Oh, Camden. The home of punk rock, the famous lock and food you’ll want to lock your lips around.
If you’re a born and bred Londoner (or thereabouts), you might remember Camden as the place you used to go when you were first allowed out of the house sans parental guidance. You’d come home with beautiful Asian-inspired throws, lots of vintage wears and cannabis lollipops, and you’ll have had the time of your life. But, now you’ve grown up a bit, you’re more likely to head to Camden for its excellent music scene or its fantastic street food market, because dayyyum, there’s a lot of it. Get lost inside the maze that is Stables Market, avoid Cyberdog at all costs, and scoff your face with literally anything you fancy. Here are our highlights:
1. Zala Grill
Zala Grill is relatively new on the block (or should we say lock?). If Middle Eastern food is your thing – or maybe you don’t know it is yet – Zala definitely won’t disappoint. In honour of their new recent opening, we’ve got a great deal for you over at Fever. If you’re just after a quick street food op, try one of their delicious Levantine pizzas or grilled pittas for just £7 (including a drink). Or, if you have a bit more time, eat in and enjoy a hearty main course or choose from their mix ‘n’ match menu, each with a glass of beer or wine, for just £12.
Curry might seem a little too heavy for lunchtime, but Sonita’s, believe it or not, won’t leave you feeling gross nor groggy for the rest of the afternoon. All the curries (there’s a choice of 5) are super healthy, super fresh and super tasty.
3. Oli Baba’s
Yep, it’s the home of the famous halloumi fries, i.e. DEEP FRIED CHEESE. These babies have had a lot of cyber attention, but just you wait until you get them in your mouth ?
4. Magic Falafel
The word ‘magic’ should never be used lightly, but these guys can work bloody miracles. Opt for a fluffy pitta stuffed with the best falafels in London (or Camden, at least), or ditch the carbs and go for a Magic Box – crammed with salad, pickles, magic sauce and all things wonderful. Healthy food has never tasted this good…
5. Bian Dang
Now, Bian Dang was our absolute favourite, but when they decided to get rid of their lunchboxes, they fell significantly down our list. They do however sell some pretty epic Taiwanese buns stuffed with delicious pork, chicken or oyster mushrooms. We recommend the chicken – it’s coated in sweet potato flour so it’s kinda like a healthier, tastier chicken nugget.
Steak from a van isn’t done very often, but we reckon that STAKEHaus would be leaders of the market even if it was. They’re all about serving the best British beef to happy, hungry customers for an absolute steal of a price. Top it with some secret STAKEHaus sauce and/or a fried egg and tuck in.
VBurger is serving up entirely plant-based burgers to give vegans, vegetarians and I-don’t-eat-meat-on-Mondays-ians their patty-in-bun fix. The menu, created by London chef Yossi Edri, will consist of 3 different burgers; the beetroot, the falafel and the seitan. Alongside these magical spawn of Mother Nature you’ll also find sexy-sounding sides, like skin-on-fries, sweet potato wedges and coleslaw salad. There’ll also be the option to pimp up your burger with a lil extra avocado or vegan-friendly cheese, and you’d be hella mad not to…
8. The Cheese Bar
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A place where you’re invited – nay, encouraged – to groan, moan and shudder at the sheer cheesiness of it all. The Cheese Bar is the most recent venture of The Cheese Truck, who have been melting the hearts of Londoners for a very long while. Expect beloved classics from The Cheese Truck menu such as stilton, bacon and pear toasties, plus brand new bad boys such as baked camembert, Mexican fondue and even breakfast poutine. Two words – bacon gravy.
Not the cheapest of vendors, but definitely up there with the tastiest. Originating from Malay and Indonesian cuisine, their rendang is unbelievably tasty. Their beef rendang is particularly dreamy, served in coconut cream with rice, veg, peanut sauce and achar (south Asian pickles).
10. Maize Blaze
Maize Blaze are dedicated to serving true Colombian flavours using only quality, locally sourced ingredients. Their menu is 100% gluten free and made entirely from scratch. We say go for the Colombian Marching Box, with chorizo, chicken, beans, plantain and all the trimmings… ?
11. Arepazo Bros
Arepas are a traditional Venezuelan food made from corn flour, meaning they are 100% gluten free (that’s right foodies, prick those ears up). In Venezuela, they’re eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner — and if you were to walk into an Arepa place over there you’d probably find over 40 different ingredients to stuff them with. At their stall in Camden, you’ll find 4 different options: the Pabellon, which is filled with shredded beef, melted cheese, black beans, plantain, avocado and pico de gallo; La Cartelua, which is the same as the Pabellon except with chicken rather than beef; the Arepazo Bro, which is a mixture of the two; or the Domino, which is for the veggies. You can also choose to add Plantain Fries, served with cheese, black beans, guacamole and pico de gallo. One thing we will say; don’t expect them to be easy to eat. Grab some napkins because you will make a mess.
12. Mac Factory
Everyone has craved mac & cheese at one point or another (*cough* every day *cough*), and these guys have you covered. From the Nostalgic served with their signature thyme and parmesan crumble, to the Lobster Mac with lobster poached in a garlic and herb butter, The Mac Factory team have got it all… and then some.
Camden is a wacky place full of wacky people. Here’s 10 types of people that you’ll definitely see while you’re there ?? And, once you’ve eaten your weight in fantastic street food ?, here’s 8 things to do that have absolutely nothing to do with the market.
Also published on Medium.