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City Tavern — (215) 413-1443; 138 South 2nd Street; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Amenities: Here, couples "voluntarily" offer to share the same table (can solos be far behind?).

Finding yourself in Independence National Historical Park in the hug of history (City Tavern was established in 1773), may foster feelings of togetherness. Then again, libations originally destined for the troops, like "George Washington's Ale — alcohol content, a presidential 12%, and recreated from his very own recipe — may also encourage "hail fellow well met" comradery.

Historically costumed, the staff is equally steeped in history (two weeks of intensive training) and in service. They will bring tableside hree types of breads, including anadama (corn meal and molasses yeast-raised bread, a traditional food of colonial America) and offer them with this invitation: "Should you like more history, please let us know." Most quests accept, especially the numerous foreign solo travelers who are "seeing the United States." According to staff reports, women ask about the costumes and the men ask about the architecture.

Lunch is a solo diner favorite, especially during the months of September, October and November when Europeans and business travelers abound.

Cuisine: 18th Century American

Neighborhood: Old City - Society Hill

THE How-to Booklet of Solo Dining Tips & Strategies is now available.

Visit: Lifestyle Skills

Morimoto — (215) 413-9070; 723 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Amenities: Solo diners are discovering the array of seating options available to them at Morimoto. Some join walk-ins who opt for a small table in the lounge, while those in the know reserve a seat (15) at the sushi bar or a two-top among the raised rows of them embracing both sides of the restaurant.

Cuisine: Japanese

Neighborhood: Center City - Society Hill

Pod — (215) 387-1803; 3636 Sansom Street; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Amenities: Random House defines a pod as "a streamlined enclosure." Philadelphia's Pod satisfies that definition and more by including dining pods among its high-gloss standout features. Flanking the bar (lit from below with neon that glows amber), each unit, embraced by wraparound slot windows, contains a control panel. Customers commandeer the inside lighting from purple to red to blue to orange, creating a constantly changing color scheme for the space.

Dining pods are but one of Pod's many fascinations. One of the first to greet you will be a rubber "barge" in the lounge, likened by the designer to an adult jungle gym, where people can sit, recline and chat — an echo of the conversation pits of the 1960s. Nearby, a row of plastic ottomans along the front windows also get into the act. Their white vinyl cushions light up when you sit on them!

So, where do solos gravitate? Sometimes, depending upon seating availability, they make a bee-line for the shiny communal table seating 16 that anchors the main dining room. Usually, they claim their share of seating at an oval 35-seater sushi bar just to the left of the dining room. A conveyor belt delivers food from the kitchen on color-coded plates. Above the sushi bar a 50-inch plasma-screen TV plays videos of the crowd — captured on 19 cameras strategically placed throughout the restaurant — interspersed with Japanese animation.

Cuisine: Asian-fusion

Neighborhood: University of Pennsylvania Campus

White Dog Café — (215) 386-9224; 3420 Sansom St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Amenities: Community table attracts ages from 25 to 65 and supports an array of convivial activities, including “After-Dinner Talks” (“serving food with thought”); “Piano Parlor & Salon” (piano music Wednesday-Sunday and story telling on Tuesday Nite).

White Dog also sponsors community service days and “Take-A-Senior-to-Brunch-on Saturdays.” They'll take 1/2 off the check for the two of you. (To receive this discount, you must make advance advance reservations and mention "Senior Brunch.")

Here’s a comment taken from its newsletter: “Doing well/making a profit should never be separated from doing good”— What an appropriate motto for this restaurant!

Cuisine: Contemporary American

Neighborhood: University City

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