by Leighanne Bent
Oversized shoes dangling from buildings, ‘I Love London’ t-shirts and stalls selling questionable leather goods; you’ll find a number of things in Camden, but there’s a lot more to this tourist hotspot than meets the eye. We asked our friends at DesignMyNight to pick out the best places to eat and drink in this most iconic of neighbourhoods. From tiki hideaways serving towering burgers to bars with ice-cream cocktails, open up Google Maps and get exploring.
You can try your damndest, but you’re never gonna find a place like Proud Camden. Housed in a 19th century horse hospital, this north London plot hosts everything from dinner and cabaret shows, to musical bingo and raucous club nights. It also has a cute-to-boot terrace that changes its theme every single year. This summer welcomes a quintessential English countryside garden, with greenery and water features galore. Forgive the obvious pun, but this place ain’t no one-trick pony.
Be At One might be a chain, but they know a thing or two when it comes to crafting the perfect cocktail. Their menu is jam-packed with all your fave concoctions; from margaritas to strawberry daiquiris. If classics aren’t your thing; don’t sweat it; they’ve got a quirky list of ice-cream cocktails guaranteed to get your tongues wagging. If you’re a fan of chocolate, order the Buenot: it’s made with Salted Caramel Kahlua and White Kinder Bueno.
Open seven days a week and home to 34 traders, there’s only one place to grab street food in Camden – and that’s at KERB. Put your calorie counter in the bin, throw on your best elastic pants and hop on the tube for snickers-filled donuts, lobster toasties, cheese-soaked pizza and Super Mario mac ‘n’ cheese. As for the drinks, slurp on unique mixes like salted lemonade and alcohol-free mojitos.
Modelling itself on the Wild West and Deep American South, Blues Kitchen Camden will whisk you away from 21st century north London, back to the days of the Prohibition. Although they have a smashing bourbon and whisky selection, grab a napkin and tuck into their downright delicious Texan BBQ grub. From crab donuts to slow smoked meaty ribs, this place can be considered every carnivore’s heaven.
Date night can be an absolute pain, and that’s at the best of times. Dodge an argument over your bad decision making and woo that special someone at The Jazz Cafe. This two-storey venue has charm by the bucket and toe tapping live entertainment to boot. Stomp up the stairs to their mezzanine restaurant for a three-course meal and an eagle eye view of the band below.
If Gilgamesh is good enough for Khloe Kardashian, it sure as hell is good enough for us. Located in the heart of Camden Stables Market, strut your stuff down their red carpet and ascend the escalator to find a vibrant atmosphere and stunning oriental surroundings. Focusing on Pan-Asian cuisine, you’re gonna have to brush up on your chop stick skills to get through their menu.
With five hours of drink deals running throughout the week, it’s no wonder Simmons has been crowned best happy hour in London several times over. Kitsch is king at this intimate spot, so you can expect cocktails in dainty teacups and endless games of Mario Kart on their retro games console. Whether you’re here for after work drinks or a weekend knees-up, it’s the best place to let your hair down.
Although we’re suckers for a cheeky cocktail bar, nothing quite beats the comfort of having a few drinks in a cosy pub. The Spread Eagle is a Victorian style gem tucked neatly away from the hustle and bustle of Camden’s busy streets, and it’s the perfect for catching up with friends.
Whether it’s for a couple of glasses of wine or a quick brunch, you can bank on a good time here.
Book a table at Inamo Camden and get ready to dig your knife and fork into flavours from Japan, China, Thailand and Korea. Their Pan Asian menu fronts everything from tapas to desserts, and you can order everything straight from your interactive tabletop – which you can also use to play games of Battleship and choose your own tablecloth cover too.