Kentishtowner Awards: Best Lunch 2012

A decent lunch is a big deal to Kentishtowners. There was a huge spread of honourable namechecks in this, one …

Arancini balls

A decent lunch is a big deal to Kentishtowners. There was a huge spread of honourable namechecks in this, one of the most popular categories. Stretching geographically wide, from the Village Café in York Rise over to the ‘the Italian on the Heath’, and with a strong cluster of high street fry-up faves like Mem’s, Pedro’s, Kent, Town and Mario’s gaining votes too. ‘Flapjacks is a wonderful thing all round,’ added one voter.

The Bull & Last narrowly missed out on a 2012 Lunch gong at #4, its continuing popularity almost its undoing: ‘Hate having to book so far in advance at weekends though,’ noted one of its supporters. Just below that came The Vine, praised as much for its midweek lunches as those big Sunday roasts.

The Junction, Abbey, Oxford and Lord Stanley also got assorted thumbs up for providing superior daytime pub fare. We are happily spoilt for choice, making this a tightly fought contest.


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1. Arancini Brothers

We know how much you love their coffee, let alone those cakes and muffins, but the main event at Arancini Factory remains – of course – the rice balls (top pic). ‘I just can’t get enough of those balls,’ enthused one 30-something male. ‘I simply L.O.V.E their veggie wraps’ said another. The opening of the cute walled garden area out back over the summer simply sealed the deal. A little oasis of calm, a healthy and affordable wrap in hand and a killer caffeine hit for afters makes this the undisputed #1 lunch in K-Town. Inside is now a permanently busy local hangout, and with new branches open in Broadgate and at the Southbank, the Brothers continue to look unstoppable, one year on from their win for Best New Opening 2011. 115 Kentish Town Road.

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2. Colonel Fawcett

Nice to see that the outstanding kitchen at the Fawcett is still a resounding hit with locals; a serious lunch to rival the best the West End or City can offer, but at local boozer prices. While dinner here can sometimes be overly dominated by raucous drinkers, the good value lunch is when the place comes into its own: ‘such great dishes, always something surprising every time I visit,’ said one voter. Us? We still dream about that pan-roast gurnard with kale, roast cauli, fennel butter and potato dumplings. Sigh. The top hats for table numbers gained a couple of mentions too, adding to the pleasantly quirky style, and we’re among the fans of the gin selection. 1 Randolph Street.

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3. Kentish Canteen

Having scooped the Best Breakfast award last week, the Canteen have done rather well again at lunchtime. As forerunners of the foodie revolution in Kentish Town, it’s sterling news that they continue to rate among the most popular choices in the area. Recent menu changes have proved a big hit, with some genuinely innovative dishes on offer alongside well-turned-out classics like onglet and chips. The £11 lunch menu affords a NW5ers a great value ‘proper’ restaurant meal in the middle of the day too, an offer which has obviously been enthusiastically pounced upon by you voters. 300 Kentish Town Road.

Tomorrow: Best Independent Shop

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