At school, a friend of mine wanted to go out to eat, but couldn’t find a pal to accompany her. The stigma of sitting by herself at a restaurant overcame her cravings for some well-made, non-dining hall food and she opted out of going. It made me think why people fear the gaze of other restaurant-goers while eating alone at restaurants. After all, splitting the check and watching your friend tweet away at the dinner table can get annoying. Here are five reasons why this notion is total BS and eating alone is efficient and fun.

1.  Read a book or magazine while eating.

Having a fork glued to one hand and a phone suctioned to the other makes your eating appear rushed. A book or magazine looks more leisurely, and may pique a convo with your server or the hottie sitting at the next table. No one can pry into your business on the phone, but a magazine cover is fair game.

2. No one is really watching you.

Even though you may feel like a sore thumb sticking out at the lively restaurant, no one really notices nor cares if you’re alone. If you want a bottle of wine and some calamari to yourself, that’s okay.

3. You don’t have to limit your order.

You can have that extra drink or fourth bite of cheesecake with no judgment. Especially if you’re at home.

4. You can engage with the music.

I always love when a restaurant has a particularly catchy Pandora station on, and eating with a friend or date may make you shy in the humming along-department. Appreciate the ambience—including the music—as much as the food.

5. You save money.

No splitting checks or tipping fiascos arise when you eat alone. Often, appetizers are shared as a group, so you can skip straight to your chosen main course. That main course will generally be served quicker, too. Win-win, eh?

All gifs courtesy of

Indulge in these dishes, even when solo:

Baked Chicken Chimichangas 

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