America may not be a country exactly known for its subtlety, but even by their standards the 4th of July is a major occasion. It’s big, loud and brash, and so is the food that goes with it – food London seems to have fallen head-over-heels in love with. Our passion for cheeseburgers, BBQ ribs and root beer floats continues unabated, so with Independence Day around the corner we thought we’d bring you a selection of the best of America to be found in little ol’ London town…
Big Easy (group)
“New Orleans was never closer!”; in the face of all the upstart competition, this ever-“lively” Chelsea surf ’n’ turf shack still offers “excellent ribs and burgers, and other stuff that isn’t too healthy either”, plus the “best-value” lobster in town. Now with a branch in Covent Garden too.
“It certainly feels like you’re in the US of A”, if you visit these “OTT sports-bar-style” BBQ joints; “ribs, wings, fries and slaw”, and “delicious beers” too – “ain’t nothing fancy, but boy do you get fed!”
Red Dog Saloon (group)
“It’s always a giggle watching someone take on one of the ridiculous Man vs Food challenges”, at this “VERY hearty American BBQ” in Hoxton; the cooking’s surprisingly “decent”, though – the “devastator burger” rates special mention. Locations in Hoxton and Clapham.
Pitt Cue Co W1
“I actually enjoyed the queuing!” – such are the “happy” vibes at this tiny and “crowded” Carnaby Street BBQ – a “meaty-licious” heaven, where the pulled pork in particular is a “must-try”.
Patty & Bun (group)
“I waited over an hour in the cold for this burger… and boy was it worth it!”; this “cramped” new burger joint, near Selfridges, inspires lots of reports, all saying pretty much the same – “apart from the perma-queue, it’s brilliant”…Liverpool Street location opened April 2014.
Ones to watch
The Lockhart W1
Louisiana-born chef Brad McDonald, who comes to us via such street-credible stop-offs as Noma and Per Se, and Brooklyn (naturally), is making a name for himself with his authentic down-home cuisine at this Marylebone spot. Don’t miss the cornbread.
The Joint SW9
A Brixton Village Market hangout that started life as a pop-up. Founded by Warren Dean and Daniel Fiteni, it earns most praise for pulled pork rumoured to be among the best in London.
One Sixty Smokehouse NW6
Pied Ã Terre man David Moore’s new take on the American smokehouse concept, in West Hampstead.
This spot coming to Camden Town claims to be London’s first all-day Creole bar and kitchen. Opening on 12 July.
American street food
Miss P’s Barbecue (mainly in Brixton Market but follow them on Twitter to see where they will pop up next @misspsbarbecue)
A Southern-style barbecue pop-up with its roots in the food culture of Atlanta GA, which uses dry rubs and dressing sauces on its brisket and pork. Pitmaster Gianluca Ivaldi fuels his smokers with lumpwood charcoal and oak to cook the meats ‘low and slow’.
Smokestak (find them at Street Feast in Dalston and other events across London)
Heralded by many as serving up the greatest ribs in the city, Smokestak is an eye-catching market stall with a huge steam engine-style smoker. Try the beef short rib, or, if you want to share, you can order the Flintstone beef rib – a mammoth undertaking!
Prairie Fire (find them at Kerb King’s Cross and follow them on Twitter to discover more @prairiefire_bbq)
A street food vendor describing itself as London’s only ‘Traditional Slow Smoked Kansas City BBQ’. Prairie Fire can be hard to find but the search is definitely worth the effort for their beef brisket and St Louis cut ribs.
Texas Joe’s (find them at Brewdog pubs in Shoreditch and Shepherd’s Bush, plus the Grafton in Kentish Town)
A BBQ joint that’s gone from pop-up to residency at three London pubs, Texas Joe’s is American as apple pie. You’ll find the stetson-wearing, owner full of enthusiasm for his smoky beef brisket, in the way only someone born in Dallas TX ever could be.
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