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The Diner

Home > London > Restaurants | Food and Wine | Bars | Dinner | Breakfast | Lunch
by John Burns (subscribe)
I am a writer and teacher, out and about in the world but with Nottingham never far from my heart.
Published July 26th 2012

As far as themed restaurants go, The Diner has got its look down. American-style booths, sugar-shack bar top and fluorescent neon sign outside; this is the sort of place you expect to walk in and see Bill Haley and his Comets eagerly tucking into sloppy Joes in the corner.

A glance at the menu gives a few clues as to what century we're in ordering the vegetarian spicy bean burger in 1950s America would probably have been enough to get you branded a communist but not many.

Treats like the gloriously unhealthy Diablo with its excellent pairing of sirloin steak and bacon and the Double Decker rub up alongside old favourites like the bacon chilli cheese dog and Monterey jack burger.

A wide array of all-day breakfasts are also offered, with the breakfast burrito being a particular favourite of mine. The provision of a root beer or a coke float to wash your food down is an inspired touch.

The attention to detail is outstanding; the only thing this place is missing is Uma Thurman and John Travolta engaging in some sort of dance-off. It's only when the Diner breaks from its Happy Days character to request that you follow it on Twitter that you remember where you are.

There are now five of these joints across London in Soho, Camden, Shoreditch, Kensal Rise and of course Islington each with their own spin on the retro-chic American diner vibe. For someone born in the East Midlands in the late '80s, this is as close to the American rock 'n' roll era as I'm likely to get. I love it.
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Why? For classic American dining.
Where: 21 Essex Road, Canonbury, London N1 2SA
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