When it comes to taste, the Brits and Americans couldn’t be more different. The two countries might speak the same language but, when it comes to food, that’s about all that brings us together…
While London serves up a foodie’s paradise, it takes a couple of tries to find a really authentic taste of the USA – and we’re talking about more than burger chains, here. So for any Americans out there, if you’re in need of a savoury slice of the States among the never-ending options of Sunday roasts and pork pies with Piccalilli (what actually is that stuff, anyway?), know you’re not alone. After seven months of living in London Town, and eating my way around the capital’s restaurants, here are five places I go to for that American food fix.
1. The Diner, Soho
One thing’s for sure, it doesn’t get any more American than Soho’s The Diner. Decked out in neon signs and traditional booth seating, this retro-inspired diner serves up some of the best classic dishes from across the pond. Between its all-day breakfast, endless burgers and dogs, alongside barbecue blues plates, you definitely won’t be short of a feast in here. Start your day with stacked banana pancakes or opt for a late lunch of dirty double-cheese burgers and garlic butter fries. Make sure you sample a taste of the Midwest with the St. Louis baby back ribs and creamy coleslaw, too – it’s the ultimate combo.
2. Cattle and Co., Kings Cross
For all things barbecue in London, Cattle and Co. is a go-to hotspot. With its imported US smoker and family-run kitchen, the dishes at this good ol’ fashioned smokehouse are as authentic as can be. Whether you’re craving a hefty portion of buttermilk wings drenched in a tangy buffalo sauce or hickory-smoked Angus short ribs, Cattle and Co. serves it all. But barbecue isn’t their only speciality: the smokehouse also offers an array of American ales and signature cocktails. Take my advice, sample a bit of everything with the cattle platter of beef short ribs, smoked chicken thighs and honey onion rings, all washed down with a bourbon-filled Old Fashioned.
3. Dirty Bones, Kensington
With an ethos of ‘high fives and good vibes,’ this Brooklyn-inspired eatery has mastered the craft of comfort food. After tasting New York’s finest street food, Dirty Bones’ founders came together to give Londoners an authentic share of soul food meats and jazzy cocktails right on Kensington High Street. The basement restaurant features a lively atmosphere, complete with its own cocktail bar and private lounge, as well as a playful entrance of a converted hotdog stand. Keep your meal light with some cheeseburger dumplings or grab something else, like chicken and waffles, or a Yankee dog with sauerkraut and spring onion. Either way, you’ll be leaving plenty satisfied in an all-American way.
4. Electric Diner, Notting Hill
If you’re in the mood for crispy hash browns and honey-fried chicken, Notting Hill’s Electric Diner has just what you need. Hosting a range of US classics in a charming setting of red leather booths and checkered floors, this quaint diner is the perfect go-to for a hearty breakfast or loaded brunch. Between its mozzarella sticks, grilled cheese sandwiches and Philly chilli cheese dogs, the Electric Diner satisfies any American-hankering. So, do it right and grab a triple chocolate shake, alongside a double cheeseburger and fries – it’ll feel just like home.
5. London Grind, Borough Market
Believe it or not, London Grind offers an honest taste of American chow, despite its coffee shop roots. Situated next to Borough Market, the riverside eatery plays host to a range of savoury treats and buttery desserts, bound to satisfy any hungry Yankee. There’s some traditional US favourites on it (see the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich and loaded bacon cheeseburger), but, if you’re looking to taste beyond quintessential diner food, London Grind’s got you covered, too. Dig into a flat iron steak topped with béarnaise and crispy fries, as well as a tender pork chop with oregano and chilli. Just remember to finish off with a quick bite of the hot apple crumble sundae. Yeehaw.