There are two kinds of people in this world: those who like to dine solo, and those who don’t know what they’re missing. Count us among the first group. We’re not recommending you become a recluse with zero human interaction, but sometimes it’s nice to eat by yourself. And we’re not talking about grabbing things on-the-go, either – we’re talking about sitting down at a restaurant for a full lunch or dinner.

The best part of eating alone is that nobody will judge you for staring at your phone the whole meal. That, and the fact that it’s actually relaxing. Going somewhere and sitting at the bar is usually the best way to do it, so you’ll notice good bar seating is a common theme on this list. Here are 25 Chicago restaurants that are perfect for dining solo.


Sushi-san in River North has a long wooden bar, loud rap music, and a menu with a mix of traditional and contemporary Japanese dishes. It’s a lively, fun place, and the sushi is delicious. Sit at the bar, which also happens to be the only place you can order hand rolls.

Shaw’s Crab House

In town for business or happen to have time to kill in River North? Go to Shaw’s. Skip the more formal dining room, and find space in the oyster bar. Oysters are a necessity and follow them up with anything seafood-related – like chowder, fish and chips, or lobster.