Posts tagged ‘Cheap eats’

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This Brazilian-English coffee shop is the perfect place to escape the Camden madness

A free piece of London advice for tourists: if you happen to wander around Camden and fancy a little perk, you may be tempted to stop at one of the chain cafes overlooking the Lock. Think again!

Sitting around a corner (hence the name) about three minutes walk from Camden Lock, the mood of The Corner One Coffee Shop could not be further away from the touristy hustle and bustle of the main road. With its exposed brick, sage green walls, peeled metal industrial tables and black woodwork, this is the kind of place where you would find bearded hipsters working on their Mac and cool local families (proof that there are indeed local residents among Camden’s ubiquitous tourists…)

The coffee here is so nice that it does not need any sugar, making The Corner One one of the best coffee places in Camden and fully deserving the brilliant reviews. You can accompany it with pancakes, muffins, salads on demands, or even Brazilian cheese bread.

Be careful though – this is a small place with few seats. And please, keep the secret!

MIL20 Oval Road, Camden
London NW1 7DJ
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Bassanova Ramen NYC 1

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A small but airy basement with an open kitchen and a big communal table, Bassanova Ramen NYC stands out from the loud, bright neon signs of Chinatown with a simple and stylish décor of white raw distressed wood and silver metal chairs.

There are only five dishes on the evening menu of this cash-only Japanese eatery: three ramen soups and two “naked” ramen dishes, i.e. without soup. The choice really boils down to three, as it would be a shame to miss their lip-smacking special recipe pork broth. Regularly featured among the best ramen destinations in New York, including by the venerable New York Times, this unpretentious place does one thing and does it well.

We recommend the spicy ramen and green curry, with char-grilled pork, prawns, peppers and courgettes; or the less fiery pork ramen. Served in beautiful Japanese earthenware bowls, which add to the visual and textual experience, they are aromatic, rich and delicious. Definitely worth the trip.

Bassanova Ramen NYC
76 Mott St., Chinatown
New York City
Twitter: @bassaNYC
Facebook: bassanovanyc

 

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Oh, how we wish that The Fields Beneath were already there when we were living just around the corner a couple of years ago!

Instead, Gavin and Sibylle opened this café, named after Gillian Tindall’s 1977 book, last October. They brew Butterworth & Son and New Town’s coffee, among others, and serve mum-made cakes, donoughts, soups and sandwiches. Jams by the London Borough of Jam and other delicacies are also available at the counter.

Tucked underneath one of the railway arches of Kentish Town West overground station, TFB caters mostly for commuters and takeaway-lovers. Don’t get rushed, though: the best way of visiting is on your way to Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath on a weekend morning, leaving your bike outside and taking five minutes to linger around and have a chat.

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We had a seat at the communal table, upcycled from a wooden door, and sipped a refreshing iced latte and a slightly bitter espresso, offset by a truly scrumptious almond and date cake, hand-made by Gavin’s mum.

Although the space is tiny, the high ceiling and big steel-framed window make it light-filled and airy – cosy, rather than cramped. The decoration is spot on: we particularly loved the exposed brick wall and the Spanish tiles (sourced here).

In short: we wish this were our own kitchen. You will too.

MILThe Fields Beneath
52a Prince of Wales Road
NW5 3NL London

Kentish Town West overground or Chalk Farm underground (Northen Line)

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Cardigan Club Cafe The Cardigan Club Café is the latest of a string of new indie shops and cafés that have been appearing on Fortress Road, Tufnell Park’s main road, during the past few months.

Opened in July 2013, this Vietnamese-French café is a lovely, relaxed little place serving mainly street food. On the menu: the Good Morning, Vietnam Bap, a twist on the traditional British bacon sandwich, with marinated grilled pork and wholegrain mustard in an artisan seeded bap; and the Riviera Sun, a vermicelli noodle salad with your choice of seasoned chicken, garlic pork, peppered beef or tofu in a sweet lemon vinaigrette dressing with crushed peanuts and mint leaves.

We had a delicious Franco-Viet Baguette, with chicken and crispy veggies (fresh chillies, cucumber, coriander and pickled carrot) in a zingy sweet chilli sauce. Vegetarians can replace the chicken with tofu.

The shabby-chic décor of painted French furniture, vintage knits and cutting patterns pays homage to the first wave of Vietnamese workers in London, many of whom were seamsters. Indeed, the sofa and chairs on the mezzanine would be the perfect place for a knitting club (hint!).

Cardigan Club Café
133 Fortress Road
London NW5 2HR
T: 020 7267 8600

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