Photo courtesy of Mother Wolf.

GuidesLos Angeles

Our Favorite Restaurants For Striking Up Conversations With Strangers


Sure, you can say that nobody walks in L.A., that it’s more a collection of suburbs connected by freeways than a real city, and that it’s an extremely isolating place where serendipity and chance encounters out in the world are next to impossible. You can say this and be right, but that’s only part of the story.

There’s another L.A., too—one hidden behind that other version. It’s a less readily-accessible city, at least at first, but it’s there, if you know where to look. This L.A. is brimming with people from all over the world who come here to pursue a dream (not just Hollywood—also aerospace engineering, tech entrepreneurship, medical research, pastry baking, landscape architecture, etc.). It’s a city full of interesting people doing incredible things. And there are places where you can feel that energy. In fact, once you start uncovering this hidden L.A., everything changes. The city comes to life as inviting and exciting—after all, you can’t make a movie or build a rocket to Mars alone. 

So where do you go when you’re looking for connection? When you want to meet people and feel a part of the community? From a century-old underground pub, to a glamorous Beverly Hills rooftop, here are the best places in L.A. to strike up a conversation with a stranger.

The Gift of Solo Dining

Here’s how it goes: It’s Wednesday night. Or it’s Sunday night. Or it’s Thursday night. I haven’t seen another person…