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Looking for restaurants featuring counter/bar dining? Click: eating at the bar
Interested in restaurants featuring communal table dining? Click: eating with others

Haliimaile (Hawaii)

Haliimaile General Store (808) 572-2666; 900 Haliimaile Rd.; Haliimaile, Hawaii

Amenities: There's something about a family owned and run restaurant that tends to make it solo-diner sensitive and the General Store is no exception.

Blessed with what she termed a non-"bar-bar," general manager Rebecca Schillaci, experimented by encouraging solo women to take meals there, while offering them a deuce as an alternative. She now greets a growing coterie of solo regulars, including one female profession who remarked, "This is the only place I can come for a meal that feels really good."

Schillaci is not surprised that solo tourists have begun to appear. "Situated in the middle of the restaurant, the bar offers solos a birdseye view of everything. And the really nice bartenders also add to their good time."

Cuisine: Modern Hawaiian w/Pacific Rim Overtones

Neighborhood: Upcountry Haliimaile (Near Makao)

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Merriman's (808) 885-6822; 65-1227 Opelo Road; Kamuela, Hawaii


Publications like the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Holiday Magazine have celebrated Merriman's cuisine.

Others have praised their win-win practice of using fresh, locally grown products. in turn is pleased to note Merriman's solo diner-friendly practices! They regularly welcome male and female solos at both lunch and dinner. (Seating is pleasant throughout this restaurant; however, ask for "Table 45" when you make a reservation. You'll be able to see all the action while feeling snugly hidden away. We have it on good authority!)

Recently, Merriman's began hosting even more solo business people for lunch than ever before. Introduced in mid-August, "Lunch-in-a-rush" has become a "must do" for locals.

Cuisine: Contemporary Hawaiian Regional (Imagine indulging in Kalua Pig & Sweet Onion Quesadilla, Shrimp & Coconut Bisque and Ponzu Marinated Mahi Mahi.)

Neighborhood: Heart of the Big Island's ranch country

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Sam Choy
(808) 732-8645; 449 Kapahulu Avenue, #201, Honolulu, Hawaii

Amenities: Couples covet the chef's counter overlooking the exhibition kitchen, so make plans early or settle for a two-top. (not bad settling!)

Cuisine: Traditional Hawaiian regional cooking

Neighborhood: Right off Waikiki

Sushi Izakaya Imanas Tei
(808) 941-2626; 2626 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii

Amenities: No reservation for this dinner-only Japanese restaurant? You may find yourself waiting for a seat at the sushi bar (seating for 12) or at the communal table (seating for 15-18) situated in the middle of the restaurant. Management reports that among their customer base of locals and Japanese nationals, female solos tend to prefer sitting at the sushi bar, while male solos enjoy joining couples and groups at the communal table where spotlights play on carefully arranged dishes.

Cuisine: Nagoya originating in central Japan (no tempura)

Neighborhood: Moiliili

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