6) If all else fails, being on your phone is (kind of) fine(ish)
Not to sound like my dad, but
I’m disappointed in your career and personal choices all anyone does nowadays is peruse their phones. And yes, you definitely could be reading a book or a newspaper or Thrillist’s Food/Drink section, but, for some reason, seeing people engaged on their phones in eating settings is particularly irksome. So my advice is this: do whatever you want on the phone, but be aware of your surroundings. If the server has to stare at you and say excuse me to put down your food, that’s not cool. If the bartender no longer even passes by to see if you want another Red Dog, because you’re too busy chopping fruit ninja-style, just stop. Be respectful of the non-phone world, friends.
7) Just go with it
Being out to dinner by yourself is an adventure. And as everyone knows from Choose Your Own Adventure books, they can sometimes end up fantastic, and they can sometimes end up with you locked inside a funhouse mirror in your grandmother’s attic as part of a curse by an evil witch doctor who used to casually date your uncle. It's basically self-engineered unpredictability, friends — no matter what, your solo dining move is going to end in a story, it's just your job to find out if that story is happy, sad, or weirdly scary and involving fire. Just maybe don’t go anywhere with Rick.
Kevin Alexander is Thrillist's food/drink executive editor, and enjoys dining alone or with his many celebrity friends, including former LPGA tour champion Nancy Lopez. Follow him to a bar seat @KAlexander03.