"Only the lonely, know the way I feel tonight. Only the lonely, know this feeling ain't right"
These are the immortal lines from Roy Orbison's 'Only the Lonely', and they encapsulate the fear and peril that the thought of dining out alone can evoke.
But don't worry, everyone feels this way sometimes. Thankfully Glasgow is a fun city that's more than happy to accommodate solo diners in most of its excellent eateries.
We've picked out five of the best restaurants that offer something fun, unique and delicious to the single diner.
48 W Regent St, Glasgow City Centre, G2 2RA
The best part about dining alone? The ability to choose to go to an exciting new restaurant without fear of offending someone else's taste buds, and they don't come much more exciting than Bo Kantina.
Offering Korean dishes, made using western cooking techniques and spliced with Mexican cuisine, there can be few arguments that they don't have a unique concept.
From Bulgogi Pork Shoulder and Kimchi Purée Tostadas to Crispy King Prawn Bao, Bo Kantina offer food that's "good for the Seoul" (we see what they did there) – and hey, did you know the French word for alone is Seul? It's serendipity.
92-94 Mitchell St, Glasgow City Centre, G1 3NQ
Italy has produced many solo geniuses from Da Vinci and Michaelangelo to… er, Berlusconi, and what got these great figures to their lofty heights? FOOD!
For the solo diner with a beautiful mind, Barolo Italian Grill in Glasgow’s city centre is the ideal choice for a night out. With a huge selection of prime Scottish steaks and freshly caught seafood grilled to perfection you will be going home to recreate the Sistine chapel on the bathroom ceiling by the time you’re a finished.
We recommend the Carpaccio di Manzo - thinly sliced seared fillet of beef with a marinated mixed bean salad & parmesan shavings, Followed by filletto d’ippoglosso - halibut flambéed with sautéed artichoke and pancetta with a red wine jus and finished off with torta di lamponi- raspberry brulee tartlet with a peach & balsamic coulis. All of course accompanied by a fine Barolo wine- which is also available in the gift shop to take home.
The Townhouse, Nelson Mandela Place, Glasgow City Centre, G1 2LL
Sometimes when you are out and about as a solo diner, you just want to escape the hum drum of the city, let the atmosphere wash over you and be served some delicious food. There is nowhere nearly as atmospheric as Chaophrayah Thai, located in the iconic Townhouse on Buchanan Street.
Walking in is like being transported to the grand palace of Thailand - with its dark carved wood, gilded statues of the Buddha and plump silk cushions. From unique Thai flavoured cocktails in the Palm Sugar lounge flavoured with star anise and dragon fruit, to delicious traditional dishes originating from northern Thailand everything is served ‘Ow Jai Sai’ which translates as ‘from the heart’.
We recommend being adventurous and opting for the chef’s signature dishes like ‘Yum Ped Grob’, a crispy duck salad flavoured with chilli and pomegranate or the Thai Fisherman’s Soup (Jaew Horn Ta Lay). You can also learn to crate the flavours at home with Chaophraya’s unique cookery classes and cocktail masterclasses. This is currently the biggest Thai restaurant in Europe, so for the solo diner, you won’t be alone for long.
OX AND FINCH
920 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G3 7TF
Situated in Finnieston, Ox and the Finch suits those who find themselves bereft of company down to a tee. Trendy without being pretentious, the atmosphere in this eatery is always electric and the casual tapas style dishes are some of the best you'll find anywhere.
One of the Scotsman writer's top-rated restaurants, the Ox and Finch is fast becoming one of Glasgow's favourite places to eat.
The small dishes are perfect for those eating alone and you'll find yourself so wrapped up in how good the food is that the only time you'll wish someone else was around was so you could tell them how much your enjoying yourself.
We recommend trying the confit duck, roast pork belly, black angus rump steak, the spiced scallops... the list goes on. We seriously struggled to find even an average dish. Just be sure to book in advance so you don't miss out.
Ashton Lane, Glasgow G12 8SJ
A well stocked bar, a great selection of mussels, candlelight, a conservatory. Brel has all the elements you require for the perfect date – with yourself! This wonderful eatery is one of the most unique in the city and because it's situated in the picturesque Ashton Lane - best viewed at night - you'll have no shortages of places to go after your meal.
The menu is as unique as the restaurant and you'll find yourself trying to decide between getting a main, (Brel's mac and cheese is legendary), enjoying some frites (we recommend the Scottish steamed mussels), or enjoying a selection of the smaller dishes.
Best of all you can relive the eighties by getting yourself some Brel fondue, there are fewer fun deserts and you'll release your inner child as you dunk the various accompaniments - from orange pieces to marshmallows - into the lusciously rich chocolate.