If stepping out alone makes you feel like a Francis no friends, this is the list for you.
Whilst hanging out with significant others or your woo girls (think Robin Scherbatsky) is a guaranteed good time, sometimes it’s necessary, or even just refreshing, to go somewhere on your own and have ‘you’ time.
In this day and age, being on your own is a pretty foreign concept, given that there’s usually someone with us, at least virtually on our phones, whether it be through Facebook, Twitter or even Tinder. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our pick of Sydney restaurants and cafés you can go on your own and not feel like a total loser. So put your phone down, hit up one of the below venues, enjoy some ‘you’ time and, hey, you might even meet someone new too!
Gertrude & Alice
Gertrude & Alice is one of our favourite Sydney cafes and bookstores to enjoy some ‘me’ time, in peace. The team behind this gem provides rows and rows of much read, well-loved books, delicious homemade concoctions of chai, nourishing nibbles, moreish meals and an array of couches and chairs to snuggle down in and devour a good book or two. Locals and those in the know flock to Gertrude & Alice to spread their work out over the long bench tables, find a good book and even catch up on the latest with friends and staff. This is not just a bookstore and cafe; this is an entire community. We love it because there’s no need to come accompanied. In fact, it’s way better going solo as you can enjoy the books on offer in peace!
If you’re after a quick bite in Sydney’s CBD or just got yourself an old fashioned sushi craving and can’t find a mate to come with quick enough, Sushi Rio is your place. Offering up a good atmosphere and cheap, fresh eats at generally $3.00-$3.50 a plate, what’s not to love about Sushi Rio? The awesome thing about sitting around Sushi Rio’s sushi train (besides plate loads of sushi) is, there’s no awkward, lonesome sitting at your own table feels. You’re there to enjoy the food, surrounded either side by other like-minded souls.
Anvil Coffee Co
This pretty as a picture Sydney café with panoramic views over Sydney Harbour and Kirribilli Wharf has got some of the best tucker in town and coffee to boot. Every day until 3pm you can get your fill of something sweet and something savoury before heading on your way and no one will bat an eyelid if you’re on your own. We can’t argue with all day breakfasts like house ricotta, roasted rhubarb, and ginger maple syrup with old-fashioned crumble on sourdough. It’s all so tasty we wouldn’t want to share anyways.
Tucked away in Rialto Square, one block back from Manly Beach, Fishmongers is a pint-sized cafe that packs a punch. Ryan Manswell and his dedicated team know a thing or two about fish and all the yummy extras that come along with it. Whether you’re there to eat in or take away, Fishmongers has got something that’ll leave you licking your fingers and asking for more. Fly in solo for a tasty meal before hitting up Manly’s beach or bar scene. We love a bit of NZ Hoki grilled fillet with a range of sides, BBQ baby octopus marinated in sweet soy and lemongrass with hand cut chips and lemon as well as the fresh tempura veggies with soy dipping sauce.
This cool Surry Hills wine bar has a long wine list and a slightly shorter, but just as scrumptious, food menu. Open Tuesday through Saturday there is something to everyone’s tastes and 121BC even hold regular wine tasting evenings to learn a bit more about wine. Perfect for a pre or post dinner venue, head on in to enjoy some you time before meeting up with others for dinner or just spend the evening here yourself - you cool, confident cat!
Ain’t nobody gonna get between us and a good bowl of piping hot ramen. We happily head on over to Ramen Ikkyu unaccompanied to get our fill of noodley, soupy goodness at this Sussex Centre food court favourite. This Haymarket jewel offers up some of the best ramen in Sydney with options to suit every taste; such as the light and mild Tokyo soy with chicken, the full veggie option or even the chef’s specialty with black garlic oil and chili oil. You won’t want anyone by your side anyway as you loudly, but oh so gladly, slurp away at these delicious bowls of ramen.
Beach Burrito Co.
Beach Burrito Co. at Bondi Beach has a killer menu of tacos, nachos, burritos and margaritas. This cozy iconic establishment on Bondi’s north side is great for lunch, dinner or takeaway meals and has some fantastic window seat tables to watch the surf roll in whilst you munch away. Our picks are most definitely the fresh flying pig burrito bowl, mucho fajita burrito and the chipotle chicken quesadilla, all washed down with a litre of their famous sangria or a bucket of beers.
This bustling CBD restaurant is designed to take the difficulties out of dining out and makes ordering lunch or dinner super easy. Head to the counter and order from the extensive range of pizza, pastas and salad before finding yourself a spot within their huge, two-story dining space. It’s really designed for anyone and everyone to sit together and enjoy their meals on the long dining tables. All of the pasta, pizza bases and sauces are made fresh daily on site and you can even watch the chefs prepare the pasta through the glass. Each meal is cooked to your individual order and you can add fresh basil and condiments to your meal from the pot plants featured along the tables. We love the deliciously rich pesto pasta with pine nuts and the bianco pizza with rosemary roasted sliced potato, garlic, cream sauce and mozzarella. Don’t forget to order yourself one of their specialty killer desserts, because you deserve it!
Black by ezard
This fine dining experience located within The Star entertainment’s venue offers classical food styles influenced by American grills and the flavours of contemporary Europe. The menu can changes seasonally to showcase the best of Australian produce in an interesting array of flavour combinations. Come and enjoy Black by ezard’s international wine list, which boasts around 1,000 wines sourced from the greatest wineries in Australia and worldwide. If you’re into theatre, come and treat yourself to a fabulous meal before heading off to watch a show!
Image: Anita Wilhelm