The Diner Islington

21 Essex Road , London, N1 2SA

SquareMeal Review of The Diner Islington

As its up-front moniker suggests, this chain re-imagines the classic American diner of a million movie scenes through a London lens, with red vinyl booths, vintage car pictures and booming 60s’ music offset by dim lighting. The large menu majors on US staples such as hefty hot dogs, enticing burgers and all-day breakfasts, in addition to roadside classics such as meat loaf and mash. Burgers are generously thick, but lack the tender and juicy ‘wow’ factor; comforting sides, however, cannot be missed – try gooey chilli-cheese fries or crisp beer-battered onion rings. Warm pecan pie with whipped cream ends an inevitably calorific meal on a high. For drinks, look to the full-on cocktail bar and sizeable wine list. The Diner recreates the archetypal experience lovingly, apart from the service: the occasional ‘have a nice day’ would go a long way.

The Diner Islington Location

21 Essex Road , London N1 2SA

Opening times

Mon-Fri 10am-11.30pm (Fri -12M) Sat-Sun 9am-12M (Sun -11.30pm)

The Diner Islington's Reviews


Food & Drink: 9.0


Service: 5.0


Atmosphere: 6.0


Value: 7.0


Food + drink: 4

Service: 2

Atmosphere: 3

Value: 3


15 August 2012

Went in the evening (7pm) hoping to get a quick bite in before my life drawing class at Cass Art just across the road. The service was on the forgetful side of neglectful- it took our waitress quite a while to get back to us to ask us what we wanted to order- but she was polite, if a little cold. The food, however was gorgeous. I had the Cuban burger and it was crammed full of pulled pork and ham, with generous but not swamping sauces and the perfect amount of pickle. The little pot of gravy on the side seemed a bit pointless, but I guess it would be useful if you wanted your bun to be soggy. Fries were golden and very crispy- pretty much perfection there. The portions are quite large so I would recommend sharing 1 side between 2 people or 2 sides between 3. Atmosphere felt a little lacking, but I think that was just partly the day of the week and the person I went with- we were both quite sleepy following a couple of pints. This would be a great place to go before hitting the town; you could easily cram 6 people into one of their booths and share all the sides. It's not cheap, but it's hardly bank breaking, and you get a very good amount of food for your money.

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