Terroir Parisien

Fans of locally sourced products should try the newest Terroir Parisien.  Following the buzz of the original restaurant of the same name, Michelin starred chef, Yannick Alléno, opened the Bourse location, which continues to serve updated French classics made with ingredients from the Ile de France area.

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Maison F photo by Sylvano

Maison F (Sylvano)

Located in the Palais Brongniart (formerly the Paris stock exchange), Alléno’s latest is an ambitiously spacious restaurant where he has no problem filling the many seats.  Solo diners can comfortably settle in at the large counter for a perfectly cooked piece de boeuf.  Not sure what to drink with it? The staff is adept at suggesting just the right glass of wine to accompany a dish.  Be sure to leave enough room to finish with their generous selection of cheeses.

Terroir Parisien, au Palais Brongniart. 28, place de la Bourse, 75002. +33 1 83 92 20 30.

Dining Solo, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Roca

Roca

To get a taste of neo-bistro food without attitude, make your way out to the laid back Roca. While the location is a bit off the beaten path, the reputation of Chef Alexandre Giesbert, formerly of le Richer, pulls in hungry foodies from farther afield to sample the short but sweet menu.

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Maison F

Maison F

Stone walls, big windows and a clean design give this little location a cozy but modern feel. Grab one of the five counter stools and enjoy pretty little plates of market fresh fare like scallops with a celery and nut puree or creamy Burrata with Kalamata olive cream.  All of this at nice prices with even nicer service.

Roca. 31, rue, Guillaume Tell, 75017. +33 1 47 64 86 04 (closed on weekends)

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Lindsey Tramuta, Lost in Cheeseland

Caillebotte (Lindsey Tramuta, Lost in Cheeseland)

Enjoy food from feted chef Eric Frechon without paying Michelin prices on a visit to Lazare. This updated brasserie has brought something new and shiny to Europe’s second busiest railway station. High ceilings, natural light and bright white walls make a welcome contrast to the somewhat shabby surroundings. Lazare exudes a fun and frenetic energy that can only be found in a location that sees nearly a half a million people transiting through on a daily basis.

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Maison F photo by Sylvano

Maison F (Sylvano)

Although the resto is housed in a train station, the service unfortunately doesn’t always run like clockwork. While the service may falter, the food doesn’t fail to impress. Solo counter dining may just be the best option here, where it can be easier to command attention from harried staff. So head straight to the freestanding brass bar for dishes like tempura-fried prawns served in tiny fry baskets or a bright mackerel starters, served whole with onions, carrots and homemade horseradish sauce

Lazare. Parvis de la Gare Saint-Lazare, Rue Intérieure, 75008. +33 1 44 90 80 80

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Roca, Terroir Parisien

Roca & Terroir Parisien

And finally, step into the Maison F to get a feel for the city’s nightlife scene without having to hit the bar stag. The main restaurant is upstairs, but you can snag a seat at the downstairs cocktail bar to order from the full menu or make a meal of their gourmet fries.

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Maison F photo by Sylvano

Maison F (Sylvano)

Their selection of chic frites includes options like upscale potatoes sprinkled with herbs, deep-fried risotto sticks, or polenta fries served with several homemade sauces. Order up a few cocktails while enjoying your meal, chat up the cute bar staff (formerly of the well-known ECC bar Beefclub), and listen to the occasional DJ set.

Maison F. 3 rue Rougemont, 75 009, +33 1 42 46 23 16

Solo Dining, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Terroir Parisien

Terroir Parisien

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Written by Forest Collins for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

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Written by Forest Collins

Forest CollinsForest Collins chronicles her search for the finest cocktails in Paris on her blog, 52 Martinis. Every Wednesday, she tries a new place. She starts with a martini for a standard of comparison and then usually orders a second. Got a bar you think makes great drinks? Let her know, she'd love to try it!

Website: 52 Martinis

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Table for One: The Best Places To Dine Solo in Paris”

  • Francophile says:

    I’ve been a woman alone in Paris a few times – waiting for friends to join me, or staying a few days after my husband had to leave for business. I found restaurateurs just do not know what to make of a woman being alone at night for dinner. It’s even worse in the provinces. Lunch of course is easier but still unusual. Remember, sometimes the maitre d’hotel will be across the room and ask with gestures how many in your party. The French start counting with their thumb. if you hold up your forefinger meaning “one” they inevitably think it’s two. I learned this the hard way.
    The newly refurbished “bouillons’ have communal tables, a good option.

  • Roberto says:

    “Dine” and “solo” in the same line: that’s the sadest and less italian thing I’ve ever read…
    Why should anybody suggest something like that???

  • Having just returned from a solo trip to Paris, I can attest to the anxiety the situation can produce! I wish I had made it to these, have heard great things!

  • forest says:

    Sylvia: What are your favs for dining solo?

  • forest says:

    Fiona & Rebecca: glad to hear the suggestions will go to good use! :)

  • Sylvia says:

    Another solo diner. We should team up some time and see how to tackle solo dining à deux!

  • forest says:

    let us know what you think if you try any of them – or if you find other good counters for solo dining! :)

  • Fiona says:

    Fantastic website/blog on how to dine solo – I travel to France each year and of course Paris. I really do appreciate the research you do in finding new and engaging places to visit and dine at. Keep up the great work. I will certainly pass your information on.

  • Great restaurant suggestions! I can’t wait to get back to Paris to give these a try. Merci :)

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