“Table for one, please.”
Dining solo usually calls for constant glances from the customers on the other table, pitying yourself as you watch the couple in front of you lovingly share a meal, or awkward fumbling to check your phone— only to find out no one’s texted. But this shouldn’t be the case. Eating alone should be an enjoyable experience for you and only you.
Whether you’re an introvert or a person who needs to flush out social rendezvous from their system, we’ve rounded up a list of restaurants in Metro Manila that are perfect for eating alone.
Wantusawa – Poblacion
Wantusawa is a hole-in-the-wall oyster bar tucked behind the bustling bars and restaurants of Poblacion. The unassuming restaurant serves fresh oysters flown in from Aklan daily— get them fresh, baked, or fried for only ₱50 a pop. It gets full after dinner on weekends, so try to come before 7 PM on a weekday.
Why it’s perfect for dining solo: With only room for 16 people, you’ll be able to cozy up with your cheesy oysters and a refreshing drink. There are also seats facing the wall, so you’re not forced to make eye contact with anyone.
Ella and The Blackbird – Loyola Heights
Standing in the place where Craft Coffee Revolution used to stand is Ella and The Blackbird. Katipunan veterans, don’t fret – it’s actually the same restaurant under a different name. They keep the same lighting, the same aesthetic, and most importantly – the same amazing coffee.
Why it’s perfect for dining solo: Other than the fact that they have steady wifi and ample outlets, you can bask in their chill ambience amongst like-minded individuals who want to enjoy their own “me time.”
Commune – Poblacion
Commune is a community cafe that specializes in their famous 3D foam latte art, but all the more for championing Philippine coffee. They also serve pastries and light meals to pair with their handcrafted drinks. From time to time, they host events here like open mic nights and poetry nights.
Why it’s perfect for dining solo: Many come to the third-wave coffeeshop for their relaxing atmosphere, fair share of electrical outlets, and reliable wifi. Revel in their excellent coffee and sit by the window to people-watch.
Ikigai Kakigori – Tomas Morato
Similar to Korea’s Bingsu, the Japanese melt-in-your-mouth shaved ice dessert called Kakigōri gains most of its flavor from its sweet syrup and condensed milk. Hidden in Tomas Morato’s POS building, Ikigai Kakigori is an epitome of simplicity with its unassuming interiors and their delicate dessert.
Why it’s perfect for dining solo: Their interiors are small and quaint as the café is still considered a secret spot for their Japanese dessert. Although it’s an intimate space, their servings are good enough for sharing, which means you can enjoy a big kakigori all to yourself.
Xocolat – various branches
Introducing hot chocolate in all its glorious forms and flavors, Xocolat serves a variety of innovative chocolate-infused savory dishes such as white chocolate Blanco Pasta, Xocolat pork belly with cacao-bagoong sauce, and many more creative chocolate concoctions.
Why it’s perfect for dining solo: With their plush seats, wooden furniture, and rustic interiors, Xocolat exudes a homey vibe that welcomes people in groups, pairs, or even those unaccompanied. It’s quiet, quaint, and the servings are perfect for one.
Insider tip: Get up to ₱300 off on your bill with Booky!
ABV – Jupiter St.
With a name like ABV (abbreviated from Alcohol by Volume), you know they aren’t messing around. The first of many secret bars in Metro Manila, ABV is a genuine speakeasy that can be found behind the large wooden door of Lazy Bastard. Boasting a veritable “bible” of alcoholic beverages, ABV is one secret that’s definitely worth sharing.
Why it’s perfect for dining solo: Not only is it tucked away as speakeasies are, but ABV is also dimly-lit. This means the ambience is perfect for sipping on a cocktail, eating bar chow, and straying away from mingling with others.
Common Folk – White Plains
Common Folk is definitely not your common, run-of-the-mill coffee shop. Featuring a smart, minimalist interior and a menu full of quality coffee and filling meals, one visit is enough to find out why Common Folk is all about #NoBadDays.
Why it’s perfect for dining solo: From their fast wifi, good amount of outlets, and plush sofa booths, Common Folk’s peaceful ambience is conducive for productive studying, reading, and relishing in one’s company.
Refinery – various branches
First gaining traction in its Rockwell branch, Refinery is a third-wave cafe that serves all-day breakfast and brunch items, international comfort dishes, light meals and specialty coffee – but what sets it apart is that it also serves unlimited wine, sangria, beer, and moscato you can sip happily in your leisure!
Why it’s perfect for dining solo: Aside from their unlimited alcoholic beverages, Refinery provides free wifi access, so you can watch videos, check out social media, or chat with friends online. Plus, they have outlets for your laptop charger as well as tables ideal for solo diners.
Insider tip: Get up to ₱100 off on your bill with Booky!
YAYOI – various branches
YAYOI is a contemporary Japanese restaurant offering set menu dining called Teishoku, which includes a balanced tray of rice, miso soup, tsukemono (Japanese pickles), an entrée, and a side dish.
Why it’s perfect for dining solo: Yayoi is an introvert’s haven. All you have to do is place in your order through their efficient iPad ordering system and have your delicious Teishoku within 15 minutes!
Nihonbashi Tei – various branches
Nihonbashi Tei is a humble izakaya that offers an extensive list of authentic Japanese specialties at fairly affordable prices. Their menu includes sushi, ramen, yakitori, curries, donburi, chirashi and many more Japanese classics.
Why it’s perfect for dining solo: Nihonbashi Tei has private rooms available, but we recommend you make a reservation beforehand. You can also sit at the bar and watch the chefs at work while you wolf down their authentic fare and a glass of Asahi beer.
Mendokoro Ramenba – multiple branches
Serving arguably one of the best ramen bowls in Metro Manila, Mendokoro Ramenba is a 21-seater ramen joint from the people behind Alabang’s Ramen Yushoken.
Why it’s perfect for dining solo: Solo diners get priority seating despite the long lines since there’s limited space in the bar. You might also initially feel awkward sitting around groups, but don’t worry; you’ll be seated directly in front of the open kitchen where you can peacefully watch the chefs go.
Want some more? Just check out our blog for more posts like this! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @bookyapp and use #BookyManila when you dine out, to get a chance to be featured in our future posts!
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Cover image by @krgerani.