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Retro din­ers are rock ‘n’ rolling back into favour with­out an Elvis im­per­son­ator in sight.

Qantas - - QSPIRIT. - Story by TRIS­TAN LUTZE Illustration by EUN-YOUNG LIM

BUTCH­ERS DINER, MEL­BOURNE butch­ers­diner.com

If 4am brings an ur­gent need for blood sausage, this 24/7 greasy spoon in the CBD has you cov­ered. From 6am to 11am, the break­fast list con­tains all the sta­ples, in­clud­ing steak and eggs, loaded hash and but­ter­milk pan­cakes. And the 24-hour menu reads like the tit­u­lar butcher’s dream, with a di­verse pa­rade of meats and of­fal from the char­coal grill.

NIGHTHAWK DINER, SYD­NEY thenighthawk.com.au

Once a gleam­ing retro-style trailer that kept the city sa­ti­ated with mo­bile burg­ers, fries and milk­shakes, the Nighthawk now has an equally cool per­ma­nent home in in­ner-city Chip­pen­dale. The ex­panded menu of­fers tongue-in-cheek plays on the clas­sics, such as na­chos served in a Dori­tos bag and ir­re­sistibly boozy shakes.

TWO-BIT VIL­LAINS, ADE­LAIDE two-bitvil­lains.com

While the hand­crafted soft drinks are rea­son enough to seek out this eclec­ti­cally fur­nished spot in the his­toric Ade­laide Ar­cade, the food makes the jour­ney es­sen­tial. Even de­vout car­ni­vores will be won over by the sig­na­ture burg­ers on Two-Bit’s en­tirely meat-free menu.

TRUNK DINER, MEL­BOURNE trunk­town.com.au

Watch­ing the world race by through the win­dows of this slick diner – lo­cated on a busy cor­ner in the CBD – it’s easy to imag­ine that you’re in New York. The menu of clas­sic,

Amer­i­can-style break­fast, lunch and din­ner dishes only am­pli­fies the cha­rade.

THE FAL­CON, NEW­CAS­TLE 10 Pa­cific Street (02) 4069 1844

They say, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”, and this tim­ber-lined ode to the Deep South brings both. The brisket is over­seen by a Florida-born bar­be­cue chef who smokes it for 12 hours, while the wings are doused in a house­made hot sauce. For fire­fight­ing du­ties, opt for craft beers or imag­i­na­tive cock­tails.

SURLY’S, SYD­NEY par­lour­group.com.au

Part diner, part smoke­house, part dive bar, Surly’s brings a touch of Nashville to the heart of Surry Hills. Burg­ers, hoa­gies and loaded fries are week­day favourites but from Fri­day to Sun­day, you’ll want to turn your at­ten­tion to the meats emerg­ing from Ole Hick­ory – a smoker flown in from Mis­souri.

RED HOOK, BRIS­BANE red-hook.com.au

Chicken burg­ers smoth­ered in miso mayo and char siu sauce, tacos piled with Pek­ing duck – it’s the mash-up of Asian and Amer­i­can in­flu­ences that make this diner so invit­ing.

(Clock­wise from far left) Cheese­burger with house ba­con at Butch­ers Diner and in­side the 24/7 venue; clas­sic fare at Trunk Diner; Surly’s wel­comes walkins; The Fal­con’s old-time booth seats

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