Hello, American diner loving people! You’ve come to the right article if you’re wondering whether there’s a Johnny Rocket’s in the UK or a Johnny Rocket’s in London. There’s just something about this all-American restaurant that makes you want to wear one of these weird looking diner hats and indulge in a milkshake that has more calories than you’re supposed to eat in a week.
Hey, sidenote! If you’re traveling to the UK, whether for a short period of time or as an expat, why don’t you join my Facebook group where you can ask questions, get advice or just look at pretty pictures of this part of the world! Just click here to request to join and I’ll add you!
And, if you are thinking of studying in London, be sure to check out my eBook, “An American Girl’s Guide to Studying Abroad in London”. It has lots of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your time there! You can get it here.
While Johnny Rockets wasn’t a staple in my childhood (that spot was reserved for Steak N Shake – but unfortunately there’s no Steak N Shake in the UK either), it is an All-American pasttime and I do enjoy stopping in them when I’m traveling by one, especially if that place is an airport before I leave for the UK and need to get as many American style hamburgers into my stomach as possible.
So, you came here to find out…
“Is there a Johnny Rockets in the UK or London?”
Unfortunately, the answer is – no. There is no Johnny Rockets in the UK or London, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great alternatives for you.
Before we get too deep into the history of Johnny Rockets and where it has expanded to internationally, I just wanted to let you know about some other awesome content that is going to make your trip to London or the UK much more fulfilling (and less embarrassing for you because you’ll know the rules of the tube).
It takes everything you think you know about the UK and either explains it or shows you what you’re really getting yourself into (major small talk and frequent tea breaks, woo!)
I’ve also put together some articles of my own, including ones about culture shock for those of you who are going to be in the UK for awhile, as well as articles on how to survive the London Underground (it’s possible to have a smooth journey, I promise) and the story behind me learning to drive in the UK.
That last one is basically filled with me screaming and making jokes about how terrifying it all was, but there’s a bit of real advice too.
- Culture Shock: The Things We Don’t Talk About
- An American Girl’s Guide to Surviving the London Underground
- Understanding UK Money: Pence, Not Cents!
- Driving in England as an American: An Apology to UK Drivers
Anyway, if you’re desperate for some Johnny Rocket’s right now, here’s what you should know.
History of Johnny Rocket’s
Johnny Rocket’s has a long history stemming back to 1986 (well, for America that’s long…). Okay, so it’s not the LONGEST history, but it is a history and it all started in California – Los Angeles, to be exact.
The restaurant was started by a man named Ronn who wanted to recreate the feeling he would get in malt shops in the 1940s as a child.
And so, Johnny Rockets was born in all of its American glory. When you visit, you’ll note that the decor is straight out of the 1950s, down to the jukeboxes and red vinyl seats.
Johnny Rockets has over 300 locations worldwide, including in places like Canada, the Dominican Republic, and Pakistan.
Unfortunately for UK Johnny Rockets lovers, the franchise has not expanded to the UK despite some adoring fans. This isn’t to say that it will never come over, but for now there is no evidence or regular pop-up restaurants (like Chick fil A in the UK sometimes does) to suggest that it’s on its way over.
Alternatives to Johnny Rockets in the UK
Just because you don’t have Johnny Rockets in the UK doesn’t mean we have to completely go without American diner food! Check out some of my favorite options as the equivalent to Johnny Rockets below.
Ed’s Easy Diner
Ed’s Easy Diner is one of the most popular American style dining food chains around the UK. You can find it in most major cities, and sometimes in smaller ones as well.
They have an American diner theming and a menu full of hamburgers, milkshakes, hot dogs and American style sandwiches.
The food isn’t too expensive, and the milkshakes at least are some of the most authentic American style ones I’ve found.
The Diner is a popular American chain in London, focusing on a bit more upscale experience than a greasy diner. It’s by no means formal, but it is a regular restaurant in its decor with plush booths and cool diner mood lighting.
The prices here are higher than you would find at a fast-food type place, but it’s still a great option if you’re craving some quality American fare.