North London's Cultural Guide

3 things we learnt this week: Kossoffs, Norman’s and Tapping The Admiral

Fiver lunchtime salads, cocktails with fry-ups and a well-priced pie and a pint

1. Kossoffs do a salad for a fiver

Some of you will have checked out the excellent sourdough at newish NW5 bakery Kossoffs; the coffee , incidentally, is worthy of both nearby Neighbourhood Organic and Kentish Town Stores. We swung by the Scandi-styled interior for lunch the other day to try a £5 mixed salad plate. A caveat: it’s small (see main pic, above) and may not provide enough midday fuel for some. But the roast cauliflower florets were golden and sticky with maple tahini, while the roast aubergine salad loaded with romesco, providing enough calories (thanks to the sauces) and carbs to keep us going. And, duh, it’s a bakery if you’re still hungry, so bag yourself a hunk of rosemary or olive focaccia. @kossoffs, 259 Kentish Town Road NW5

2. Norman’s can serve negronis with your fry-up

Tucked away between Archway and Tufnell Park, this brilliant caff – run by top chefs – must surely be the perfect place to hunker down from any more torrential rain and gales forecast over the next month (our all-day menu tip is the chicken escalope). But how had we not spotted the chalkboard of cocktails before? A cheeky negroni with your exquisitely cooked fry-up, anyone? Priced at £8 they’re some of the best-priced potent libations in the area, too. Or be a cheapskate and order a can of Kronenbourg or Stella for £3. 167 Junction Road N19 @normanscafelondon

Classic interior: Norman’s. Photo: SE

3. Tapping The Admiral’s Pie & Pint for £13

In 2022 it’s 10 years since one of North London’s best tucked-way pubs opened, its huge success no surprise when you know that it’s owned by the people behind Kentish Town’s famous Pineapple. Built around 1850 as The Trafalgar, on the site of the old Castle Tavern, its quirky name comes from an old legend about Nelson: after the battle of Trafalgar in 1805, his body was returned to England preserved in a brandy barrel – which sailors would ‘tap’ for a cheeky drink. And the admiral himself would surely have approved of TTA’s own backstreet vibes, roaring fires, cosy corners, friendly punters, top craft beer and the brilliant Whiskey Mick. Their current deal is £13 for a generous pie, mash, greens and gravy (vegan/meat/GF) and a pint every Monday or Tuesday. 77 Castle Road NW1, @tappingtheadmiral

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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.