Review: Karen's Diner - Ryde

Review by Natalie Low


Most people believe that customer service is usually what makes or breaks a restaurant.


Atmosphere – arguably – determines whether or not I usually would like to return to a location. At Karen’s diner, the customer service is absolutely atrocious – on purpose.


Emulating your American diner from the 1950s, you get treated horribly the minute you walk in. The waiters do not hold back with the insults, but it somehow feels almost… cathartic? When you know what you’re in for, you’re totally in for a treat.


The food is also delicious, although sometimes you might have to try a little harder than you normally would to get sauce for your chips. Funnily enough, we were sat at table number 13 – the ‘unlucky bitches’ table, with the shakiest table you’ve ever sat at. Unlucky truly hit the mark.


The diner alone is beautifully decorated, with bright pink walls, jukeboxes, and the odd shrine to Elvis, you step into a whole different world right from the get-go.


The waiters, aptly named ‘Karen’s’, do their best to make sure your time at the diner comes with the banter and dismissiveness of a waiter who really hates their job.


I attended the diner with a vegan – apparently the Karen’s number 1 enemy and following her ordering the vegan burger option, they promptly got the whole diner to yell ‘penis’ at her. It was truly a sight to see.


Another additional treat was spinning the wheel of fortune (or misfortune?) where a Karen host would invite diners to come up and spin a wheel filled with various activities such as ‘Roasted Karen’ – where you got to insult your friend, or ‘Runway Karen’ where you competed against a fellow Karen to see who would win the Diner’s Next Top Model.


An experience truly worth attending, along with many photo opportunities, I highly recommend attending Karen’s Diner, and bring along some friends who are game for a laugh, and to be laughed at.


Image Credit: Natalie Low