Speedway Diner, a go-kart-themed eatery that serves up American fast food, offers a unique form of entertainment.
Its spacious interior has a surreal 1950s feel, complete with neon-lit arcade games and a chequered floor, while the counters serving food and drinks are lined with bright pink neon lights. There are also red and white booths and tables with matching chairs, which seem to have come right out of the TV show Riverdale. The whole diner screams aesthetic, so get ready to take some Instagram-worthy shots.
The eatery offers classic American fare like burgers, hot dogs, onion rings and milkshakes. But the main attraction is the go-karts, with the specially designed indoor track taking up most of the space at the venue.
The area is divided by plastic barriers, which helps to keep drivers from colliding into walls and creates a 50m racetrack. The go-karts come in three different sizes – we had to take the largest one, since we were more than 1.4 metres tall. We opted for Racer Set A, which included a six-minute session on the kart, a soft drink of your choice, and a snack. A quick briefing from an instructor was followed by a practice round, and we were ready to go!
The ride was a blast; all it took was one push of the pedal to whizz through the rink. The experience really got our blood pumping, and we highly recommend it for all the adrenaline junkies out there. The activity had all the fun of driving – with considerable less risk than on the city’s congested roads. But take care not to go too fast because a scrape against the concrete floor is likely to result in injury.
We were trailed by an instructor during the first few rounds to make sure we followed the rules and got the hang of things. After that, we were left alone and were free to amp up the speed and spin through the turns. The session ended in the blink of an eye and left us wanting more.
Despite the gorgeous retro aesthetics and enjoyable activities provided, Speedway Diner charges a steep price for everything. A six-minute go-kart session costs HK$69, while the cheapest Racer Set – one ride and a small snack – comes in at HK$88. You can also try a game for around HK$6-HK$10, paid for in tokens you can get at an “ATM machine”. Simply put, this place is definitely not a budget hang-out.
Another problem is that the diner is located in a relatively remote area of Kowloon City – the only way you can get there is by taking red or green minibuses from Kowloon Tong and Mong Kok, unless you want to take a taxi, which could be expensive. For those unfamiliar with minibus routes, it’s definitely a challenge to get to the place. We suggest bringing along a Cantonese-speaking friend, since it will help you when seeking assistance from a bus driver or passer-by.
To sum up, Speedway Diner is a place where you can have lots of fun, but you have to sacrifice a lot of time and money for the experience.
Location: Shop 406-410, 4/F, Kowloon City Plaza, 128 Carpenter Road, Kowloon City
Price: On weekdays: HK$69 for a six-minute session on the go-kart track; Sets A, B and C with go-kart ride and food are priced at HK$88, HK$158 and HK$188, respectively, depending on the type of food you order. On weekends: The sets are priced at HK$108, HK$178 and HK$208, respectively.