You’re dining solo. Divorced, widowed, alone on a business trip, or otherwise single for the night. If you sit at a bar, your options are:
But now you DO have another option -- several in fact! I discovered the communal table concept when my boyfriend was stranded in Chicago on my birthday. New to town, I didn’t want to dine alone. After ditching an angry stranger at the bar, I moved over to the only open seat at Houston’s communal table. Not only did my table gang toast me over martinis, they sang happy birthday. One fellow diner even picked up the tab for everyone!
Here are just a handful of the communal tables in and around Phoenix. I can’t guarantee you’ll get a free meal, but you may make some great new social and business connections.
See my communal dining etiquette tips at the end of the list, too!
Upscale; part of a “family” of national restaurants.
Table Size/Location: Seats 6/at the end of the bar
Food/Beverage Specialties: Artichokes (when in season), Salads, French Dip, The Hawaiian (rib-eye steak; worth the splurge)
Note: Sometimes used for groups/couples, so check out the diners before sitting down.
6113 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85250, houstons.com
An unassuming little spot in a strip mall, but an award-winning chef-owned foodie find.
Table Size/Location: Two 10-person tables/right in front of the kitchen (so if your fellow diners bore you, you can watch the food being prepared.)
Food/Beverage Specialties: Margaritas (of course), Street Tacos, Pork Belly, Taco/Beverage Pairings, Gluten-free options
Note: You may want to bring a friend along; chef says he doesn’t see many solo diners, unless the bar is full.
3961 East Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018, crutacos.com
Community is what this restaurant is all about! As the website says, “Chef Justin Beckett brings together what matters to him most: family, friends and honest, incredible food.”
Table Size/Location: Seats 16
Food/Beverage Specialties: A great series of food “experiences” called the Grown-Ups Table Dinner Series throughout the summer, featuring a three-course meal and drinks. Table menus have included pork ragu lasagna, lemon charred chicken and verde duck confit enchiladas. Truly grown-up fare!
Note: Reservations for the events ($48 per person) are required. Chef Beckett also runs the CoLab Dinner series at the Southern Rail, collaborating with local food artisans on unique meals.
3717 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018, beckettstable.com
The restaurant added communal tables as part of its recent renovation. Mostly targeted to large groups, traveling solo diners are welcome to sit, meet, and mingle (and enjoy the awesome view.)
Table Size/Location: 2 10-person tables in the middle of the dining room
Food/Beverage Specialties: Steak, Tapas, Paella
10600 E Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, talaverarestaurant.com
Other Local Restaurants With Communal Tables:
PNPK: 23335 North Scottsdale Road, Suite D-105, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, pnpkaz.com
The Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen: 5813 North Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014, centralkitchenaz.com
Tommy Bahama: 15205 N Kierland Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, tommybahama.com
Communal Versus Couples Versus Group: Etiquette Tips
One of the challenges with the concept of “communal” dining is that many restaurants will make their big tables available to large groups and couples who don’t want to wait for seats at the bar or in the dining room. If you happen to be part of a couple or group and you find a solo diner eating at the communal table, please remember: