America is the land of decadent comfort food with juicy burgers, golden fries, BBQ ribs, fried chicken and gooey mac'n'cheese, but you don’t need to travel all the way to the States to indulge. Many American restaurants also offer special menus on and around Thanksgiving.
Inspired by Hollywood glamour, Planet Hollywood aims to make you feel like a star. The London location, in Haymarket by Piccadilly Circus, is full of memorabilia from the biggest blockbusters, including Rocky. Take in the glitzy surroundings and dine on all the American favourites from juicy burgers to Buffalo wings.
The glamorous Christopher's restaurant, located in the lively area of Covent Garden, is a great spot for lunch after a morning of shopping or a pre-theatre dinner. The menu is full of classic American dishes such as Maryland crab cakes, prime rib-eye steaks and pecan pie, all served with a modern flair.
Hard Rock Cafe
One of the world’s most iconic restaurants, the Hard Rock Cafe has stood at its London location on Old Park Lane in Mayfair since 1971. Feast on burgers, smokehouse sandwiches and chicken wings and be sure to take a look at the rock'n'roll memorabilia from some of the world’s biggest artists, including Eric Clapton and John Lennon, in the free Vault museum.
Fancy Funkin Chicken
Comfort food doesn’t get any better than southern fried chicken and Fancy Funkin Chicken in Brixton serves some of the best in town, with burgers, hot wings and tender strips to sink your teeth into. For the ultimate indulgence pair chicken with decadent mac‘n’cheese, while sipping on a delicious cocktail from the bar.
Ed’s Easy Diner
The first Ed’s Easy Diner opened up in Soho in 1987 and grew into a small chain of restaurants around town with diners in locations such as Euston, Victoria and White City. American diner staples, from burgers to ranch salads, fill the menu, but leave room for one of their signature extra thick milkshakes with flavours such as coffee, butterscotch and Oreo.
Chicago Rib Shack
Crowds flock to this small chain of restaurants in Clapham, Aldgate East and Stratford to chow down on succulent ribs. Don’t forget to don the bib provided, these ribs are slathered in the special BBQ sauce and half the fun is in the eating. While ribs are the main event here, there are other bites to enjoy, from seared catfish to pulled pork sandwiches.
In the heart of Theatreland, this classic American brasserie has fed thespians hot dogs, steaks and chopped salads since 1977. Modelled on the Joe Allen on Broadway in New York, the London Joe Allen restaurant is also lined brickwork and posters and is known for hosting glitzy after-show dinners for leading West End stars.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Fans of the film Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks, will recognise the name as the shrimp company Forrest sets up with his friend Bubba in Alabama: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. The restaurant sticks to the movie theme throughout with fun references and merchandise, and of course plenty of shrimp alongside other dishes from America’s Deep South such as jambalaya.
Malibu Kitchen at The Ned
Malibu Kitchen at The Ned hotel in the City of London takes a healthy Californian approach to American cuisine. Sunny bowls of nutritious fruits, vegetables and grains are served alongside delicious lean protein in the grandeur of the former banking hall.
This diner is more upmarket than your average 1950s throwback; exposed brick, dramatic lighting and red leather banquets take the place of memorabilia. The French-American menu at Electric Diner is served from 8am until midnight, with eggs dominating the breakfast menu, while dinner encompasses both pure Americana, with plates such as the philly chilli cheese dog, and classic French brasserie fare, such as steak frites with bearnaise.
The Blues Kitchen
Live music, Texas BBQ and bourbon cocktails create the perfect recipe for a great night out. The team behind The Blues Kitchen took inspiration from their annual trips to the southern states for their BBQ menu. All meats are rubbed and slow-smoked each day with a blend of hickory, oak, fruit and mesquite woods, giving them a rich flavour. Fun is to be had at three locations across London with restaurants in Camden, Shoreditch and Brixton.
The Diner serves hearty food all day long, starting with an array of eggs and sweeter treats including red velvet pancakes slathered in cream cheese frosting, best enjoyed with bottomless filter coffee. Later in the day there’s plenty to choose from with burgers, hotdogs, burritos and meatloaf all on offer. Grown-ups can wash it all down with a hard shake, where creamy milkshakes get an adult twist with a shot of liquor. There are restaurants across town including ones in Soho, Islington and Dalston.