Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jul 28, 2009 07:21 PM

What else to get at Shopsin's?

The other recent Shopsin's thread was a good read, and definitely has me wanting to go back; but it's becoming more of a discussion about policies & service than about the food.

I've tried some of the more popular dishes (most of the pancakes, sliders, blisters on my sisters), and I have a few on the list for future visits (chicken tortilla avocado soup, taco fried chicken).

What are some of the sleeper picks, though?

Also, has anyone tried the donuts or orange julius? I'd be curious to read your opinions.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm really interested in this as well and I am the one who started the original thread. I think we should get a list going on what are the BEST dishes to get at Shopsins!

    10 Replies
    1. re: steakrules85

      Steakrules, thanks for starting the Shopsins post. It was great reading and reminded me that I have never been to Shopsins having lived in Manhattan for over 20 years, but I always wanted to go. I am definitely going soon. When are the best days and times to go to avoid long waits? I also would be interested in answers to steakrules' question. What are the must orders for a first timer? I have no problem with the no substitutions or omissions policy; I just hope someone challenges the rules when I am there. Great NYC theater.

      1. re: The Grateful Palate

        i would go with castles + tasty 2 (half order if you're not sure you can handle both).

        1. re: Cheese Cheesely

          You can do a half order of the tasty II?

        2. re: The Grateful Palate

          We went twice this week and had no problem getting a seat either time. First time was around 9:30, and the 2nd visit was around 10:30am.

          I'm Shopsin's' biggest fan, but they even gave me a hard time on my 2nd visit. They refused to make one of the Mexican breakfast plates for me after asking if I wanted it spicy or not with my answer being "not spicy". Then, they refused to take a $100 bill in payment of a $25 check forcing me to go around the corner to locate an ATM machine.

          I took it all in stride because I love the place, and it's part of the show to me. I just happened to be a participant instead of an observer this time.

          I wound up getting the chocolate ebelskivers for the first time after getting refused the Mexican breakfast plate. They were good, but not a great choice for a main breakfast dish. They're more of a dessert than a breakfast. My mistake. I guess I choked.

          We usually order the same thing every time, but I wanted to switch it up because I've heard good things about their Mexican breakfast dishes. I did have them whip up a custom peanut butter milkshake that wasn't on the menu. And it was DELICIOUS.

          1. re: Slob

            Ah.. so they actually will make accomodations as evidenced by you PB shake request? That is good to know.... bummer about the Mexican breakfast though.. why ask you how you want it if they won't make it that way strange.

            1. re: steakrules85

              And he called me a douchebag piece of sh** on top of it. LOL. I think they made the peanut butter shake for me because they like me (as evidenced by all the stuff they did to me yesterday LOL).

              1. re: Slob

                Haha wow slob thats priceless... I give you props though for having the balls to ask for something off the menu....

              2. re: steakrules85

                They'll actually make you any shake you can think of. I usually get a strawberry nutella.

                1. re: ChiefHDB

                  Yep this is true. I have since been back and had their chocolate cherry shake which was one of the best I ever had. For recs on what to get I have not had anything bad there.... this had included..

                  Slutty cakes, mac and cheese pancakes, sliders with caramelized onions are awesome!, chocolate cherry shake.

                  Gotta get back to Shopsin's soon. They just changed the menu again last week and it looks as outrageous as can be.

        3. Here's info on the Essex Market Shopsin's. It's older but I think much of it still applies ...

          Shopsin's General Store
          120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

          1. under "tex-mex breakfast", there's a dish comprising eggs, garlic toast, potatoes, and fried bbq pork. i forget the exact name (it's not on the online menu) but it was amazing.

            the bbq pork is balled up and fried, coming out like a falafel. doused in hot sauce, and with a side of slutty cakes, it was probably the best breakfast i've ever had.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Cheese Cheesely

              Wow that sounds truly delicious. How often do they change their menu seems like every 2 weeks or so.

              1. re: Cheese Cheesely

                Wait hold ona sec... this is your description............Think i found it CC....

                larrupin'-fried bbq pork & potato, eggs, garlic toast

                1. re: steakrules85

                  That's the one. It's incredible.

                  And that's the correct menu, as well. I must have been looking at an old copy (not the original huge one, though).

                  1. re: Cheese Cheesely

                    I wish I had seen that menu item before I left town. Hope it's still on there next month when I return.

              2. My SO and I were frequenting Shopsin's once every week or two earlier this year, so we got to try a decent portion of the menu (but obviously nowhere near the entire menu). In terms of the well known dishes, I'll agree that the sliders are pretty perfectly made - I'd say medium rare or even a little more rare. They are extremely moist and flavorful and worth trying. Our favorite pancakes are the slutty cakes, lemon ricotta, and mac & cheese. Make sure you eat the mac & cheese cakes with both the maple syrup and their special hot sauce. Also, ebelskivers are - they are basically "donut-hole" versions of their pancakes. A great way to go is to order a half order of the pancakes, or an order of the ebelskivers, and then combine that with an entree

                To answer the OP's question about sleeper picks, below are a few humble suggestions. In general, I feel people go for the "breakfast" food, but we like the "lunch" food more.

                -oxtail vegetable soup: the quality can be inconsistent (my gf insists on ordering this every single time), but at its best, it is amazing. The oxtail meat and tendons have melted and become soft and chewy, and the broth has a nice depth of flavor from all the veggies (with a touch of acidity). With many of the soups/stews, they will ask you how spicy you want it (on a scale of 1-10, 10 being most spicy).
                -New York beef stew: this is a nice homey version with a bunch bowtie pasta and kasha to balance out the huge chunks of meat. You can either order the stew by itself, or as part of a "Yin/Yang" meal, which combines a side dish. If you get a side dish, I recommend either the sloppy joe rice or the guacamole rice. They add something to that guacamole that gives it a certain fragrance/umami that makes it a treat. Yin/Yangs are only available for certain soups/stews, btw.
                -The Bridgette/Rooster sandwiches: I know some will balk at ordering a simple chicken salad sandwich, but these are sublime. They use a specific ciabatta bread that's perfectly toasted, with crushed garlic baked in. The chicken salad is tasty without being overly oily or fatty.
                In general, I would encourage others to try more of the non-burger sandwiches and soups.

                I have tried the Orange Julius, and it's a great, higher quality remake of the staple from the namesake chain; it combines a sweet citrusy flavor (but not too sweet nor too acidic) with a creamy consistency (egg whites, per his cookbook). I've also tried the Orange Boulios, which mixes in pomegranate juice with the aforementioned drink. The Orange Boulios is more tart for those who prefer that, but I personally like the original Orange Julius better.

                Also, I thought I'd chime in with a few general comments. They are ostensibly open from 9/9:30am - 3pm Tues-Sat. If you get there on a Sat, I would try to get there by 1:30pm. They CLOSE at 3pm, but they cut off the line after a certain point (i.e., they do not want people sitting down at 4pm). Around 9-11am on a Sat, your wait generally will be 30 minutes. After noontime, it's generally 45-60 minutes. We also over-order all the time, and they are fine with giving you doggy-bags. I've gotten a bit of grief from them for eating so much :) but have not been threatened with getting kicked out. Also, they can be surly, but I think that is due to their desire to keep a family-like, living room atmosphere where they feel at home. I've seen families of 4, with 2 kids, who are regulars, and you can see Zach and the other younger Shopsin's playing with the kids, rather than treating them as a nuisance.

                2 Replies
                1. re: NYAngeleno

                  Awesome post thanks for the info Ange!

                  1. re: NYAngeleno

                    I love that they give you good maple syrup (in tiny glass bottles) not the crappy pancake syrup AND their housemade hot sauce is amazing!

                  2. Any other suggestions? I'm going tomorrow morning (day off, yes!) and have had everything mentioned here.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Bone Thug n Hominy

                      the nutella mocha milkshake is the best milkshake ive had. i liked the bread pudding french toast mac and cheese. thats all i can say though my experience wasnt too great.
                      i also tried the pulled pork blisters for my sisters and their sliders. i thought both werent too good.

                      1. re: Bone Thug n Hominy

                        Let us know what the line (or lack thereof) is like and what time you arrived. I'm planning a weekday visit on a random Thursday morning in April. Enjoy and report back!


                        1. re: LeahBaila

                          I've never had any problems going on a weekday. I had to wait once on a Friday morning, but that's it.

                            1. re: LeahBaila

                              only went once on a thusday around 2pm, there was no wait at all.

                          1. re: LeahBaila

                            Yeah if you go on a weekday around 12 or so never a wait.