North London Food & Culture

Kentishtowner

Cabin Cafe

I’ll be honest, I’ve never eaten there. Walked past it a million times of course. Looks fun though, if a little confused-of-identity: Chinese on the one hand – value noodles, chow mein – and greasy spoon on the other. But it occupies the corner of a pretty crossroads, with the verdant exterior of the George …

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Old Eagle

Old Eagle (251 Royal College St) feels like a secret, although some would argue it belongs in Camden not Kentish really. A proper boozer with a mind-boggling variety of musical instruments dangling from its ceiling, it’s cosy by night, attracts a nice eclectic crowd of locals and hipsters, and its main USP is the £3 …

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Kelly Street

Kelly Street is one of the jewels in the Kentish Crown (the others being Quadrant Grove and Little Green Street). It’s a perfect curve of mid-19th century Grade II-listed pastel terraces, all worth far too much money to be called ‘bohemian’ but swooningly lovely nonetheless. You might need a restorative gin or two at The …

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Abbey Tavern

The Abbey (124 Kentish Town Road) is actually really pleasant. I say ‘actually’ because nobody I know goes there regularly, although, on the rare occasions when we do, we will inevitably comment on its red-lit, wooden-floored, rather elegant long bar and interior. Its winning card is a very shady secret garden, with hidden treehouse and …

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Cafe Bintang

Bintang is a Kentish Town institution, yet is still not as consistent as it should be. Oozing vibes and atmosphere, with its Malaysian shack-like interior, candle-lit tables in close proximity, and BYO wine policy (hooray!) our advice remains to stick with vegetarian and fish dishes and avoid anything meaty (chicken knuckles have been known to …

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Forum

Back in the day this was the Town & Country Club, and scene of my first ever London gig, since you ask (autumn 1989, Inspiral Carpets, two pints of cider). Still one of the best-sized venues in London with an always enviable line-up. And don’t forget to look up, as it was a lovely art-deco …

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Earth Natural Foods

Yes, yes, we keep talking about all the independent shops on Kentish Town Road, but that’s because it’s true. Earth is fabulous, all glass windows and frizzy-haired eccentrics fingering the jars of herbs and spices. And, as the photo suggests, you can even park your bike outside, you eco-warrior you.