Diners! Can’t deny you want to dine in a diner for your dinner? Look no further.
Sure, this isn’t Detroit (though let’s revaluate that once Brexit kicks in), and there’s not a diner on every corner, but this all-American style of dining has clearly taken British imaginations as there’s no shortage of diners in London. Here are some of our favourites…
Bring an RCD, this place is Electric! The Electric Diner is part of the Electric Cinema (well worth a visit in its own right), but stands alone as a boné fidé American diner experience right in the heart of Notting Hill. Leathery banquettes and an open counter kitchen make The Electric like being in downtown Chicago, but on the Portobello Road. Down a milkshake like a Yankie-doodle, then browse the antique shops like a middle aged English person.
Where: 191 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 2ED
Channelling 1950s low-rent glitz, Moe’s Diner in Aldwich is chromed up and ready for business. And the business they do the fastest trade in is prime beef burgers, delivered to your seat or, alternatively, the cut out Thunderbird style 1950s car booth. Hello Grease (er, the film, not the burgers).
Where: 96 Whitechapel High Street, Aldgate, E1 7RA
This is what we’re talking about! Arguably the most American diner in London. Rather than channelling the vibe of a diner, this really is one. Built in New Jersey in 1941 it ended up here in 1990, and after a few locations ended up in East London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf in 2002. It’s been in music videos, magazine photoshoots as well as playing a staring role in Sliding Doors). The ’40s/’50s thing is rocking indoors too, with juke boxes, plus all the usual red leather and chrome. It’s a mission to get to, but totally worth it!
Where: 64 Orchard Place, East London, E14 0JY
The King’s Road diner, crab shack, BBQ resto, Big Easy, isn’t easy to miss. Inside you’re taken to Southern USA and plied with crab, ribs and all the delights of low-USA cuisine. And, of course, we love it. The down-at-heel diner theme is strong, quite an accomplishment when you’re in one of London’s wealthiest enclaves, and you’d have to work hard not to love Big Easy.
Where: Canary Wharf, Covent Garden and King's Road
If bowling conjures up images of multiplexes, Slush Puppies and other people’s shoes, then conjure this: luxury bowling alleys, fine-ish dining and retro diner-style decor. All Star Lanes is one of London’s poshest bowling alleys. It’s one of the only places where you can bowl before having a bowl!
Looking for a diner? Easy. Ed’s Easy. Ed’s Easy Diner, in Victoria Place Shopping Centre, is a little time capsule back to an American age when the future was Jetsons, not Trump, and chrome was everywhere that red leather wasn’t. Located in that upstairs-y bit, it’s a little out of the way but worth scouting out! Especially if you’ve a while to wait for a train or a coach.
Where: Victoria Place Shopping Centre, 115 Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, SW1W 9SJ