Eat Me: memoir and cookbook from Shopsin's, the best, most eclectic eatery in Greenwich Village


24 Responses to “Eat Me: memoir and cookbook from Shopsin's, the best, most eclectic eatery in Greenwich Village”

  1. Joel Johnson says:

    @8 That’d be his son, Charlie.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the link to the “I Like Killing Flies” documentary on IMDB

    –Eric K

  3. yalcin says:

    Looks like the place moved from Greenwich Village to the lower east side. I predict it’ll be in Brooklyn in 5-10 years.

  4. Cory Doctorow says:

    Woah, I never made the connection! He’s THAT Charlie Shopsin? So cool!

  5. Joe MommaSan says:

    Stuff like this is a good part of the reason I could never live in New York – a $14 hot dog served with a side of verbal abuse doesn’t appeal to me in the least.

  6. toilet says:

    Alton Brown recommends a 5oz patty.

  7. Brett Burton says:

    @18, 19, 20,

    It is BH Dairy. What a rad spot. The counter guys are really nice, the food is perfect comfort food, prices cheap and the mix of younger hipster / older “real” new yorkers is refreshing. Can’t think of many other spots that live up to my idealised 70s NYC fantasy.

  8. DAB says:

    like Aldous, I also used to live around the corner from Shopsin’s when it was in the Village and ate there a few times. I always enjoyed the food, and never got slammed by owner or his wife (in fact, they were always pretty nice to me; maybe because I even brought my mom there one time when she was visiting), but I wasn’t a big regular, mostly because they were usually closed by the time I was really hungry. But I always liked the food, especially the soups and anything Mexican-influenced (where overly spiced isn’t as big a problem).

  9. Brett Burton says:

    Don’t confuse having the option to eat in some ridiculous high priced establishment with some sort of requirement to. You can easily live in NYC and never go to shopsins, Peter Luger’s or the soup nazi. Personally, I like the cheap diner on 2nd ave. just south of st. mark’s. The perrogi’s there are awesome and all the food is as cheap as you can find in any other US city. Stop hating on New York.

  10. thecynthesizer says:

    No mention of the Shopsin’s documentary, I Like Killing Flies? It’s great!

  11. artful dodger says:

    Okay – I never comment on these things but I saw this one and I just had to. I don’t know why people insist on making this place out to be so cool and kitschy. The food is terrible, the establishment is dirty, and the staff is rude. I have never been to a place where the point is to make you feel unwelcome and then everyone laughs and it’s like “oh that’s how it is there”. I would never recommend this place to anyone and it makes me sad that I keep seeing this place mentioned with a fondness for the owner’s oddities. They don’t deserve your business. And as for this book … whatever this guy has got going on, trust me it is nothing to aspire to.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The one time I ate in his restaurant on Houston Street, the cat walked through my plate. Net result: I got a gross meal but a lifetime story.
    Not bad.

  13. Takuan says:

    anyone ever made a gazetteer of insult-establishments? That would make a great tour.

  14. Dave Faris says:

    I’m not sure how you can say that he establishment is dirty — the one depicted in Calvin Trillan’s article, and the two depicted in “I Like Killing Flies” have ceased to exist.

  15. w000t says:

    Here‘s a great article from a couple of days ago abour Kenny, Shopsin’s, and Eat Me.

    Don’t miss the video within. He makes Mac and Cheese Pancakes and explains their origin.

  16. LB says:


    Are you talking about Veselka? Their pierogis are fantastic. But maybe you’re not, because Veselka is NORTH of St. Mark’s Place.

  17. Muscato says:

    When I lived in Manhattan, I was always fairly puzzled by the mystique of the place (the old West Village one). The food never impressed, and the ambiance made it feel very much what one pal called it: Serendipity for slummers.

  18. hep cat says:

    Maybe he’s not talking about Veselka , but the ghost of the Kiev.

  19. aldous says:

    I used to live around the corner from Shopsin’s when it was on the corner of Bedford and Morton in the west Village. I went there a couple times to meet friends who were as gaga as Cory obviously is over Kenny’s ‘eccentricities’. I thought some of the sandwiches were okay, but most everything else was crap: too many ingredients, overspiced, no nuance. And yes, the place was filthy, with stacks of old newspapers and magazines all over the place, boxes of dirty toys and roaches.

    Kenny finally banned me for wearing a tie to lunch (I don’t have to wear ties; I just like to spruce it up on occasion). Booted by a slob in filthy jeans, sagging t-shirt and suspenders. Warm? Exuberant? That’s hilarious. Shopsin is a rude, closed-minded loudmouth, devoid of grace and style. The secret of his success has never been his food; he has been indulged by a coterie of hipsters and literary folk who like feeling all smug and special over the fact that they’ve been allowed to live in Kenny’s world. I’ve seen Shopsin berate and eject bewildered ‘nobodies’ much to the delight of his smirking regulars. It’s the theater, not the food; don’t confuse the two.

  20. virgil says:

    The diner on 2nd below st Mark’s sounds like BH Dairy, which is still there, still cheap, still delicious,and still a good blend of affectionate and surly.

    The whole Shopsin’s phenomena has always interested me; I never ate there, so I can’t speak to the food quality issue, but people do seem to like feeling they’ve gotten on the good side of someone with a marked bad side, so that thrill probably plays a part as well. NY loves its characters, and if people want to pay a price for that, well, it’s not much crazier than some of the other things they pay inexplicably premium prices for (10 dollar beers, 100 dollar burgers, $3000 dollar studios, etc).

  21. jjasper says:

    Shopsin’s isn’t an “insult establishment”, though it does get some people interested because of th quirks of the. It’s famous because of the food, and the way it fits Greenwich Village’s character.

    The “Eat Me” book is awesome. Buy it.

  22. Anonymous says:

    #13: “a $14 hot dog served with a side of verbal abuse doesn’t appeal to me in the least.””


    I grew up on NY’s LES and I’ve always felt that you needed to be a masochist (or maybe a sadist, too) to be a lifer. No thanks for me, I love myself (and others) too much! I now live in sunny CA!

    This sort of thing does seem to have an appeal, from soup nazis to crabby itamae who demand that you “trust me.” Maybe that says something about our insecurity with our food culture. But I suspect that the true fans are the chefs who might be jealous at the power they wield!

  23. Dave Faris says:

    A $14 hot dog from Shopsins is nearly as sinful as a $5 cup of coffee from Starbucks. The only difference is one is an individual, and the other is a corporate clone.

  24. Chinese Jet Pilot says:

    I believe Kenny Shopsin is also behind the excellent Modern Mechanix blog.

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