The legendary eatery has relocated from the West Village to the LES, but still churns out kitchen-sink dishes for a 12-year-old’s palate, such as pumpkin-pistachio–peanut-butter–cinnamon pancakes and chicken-burrito soup. Diners marvel at the wacky fare on a 200-item menu and then bide their time; many sit on the floor while waiting for one of 20 seats. Bizarro brilliance can be found in salty, toothsome macaroni-and-cheese pancakes and habanero-spiced fried chicken, but some offerings (like the Che—poached eggs over a quesadilla) should be avoided at all costs.
Essex Street Market, 120 Essex St
|Cross street:||between Delancey and Rivington Sts|
|Opening hours:||Tue–Sat 8:30am–3pm|
|Transport:||Subway: F to Delancey St; J, M, Z to Delancey St–Essex St|
|Price:||Average main course: $10. Cash only|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
This place is an anomaly, for sure. A friend first told me about it, and then I read a review that said Shopsin, the owner, is known for kicking people out of his restaurant whenever he feels like it. His menu is also a hot mess, but gets a lot of attention for its “Pop Art” design. Also, it house hundreds of items, so good luck choosing. I tried to ask the chef/server for help (it wasn’t Kenny Shopsin himself—he was sitting in a chair at the door taking a nap), but he cut me off and said, “If you’re asking me that, you clearly need more time with the menu.” I was afraid of getting kicked out, so I chose Asian steamed vegetables. The Shopsins menu is remarkably diverse and super creative. Mac and cheese pancakes, anyone? This place is definitely an experience.