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In Defense of Eating Alone | Serious Eats

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Some of my best food memories revolve around shared meals, with many plates passed for many hours among many busy mouths. Foodways and folklore often revolve around the pleasure and ritual of eating with others, correctly noting the connection between sharing food and sharing love. But there's a different kind of pleasure that comes from paying undivided attention to what's going on on your plate or in your head. It's a quieter satisfaction, but in a world with so much noise, sometimes more deeply felt.


Restaurant staff have never stared at me like I have two heads for dining alone—quite the contrary. On the nights when I'm feeling talky, a few questions about the menu or chef have lead to great conversations and occasionally a comped drink; but it's easy to order politely and burrow down in that book if you'd rather not chat—a party of one can be a welcome break for a swamped waiter or bartender in the weeds.

If I eat with my smartphone that doesn't count as dining alone, does it?


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