While jukeboxes, red leather stools and the intro scene from Pulp Fiction may all come to mind when you hear the word "diner", London has long been eschewing such cliches to offer a fresh take on the traditional American eatery.
In fact, when it comes to replicating burger joints from across the Atlantic, the only thing we've really pinched is the wonderful food .
Presenting: the 8 best diners in London, serving a combination of complex breakfasts, giant racks of ribs and – of course – huge portions made however you like. Whatever time of day you're planning your visit, make sure you leave plenty of room.
1 | The Diner [above]
It's the breadth of The Diner's menu which makes it the go to restaurant of its style for so many Londoners. The "Lumberjack Breakfast" consists of pancakes, bacon, eggs and maple syrup, and should be followed up at lunch with the Diablo Burger (featuring a rib, filet or high quality sirloin with bacon and cheese). If you're heading in for dinner, the baby back ribs are the sensible option. Oh, and make sure to sink an alcoholic milkshake or three.
The Diner, has locations in Camden, Covent Garden, Islington, Soho, Shoreditch, Gloucester Road, Spitalfields and Dalston, goodlifediner.com
2 | Maxwell's
Serving up the conventional North American cuisine blended with South American flavour is Covent Garden favourite, Maxwell's. The Cereal Covered Chicken (give it a chance – it's less Kellogs Rice Crispies than it sounds) goes down a treat, or else keep things simple (but delicious) with either the blue cheese and caramelised onion hamburgers or the blackened steak fajitas.
8 James Street, London, WC2E 8BH maxwells.co.uk
3 | The Blues Kitchen
Home to one of the biggest bourbon collections in the UK, Texan BBQ joint The Blues Kitchen has set up so far in two locations in the capital. Created by three times British BBQ champion chef John Hargate, the meat is smoked in-house for up to 16 hours but if the burgers, brisket and porterhouse steak don’t appeal, you might find yourself drawn to its 110-gallon lobster tank… or the fried alligator.
111 Camden High Street, London NW1, 7JN and 134-146 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3AR theblueskitchen.com
4 | Mishkin's
Tucked away in the corners of Soho, Mishkin's menu is loosely is based around "Jewish comfort food" and includes hot dogs, a 12oz rueben burger and a variety of sliders (mini beef burgers). Our pick has to be the salf beef and pickle sandwich (featuring meat steamed for over 7 hours) or the matzo ball soup.
25 Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5JS mishkins.co.uk
5 | Patty & Bun
Simplicity is Patty & Bun’s aim, offering 6 different burgers, including our favourite the ‘Jose Jose’, a beef patty accompanied by cheese, tomato, lettuce and chilli chorizo. The Liverpool Street location began serving North London's best breakfast earlier this year and includes bacon, egg, cheese and green tomato salsa inside a burger brioche, sausage patties and cheesy hash browns, all served until 9.30am.
54 St James Street, London, W1U 1HE and 22-23 Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 7PD pattyandbun.co.uk
6 | Giant Robot
A New York diner with an Italian twist, you'll find beef and gorgonzola sliders and a selection of salumi (Italian cold cuts of pork) mixed with the likes of the Brooklyn Brunch (sausage, bacon, house fried potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs and toast). The real treat here is the famous Rotary burger – an homage to the area's recently closed Rotary Bar & Grill stuffed with rare breed beef, cheddar cheese, onions, and optional bacon.
45-47 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1M 5RS gntrbt.com
7 | Honky Tonk
This venue markets itself as the perfect union between British and American dining. Honky Tonk's signature "not fried chicken" and bacon cheese dogs are the options to go for here. While the former is created with their one-of-a-kind secret coating, apple slaw and rosemary fries, the latter is topped with crispy bacon, monterary jack cheese and onion marmalade.
6, Hollywood Road, London, SW10 9HY and 16a Clapham Common South Side, London, SW4 7AB honkytonklondon.com
8 | Big Easy
Utilising four BBQ styles from Carolina, Kansas, Memphis and Texas, the Bar.B.Q chicken pit-smoked over two and a half hours is wonderful. Also on the menu are deep fried jumbo shrimp, spicy black bean burgers and lobster rolls, for those who may not have the stomach to take on the 17oz bone-in sirlion steak.
332-334 King's Rd, London, SW3 5UR, and 12 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NA bigeasy.co.uk
Where will you be dining?