Kitschy America-Themed Restaurants Around the World

By
Over-the-top “American-style” restaurants from Dublin to Beijing

Kitschy America-Themed Restaurants

There’s American food, and there’s American-style food. Restaurants that serve American-style food have to do it, well, in style — and many of them go above and beyond. It’s hard to tell whether American-themed restaurants celebrate or mock America, but one thing’s for sure: they’re definitely having fun. Here are 10 kitschy American restaurants from around the world.

Alcatraz E.R. (Japan)

Alcatraz E.R. is not America-themed, per se, but Alcatraz (the prison, and I guess the restaurant, too) is very American. It’s definitely kitschy, at least — cocktails are stirred with sex toys and waiters will only come to you if you bang on the jail bars of your table enclave. 

American Dream (France)

The owners of this diner seem to think the American dream is a stack of six cheeseburgers, which will set you back 39.50€ ($41.42 USD), pole dancing show girls, and so much polished metal that the place looks doubled in size because of all the reflections. Go big or go home (to America).

Beefcakes (South Africa)

Beefcakes (South Africa)
Wikimedia Commons/HelenOnline

Many gay bars are kitschy, but not all of them have the specific theme of Miami’s South Beach in the 1950s. The aesthetic is largely flamingos and camp chic. Their menu nails it: jalapeño poppers, Cobb salad, and a dubiously South African mushroom and cashew nut dish — but, hey, no American-themed restaurant abroad is 100 percent American after, all.

Betty’s Midwest Kitchen (Malaysia)

New York food and New Orleans food get all the attention, but not at this little spot in Selangor. Meatloaf and pork chops are the jewels here. Red, white, and blue flags that we might put up once a year on July 4th are a permanent fixture on their walls. 

Beverly Hills Diner (Russia)

Waitresses at Moscow’s Beverly Hills Diner wear pink dresses and deliver food on roller skates. Checkered floors, a jukebox, booths with red seating… they have the classic 1950s diner down to a T. Their most ordered menu item is the Oreo milkshake.

Breakfast in America (France)

Breakfast in America is American Dream Diner’s more refined cousin. It is a go-to for many a homesick American studying abroad, as their student deal is quite the bargain. Their Connecticut omelette, though, has the same contents as the most quotidian Parisian sandwich: jambon and fromage. 

Captain America’s Cookhouse and Bar (Ireland)

Captain America’s has been serving American-style food since 1971. Debbie Harry, David Bowie, and Green Day have added to their extensive memorabilia collection, which is a little Americana and a lot of random. 

Foster’s Hollywood (Spain)

Foster’s Hollywood is a Spanish chain that is considered ethnic cuisine. A mishmash of Norman Rockwell and old Hollywood aesthetics, the restaurant has been operating since 1971. The New York Times once said that their onion rings were the best they’ve ever had, but TripAdvisor commenters beg to differ.

Stars n’ Bars (Monaco)

Stars n’ Bars opened because the owners felt the Principality of Monaco was too centered around casinos, yachts, and car racing, and wanted to open a family-oriented restaurant, which is only a little centered around car racing. Perhaps to imitate American generosity, they added Indian, sushi, and Mexican dishes.

Tim’s Texas Barbecue (China)

Tim’s Texas Barbecue celebrates America by way of Texas. Here’s Beijing’s spot for loaded potato skins and neon-light colored shots, which you can consume in a ranch-like interior with images of sheriffs’ badges, armadillos, and Lone Star flags.

Ze Do Hamburgers (Brazil)

Ze Do Hamburgers in São Paolo has a giant Greased Lighting-style car in which customers can take photos of themselves. It’s sort of like Johnny Rockets with Elvis impersonators.