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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! Planning on visiting the UK or moving to the UK?
For more advice, photos and friendly help, click here to join my UK Travel Facebook group to carry on the conversation with fellow travelers and UK experts.
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).
Firstly, no matter your reason for being here, you need the best book on living in the UK for Americans ever written – the book is called “Girl Gone London: An American’s Guide to Surviving Life in the UK” and you should click here and check it out.
I also may have written it, so I’m biased.
But truly, if you’re coming to the UK as an expat, a study abroad student, or even a visitor, my guide to life in the UK contains both personal anecdotes and maybe too-honest experiences, as well as resources and advice on topics ranging from homesickness in the UK (or how not to rage book a flight to America like I did), driving in the UK, being a student in the UK, and more practical advice about bank accounts, buying houses, and more.
It’s truly a one stop shop for all of the weirdness and wonderfulness (is that a word?) that comes along with life in the UK, and also there is plenty of opportunity to laugh at me as I share all of my expat fails so there’s that.
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.
Read more in my full guide comparing UK and US stores and restaurants.
Coming to London Soon?
Hey! Since you’re here I’m assuming you’re intent on visiting this amazing city soon!
A great way to really immerse yourself in UK culture is see the sights with the help of a guided tour. I’ve picked out a few highly recommended ones below!
Tower of London Tour with Crown Jewels: One of the best things about having a Royal family is imagining you’ll be a part of it one day… and what better way than to imagine yourself in their jewels!
Or at least stare dumbfoundedly. Either way, this tour is a sure fire way to get dazzled by London.
Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise: London is built around the River Thames, and one could even say it’s the most important part of the whole city!
As such there’s no better, or relaxing for that matter, way to see the sights than from the view of the river itself! This tour takes you around the city and shows why all Londoners are really still rugged sea voyagers at heart, if maybe just a little more posh now.
Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds: Londoners would have you fooled, but there’s more to this beautiful nation than just what remains within the confines of London… shocker I know!
And if picturesque beauty is what you’re looking for I really recommend checking out the quaint and historical towns that scatter the outskirts.
If nothing else, this tour will give you a break from commuting by the tube, and we all need that eventually