Kentishtowner at 10: the ten best local restaurants

Dining has changed considerably since we launched a decade ago. Here’s a round-up of ten past and present

Since it’s our 10th birthday this week, and as Kentishtowner started out as a light-hearted food blog, it’s worth a moment looking back on the best restaurants to have sprung up (and often sadly closed down) across the last decade. Thankfully five of these are still here. They’re in no particular order, incidentally.

Anima E Cuore
One of the area’s – or even capital’s – all-time classics: quirky, creative and unique dishes in an unadorned slither of a restaurant that’s only now just trebled in size. Incredibly, it’s still BYO wine, too.

Bull & Last
Pictured above, this is undeniably NW5’s most famous restaurant – it’s not really a pub, is it? – with cooking that’s long been pioneering. It reopened this year with new boutique hotel attached.

Effortlessly chic: Patron. Photo: David Loftus.

The definition of characterful neighbourhood bistro, Fortess Road’s Patron has survived where so many others have closed down – and for good reason: classical cooking, atmosphere in buckets and a feeling of a proper night out locally.

We loved the inventive vegetarian cooking at this stylish and relatively short-lived Fortess Road restaurant, now the Korean grill Kkini.

Casa Tua
Innovative when it opened back in 2013, this much-loved Royal College Street two-floor dining room is as happy to serve you a mid-afternoon negroni as it is a plate of antipasti or hearty ragu.

Negronis at Casa Tua. Photo: SE

Kentish Canteen
The NW5 restaurant that started it all off, at least for this title, whose subsequent incarnations have never equalled it in spirit.

This classic pan-Asian Kentish Town Road BYO has been through many menu changes over the years but the upward curve seems always to be one of improvement and reinvention.

Pizza East
Hard to believe this was a game-changer back in 2012 for the area, along with its double-act of Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger. But it kickstarted a fresh excitement to the food scene in NW5.

Basic interior, good cooking: Shoe Shop. Photo: SE

Shoe Shop
A simple, elegant little Fortess Road French restaurant from an Antipodean chef with such pedigree. But within just over a year it was gone.

This ‘modern British’ (as the term used to be known) restaurant on Parkway served top-notch onglet and chips, at a time when Camden was bereft of such quality. It’s now vegan pizza maestros Purezza.

What was your favourite in the last ten years? Let us know on social media.

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