Brooklyn, New York
This is no time for a soda; cocktails are a must in this old Williamsburg diner car, filled with locals decked out like regular Don Drapers. Cozy up to the Formica counter, and order a plateful of tagliatelle or a filet of trout with crème fraîche. Or kick it old school with a juicy burger or French toast, enhanced with a touch of coriander and served with spiced maple syrup.
85 Broadway , 718-486-3077
A shining beacon in historic Gastown, the flashing neon sign depicting two chubby piggies may be an indication of what’s in store inside. Opened in 1957, the butcher-cum-café’s massive overhaul was the subject of the reality TV show Gastown Gamble. Now nostalgia lovers perch on chrome stools and chew the fat over cups of diner coffee and the din of jukeboxes while munching on homey burgers and smoked-turkey pies.
43 W. Hastings St. , 604-569-3568
Time stands still at this Shibuya snack bar, whose minimalist decor is maximized by an outsize station clock suspended from the ceiling. Slide into a black leather booth, and lose yourself in the menu featuring all things feel-good, from full American breakfasts to grilled sardines, fried chicken and falafel. On your way out, don’t forget to grab a cup of joe at the adjoining coffee counter; No. 8 Bear Pond Espresso is a local favourite.
1-17-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku , 81-3-6427-7273
The meeting of famed culinary minds Jamie Oliver and Chris Bianco gives pizza an undeniably British twist with wood-oven-baked flatbreads, topped with crazy things like oxtail and brisket slow-braised in Worcestershire sauce. Watch the action in the kitchen on the 1950s TV set from your retro-styled table while delighting in your sticky treacle tart à la mode (the Earl Grey ice cream is our cup of tea).
4 Central St. Giles, Piazza , 44-20-3597-7888
Originally published in enRoute magazine .