Is Dining Out Dying Out?

We all know that dining out is way more than eating. It’s an experience in itself, mostly a journey. Discovering coffee shops in tiny streets, going on a romantic date in a fancy restaurant you always dreamed of making a reservation, or grab a burger-to-go from a local stand at the corner… Dine out possibilities are too many. Even if you go to a new place everyday, statistically speaking, there would be places you’d never have tried.

We are going through a such a horrible process that going out for having a meal is considered dangerous. Eating, the most essential need for mankind, now puts everyone in risk by making us to remove our masks. We down the mask to bite the food and put it back so at least we can keep it on the face while chewing… That’s pathetic. So sad to feel that necessity. I don’t enjoy my meals outside anymore. I’m not having a meal outside anymore though. In Turkey, all restaurants are closed since last week and they only serve for deliveries. This situation is as hard for people who work in restaurants as the ones who can’t go those places. It has varied difficulties for everyone involved. Restaurants are closed, we stop going out to eat, we no longer meet each other at lunch, and the list goes on. What I’m really sad about it is we are slowly getting used to it. Cooking at home is fantastic or making food with friends and relatives together is even better. But I’m still too afraid as if one day we will get so used to not dining out and all those romantic dinners, Sunday brunches, cocktails and celebrations will be blurry memories.

Just as many other negativities Covid-19 brought in, dining culture as well is something I’m scared that we’d have lost. When you dine out with the people you love, you know it is about sharing common pleasures and having a quality time in the end. Also if you are doing this alone, it still is a pretty much spectacular experience. Home is great, but what would you do if you are in a mood of being in a good place for dinner? You can order food home but could you order the ambiance? You don’t have to eat fancy courses with a glass of champagne every two days but for sure there will be days you’d want to be treated like a guest in a different place. We are humans, we all need that. Maybe once in a week, maybe one time a year. But we do need that.

Also, it is different to choose not doing something when you have the chance, than to know that you can not do that. This is what we are experiencing now. In all levels of this pandemic. I can’t help but to fantasize about having an espresso in a small Italian café in a summer breeze without worrying about the social distance. I still want to be able to dream of sitting in a local restaurant of a beautiful European city and dine casually. (These fantasies both involve eating out and travelling, which we’re sadly not able to do right now.) However, you got my point. At least I want to imagine to eat outside without a mask under my chin and without sterilizing my hands every 2 minutes.

I really hope that everything gets better as soon as possible. Who knows, maybe after the storm will pass, things won’t be the same as before but they will be better somehow.


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