An ode to the American diner: where to find the best American food in the UK

American food isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s loud and proud, full of flavour, whether it’s a classic burger, fresh tacos or lobster roll that you’re opting for. At an American diner, it’s as much about the atmosphere as it is the food. With a friendly, relaxed vibe, there are hours to be spent huddled up in a big red booth. 

Brits have taken note of the delicious American dishes from across the pond, with tons of American-style diners popping up, all over the UK. Whether you’ve got a craving in the morning, day or night, these welcoming, diner-style restaurants will have you covered. 

Burgers, hotdogs, wings and slaw; these American-style diners have it all! Warning: reading this may make you seriously hungry… 

Coast to Coast

@c2crestaurants

Where? The Waterfront, Brighton and other UK locations

Sunny Brighton may not be the first place you think of for great American food. But trust us when we say that Coast to Coast is worth a visit.

This small chain offers incredible California-style beach grill, with seriously laid-back surroundings that will leave you feeling as if you’ve spent an afternoon in the sunny state. The cocktails are inventive, and the choice is abundant. With an all-day menu, you can easily while away the weekend here. 

DF Tacos

Credit: DF Tacos

@dftacosuk

Where? Tottenham Court Road and Old Truman Brewery, London

At the moment, the Wahaca-founder’s brainchild, DF Tacos, is only found in London but we hope they expand outside the capital. Menus are packed with the bold flavours synonymous with Mexican food and you can order huge cocktail jugs alongside your order; the perfect side!

There’s tons of choice when it comes to tacos. Try the fish tacos with red cabbage slaw and chipotle mayo, or oven roasted mushrooms with habanero and pumpkin seed mayo.

Bob’s Lobster

@bobs_lobster


Where? London Bridge, London

When it comes to lobster, Bob is King. The lobster is something else and, as for the accompanying butter sauce, we can’t rave about it enough. You may recognise the vintage VW camper van in the flagship restaurant in London Bridge, as it used to appear in London’s Borough Market, when the brand was a popular street food vendor.

As demand grew, so did Bob’s offering, and we predict that there are going to be plenty more branches popping up across the country. Go with a group so you can order huge platters to share – you’ll want to try a bit of everything. 

The Big Easy

Credit: The Big Easy

@bigeasylondon


Where? Chelsea, Canary Wharf and Covent Garden, London 

The Big Easy, a laid-back BBQ bar and lobster shack, is famous for its American-style food – and bottomless brunches. With a variety of burger, sandwich and lobster options and tasty homemade sauces, it’s easy to see why the chain has enjoyed so much success. Finish off your order with a frozen margarita – you won’t regret it! 

Credit: The Big Easy

Smokey Joe’s

@smokeyjoeschelt

Where? Cheltenham

This retro-style diner, filled with posters of Hollywood greats, is famous for two things; its immense burgers and delicious, creamy milkshakes. Name a more iconic duo. We love the eccentric decor and homely feel to the Cheltenham hotspot, which is fitting, considering it’s a fourth-generation family-run business.

The restaurant’s origins start way back in the 1930s, where original owner Hilda developed a passion for the hospitality industry after catering for afternoon tea on her lawn at her house in Churchdown. A story as sweet as their all-American desserts.

Burger Theory

@burgertheoryuk


Where? Bristol and Birmingham

Burger Theory is home to Bristol’s Bottomless Burger Club – which sounds like an afternoon well spent to us. These aren’t just any old patty and cheese combos; Burger Theory’s chefs are seriously creative, serving up innovative takes on the classic.

Try a tofu & quinoa patty, with chipotle mayo, kimchi and pickled peppers, or indulge in a Burger Theory classic; a double cheeseburger with smoked cheddar, American cheese, and dijonnaise. Add in a pint of Bristol cider and be transported to the Wild Wild West.

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