AMP is cheap and cheerful. This trendy little diner comes pretty close to nailing the whole 50s American kitsch vibe and offers up a simple and satisfying burger menu to match. The neon sign and crate-like seats out front hint at the charming clutter within, where photos of Elvis and Jimmie Rodgers stare dreamily from the walls alongside post-it notes from customers, three large pop art homages to HM the King and vintage Hot Wheels cars still in their packaging. Take a seat in one of the retro dining booths and order from the fittingly limited menu featuring a few salads and beer-battered fish and chips. The highlights, though, are the burgers: try the recommended Most Wanted Burger (rib eye steak patty with bacon, eggs, cheese and BBQ sauce, B185), which is positively dripping. Wash it down with vanilla ice cream with Baileys (B90) or a Beerlao Dark (B100).
1121 Phahon Yothin Rd., 081-633-9495. Open daily 5pm-midnight
Inspired by New York’s west-side diners of the 50s, Buddy Boys’ Diners’ interior and neon-lit exterior are wonderfully detailed to a fault. Owned by a musician who is obsessed with American retro culture, the place is decked out with the obligatory jukebox, checkered floors, red booths, a long blue bar and old posters. The concise menu is mainly burgers, steak and shakes whose American-size portions and quality justify the prices. Try the onion cheesy burger (B290), which comes with US beef patties and BBQ onion sauce, and is served with onion rings, or the Buffalo wings (B130), with their surprising sauce that mixes celery and blue cheese. Service can be erratic but, hey, old-time diners didn’t come with five-star hotel wait staff either. As a bonus, there is also a new garage-slash-bar, Buddy Boys’ Station
, right next door. You can order food from the diner or just enjoy American beers like Budweiser (B150) or cocktails, which start from B150.
Ratchapreuk Rd. (across from The Circle), 089-926-4220. Open daily 1pm-11pm
Opened just last year, this fairly basic space is grungier than the others, but it puts some serious gusto into its classic American dishes and also hosts lots of interesting events such as comedy nights, gigs and movie screenings. Join the largely expat crowd and order the deep-fried jalapeno stuffed with Wisconsin cream cheese (B130), Buffalo hot wings (B85 for six) and Jack the Ripper (deep-fried bacon wrapped sausage and topped with peppers, onions and jalapeno cheese sauce, B150). Reasonable prices and a rocking playlist earn it extra points.
598/66 Asoke-Dindaeng Rd., 081-438 7221. Open daily 4pm-midnight
Not into vintage bric-a-brac? This venue is the sleekest on this list with a décor that screams upscale Hollywood diner—from the lush red wallpaper, black and white photos of yesterday’s heroes, leather upholstery and giant checkerboard mirror behind the bar. The prices don’t exactly come cheap, either. But you can’t go too wrong with the Sanoran hot dog (bacon wrapped, caramelized onion, tomato, pinto beans, onion, hatch green chili, queso fresco, mustard, garlic aioli, B330). What we dig about the place are its round-the-clock opening hours, its late-night desserts and those naughty adults-only spiked shakes.
G/F, Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, 188 Silom Rd., 02-238-1991. Open daily 24 hours
The late opening hours here make this one a popular pit-stop for partied-out nightcrawlers. Angel City Diner, like most others on this list, takes its cues from classic 50s diners: expect lots of stainless-steel, neon signs, a jukebox playing rock n’ roll favorites and that classic checkered flooring. The menu is classic American, too, from greasy grills to massive breakfasts. Roll up your sleeves before tucking into the Angel Burger (patty, blue, cheddar and Swiss cheese, bacon, caramelized onion, mayo, B299) or chili cheese burger (Texas beef chili, jalapeno and cheddar, B285). When it comes to breakfast, the Monte Cristo French toast sandwich that comes with ham, turkey, cheddar and swiss cheese (B269) is a mouth-watering if artery-clogging option, as are the buttermilk pancake sandwiches with bacon, maple sausage, ham, eggs and maple syrup (B169).
The Prime, Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-651-3313. BTS Nana. Open daily 11am-4:30am