The most uncomfortable comfort food experience in NYC


Karen’s Diner New York / Creative Commons License

Katherine Pappas, Staff Writer

If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind place to grab a bite, look no further–Karen’s Diner has got you covered. Karen’s Diner is a tasty, retro-themed pop-up joint located in the West Village, with service provided by literal Karens to create a “Rude Dining Experience” on purpose. Whether you love them, hate them or you’re frightened by them, for better or for worse, Karen’s is here to stay (at least until the end of this year). 

Upon entering the restaurant, my friends and I were greeted with a very unfriendly, “You three better have a reservation!” After I gave her my name, we followed Karen as she stomped her way over to our table and reluctantly slammed some menus down. The diner offered classic American food: french fries, burgers, hot dogs, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, chocolate cake, milkshakes, beer and wine. One of my friends made the mistake of asking Karen for her recommendations. We were met with an extremely long eye roll. “It’s not that deep, sweetheart. Just pick something quick so I don’t have to talk to you any longer. You irk me!” We all ordered the I Want To See The Manager Burger!, served with two beef patties, cheese, lettuce, bacon and lots of pickles, complete with a giant knife stabbed right down the middle. It was filling, to say the least, and incredibly tasty. “Eat quickly and get out!” Karen stated firmly. 

Over the course of the meal, we were surrounded by several annoyed Karens serving lots of hungry customers. The environment was filled with the loud sounds of Karen screams and insults and deep belly laughs from customers. “What are you laughing at?” was a common question. When our Karen asked us if we wanted dessert in her unenthusiastic tone, we kindly turned her down as we were extremely full. “Cheapskates!” she yelled, then slammed our bill on the table. Our $45 tickets went towards our tab, but we did have to put in some extra money to tip our lovely Karen. 

Overall, Karen’s Diner is definitely a unique experience but a somewhat pricey one. While it is a fun time, I don’t think I would return. Although hilarious and unquestionably memorable, my friends and I agreed that we would prefer a more relaxing meal with kinder service. Before our adventure came to an end, I asked Karen if she would like to say anything to The Pace Press. Her response was a simple one. 

“College kids irritate me!”