Five Features of a Great Break-Up Restaurant


I dropped my list of the 10 best restaurants for break-ups in NYC earlier this week, and on Tuesday, I dished out a few tips for finding a break-up restaurant on The Ride Home with Pat Kiernan.

Breaking up is never easy, and finding the right venue for the occasion is important. Here’s what I considered when I formed my list.

1. The restaurant should be crowded

Though you may have an inclination to find a quiet hole-in-the-wall where only the waiter can hear your conversation, don’t give in to the impulse. A busy restaurant means there’s a lot going on, lots of background noise to fill the air, and a strong chance your server will be checking up on you less frequently. Plus, public blow-ups are embarrassing for everyone, so with more people around, the more likely it is the person getting dumped will swallow the rage-filled shouting match. And martinis only get thrown in people’s faces in movies, right?

2. The restaurant should require a flashlight or candle to read the menu

Sometimes there’s just no stopping the floodgates from opening, sending forth a river of salty tears. Seek shelter in a place where no one can see you, and look for a dim spot that’s not depressing.

3. The restaurant should have no emotional importance to you

Choosing a place that you visit frequently to drop the phrase “I don’t love you anymore” is a bad call. In fact, any restaurant you’ve ever been to with your partner should probably be crossed off the list immediately — too much potential for wistful nostalgia.

4. The restaurant should not be close to where either of you live

On a similar note, don’t get stuck at the diner beneath your apartment — do you really want to be saddled with remorse every time you come downstairs? If you’re hesitant, let us save you from yourself. Pick a neighborhood neither of you visits regularly and do the deed in a joint that’s not going to make your regular rotation. Times Square and its myriad nondescript chains are great for this, especially because of your access to many train lines once the deed is done.

5. The restaurant should have plenty of shareable plates

You’re about to cover what went wrong in your love affair, and unless you think your soon-to-be ex is a total psychopath that you’d rather not see ever again, you likely want this conversation to end amicably. So plant the seeds of future friendship with some shared foods. And if neither of you has an appetite once it becomes clear that this really is the end, this is a practical move to ensure you’re not taking home a doggy bag full of broken promises.