Table for one? The best spots in Dubai for solo dining

No sharing-style menus here…

While you may be happy eating alone just about anywhere it can be quite intimidating. Thankfully, there are some restaurants that make dining solo seem like the norm (and so it should be).

In fact, there are many perks of eating out alone: you’ll get quality time to yourself, you’ll appreciate food more, you won’t have to share, no small talk, you’re guaranteed great company, and, ironically, you might even meet new friends.

Here are our top picks for solo dining in Dubai: where to go, what to eat, and even where to sit. Embrace it…



This ultra-hip café is an Al Quoz gem located in The Courtyard. With plenty of space both indoors and outdoors, friendly service, and hearty French dishes – you’ll feel right at home. We could people-watch here all day long while tucking into the French beef dip sandwich or the savoury waffle duck confit.

Cassette, The Courtyard, Al Quoz, Dubai, open 8pm to 5am, daily. Tel: (04) 349 1966. cassette.ae

Daikan Ramen

Daikan izakaya Abu Dhabi

This no-fuss Japanese experience brings affordable yet delicious Japanese cuisine. They offer a variety of broth bases from soy to miso, spicy, and veggie. Pick from a number of delicious toppings that are available to add in. There are many bites to go along with your meal such as kimchi or gyozas. With two locations in Dubai, Daikan is the perfect spot to dine alone so you won’t have to share.

Daikan Ramen, City Walk and JLT. 12pm to 11pm. Tel:(0)4 583 1184. @daikanramen


If you’re anxious to eat out alone, Depachika is a perfect choice. Home to several of Dubai’s favourite dining venues, this gourmet food hall is a foodie’s dream to grab a bite to eat in a sophisticated setting, that’s totally worth the calories. Between the like of Lime Tree Café, Daikan Ramen, and Casa Della Pasta, you will be sure to find something to satisfy your cravings whatever your mood, or you can even grab a bite from each.

Depachika, Nakheel Mall, Palm Jumeirah. Daily, 10am to 10pm. depachika.ae

Fusion Ceviche

Chef-owned, homegrown, and authentically Peruvian – this hole-in-the-wall ceviche bar is a must-visit. The space is not large, seating around 20 or so inside and a further six outside. Sit at the bar for front-row seats to watch Chef Penelope prepare the renowned ceviches and share her fascinating stories. What to order? Try the clasico ceviche to start followed by the pulpo anticuchero.

Fusion Ceviche, Cluster Q (opposite The Park), JLT, Dubai. @fusioncevichedxb



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To experience authentic Japanese-style solo dining, this new restaurant has a traditional Bocchi Seki, which translates to lonely seats. Perfect for solo dining, your food will be delivered through a hole in the wall, which separates the table and the kitchen. Slurp as loudly as you please! What to order? If you like something with a bit of spice, try the fiery Aka Paitan ramen or you can’t go wrong with the tasty chicken Katsu donbori.

Ichiryu Ramen House, Wasl Port Views Building 7, Dubai. Daily 12pm to 11pm. Tel:(0)503750354. @ichiryuramenhouse


On the hunt for Japanese food? Look no further than Itadaku. Located inside Wasl Vita Mall, Itadaku is a (new-ish) family-run authentic Japanese restaurant. Fun fact: Itadaku means “grateful for receiving”. For real Japanese foodies, this is as close as you’ll get to Japan in Dubai. Sit at the kitchen counter and try the hamachi sashimi, kushiyaki shiitake, prawn tempura, and sweet potato robata and thank us later.

Itadaku, Wasl Vita Mall, 32c Al Wasl Rd, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, 12pm to 1.30pm and 6.30pm to 9.30pm, @itaduku_dubai

Ivy’s Secret Garden

ivy's secret garden

A surprising addition to the industrial warehouses of Al Quoz is Ivy’s Secret Garden. Part plant shop, part cafe, this instantly relaxing space is named after its owner, who combined her love of coffee and plants into one one-stop shop where guests can enjoy a hidden green gem in the urban jungle. The menu is limited to all-day acai bowls and small bites, plus an array of beverages that prove very popular, as do their green-themed workshops like skincare making and plant pot painting.

Ivy’s Secret Garden, Warehouse 3, Al Asayel St, Al Quoz 4, 9am to 9pm daily. Tel: (055) 8896982, secretgardenivy.com



Like most great culinary stories, Kinoya started from a supper club by Chef Neha Mishra, before she opened the permanent restaurant Kinoya in The Greens. This licensed ramen restaurant takes great pleasure in two things: ramen, obviously, and its laid-back atmosphere where all visitors can unwind with wonderful cuisine. Pick from slow-cooked chicken, cured duck slices, or tenderloin beef as your ramen topping for a solo feast. Did you know Kinoya was recently named number seven on the MENA 50 Best restaurants list?

Kinoya, Onyx Tower, The Greens, Dubai, Tue to Sun 12pm to 1am, Mon closed, Tel: (0)4 220 2920, kinoya.ae


Chopsticks at the ready… Dubai’s first-ever Japanese handroll bar recently opened its doors in Alserkal Avenue. The chef-founded restaurant hails from Houston, Texas and was brought to Dubai by the team behind Pinza and Fiya. From the playful nigiri to crunchy handrolls, Kokoro promises to “break all the sushi norms” transforming the finest cuts of fish into culinary masterpieces that are a fusion of innovation and flavour. The relaxed ‘hole-in-the-wall’ spot offers a welcoming, easy atmosphere, perfect for dining alone.

Kokoro, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai. Open Weds to Sun, 12pm to 10pm. No reservations. @kokoro.dxb

Lila Taqueria

This hidden gem is a cosy home-grown taqueria serving up the finest flavours from Mexico. The brains behind this project is Chef Shaw, a warm and passionate woman who is dedicated to embodying sustainability and community in her venue. This homegrown spot only opened two months ago but has already caused a stir among Dubai foodies, making it one of the hottest new neighbourhood hangouts.  Lila Taqueria utilises traditional cooking methods and authentic wood-fired ovens to create incredible flavours – sourcing all ingredients locally and ethically. Outside there’s a taco window for food to go and a small-yet-bustling outdoor terrace which also happens to be dog-friendly. The menu boasts a panoply of flavours and textures from tuna tostadas to chicken tacos and the lamb ‘al pastor’ gringa.

Lila Wood-fired Taqueria, 786 Jumeirah St, Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah 3, Dubai, Tues to Sun 9am to 10pm, Mon closed, Tel: (0055 560 1778, lilataqueira.com



Nette, located at Matcha Club, is the gorgeous sister café to Cassette. A trendy café nestled between yoga studios and padel courts, it’s home to a wholesome menu, although Nette may surprise you with its lean toward Japanese ingredients – a nod, we assume, to the name of the wellness club it’s housed within. Stroll around, people-watch, and dig into their divine dishes like the nutrient-filled matcha acai bowl or miso eggs Benedict. Nette is also an ideal place for digital nomads looking for a change of scenery and an airy and nourishing meal.

Nette at Matcha Club, Al Quoz, daily 8am to 10pm. Tel: (0)4 548 8369. @nettedxb

Not Only Fish

not only fish

Located in the Almas Tower in JLT, Not Only Fish serves authentic Pan-Asian flavours in a sophisticated atmosphere. Visit during a lunch hour (from 12pm to 4pm on weekdays) for their business lunch: Dhs105 for two courses or Dhs125 for three courses. Sit up at the open kitchen counter for the ultimate solo experience. Head here for the yellowtail sashimi, you will not be disappointed.

Not Only Fish, Almas Tower, JLT, Dubai. Daily, 12pm to 12am. Tel:(0)4 554 0707. @notonlyfish.dxb

One Life

If you’re heading out alone this weekend, stop by the cool homegrown café One Life for a breakfast bagel or lunchtime poke bowl (and refreshing draught beer). The bustling café consists of indoor and outdoor seating, an open kitchen, and a bar. Some people come to work, some to drink under the shaded seating, and some for a quick grab-and-go lunch, but one thing is for certain: you will fall in love with their wholesome and affordable dishes.

One Life, various locations in Dubai, onelifedxb.com@onelifedxb

Social House

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Beloved Dubai Mall restaurant Social House recently reopened to the public following a six-month closure. The casual eatery serves daily breakfasts, wood-fired pizzas, sushi and robata, small bites, salads, hearty pasta dishes, meat and fish, Asian rice and noodles, and desserts. There’s a new Japanese-market-inspired chef’s sushi table, perfect for solo dining, and an airy garden terrace with front-row seats to the iconic fountain show, providing guests with plenty of seating options to personalise their dining experience.

Social House, Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, Dubai. Weekdays 9am to 12am, weekends 9am to 1am. Tel:(0)4 339 8640. @socialhousedubai

Streetery Food Hall


This one-stop eatery has got all your Asian cravings sorted. If you’re like us, we love to try a little bit of everything, and at Streetery, this is encouraged. Choose between four outlets; Fat AuntsZenPinkimli, and Hing Kee, where you can mix and match Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Korean, or Thai cuisine to your heart’s desire. Enjoy your chicken satay next to dim sum, Korean barbecue, roti, or a laksa.

Streetery Food Hall, JLT Cluster D, Dubai, 11am to 11pm daily, Tel: (0)4 587 3373, streeteryfoodhall.com

Images: Social