Best North American restaurants

If you love messy, unapologetically calorific food then you need to take a look at our pick of London’s best North American restaurants. Whether you’re a life-long BBQ fan, love a good steak or need a steaming serving of mac ‘n’ cheese, our list of must-try North American restaurants in London is not to be missed. From sticky wings to drenched ribs, our choice of London’s best US-style restaurants has everything you’re looking for. Scroll down to see the best United States-inspired restaurants in London.  

Posted on 19 January 2018

Best North American restaurants


Big Easy Chelsea

Big Easy Chelsea

332-334 King's Road, SW3 5UR

It’s almost impossible not to have a good time at this mini-chain of Deep South BBQ/ crabshacks – provided you don’t take things too seriously, of course. Big Easy was serving up baskets of bargain-priced lobster and dry-rubbed, pit-cooked ribs – complete with plastic bibs – long before many of its rivals got in on the act, and it still holds its own in the kitchen department.

On offer is a broadly based menu featuring gut-busting portions of voodoo chicken wings, piles of pulled pork, stacked burgers, charcoal-grilled steaks and lavish sides alongside its mainstays. But food is only part of the attraction here: Big Easy’s fun-loving punters start the night with boozy milkshakes or sharing bowls of fruity cocktails, before graduating to craft beers and easy-drinking wines – a perfect fit for the raucous vibe and nightly live music. We guarantee you’ll leave with a smile on your face.

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Red Dog South

Red Dog South

27-31 Bedford Road, London, SW4 7SH

Judging by the buzz at this sibling to Hoxton’s Red Dog Saloon, Clapham is for carnivores: the restaurant is crammed full of young office workers, fervently worshipping at the altar of US barbecue. Inspired by the owner's travels across the States, Red Dog is an Americana alchemist, having concocted a winning blend of pit cooked meats (including brisket treated to 20 hours in a wood-fired smoker), an international range of beers and a bright, open-plan dining room and bar. Tender meat brims with sticky, tangy flavours but the smaller details, like delicious own-recipe meat sauces or even an unassuming Burnt End Pie side dish with moreish chunks of buttery pork, are equally good. Success in Clapham will enable expansion plans for the Red Dog pack, tempting wannabe cowboys to gallop straight to dinner.

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Jackson + Rye Chiswick

Jackson + Rye Chiswick

217-221 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 2DW

The New York flair for upscale brasseries is the inspiration behind this chain of inviting all-dayers. Their look perfectly captures their subject: a warm glow emanates from within, where a casual feel is achieved via cheerfully scribbled blackboards, close-set tables and uplit bar. The setting works whatever time of day you pop in: breakfasts and (blowout) brunches mix North American classics such as buttermilk pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, or pulled-pork hash, with Brit favourites such as a avocado Benedict and ham and cheese omlette. The rest of the day passes in a haze of caution-to-the-wind calories: king prawn linguini, lamb rump, mushroom risotto, plus a selection of chargrilled steak brushed with herb butter – with pecan pie or vanilla cheesecake for anyone with an inch of room left. ‘Good food, atmosphere and service’ complete the pleasing picture.

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Bubbledogs

Bubbledogs

70 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4QG

Launched at the height of ‘gourmet fast food’ mania, Bubbledogs’ still-snaking queues prove that grower Champagne and high-class hotdogs are a combination built to last. This quirky match-up works, thanks to “awesome service” and a “cool ambience” in the smart, brick-on-wood room. Co-owner Sandia Chang’s passion for small-producer fizz rubs off on staff who know her treat-packed list inside out, while James Knappett’s kitchen applies similar respect to pork, beef or veggie dogs, with some 17 versions, including Sloppy Joe (beef chilli, Cheddar cheese and onions) and José (fresh tomato, avocado, jalapeños and sour cream). Our pick, however, is the purist’s dream – a New Yorker’s onions and sauerkraut drenched in table-top French’s and ketchup, backed up by ruthlessly addictive sides of ‘tater tots’ and sweet-potato fries. Those less enamoured of fizz will find on-point cocktails, craft beers and even a few still wines from the Champagne region.

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Avenue

Avenue

7-9 St James's Street, London, SW1A 1EE

A veteran of the London dining scene since 1996, Avenue has had a makeover in terms of both food and decor. Visitors can marvel at the wine-glass chandelier and moody modern art while sampling a menu that now takes in South American and Asian influences, from ceviche to seared salmon with bok choy (as well as burgers and steaks).


A simple but cleverly assembled avocado salad starter with pickled apple, edamame and mango dazzled visually and taste-wise. The kitchen kept up the tempo for the mains, with a Korean-spiced rack of lamb served with red cabbage mash and raw mango chutney particularly impressing, while wines were paired intelligently throughout from an interesting list.


But while the food, drink and service all impressed, the atmosphere fell flat and the 112-cover venue felt decidedly cavernous. A location at the bottom end of St James’s Street and some fairly steep prices go some way to explaining this, but Avenue needs to trumpet its strengths better for it to be as full as it deserves to be.


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The Blues Kitchen Shoreditch

The Blues Kitchen Shoreditch

134-146 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3AR

Following the high-stepping original in Camden, the second Blues Kitchen was always going to be a great fit for Shoreditch. This warehouse outfit offers the same spirited mix of soul food from America’s southlands, live music and a bumper crop of over 100 bourbons – all guaranteeing a high-octane night out. Liquid enticements include US whiskey-based cocktails, as well as alco-shakes and some cracking beers including Hackney Crate on draught; meanwhile, aural stimulations come courtesy of an impressive roll-call of bands (Seasick Steve and guitar man Gary Clark Jnr are names to conjure with). The giant booths, 1950s' memorabilia and massive island bar form a suitable backdrop for a menu of down-home food including slow-smoked BBQ meats, live lobsters from the centrepiece tank, hefty burgers, New Orleans gumbo and corn bread with honey butter on the side.

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Pitt Cue

Pitt Cue

1 The Avenue, Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YP

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Red Dog Saloon

Red Dog Saloon

37 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NN

Feeding London’s current appetite for all-American BBQ feasts and Wild West shenanigans, this Hoxton hangout aims to be as authentic as they come. The dining room sets the scene, with cracked-leather banquettes, overhead fans, rodeo trappings and hunting paraphernalia on the walls adding to the log-cabin vibe. But it’s the food that sells the concept: mighty slabs of quality meat are rubbed with barbecue spices then cooked slowly in a hickory-burning smoker imported from the States. Otherwise, the hot chicken wings come highly recommended, blackened salmon brings two juicy fillets, and the menu also touts pimped-up burgers with names like ‘the devastator' – plus ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, comforting sides and salads. Wash it all down with bottled US beers, and save room for desserts such as ice cream sundaes or homemade apple pie. Service gets top marks for friendliness.

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Smith & Wollensky

Smith & Wollensky

1-11 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6HT

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Christopher's

Christopher's

18 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7DD

Christopher's may have celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016, but the handsome Grade II-listed Victorian building has a longer history than that and was once home to London's first licensed casino. There's no need to take a gamble on the menu, which is a selection of reliably good stateside staples: juicy Maine lobsters and prime steaks hailing from the US, Scotland and Australia are the winning bets, but you'll also strike lucky with moist Maryland crab cakes or slow-cooked pork belly and Ibérico chop served with Boston baked beans and creamed corn. Lighter choices include fresh salmon carpaccio with a zingy tequila and key lime dressing, but you're likely to lose all will-power when you see the line-up of decadent desserts such as New York cheesecake or chocolate, peanut butter and caramel tart with espresso ice cream. Brunch is always a big deal here too, with readers rating the 'build-your-own pancake' menu, "delicious options" and "really lovely atmosphere".

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Cut at 45 Park Lane

Cut at 45 Park Lane

45 Park Lane, London, W1K 1PN

Cut stands out from the steakhouse crowd thanks to its Park Lane pricing, glammed-up globe-trotting clientele and the clout of A-list chef Wolfgang Puck. Provided you’re financially prepared, you’ll find a surprisingly unpretentious vibe in the very attractive (if hotel-ish) dining room, where soaring drapes and wood panelling head northwards to a ceiling hung with starburst lights. Service could be slicker, but the kitchen pulls out all the stops to justify the prices. Cuts of USDA Prime, South Devon Angus, New York sirloin and dizzyingly expensive Wagyu are presented in all their raw marbled glory before being returned to the table charred and crusted from the grill. Sides include wickedly buttery potato purée and glistening nuggets of bone marrow, while top-notch starters range from maple-glazed pork belly to a very pretty crab and lobster cocktail with spicy tomato horseradish. Desserts, should you get that far, are all-American sweet treats. Upstairs, Bar 45 dispenses classy concoctions in large glasses.

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The Colony Grill Room at The Beaumont

The Colony Grill Room at The Beaumont

The Beaumont, 8 Balderton Street, London, W1K 6TF

Elegance and a warm welcome come as standard at this upmarket hotel grill room, which has powerful echoes of New York’s old-timers with its art-deco murals and framed photographic portraits. The buzz here lasts all day from breakfast to midnight – although the Colony’s comfort food comes with a distinctly American twang.

On the carte, chicken pot pie and macaroni cheese vie for attention with buttermilk fried chicken and Cajun-spiced swordfish, while breakfast brings pancakes, French toast and duck egg hashes with a choice of black pudding, smoked haddock, mushroom and spinach or corned beef. For dessert, bananas Foster and a baked Alaska involving pistachios and cherries are prepared tableside. Jimmy’s (aka the American Bar) makes for an appealing, low-lit stopping-off point with a fondness for bourbon and American whiskey.

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MASH London

MASH London

77 Brewer Street, London, W1F 9ZN

“If you love steak, go to MASH and enjoy” implores a devotee who worships at this Danish shrine to meat, which sprawls along beneath Soho’s pavements. With its racing-red leather, the odd art-deco flourish and high ceilings, the grand dining room is an appropriately capacious space in which to indulge voracious appetites, while the menu owes more to American traditions than Danish – witness mighty crab cakes with mango chutney to start, and heavy sides of mac ’n’ cheese or onion rings. Top billing goes to the Danish crown (a dry-aged rib-eye), but also look for new arrivals such as (comparatively) cheaper Uruguayan steak in a variety of cuts, alongside top-dollar Kobe, Black Angus, Australian and Nebraskan beef. The wine list is equally cosmopolitan with certain pricier bottles accessible by the glass, all overseen by master sommelier Jess Kildetoft. Prices are in line with the London steakhouse norm, while Sundays mean BYOB with no corkage.

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Joe Allen

Joe Allen

2 Burleigh Street, London, WC2E 7PX

It was a dark day in Theatreland when it was announced that the unofficial actors’ canteen, Joe Allen, was going to close – not least because it was to make way for a boutique hotel owned by one of their own, Robert de Niro. But the move around the corner has re-energised this luvvies’ classic that first opened its doors on Exeter Street in 1977. 


A tighter, less labyrinthine layout concentrates the hubbub of the room, while fittings that have been moved lock, stock and piano from Exeter Street look as if they have been here for years. And the American comfort food is the same as ever – adequate rather than amazing, but more than cutting the mustard if you’ve come to soak up the pre- and post-theatre atmosphere or for a boozy weekend brunch with friends; it’s also as well suited to feeding an eight- or eighty-year-old. 


‘Eggs Joe Allen’ is a nicely poached Burford atop a thick slice of potato cake, spooned with hollandaise sauce; well-timed calf’s liver comes with mash that is stodgy not smooth; apple strudel is a as sweet as something you’d want to end Sunday lunch. To drink, a well-priced wine list has bags of choice for under £40, while an evening spent at the bar with classic American cocktails would be a hoot. Remember your waiter’s face: like former staffer Graham Norton, he may well be a star of tomorrow.

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The Blues Kitchen Camden

The Blues Kitchen Camden

111-113 Camden High Street, London, NW1 7JN

There’s no need to feel blue at Camden’s spirited soul shack, where food from America’s deep south, nightly live music and a bumper crop of bourbon combine to make a lively New Orleans-style night out. Drink and music take centre stage. Liquid enticements include cracking old fashioned and whisky sour cocktails, as well as milkshakes spiked with booze; aural stimulations comprise an impressive roll-call of bands (Seasick Steve and the Mystery Jets are past performers). Food is less impressive, though big booths, 1950s' memorabilia, neon signs and gingham wallpaper form an appropriate backdrop for a menu that will horrify calorie counters. Fatten up with buffalo wings and blue-cheese dip, seafood jambalaya, smoky barbecue ribs, or stacked pancakes with bacon and maple syrup for Sunday brunch.

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Maze Grill Mayfair

Maze Grill Mayfair

10-13 Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 6JP

The Maze Grill concept now inhabits two more reinvented Ramsay sites across town, but the Mayfair original still competes in a steak-crazy marketplace by refusing to slobber over down 'n' dirty juices. This is meat you eat with a knife and fork, in a room that's a symphony in taupe, on a square that has as much romance as history. With Maze next door, it's no surprise that sushi creeps onto the menu, along with iceberg salads, simple grilled fish and other warm-up acts. The main event is steak from a variety of sources (native British, USDA, Japanese etc), cooked in the charcoal-burning Josper oven and offered with all-American sides including onion rings and mac 'n' cheese. Breakfasts of ricotta hotcakes and eggs Benedict are also worth knowing about. As for the vibe, some detractors brand it more "prissy London chophouse" than NYC.

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Big Easy Canary Wharf

Big Easy Canary Wharf

Upper Level 1, Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AR

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Spuntino Soho

Spuntino Soho

61 Rupert Street, London, W1D 7PW

Russell Norman’s ode to Manhattan cool revels in its scruffy nonchalance, with a non-descript facade that’s easy to miss. Beyond, laid-back staff and equally laid-back customers (tattoos and facial hair are de rigueur) congregate on either side of a long bar. The snack-fuelled US/Italian menu is designed to soak up some heavy drinks, including a regularly changing cocktail list which makes use of more than 10 bourbon varieties. Alternatively, grab a beer with a shot for a fiver, and get your ballast from buttermilk-fried chicken, crackling aubergine chips with a sprightly fennel yoghurt dip or crab cake and eggs Benedict, squelching out from an English muffin. The tiny room (‘27 stools and a popcorn machine’ as the restaurant puts it) has been stripped back to reveal cracked white tiles and battered walls, in what has fast become the Soho norm. Naturally, you can’t make a reservation, but the peanut butter and jam dessert is worth the wait.

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Jackson + Rye Soho

Jackson + Rye Soho

56 Wardour Street, London, W1D 4JG

The New York flair for upscale brasseries is the inspiration behind this chain of inviting all-dayers. Their look perfectly captures their subject: a warm glow emanates from within, where a casual feel is achieved via cheerfully scribbled blackboards, close-set tables and uplit bar. The setting works whatever time of day you pop in: breakfasts and (blowout) brunches mix North American classics such as buttermilk pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, or pulled-pork hash, with Brit favourites such as a avocado Benedict and ham and cheese omlette. The rest of the day passes in a haze of caution-to-the-wind calories: king prawn linguini, lamb rump, mushroom risotto, plus a selection of chargrilled steak brushed with herb butter  – with pecan pie or vanilla cheesecake for anyone with an inch of room left. ‘Good food, atmosphere and service’ complete the pleasing picture.

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Smokestak

Smokestak

35 Sclater Street, London, E1 6LB

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Hotbox

Hotbox

46 Commercial St, London, E1 6LT

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