On her new Netflix series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Kiernan Shipka plays a teenage witch whose idea of a good meal involves hitting up a local diner with her mortal friends. But in real life, Shipka has a much more refined palate. The TV star bounces between LA, New York, and Vancouver (where the show is filmed) eating at some of the hottest restaurants and most-beloved local institutions, oftentimes documenting her favorite meals on Instagram. Shipka usually has a good idea of where to eat no matter where she goes, but when she needs a fresh recommendation, she’ll text her friend chef Flynn McGarry, and sometimes Kiernan will even check out where Bill Addison’s been eating for inspiration.
For all these reasons, we thought Shipka would be the perfect fit for The Famous Original Eater Questionnaire, an interview series where we ask the most exciting people in Hollywood about their dining habits.
Welcome to the Famous Original Eater Questionnaire. What was the last thing you ate?The last thing I ate was from Hu Kitchen, which is one of my favorite establishments in New York. I had chicken, curried sweet potato salad, and vegetables. And the last thing I ate before that was at I Sodi. It was the best lasagna I’ve ever had in my entire life, so that’s way more exciting.
What was the last thing you drank?
Oh, that I can tell you? [Laughing] Because I am 18. So I’ll go with coffee: an almond milk latte.
Where and when was the last time you had a hot dog?
I had a really traumatizing experience growing up. When I was like 10 or 11, I was vegan. I’m not anymore, but I was, and I went to this hot dog place because I heard they had a veggie dog. I took a bite and literally, I kid you not, it was a carrot in a bun. Horrifying. They were like, “The carrot has been smoked” and all that, but it was a carrot in a bun. Anyway, that kind of turned me sour for a while on hot dogs. But I’m from Chicago, so I would like to think that in my near future, hopefully, there’s a good Chicago dog.
With no ketchup, I assume.
Yeah. I don’t think people are monsters if they put ketchup on hot dogs, but I’m good without it. It’s a debate that I don’t get too hot-and-heavy with.
Where did you shoot The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and did you dine out at all with the cast?
We shoot it in Vancouver, an interesting city for food. Actually, there’s an Eater article that Bill Addison wrote where he went to Richmond, which is right outside of Vancouver, and it’s got some of the best Chinese food that you’ll ever have. I went to this place called Hoi Tong and it was super classic Chinese food — so interesting and good. I felt like I had just found this amazing place (obviously through an article), but it just kind of felt so hidden and tucked away, and this very special, very authentic experience. We had some sweet and sour pork that was so good, and rice in a lotus leaf that was delicious, plus salt-baked chicken and all this yummy stuff. But in the city itself of Vancouver, with my cast, we really go to this restaurant called Bao Bei all the time. It’s our ride-or-die-restaurant.
Do you have a go-to source for restaurant recommendations, aside from Eater?
Totally. I mean, I have a couple friends that I always go to. It depends on the city I’m in, but my friend Flynn [McGarry], he’s New York-based now, but he used to live in LA, and we have very similar taste in food. So whenever I need a New York recommendation, or I’m wondering “Is this place good or not good?” I’ll definitely text him.
What’s your favorite recent meal?
We were just in Barcelona. It was so quick, but we did go to a restaurant called Cal Pep, which is really a wonderful establishment. It was such a fun meal, and it was really delicious. I went to Saison in San Francisco this year, and it blew my mind — it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my entire life. It was so good. I guess I miss LA a lot when I’m up in Vancouver. So the couple of times I’ve got to go back, the Jon & Vinny’s that I take for granted and all that kind of stuff tastes extra good right now.
What is a food that you’ve never tried before that you’d like to try?
I don’t think I’ve ever tried crickets or bugs, and honestly I’m pretty adventurous, so I would totally try them.
What is your favorite chain?
Shake Shack through and through. To be quite honest, since it came to LA, it’s been a really good spot for me and my friends. But you know what? Chipotle never lets me down. I feel like in the middle of nowhere, Chipotle is still there and my burrito bowl is still going to sustain me. So Chipotle, for convenience and reliability.
If you could bring back any restaurant that’s now closed back to life?
Oh man, there’s this old restaurant in LA that went out of business a long time ago called Newsroom. It was on Robertson, and it was one of those restaurants where we went but then we stopped going and it closed a couple of years later and we were like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we closed,” even though we hadn’t been in so long. But I just feel like I would love to have, like, one more meal there, just because I have such good memories.
What’s your “Proust’s madeleine” — the food or drink that instantly brings back memories?
Oh my god, honestly, there are so, so many, and I feel like too many of them are like super-bougie LA foods. But, like, if I’m at Sugarfish, I’m down memory lane, instantly. Absolutely instantly. And even like the Langer’s No. 19 is a taste of my childhood, to a certain extent. I consumed a lot pastrami as a child, besides the vegan phase.
What’s a food secret that more people should know about?
Honestly, I think that ghee is underrated. I love using clarified butter. I think it makes vegetables taste so good, especially when you’re just cooking at home.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.