What can readers expect from telly star Texas Joe’s summer residency at The Grafton? Pretty much what’s on offer at his Shoreditch restaurant, under the Brewdog bar: brisket, beef ribs, chilli-dogs and fresh cornbread. While the beef was good, we reckon the slow-cooked pork shoulder is the real contender. Chips are dunkingly addictive too, and a mac ‘n’ cheese creamy. Grab a burger, smokey and served medium rare 20 Prince of Wales Road
Phileas Hog at Abbey Tavern
Try the rare, aged Scottish chunk beef at the heart of the signature burger (£6.75). The patty is melt-in-the-mouth soft and super juicy, with the classic bite of gherkin and all-American sauce flavours spot on. A perfect glazed bun, super-crisp onion rings and triple cooked chips (both £3) are all dangerously moreish. Pulled pork ciabatta undergoes up to 18 hours of slow cooking, a far cry from the dry BBQ bap fillings that are the comfortable cliché of the streetfood movement. 124 Kentish Town Road NW1
The stylish interior hangs together, all neon signs, coffee grinders, bare wood, breeze blocks and intriguing art. Try salt and pepper squid, spicily dressed edamame beans (jokingly rechristened “eddie mummy” beans); velvety chicken dumplings with fragrant notes of coriander; deeply savoury chicken liver “popcorn”, served with nonya, the spicy, tangy Chinese dip; and – the masterpiece – a delicious plate of wasabi prawn tempura, piled with cod roe and hitting every note of umami-ness you could wish for. Lamb chops with slaw is the best option for carnivores. Even better it’s BYO and there’s an offie next door. Dishes £4+ 93 Kentish Town Road
Besides a decent brunch, the chief draw at ace café Arancini are the mouthwatering risotto ball wraps. The interior has just had a much needed spruce-up to fit loads more bums on seats; and the opening of the cute walled garden a couple of years back has provided a little oasis of calm. Coffee is Antipodean in its excellence in this now permanently busy local hangout, with branches in Broadgate and Dalston too. Oh and don’t forget the killer courgette muffins. 115 Kentish Town Road
The Spitalfields original branch was named Best Independent Fish
and Chips Restaurant in the UK. And its newish Camden sister restaurant has the added rock ‘n’ roll bonus of free live music. The classic cod (£11.90 or £13.90 for large) is light, fluffy and very plump beneath its thin and crispy batter. Speedy takeaway if you’re in a hurry Crawl-ing too. 30 Hawley Crescent
The house burger (£9.50) is tender, and coated with a delightfully sweet red onion relish, slices of gherkin – and even a naughty(ish) piece of bacon. A competent bun too, every ingredient staying in place, with it resisting sogginess even after a generous squirt of mayonnaise and ketchup. Vegetarians often get the raw deal on burger-focused menus, with faux meat or crumbly bean creations dominating, but this is not so much the case with the cauliflower and sweetcorn fritter. The coriander, yogurt and cucumber make it summery, and a dip in ketchup zinged it up a notch for a generally successful meat-free choice. Camden Lock Market
Got any tips for superior streetfood in the area? Leave ’em below
The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.
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