Edward Hopper’s artwork is known for its realistic scenes that touch themes of isolation and self-being rather than a narrative context. He often described his art as a “transcription [of his] most intimate impressions of nature” meaning he related the process of painting to that of memory. This idea could further be described in another way as when, for example, you draw something from a personal memory, certain details can be remembered but everything outside the primary focus is blank background. Chop Suey captures this concept of memory, making the viewer focus on particular elements of sensory iconography whilst depicting a theme of isolation due to self being.
According to art scholar David Anfam, one "striking detail of Chop Suey is that its female subject faces her doppelgänger." Others have pointed out it would not be so unusual for two women to be wearing similar hats, and that it is presumptuous to claim doppelgängers when one subject's face is not visible to the viewer. The painting has an interior subject matter, being inside of a cafe, and does not focus on any one given figure. As with many of Hopper's works, the painting features close attention to the effects of light on his subjects.