Located in North West London, Camden has its own special place in the capital. Not as groomed as its neighbor Primrose Hill, it retains its urban authenticity rubbing up alongside Regent’s Park, King’s Cross, Clerkenwell and the West End.
It’s where many stars and celebrities have made their homes, and where a relaxed village vibe still survives in one of London’s most sought after postcodes.
In July 1976, the Punk scene exploded from The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm. And ever since, the non-conforming atmosphere has meant that Camden still stands out from the rest of the city.
It’s the sort of place where you’ll always find something new to explore. So we thought we’d put together a guide to show you a few of our favourite spots.
~ Camden Coffee House, Camden Road
The owner, Sunni, spent time travelling through New Zealand and Kenya on a mission to learn the secrets to growing and roasting the perfect cup of coffee. And it seems he succeeded. Every few months, the blend of beans is changed to match the season in London. There’s even a quaint garden out the back where you can hide away from the bustle of the street.
~ The Coffee Jar, Parkway
The Coffee Jar is known for some of the best coffee in London, as well as for always having a tempting range of cakes and pastries. Rumour has it, their chocolate brownies are not to be missed. The cafe captures the village essence of Camden: become a regular and they’ll be sure to remember your name.
~ Leyas, Camden High Street
A cosy café spread over multiple floors filled with an eclectic mix of dining chairs and Chesterfield sofas. Their beans are sourced from across the globe and then hand-roasted in small batches right here in London. Head over there in the summer for a cup of coffee and a seat out the front in the sun.
~ Camden Coffee Shop, Delancey Street
A landmark of Camden. The same shop keeper has been roasting and selling his coffee here since the 70s. And he knows his stuff. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense, authentic coffee experience full of charm, head over to meet George and his antique roasters. The challenge will be seeing if you can leave without taking a bag home!
~ The Blues Kitchen, Camden High Street
If you’re looking for stacks of pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, this is your place. The American-style brunches pack a tasty punch and can be washed down with a rum-infused milkshake. Come back later for burgers, live music and more whiskey than you can shake a stick at.
~ Greenberry Café, Regent’s Park Road
Brunch is served here until mid-afternoon so there’s no need to rush. On their menu you’ll find their famous eggs, sourdough dishes, waffles and warm porridge – all presented simply and full of flavour. The delicate interior is reminiscent of a French brasserie. And here, dogs are welcomed with their own refreshments too.
~ Cereal Killer Cafe, Camden Stables Market
This cafe will hit you right in the sweet tooth. Situated in Camden Stables Market, the joint is bursting with retro-themed cereals that’ll take you back to your childhood. Take some pastel-coloured loops, pour over one of their intriguing milks (salted caramel?! Yes, please) and then sprinkle with some chocolate toppings. Not the healthiest, but definitely an experience not to be missed.
The Blues Kitchen
Health & Beauty
~ Salon Sin, Kentish Town Road
Your hair will be in safe hands here. The laid back atmosphere has both guys and gals melting into their chairs as music plays from the jukebox and the expert stylists work wonders. It’s impossible to find a review online for this salon that doesn’t award them with five stars.
~ Cowshed, Regent’s Park Road
For a retreat from the bustling street, put your feet up in Cowshed. They offer a wide range of spa and beauty treatments so whether you’re looking to have a manicure or a massage, you’ll be sure to find something that’ll take your fancy. We recommend their gentle SkinCeuticals facials. And don’t forget, all treatments come with a complimentary drink from the café.
~ Fierce Grace Hot Yoga, Regent’s Park Road
If you’ve never been to a class at Fierce Grace then you’re in for a treat. Learn how to stretch and bend on quirky mosaicked and wooden floors and beneath glass chandeliers. Sit back and enjoy your surroundings in their lounge after class.
~ The market, Camden Lock Place
The obvious place for a delicious lunch in Camden is the market at Camden Lock Place including the Stables and the Kerb Market. You’ll find stalls and restaurants aplenty offering vegan delights, pizza, afternoon tea, sushi, cheese in every form, burgers and Asian street food. Take your friends – that way you can pinch some of their food too!
~ La Patagonia, Camden High Street
Home-style Argentinian cuisine with amazing lunch deals. They’re known for their top-class steaks which means they’re always quite busy so it’s best to book in advance. And don’t forget, they also hold regular tango nights.
~ Honest Burgers, Camden Lock Place
Honest Burgers is ‘inspired by Great British produce’. They’re homegrown and homemade and it shows. Their burgers and rosemary salted chips are famous throughout the city – you won’t want to miss them.
~ Mildreds, Jamestown Road
The iconic glass building is home to a vegan and vegetarian restaurant that’s appreciated by meat eaters, too. They have an extensive menu filled with burgers, healthy stir fries, curries and delicious hummus.
Mildreds’ iconic facade
As well as the cobbled market full of vintage finds, and the highly-decorated shops on Camden High Street, there are plenty of boutiques to browse in Camden.
~ Half Hitch Gin, Camden Lock
In the 1800s, Camden Lock was the beating heart of London’s gin industry. Now, Half Hitch’s Micro-Distillery harkens back to this past with their gin infused with five key botanicals: black tea, hay, bergamot, wood and black pepper. You can try their mix for free and even book into their Gin School to learn all about the drink and make some of you own.
~ Fleming Antiques, Camden Market
One of the last remaining antique sellers in the area. With its ever-changing stock, the shop is more like a treasure trove filled by a wizard of the antiques world: Mark Fleming. For an individually tailored antiques tour of the UK, book in with Mark to see what wonders you can find.
~ Slanchogled, Chalk Farm Road
If arts and crafts are your bag, look no further than Slanchogled. Just a quick walk around the Aladdin’s cave of a shop will inspire you to create some handmade decorations and gifts.
~ Gallery 196, Regent’s Park Road
A self-proclaimed ‘exuberant emporium’. The owner draws inspiration from her time in India working as a weaving professional over 30 years ago. The shop is filled with soft furnishings, cutlery, pictures, beads and bags in all the colours of the rainbow.
~ Wild & Gorgeous, Regent’s Park Road
This boutique holds an array of whimsical children’s clothing for boys and girls. Friends and owners Lucy and Sophie create each design, influenced by eclectic Victorian finds. Their clothes are sure to make any child feel special.
~ Parkway Greens, Parkway
There’s a huge buzz about these grocers. Head there for a vast assortment of fruits and veg that are often hard to find elsewhere. They even have six varieties of grape! They’re often organic, and always fresh and delicious.
~ Melrose and Morgan, Gloucester Avenue
These guys strive to sell produce that’s grown and reared in the British Isles. This means that the majority of what they sell is seasonal. And they champion small-scale artisan producers. Head here for a homely café too.
~ Fruit and veg stalls, Camden High Street
There are always stalls cropping up along the high street. They’ve got all the produce you’ll need to whip up a healthy dinner.
~ Wholefoods, Parkway
There’s also a Wholefoods health store that’s known for its produce that contains no artificial preservatives, colours, flavours, sweeteners or hydrogenated fats. Only good stuff.
~ Chin Chin Labs, Camden Lock Place
If you’re a fan of science and ice cream, you’ll probably want to check out these guys in the market. Their flavours are frozen using liquid nitrogen to create a silky smooth texture unlike any other ice cream you’ve had. Traditional sprinkles are traded in for crispy honeycomb, crumbling biscuits or even pasty flakes.
~ The Flour Station Bakery, Camden Lock Place
Created from the kitchen of Jamie Oliver’s award-winning Fifteen restaurant, here they offer a selection of handmade breads and pastries. They’re known for their freshly-baked scones served with cream, jam and a cuppa.
~ Crosstown Doughnuts, Camden Market North Yard
The famous Crosstown Doughnuts have opened a new booth and if you haven’t tried one yet, you need to get down there. They serve pure doughnut decadence including classics like the vanilla glazed, as well as seasonal treats like the clementine-glazed gingerbread cake doughnut. Yum.
~ Marine Ices, Chalk Farm Road
Authentic Italian gelato is served here. Loved by locals, the shop boasts 24 naturally-flavoured ice creams each day, using ‘original recipes that Gaetano Mansi brought with him from Italy as a young man’. Expect a queue in the summer but the wait is worth it.
The Flour Station Bakery
~ Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park
For a bit of greenery, head to Primrose Hill, just a 13-minute walk from Camden Town tube station. At 213 feet, standing at the top of the hill gives an incredible panoramic view of central London. It’s the perfect relaxation spot and always great for picnics in the summer.
~ Jewish Museum, Albert Street
Here you’ll be able to discover the history, identity and culture of Jewish people in Britain. All the way from 1066 to the present. The exhibitions include an interactive recreation of an East End London street, as well as artefacts and tales from the Holocaust.
~ ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park
A visit here is sure to be an unforgettable trip. The zoo houses almost 700 species of animal and is a fantastically immersive way to encourage children to learn about the preservation of our planet’s flora and fauna.
~ David Roberts Art Foundation, Camden High Street
They host a range of art exhibitions and events throughout the year, showcasing current talents in the art world. Check the program online before you go to see what’s on.
The view from Primrose Hill
~ Andy’s Greek Taverna, Pratt Street
Andy’s has become well-known across the capital and currently ranks at #34 out of over 18,000 restaurants in London. They serve traditional, authentic and fresh Greek recipes including a kleftico to die for. Head over to be transported to the Mediterranean, minus the beach!
~ Amina e Cuore, Kentish Town Road
The hidden Italian gem of Camden. This tiny, unassuming restaurant boasts chefs from world-class restaurants who leave the kitchen to welcome you at your table. They serve a range of pasta, meat and seafood daily specials that have punters booking tables months in advance. Bring your own bottle of wine, sit back and prepare your taste buds.
~ Haché Burger Social, Inverness Street
For gourmet burgers that you’ll want to write home about, try here. With 100% Scotch beef, a menu to make your mouth water and all under a wooden beamed ceiling with quirky chandeliers, Haché are ‘reclaiming bugers for grown-ups’. Try the Steak Canadien – the regular order of the late Camden-lover Amy Winehouse.
~ Poppie’s Fish & Chips, Hawley Crescent
These guys have got the nation’s favourite down to a tee. It’s no surprise the owner, Pat ‘Pop’ Newland, was born and bred in the East End, now serving classic chip-shop chips and chunky battered cod in charming 1950s décor. The cherry on top? It’s all responsibly sourced and sustainable.
~ My Fair Lady, Camden High Street
A quaint restaurant boat that offers afternoon teas, lunches and delectable dinners whilst floating along Regent’s Canal, Camden Lock, past Regent’s Park and Little Venice. Book online for an evening to remember.
My Fair Lady moored at the lock
~ Simmons Bar, Kentish Town Road
Try their specialty: the Cocktail Teapot. Poured into tea cups from a traditional pot, the drink is how the Long Island Tea cocktail was created during prohibition. Simmons is a great spot for a chilled drink during the week, as well as having DJs and dancing at the weekend.
~ Fifty Five Bar, Jamestown Road
You’ll be spoilt for choice here. They have over 160 cocktails on their menu so whether you’re after something fruity, fresh, sweet or sour they’ll have a drink to take your fancy.
~ B.Y.O.C., Camden High Street
The mysterious black door on Camden High Street is actually the entrance to B.Y.O.C.: a speakeasy basement bar where you bring your own spirits and the bartenders stir something up for you. Just tell them what you like and take a step into the prohibition.
~ Lockside Camden, West Yard food market
Overlooking the market and Regent’s Canal is Lockside Camden. In the summer this bar is heaving with punters drinking cocktails and craft beer by the water. If you’re intrigued by the sound of jalapeno lemonade – get over there now.
West Yard food market
~ The Dublin Castle, Parkway
Part of the heritage of Camden. The same owners have looked after the pub for the last 28 years with four bands playing every night. It’s known as the birthplace of Madness, as well as having had bands such as The Killers and Arctic Monkeys grace the stage. Head to the front of the pub for a more chilled night alongside the jukebox.
~ The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road
A landmark structure – an old railway repair shed now used as a live music venue. The incredible architecture inside lends itself to gigs, with areas for standing as well as balconies with amazing stage views.
~ Joe’s, Chalk Farm Road
A rock ‘n’ roll bar with a license until 3am so the blues, rockabilly, soul and ska carry on way into the night. Look out for its bright red and white stripes, it’s hard to miss!
~ Jazz Café, Parkway
Here they host live music seven nights a week. For a unique experience, you can book a table in the restaurant overlooking the stage. So eat, watch and listen at the same time.
~ Koko, Camden High Street
This venue is 120 years old. Each week it hosts a range of festivals and events with the laid-back and cosy feel of the grade II listed building. Have a look online to see what’s coming up.
~ Proud Camden, Chalk Farm Road
A gallery and bar by day, that, by night, evolves into a club with burlesque acts. The grade II listed building used to be a horse hospital, so you’ll find bars set back into stables. Quirky doesn’t quite describe it.
~ Electric Ballroom, Camden High Street
A legendry venue that means so much to the musical heritage of Camden. The likes of U2, Nick Cave and Joy Division have played here, and it now boasts a line-up of exiting club nights and live acts.
~ The Underworld, Camden High Street
This club is situated in the basement of the World’s End pub. Each night during the week they play alternative live music from the likes of The Cranberries, Placebo and Radiohead. And on weekends, they host club nights until 3am.
We really hope this guide has been a handy introduction to the area. Bursting with culture and exciting new businesses cropping up each week, the future is definitely bright for Camden Town.