Eat Your Feelings at These New Restaurants for Writers

From the Memoir Bistro to the Rejection Café, we’ve invented 8 dining establishments for the literary

A writer’s life can be maddening. If editors aren’t ignoring your submissions, your agent is telling you the first 75 pages of your novel are “throat clearing.” Stress getting to you? Eat your feelings at these restaurants designed for writers.

The Memoir Bistro. Every dish is bitter, just like your mother made it. The plastic daisies on the tables are the only flowers that grew in your industrial hometown. All around you, families are screaming, and the waiter is arguing with you about your choices. If this place doesn’t inspire your memoir, nothing will. Sharpened pencils and paper placemats provided so you can take notes.

10 Perfect Writer Gifts We Just Made Up

The Royalty Diner. Features ramen noodles, Kraft mac & cheese, and a variety of breakfast cereals. Dishwashing and bussing positions available for authors looking to improve their financial positions. Writers paid in exposure might want to try the Charlie Dickens Food Bank down the street.

Remembrance of Things Patisserie. Three-hundred-page menu describes baked goods in scrupulous sensory detail. The perfect place to come after an agent suggests trimming your two-volume epic novel by eliminating three subplots and four main characters, and changing the tense and POV. Have a Margaret Mitchell Macchiato or a scoop of Leo Tolstoy Lemon Sorbet while trashing the agency on Twitter. Patisserie’s Wi-Fi password: biteme.

The perfect place to come after an agent suggests trimming your two-volume epic novel by eliminating three subplots and four main characters, and changing the tense and POV.

Rejection Café. Send your meal back with comments like, “The chef obviously has talent, but the spice isn’t what I’m looking for right now,” “I’m sorry, but I just had a dish like this last week,” or “You might want to bring in a consultant to help with your menu.” Don’t worry about insulting the establishment. Having a thick skin is part of being in the restaurant business. Some chefs aim to have 100 meals sent back each year.

Submittable Soda Shop. You’ll have to pay to order, and the service is slow. Try sending the cook a question about the menu, and while you’re at it send one to the Tooth Fairy. On the bright side, the restaurant is open to all, unlike The Big Five Star Restaurant, which can be entered only upon proof of 100,000 Instagram followers or publication in the Paris Review.

Pizzeria al Prizes. You didn’t win a Pulitzer. You weren’t nominated for a National Book Award. And as far as you’re concerned, a Booker is the person who takes your reservation at the Atlantic City Motel 6. Find solace at this Italian eatery where the pasta is shaped like award statues and the napkins say, “Congratulations!” Eat your heart out, Colson Whitehead! Take that, Alice Munro! We hope you’re enjoying your lobster.

Eat your heart out, Colson Whitehead! Take that, Alice Munro! We hope you’re enjoying your lobster.

The Grill. Feel free to pepper the chef with questions like, “How’s that new dish coming along,” “Where do you get your ideas for recipes,” and “How much does the restaurant earn on a meal like this?” Tell her you have an idea for a banquet, but you just don’t have the time to prepare it. Maybe she’d like to do it for you? Don’t worry about the steam coming out of the chef’s ears. That’s just your hamburger cooking.

Bestseller Saloon. Of course, some writers prefer to drink their meals. Sample the saloon’s Kill Your Darlings Cocktail, made with bottom-shelf vodka and muddled scenes from your first draft. Or if your last novel bombed, celebrate your new pen name with a Nom de Plume Martini — we’re not sure what’s in it.

About the Author

More Like This

Julia Child Was a Champion for Reproductive Rights

Helen Rosner talks about the celebrity chef's feminist legacy

May 21 - Carrie V. Mullins

Damon Young and Kiese Laymon Discuss Death, Sex, Money, and More

On the "Death, Sex & Money" podcast, the two memoir authors also talked about body image and what it means to be a "good dude"

Apr 26 - Death, Sex & Money

I Keep a Stack of Kraft Singles in the Fridge

“American Rarebit,” a comic by John Leavitt

Feb 18 - John Leavitt