The Best Restaurants for Reading and Dining

A collection of outstanding restaurants for dining solo

Bang Bang Pie Shop in Chicago.

One of life's greatest pleasures is dining out at an excellent restaurant, and another favorite activity for many is settling down with a good book — so why not combine the two? Taking a book along to a great eatery can be like taking a friend who's a great conversationalist, and taking the time to reflect and experience new things through the pages of a book is a therapeutic treat.

Click here for The Best Restaurants for Reading and Dining

With all the portable technologies available these days, dining "alone" isn't really so alone any more. It's become rarer than ever to have an excuse to disconnect and decompress. And that's exactly what's so appealing about dining solo: it allows for a little escape where we can hide in plain sight. So shut off the phone for a while and be alone but not lonely as you enjoy your meal.

Often when folks dine solo, they sit at the bar. And that can be a good choice if you want a little company, but most places on our list have other seating options where you can settle in to read your book, newspaper, or Kindle while you dine.

Some of the choices on this list are quiet; others are livelier but allow a solo diner to pleasantly soak in the environment. Some offer a fine dining experience and others are a great place just to kick back and order casual fare. There's a place on this list for every type of diner, so treat yourself to a meal at some of these restaurants if you're in the area.

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