Camden. It’s known for its quirky vibes, booming colours, street food (and bumping into everyone as soon as you come out of the tube). But what about stripped back Camden? The Camden beneath the sheets? We’ve taken a look at some of the eateries you simply must try between drinking from coconuts and sitting by the Lock. Without further ado…
Namaaste Kitchen has an ideal location, between Camden and Primrose Hill. It’s set amongst other foodie havens at 64 Parkway, and a short stumble from iconic pubs including the Earl of Camden just across the road. The look inside is eclectic, with a centre piece disco ball hanging from the ceiling, set against the backdrop of exposed brickwork, wooden floors and lights reminiscent of the 80s. It’s a very light and airy restaurant and so despite being inside during the summer day, the atmosphere provides a refreshing, almost al fresco environment.
Since opening in 2010, Namaaste Kitchen has been subject to critical acclaim and a host of reviews. The menu features street food inspired dishes, unsurprising given the array of vendors spread across Camden, and food is thought up by proprietor Sabbir Karim who has taken inspo from his wanderlust ways offering a range of food-well-travelled dishes.
Great for: Indian food
Boom, boom, boom, Shaka Zulu the room! Ah, the fabulous Camden staple, Shaka Zulu. The restaurant shakes up the city with its vibrant decor, menu devised upon stories, journeys and experience and African beats that parade throughout the restaurant space.
Wicked for a night out, Shaka Zulu is a bucket list venue for most who move to London, sourcing game direct from South Africa, as well as other key ingredients. This old chap has been around for a while, having opened in 2010, so we’re pretty sure they’re doing something right…
Where: Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AH, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Kentish Town West (0.3 miles)
This rambunctious resto doesn’t do things in half measure. Snaking around the restaurant are pillows in popping colours, and the centre piece bar is paved with bright tiles. Mexican is the theme at Cafe Chula and a small and simple menu is what they offer, making more time for scoffing and cocktail-ing, and less time thinking about what to choose.
Food zooms in from all areas. From meat from the Hampstead Butcher, to fresh fruit and veg from London’s best daily markets, including Camden’s. And, of course there’s tequila, which, we’re told, is taken very seriously. The range has been handpicked over the past five years and fan-favourites include the hibiscus or the grapefruit and Habanero.
Great for: Tequila and Mexican food – taco about delicious!
Lemongrass is London’s only Khmer restaurant and has quite the story at its helm. Chef-owner Thomas Tan arrived in the UK in 1969, and with him he brought a handful of recipes including tender lok-luk fillet steak, mild amok fish curry and more, all of which partner terrifically with rice.
It’s the perfect restaurant to visit if authenticity is what you’re after. The interiors are a little dated but the Cambodian food is unlike any other.
Great for: Visiting Cambodia vicariously through food.
For those with an eye for Japanese cuisine, Seto is the place to venture to. The neighbourhood spot plates up gyozas and serves up steaming bowls of ramen like it’s going out of fashion. As a more authentic Wagamama’s, Seto is the family-run restaurant you’ll want to dine at time and time again. The food is honest, simple and doesn’t burn a whole in your pocket, plus the the miso ramen packed with simmered chicken and pork bones is delicious.
Great for: Japanese food galore
The name does a pretty good job at summing up what you can expect from The Cheese Bar; it’s a lot of cheese. Get it from all countries in all forms, from raw chunks to gooey deliciousness. There’s no body shaming here! And, The Cheese Bar has made mega waves since it first opened in 2017, with people travelling far and wide to try it out.
Cheese. A lot of cheese. In ways you didn’t think cheese would (or should?) be served. Think cheese ice cream, cheese cocktails, and good old lumps of cheese. Grilled cheese has its own section on the menu and a massive gleaming board that takes up one wall describing the various cheeses available which can be selected for, what else? A cheese board.
P.s. They’re opening a cheese conveyor belt bar in September! Pick & Cheese will reside inside KERB’s new Seven Dials Market.
Great for: Fruit & Veg.
We’re just kidding. Cheese, obvs!
Visit Jamestown Road and you’ll find Mildreds. Whilst it sounds like an elderly ladies mobile home it is in fact one of the best veggie havens going. Take a peek inside and you’ll discover a flamboyant menu featuring Sri Lankan curry, Caribbean jerk tofu, soul bars and more, wrapped up inside a spacious build.
Mildreds began in edgy Soho, back in 1988. Diane Thomas and Jane Muir sought to revamp vegetarian food which, they believed, was stuck in a 1960s rut. Mildreds was born! To date, it has been consistent in its message, promoting some of the most fresh and creative vegetarian dishes. Mildreds has extended to Camden, Kings Cross and Dalston since its original Greek Street opening, and we highly recommend a visit to cement yourself into restaurant history.
Great for: Veggie fare and a people watch
Put your hands together for La Patagonia, Camden’s awesome Argentine restaurant. On the menu is a smorgasbord of meaty and entirely delicious dishes, from delightful Milanesas including a chicken breast escalope with fried banana and creamed sweetcorn sauce, to signatures that include bondiola pork served with fried sweet potatoes and Argentine mustard and stuffed butternut squash with a corn and béchamel sauce filling. OK, we need to stop now because our mouths are watering…
Great for: Wholesome dishes and Argentine food