Solo diners may recoil at the thought of eating out in February, the month generally reserved for couples and their Valentine's Day falderal. But just because you're flying solo doesn't mean you have to stay in all month. This month's Where to Eat is a love letter to the unattached diner. Here are eight great spots around town for tables for one.
The tranquil Café Modern, inside The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, is the perfect me-time lunch getaway. It's off the beaten path, usually quiet, and the food is consistently good. Chef Denise Shavandy's winter menu consists of sweet potato gnocchi, manchego chorizo croquettes, and a wild mushroom and gouda grilled cheese sandwich.
Hotel restaurants are havens for solo diners, as they're often populated with business travelers; you'll slip right in. One of the best hotel restaurants in Fort Worth is the downtown Omni's Cast Iron, open morning, noon, and night. For breakfast, you can order from a menu or load up on pastries, egg dishes, biscuits and gravy, and other items from the huge buffet. Lunch and dinner menus are composed of gussied-up American staples, from chicken-fried wagyu steak to pancetta mac and cheese to venison chili.
Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ
This Stockyards staple isn't the best 'cue spot in Fort Worth, but it's one of the largest, making it the perfect place to disappear into a crowd. You're pretty much surrounded by people the entire time you're there: You wait in a long line for brisket, beef ribs, sausage, and other 'cue essentials, and you eat with other diners at long, communal tables. Quick tip: Best dish among the sides is the complimentary pinto beans.
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
Bars are a great place to mask your inability or reluctance to find a plus-one, and luckily Fort Worth has several with better-than-average food. Local restaurateur Shannon Wynne's long-running Flying Saucer is one such spot, with a cool menu that leans toward German food but also includes burgers, salads, and pizzas. The attractive patio area gets so crowded, it's hard to tell who's solo.
This east side spot serves some of the best Vietnamese food in the area — no surprise it's always bustling with neighborhood regulars, many of whom dine alone. Arrive early to get a booth. Otherwise, you'll sit at a communal table, where you definitely won't be eating by yourself.
Paris Coffee Shop
Open since 1926, this Fort Worth landmark features an old-school counter, complete with chrome barstools, where single diners can saddle up for breakfast and lunch. Counter seating here also affords ringside views of the café's beloved pies, with their mile-high crowns of meringue.
Many pizza joints cater to families, but this TCU-area spot caters to solo diners, as well, offering a seating area with small tables and counter space. The ideal meal here consists of a personal size pizza (the spicy pork and candied jalapeño pie is terrific), a kale salad, and a glass of wine or craft beer; you'll be out less than $20, too.
Sushi restaurants are another good bet for parties of one. You can sit at the sushi bar, with your back turned toward the dining room. This underrated sushi restaurant in Arlington has an added bonus for anyone self-conscious about dining alone: super dim lights. The food is very good, too, and includes both traditional rolls and souped-up rolls with sweet and spicy sauces.