Kentish Town restaurants are beginning to set the bar when it comes to places to eat and drink in London. From having arguably the best gastropub in the city (The Bull and Last) to top notch fast food eateries like Dirty Burger and Pizza East, Kentish Town has evolved unbelievably in the last 10 years. Here’s our rundown of the best places to enjoy some food in Kentish Town.
Pizza East is one of a trio of rough-and-ready looking yet high-end fast food joints that run in conjunction with Dirty Burger and Chicken Shop.
You’ll find it not too far from Hampstead Heath, serving traditionally made, wood oven-cooked rustic pizzas. The industrial look is pulled off fantastically here with exposed wood concrete, mix and match chairs and wooden flooring combining to create the look.
Address: 79 Highgate Road, London NW5 1TL
Telephone: 020 3310 2000
The Deep South Hospitality of Kentish Town continues at Joe’s Southern Chicken. By that we don’t mean hicks on the porch in rocking chairs, spittin’ tobacco and cocking their shotgun noooo, not at all. We mean some darn tootin’ good fried chicken.
Formerly the Kentish Canteen, Joe’s will be spread over two floors and officially opens on April 13th, with a soft launch running from the 6th to the 12th, offering 50% off the menu.
Address: 300 Kentish Town Road, NW5 2TG
Telephone: 020 7845 7331
In keeping with the Italian feel, our next restaurant is a short trip up Highgate Road to Rossella, a family-run Italian restaurant. Rossella is a traditional Italian Trattoria, which means it’s in the middle of the formalities, less formal than a Ristorante, but more formal than an Osteria.
It conjures up scenes from The Sopranos, where the food they serve ranges from pizzas and pastas to fish dishes and meaty steaks. They passionately select their wines, desserts and coffees as any Italian restaurant worth its salt should, with a warm and welcoming, family atmosphere to add to the Italian-ness of the place!
Address: 103 Highgate Road, London NW5 1TR
Telephone: 020 7267 9797
In a tin roof shack, around the back of Pizza East you’ll find the well-travelled venue of Dirty Burger. It’s everything that’s great about burger venues right now. It’s a hands-on experience served in a room that’s one-third food establishment, one-third DIY and one-third shack. Well actually it’s a complete shack but it looks great.
It reminds me of a scene in Alan Partridge where he puts a sideways door onto a Black & Decker work bench as a makeshift table, door handle included. The difference here being that Steve Coogan’s alter ego didn’t really pull it off.
The menu is sparse but the quality is great, cheeseburgers, onions rings and skin-on chips hit the nail on the head while the ale on tap really hammers home the perfect simplicity of this unique eatery.
Address: Rear, 79 Highgate Road, London NW5 1TL
Telephone: 020 3310 2010
We may be giving 79 Highgate Road a high percentage of our word count here but when you deliver on so many levels with food that is bang on trend for the moment, you deserve it. Chicken Shop, an eatery of similar look and feel to its siblings, can be found underneath Pizza East and Dirty Burger, with a slight American, 50s diner influence. Choose from a whole, half or quarter of chicken from the wood-fired spit for your main with a selection of sides, including red cabbage coleslaw, crinkle cut chips and aioli mayo.
Address: 79 Highgate Road, London NW5 1TL
Telephone: 020 3310 2020
Bull and Last is often regarded as one of the best gastropubs in the city. The historic pub is housed in an old coaching inn. A simple visit to the website shows you that the pub is run by young people who have a passion for all the things that serve a gastropub well.
The level of the food is pretty high without the intimidation that is sometimes associated with good food. Downstairs is more of a laid back bar area that allows, and caters for dogs with marrow bones and pig’s ears available for all well behaved 4-legged friends! Upstairs is a restaurant style environment for those looking for a bit more of an occasion.
Address: 168 Highgate Road, London NW5 1QS
Telephone: 020 7267 3641
Arancini Brothers, translated as Deep Fried Risotto Ball Brothers, started out as a market stall in Brick Lane every Sunday. The empire evolved to festivals and private catering before they eventually moved to Kentish Town.
The brothers proudly serve their deep fried risotto balls all over London as well as Italian food at their restaurant. They began learning from the age of 16 from Sicilian chefs in Melbourne. Well worth a try if you’re in Kentish Town.
Address: 115A Kentish Town Road, London NW1 8PB
Telephone: 020 3583 2242
Kebabs don’t have to be something that's used to soak up alcohol after swilling beer for an entire night. One thing E. Mono does have in common with late-night forgotten foodage is huge portions. We recommend the lamb shish.
Address: 287 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2JS
Telephone: 020 7485 9779