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Home » Review: Karen’s Diner Islington Offers The Rudest Service In Town

Review: Karen’s Diner Islington Offers The Rudest Service In Town

Of all the Karens living in Islington, the rudest one yet may just have moved into her new home in White Lion Street.

A recent arrival from Australia, Karen’s Diner is named after ‘Karen’, a word that has become shorthand for an older white woman who is stereotypically rude.

The restaurant chain has wasted no time in telling the people of north London to “sit down and shut up”, opening its branch in Islington last month.

Usually an encounter with an abusive ‘Karen’ is fairly unpalatable, something that many experience but most seek to avoid.

And in true ‘Karen’-style, Karen’s Diner has no qualms about dishing out the insults. The difference here is that you’re paying for your dressing down.

READ MORE – Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong sings at Islington pub My trip to the diner was suitably stern. Before I had even taken my seat, a waiter holding a microphone loudly announced to the restaurant that I was a vegetarian.

Finger pointing and boos ensued from the diners already seated, aped on by members of staff. It was a lot, especially on a Monday.

Hanging my head in shame, I took my place at the back of the restaurant and hoped that this would be the extent of my public humiliation.

The interior of Karen’s Diner Islington (Image: Alex Marsh)

As I was to discover, the Karens of Islington were just warming up.

Each diner is given a paper chef’s hat to wear during their visit. ‘I eat the cow’s food’ was scrawled across mine in a black marker pen.

I admittedly got off quite lightly on this one. ‘50p a go’ and ‘Found my Dad on Grindr’ were two of the mantras emblazoned across some of the other hats.

And while the Karens were perhaps pushing the limits with some of their more risqué comments, they take care to never cross the line.

The diner is clear that “no racist, sexist, homophobic or ableist comments or slurs will be tolerated” and, despite their sour faces, staff try to keep the mood light.

Karaoke, during which the performer was naturally abused by the diner’s Karens, and a catwalk for the worst dressed customer both featured over the course of the evening.

READ MORE – Islington Council to axe ice rink at Sobell Leisure Centre Free prosecco and canapes, naturally served with a sneer, were provided (perks of attending the media launch).

The diner’s main menu offers burgers, chicken wings, hotdogs and a selection of sides.

There were no mains to try during the media event, but the eponymous cocktail ‘Spicy Karen’ (jalapeño tequila, triple sec, lime juice, agave) went a long way to taking the sting out of Karen’s nasty comments.

Admittedly, Karen’s Diner may not be for everyone, and there is perhaps a reason the Islington branch is not usually open at the start of the week – Monday is hard enough without “rude service”.

There is no denying that the restaurant delivers the “sass” and “bad attitude” it promises and if you have a masochistic side the experience will hit the spot.

My evening with Karen was a lot of fun but, as with most dinner dates, I think we could have hit it off better if we had re-scheduled for the weekend.