Despite the fact that London's restaurants have improved considerably over the last 25 years, tourists from America still might find themselves wanted a taste of home rather than the more traditional or international fare available in the capital city. While there are certainly enough McDonalds, Burger Kings, and Pizza Huts to make you feel as if the world is very small indeed, there are other sit-down establishments that ? while often pricey ? may make you feel a little less homesick.With five locations in central London (and dozens more throughout Great Britain), TGI Fridays offers not just the same hamburgers, salads and sandwiches you'd find in the States ? but also the same décor, wait staff and music that you'd expect. The bar area is usually very busy, and the restaurant caters to families as well as young people out for a night on the town.
Look for Fridays in Bayswater, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Mill Hill and Fulham. The prices will look pretty similar to what you'd pay in the U.S. but beware ? those are pounds you're looking at, not dollars. Expect to pay double what you'd pay back home.
"Theme restaurants" like the Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood and the Rainforest Café all have branches in Central London. Like Fridays, these are places to take the entire family ? especially if loud music videos, movie props and robot animals will keep your kids occupied while you eat. Again, expect to pay more than you'd want for a hamburger or chicken sandwich, but you're also getting American style service and food. For those wanting something familiar, these three places may provide just that solution.
While not a U.S. chain, if you're looking for "traditional" Tex-Mex cuisine one evening, visit the Texas Embassy and Cantina near Trafalgar Square. In addition to what you'd expect (fajitas, enchiladas, queso, chips and margaritas), there is a selection of steaks and barbeque items as well. It may not be the exact thing you'd get in Dallas or Houston, but it's close enough to keep you going until your return home.
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By: Constance Parker-Street