Born in the USA - American style bars and hangouts in London. Photo Quinn Keaney. Copyright Qinn Keaney/LondonNet

    American bars, pubs and hangouts in London

    Born in the USA?

    BEING AN AMERICAN tourist in London can be tricky. You have to master the tube, deal with the whole “pounds” and “pence” situation, and get used to shrimp-flavored chips which the locals quaintly call “prawn-cocktail crisps”. It has its advantages though — you get to enjoy a really unique culture, check out some truly beautiful architecture, and, of course, enjoy all of the dreamy English accents.

    After you’ve stuffed yourself with enough fish and chips and ridden the London Eye a few times, you might find yourself wishing for the cheers and whistles of the basketball game you’re missing back home, or your favorite live band. There might be a craving for some American food, and a longing for the atmosphere of your local college bar. Fortunately London has something for everyone, even the most homesick of Americans.

    So here’s our guide for where to go to celebrate Independence Day, Thanksgiving or Superbowl Sunday or just to get a taste of London, Stateside-style…

    The Sports Café
    Located in the heart of Picadilly Circus, this lively bar is perfect for football lovers of any kind, whether it’s the game with quarterbacks or centre-backs. Featuring SKY HD, ESPN, ESPN America, DIRECTV, over 100,000 foreign channels and Pay-Per-View, they can broadcast over 32 events simultaneously. With great deals on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights, they keep the pitchers of beer flowing and the buffalo wings cheaply priced. If it weren’t for the packed dance floor downstairs and the live DJ, you might find yourself forgetting you’re across the pond. If you’re in the mood to catch the game, grab a few drinks, and maybe bust a move, this is definitely a place to check out.
    Average Price Range: Moderate
    Find it at: 80 Haymarket, London, SW1Y4TE
    Tube Station: Picadilly Circus or Charing Cross

    Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack
    The great Louisianan port city of New Orleans is variously dubbed Crescent City or the Big Easy. The cuisine of the area includes creole and cajun mixes a rich heritage combining southern food with French style and other influences including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Native American, and African. You can get a taste of it yourself on London’s King’s Road at the Big Easy restaurant. Billing itself as a purveyor of deluxe crabshack dining from the American Gulf Coast, it strives to whisk you back to a more laid back time. “So after a hard day”s fishing, shopping, or plain ol’ hard work, come and enjoy a hearty ‘home-style’ meal” says their website and with house specials including Fresh Maine 1kg/2lb Lobster, Fresh Crab & Shrimp, Charolais Beef, The Classic Chophouse Burger, Surf & Turf and Real Home-Smoked Bar-B-Q you can see why they say it’s just like being in the Big Easy itself.
    Average Price Range: Moderate/High
    Find it at: 332-334 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UR
    Tube Station: Sloane Square
    Big Easy

    Five Guys
    The new kid on the block here in London, US burger favourite Five Guys opened its first UK branch in Covent Garden at the beginning of July 2013. Since beginning with a carry-out burger joint in Arlington, Virginia in 1986, the family run chain has spread out to over a thousand locations. They use only fresh roll stamped prime beef and all fried food is cooked in peanut oil. Choice is king with over 250,000 possible ways to order a burger. It remains to be seen whether this US chain will win over Londoner’s hearts and with a clutch of homegrown premier burger rivals and fellow US favourites Shake Shack opening later in July the competition is as fiercely hot as a spiced up jalapeno pepper.
    Average Price Range: Moderate
    Find it at: 1-3 Long Acre, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9LH
    Tube Station: Covent Garden
    Five Guys

    Unless you’re one of those brazen backpackers who wander from questionable hostel to hostel all over Europe, you’ve most likely landed in London with a few other people or a big group. O’Neills, located in Chinatown, has something for everyone. From live cover bands to live DJs and fist-pumping music on a giant dance floor, even the whiniest member of your group would be hard-pressed to find something they didn’t like on the three individually-themed floors of this bar.
    Average Price Range: Moderate
    Find it at: 33-37 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6PU
    Tube Station: Picadilly Circus

    Sick of the routine pubs, but not in the mood to rave to techno until 6 a.m.? A nightclub and former theater in Camden Town, Koko is one of the coziest clubs you’ll find while staying in London – and a favourite with us yanks. Incorporating the appeal of a live music venue with all the fun of a dance club, it has a great atmosphere for anyone feeling nostalgic about their favorite American music spot. The drinks are a little pricier and the cover a drag, but once you make your way through all three floors of Koko and enjoy a great live band, you won’t regret it.
    Average Price Range: Moderate
    Find it at: 1a Camden High Street, London, NW1 7JE
    Tube Station: Mornington Crescent

    The American Bar at the Savoy
    If you’re lucky enough to be on a business trip or at a meeting where your company is picking up the tab, head to this bar for some of the best, and priciest, cocktails in town. One of the earliest establishments to introduce American cocktails to Europe, this place not only has history, but plenty of style. Maybe it’s the live pianist playing American jazz from a baby grand piano seven days a week, but the atmosphere is glamorous to say the least. If you’re in the mood for a splurge, The American Bar is the place to be.
    Average Price Range: High
    Find it at: Strand, London, WC2R 0EU
    Tube Station: Covent Garden
    The Savoy London (LondonNet)

    Sadly this old classic appears to be closed (as of July 2013)
    Texas Embassy Cantina
    While trekking up and down the Thames on a seemingly endless walking tour, you might find yourself in dire need of a margarita and some enchiladas. Immediately you sadden, thinking nowhere in London could possibly rustle up some Tex-Mex food the way you like it. Well mosey on over to Trafalgar Square and look no further than the Texas Embassy. With killer cocktails and food that would make any Chili’s cower, this is the best restaurant to get your fill of the American south without having to dig out your cowboy hat.
    Average Price Range: Moderate
    Find it at: 1 Cockspur Street, London, SW1Y 5DL
    Tube Station: Picadilly Circus or Charing Cross

    Quinn Keaney, July 2012
    Peter Clee, Updated July 2013

    Photos: Koko by Quinn Keaney (Copyright Quinn Keaney/LondonNet)
    Texas Embassy by neilt (Creative Commons License)