Are you tired of everyone being nice to you all the time? Feel the need to be put down or ignored? Well then, have we got good news for you. Not only can you go somewhere where you are the subject of neglect and ridicule, but you can experience this mistreatment while enjoying a delicious meal.
Servers are, of course, required to be polite and friendly to customers, so on the rare occasion they’re not, and especially when they’re extremely rude, it can be jarring. But it can also be funny—when you take it in stride. And when this rudeness is relatively harmless—or, in the case of Chicago’s Wiener’s Circle, when it’s intentional—it can create a buzz and lure customers in.
Here are three of the world’s most lovably rude restaurants.
“Go find a f***g bar”
Wong Kei, London
Image Courtesy of Phil Whitehouse on Flickr
This five-story wonderland of insolence is London’s most famous Chinese restaurant. But it’s not the food that Wong Kei is known for; rather, it’s the treatment customers receive from gruff waiters and busboys.
Waiters throw the menu and bill at you, say rude things about you in Cantonese, and yell at you if you don’t pay right after your meal.
But customers keep coming back for more. In fact, there are two Facebook groups where starry-eyed customers swap tales of incivility.
Unfortunately, in 2014 Wong Kei’s new owners promised to do away with the restaurant’s reputation for rudeness. We can only hope that customers are still being berated for having the audacity to ask for a fork and groups are being told to “go find a f**g bar—we need the table back.”
Cuisine: Chinese / Cantonese
Address: 41-43 Wardour St, London W1D 6PY, UK
A Side of Sass
Wiener’s Circle, Chicago
Photo Credit: wikimedia.org
Wiener’s Circle is an iconic hot dog stand in Chicago which became known as much for its late-night insult-slinging as its wieners.
Here’s how it works: a customer places his order and, if he’s feeling up for it, gives a little attitude to the cashier. The cashier then responds with an avalanche of insults. The comebacks are gloriously shocking and crude, providing fantastic entertainment for customers, especially those who have wandered in from a nearby bar at 2am. It’s a tongue-in-cheek tradition and getting roasted by Wiener’s Circle employee is a source of pride for those who have dared to poke the bear.
Wiener’s Circle’s reputation has led to some media attention. A story about the restaurant on NPR’s “This American Life” really put it on the map, and it’s also been featured on Conan O’Brien, when Jack McBrayer and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog stopped by.
The restaurant was sold in late 2015, but fortunately it appears that playful abuse is still on the menu.
Cuisine: Hot dogs and burgers
Address: 2622 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614-1523
Dim Sum Hunger Games
Lin Heung Tea House, Hong Kong
Image Courtesy of followmefoodie.com
Don’t go here for the dim sum; go for the experience. Lin Heung, in all its noisy, crowded, kill-or-be-killed glory, has become a Hong Kong institution.
Traditionally, dim sum is brought out on trolleys and diners listen to the lady say (or shout) the names of the dishes and then say “yes” or “no.”
Not at Lin Heung.
Here, instead of waiting for the dim sum lady to come to you, you go to the lady. And by “go to the lady” we mean bum-rush the dim sum trolley, hurdling your way over tables and chairs and crumpled up bodies of diners that didn’t have the fortitude to complete their mission.
Every few minutes a dim sum trolley is rolled out from the kitchen. Once the trolley has come to a stop, a group of rabid diners surrounds the dim sum woman and people start lifting the lids off the stacked containers to see what is inside. If they like what’s inside, they take it. If they don’t, they put the lid back on. And this requires speed: the food is often gone in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. Diners then wave their ordering sheets in her face, hoping she checks off their order before the other customers. Then it’s back to the table to share the meal with your pack.
You could say that it’s not so much rudeness at Lin Heung, but survival of the fittest.
City: Hong Kong
Cuisine: Chinese/Dim Sum
Address: 號, 162 Wellington St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong