Do you need a bigger excuse than good food and music to head to some of the best American diners in Singapore? We thought not, which is why we’ve dedicated a whole guide to the hearty experience.
But what exactly makes an all-American diner? The concept behind this unique breed of restaurants is simple: unpretentious greasy grub, set in a locale that’s dressed in checkered tiled flooring and seafoam green, complete with red booths made for a cosy night out with friends.
Yet the enduring appeal of the American diner is much more than its casual plates and vintage furniture. When it was first introduced, the diner was often located just off major interstate highways as a signal of rest and hospitality after a long journey. It was built primarily for the blue-collar crowd, with the main focus being to create cheap and fast food.
The meaning of the diner then ameliorated in the post-second world war boom: it became known as a homely, melting pot of people that saw travellers and locals alike. Many of the interior elements and dishes that were introduced in this period — including the iconic jukebox — became so popular that it has become quintessential to any diner.
We might not be able to get the true, authentic American diner experience here in Singapore, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the vibes at these inspired ones. Read on for the full list.
(Hero and featured image credit: Spencer Davis on Unsplash)
5 best American diners in Singapore:
For an all-American dining experience by the bay, head to OverEasy. The diner is dressed is a kitschy shade of turquoise and red checkerboard floorings, a modern interpretation of the classic American diner that’s heavily influenced by the vibrant spirit of the 1960s and ‘70s. Notable items on the menu here include the truffle lobster mac and cheese and the beer can chicken — a whole roasted chicken that’s stuffed upright with a beer can. Don’t forget to grab a couple of root beer floats to wash it all down with.
Broadway American Diner is nestled in the buzzing Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski, dishing out plates of housemade patties and freshly baked, chemical-free buns, hotdogs and more. The vibe is distinctly classic too: think checkered flooring, tiled walls, vibrant red vinyl booths, and neon lights for the ultimate vintage American diner experience. Here, chow down on the Double Black Angus Cheese Burger, a hearty mix of American cheese, red onions, cucumber pickles and succulent Angus beef patty.
While one might not be able to find the decor of the “quintessential” American diner at Hard Rock Cafe, the vibes of the place more than makes up for it. After all, what’s more authentic than a heritage American joint that’s been crooning good ol’ rock tunes since 1971? Crowd favourite dishes come in the form of the Hickory-Smoked Bar-B-Que Chicken, a Southern-style half chicken, rubbed, grilled and basted and the Fresh Apple Cobbler, a warm, gooey sweet treat to end your night with.
Transport yourself right to the City of Angels with Fatburger’s flagship lifestyle concept store, located in the bustling Orchard Cineleisure. The diner features a unique stadium-like design with bold wall murals — making it the first-ever Fatburger in the world to have such an interior. The halal-certified menu of fresh burgers come generously portioned with farm-to-table chicken and freshly-baked artisanal buns, as well as new creations like the Fish Burger, stuffed with a tender codfish patty and vegetarian selections that come with Impossible meat. Our personal picks? The Swiss Mushroom Beef and the Double (XXL) Fatburger.
Open from 10am to 10pm daily, Joji’s Diner blew up on Instagram and TikTok with their all-day breakfast and retro interiors. Checkboard flooring, red booth seatings and a jukebox to boot? They’ve ticked off every box on our all-American diner list when it comes to the design. As for the food, think Chicken and Waffles, burgers and the most popular item on the menu: the All-Star Platter. True to its name, the plate comes packed with a medley of classics that include tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, french toast and a hash brown.
(Image credit: @drinkkfallspew via Instagram)