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Onion Rings and Chili Cheese Fries at The Diner. (Time Out)

Finding American things in London can be an expat’s dream come true. However, as a tourist you may be wondering why you would ever want to visit “American” things across the pond. You’ll surely rethink yourself when you become homesick for Teddy Grahams and Philly cheesesteaks. Or after checking out our list of some of the best American restaurants, grocery stores, historical sites, and bars London has to offer:

1. The Benjamin Franklin House

Benjamin Franklin's house in London. (Wikimedia)
Benjamin Franklin’s house in London. (Wikimedia)

The Benjamin Franklin House on 36 Craven Street opened on January 17, 2006, Ben Franklin‘s 300th birthday, and is the only remaining Benjamin Franklin House. Franklin’s house includes a Student Science Center, historical reenactments, and the Robert H. Smith Scholarship Center, where anyone pursuing studies on Benjamin Franklin can find “a full set on the Papers of Benjamin Franklin.” Learn more about visiting the museum and its offerings.

2. The American Food Store

Some of the products available at the American Food Store. (http://themccooeysoflondon.blogspot.com)
Some of the products available at the American Food Store. (themccooeysoflondon.blogspot.com)

The American (or USA) Food Store on 2 Ladbroke Road converted from an old post office to an American grocery store in 2008. They now sell “over 1000 items,” including American candies, soda, cereals, cake mixes, canned goods, condiments, spices, and even Mexican groceries! They also offer seasonal selections including American Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas staples. Check out brands offered at the USA Food Store here and see their London Live feature.

3. Alexandra Palace’s Drive-In Film Club

A movie viewing at the Alexandra Palace Drive-In. (Londonist)
A movie viewing at the Alexandra Palace Drive-In. (Londonist)

A year-round experience, Alexandra Palace (or Ally-Pally), located at Alexandra Palace Way, offers an American-style “unmissable Drive-In cinema” with the Drive-In Film Club. While you’ll have to wait until after the holidays to cash in on the 2015 move selection, some of the films played in 2014 include hits like Grease, Back to the Future, and Anchorman 2.

4. Pitt Cue Co.

Ribs, chargrilled bread, and dessert at Pitt Cue Co. (Time Out)
Ribs, chargrilled bread, and dessert at Pitt Cue Co. (Time Out)

Vouched for by thousands at the best Southern-style barbeque in London, Soho’s Pitt Cue Co. on 1 Newburgh Street has all the delights of what we Americans call real barbecue. Their ever-changing menu offers pulled pork, sausage, St. Louis ribs, beef ribs, beef brisket, baked beans, coleslaw, scratchings, and hot wings. Because their menu changes so often, Pitt Cue Co. has chosen to leave their web page pretty simple and instead invites you to check out their Tumblr for updates and photographs.

5. St. Paul’s Cathedral American Memorial Chapel

The American Memorial Chapel at St. Paul's Cathedral (bugbog.com)
The American Memorial Chapel at St. Paul’s Cathedral (bugbog.com)

The plan for an American Memorial Chapel for the American soldiers that gave their lives fighting side by side the Brits in World War II was announced directly after the war’s end by “Marshal of the Royal Air Force Viscount Trenchard and Sir Clive Baillieu, president and chairman respectively of the American British-Commonwealth Association.” They called for donations, asking “the body of ordinary men and women in Great Britain to contribute ‘their pennies, their sixpences or their pounds.'” The Chapel is located “at the centre of the extreme east end of the cathedral, behind the high altar, is the semi-circular apse, known until now as the Jesus Chapel,” and holds the Roll of Honor of 28,000 names of men who died in combat. Click here for information on visiting St. Paul’s (located at St. Paul’s Churchyard) and the American Memorial Chapter.

6. The Diner

Onion Rings and Chili Cheese Fries at The Diner. (Time Out)
Onion Rings, Chili Cheese Fries, and a shake at The Diner. (Time Out)

The Diner is an American-style diner with seven locations around London. Each site has colorful booths and neon signs, replicating the 1950s diner vibe. Their menu is comprised of diner favorites such as burgers (including California-, Mexican-, and Hawaiian-themed), shrimp ‘po boys, Philly cheesesteaks, hot dogs, mac and cheese, chili con Ccrne, and an array of traditional American breakfast foods such as pancakes, bacon, and eggs (served all day). The Diner also offers milkshakes, and “hard milkshakes,” like the RR Hardshake, which contains vanilla ice cream, espresso, and just a dash of Davna cherry vodka. They now deliver from all locations, as advertised on their homepage.

7. The American International Church

The exterior of London's American International Church. (tiredoflondontiredoflife.com)
The exterior of London’s American International Church. (tiredoflondontiredoflife.com)

The American International Church, located at 79a Tottenham Court Road, is made up of Americans working in London and their spouses and claims “the congregation reflects the dynamic international character of London.” The church invites both expats and visitors to stop by for reflection or services. Here’s what to expect upon visiting and a list of calendar events that also show the weekly/monthly groups the church offers.

8. Sports Bar & Grill

The interior of the Sports Bar & Grill. (Trip Advisor)
The interior of the Sports Bar & Grill. (Trip Advisor)

The Sports Bar & Grill has five locations throughout London, is styled as a typical American sports bar and regularly shows both British football and NFL games on its big screens. The Sports Bar serves quite a few American staples including chicken tenders (with Creole spices), burgers with chorizo and jalapenos, nachos, and BBQ Babyback pork ribs. This could be the perfect place for expats to get their American bar fare fixes while also exploring British options, or vice versa; they also serve traditional sunday roasts, cod fish finger sandwiches, Welsh lamb Burgers, Welsh rarebit, and prawn cocktails.

9. The American Car Centre

A 2015 Cadillac Escalade in stock at the American Car Centre (American Car Centre)
A 2015 Cadillac Escalade in stock at the American Car Centre (American Car Centre)

The  American Car Centre (20 Lettice Street), “London’s only American car specialist,” offers a “wide selection of both new and pre-owned North American cars, SUV, crossovers and trucks.” They can also “provide virtually any other American vehicle to order for swiftest U.K. delivery.” The American Car Centre also specializes in allowing American car owners servicing and maintenance to upkeep their vehicles. Check out their currently available new and used and classic cars for sale.

10. Ain’t Nothin’ But

Ain't Nothin' But's "Blues Bar" sign inside the pub.
Ain’t Nothin’ But’s “Blues Bar” sign inside the pub (Ain’t Nothin’ But).

Ain’t Nothin’ But, located on 20 Kingsly Street, is a pub focused around—you guessed it—nothin’ but the Blues. This pub has live Blues performances by Brits and Americans alike seven nights a week, as advertised along with upcoming events on their homepage. The bar also hosts an annual Ain’t Nothin’ But Blues Festival; the next festival will be in Mijas, Spain in July 2015.

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By Helen Donahue