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Camden - a gorging tour of north London

Not so long ago, I ended up in Camden. Camden, for my non-London readers, is a bit of north London known for its markets and alternative scene.

It's miles away by tube from my north London home, which means I don't end up there as often as I like, but whenever I do, it's always a pleasure.

One of the reasons I like it so much is its unashamed embracing of the weird, wonderful, fringe and niche mean you can always get a decent vegan meal. And not a vegan by accident meal, a real live vegan meal loudly and proudly marked as such.

I ended up stopping for dinner at My Village, a little cafe on Chalk Farm Road for a bit of falafel wrap, one of the vegan options it had:

My Village's menu was short: soup, salads, falafel and a few combinations of the three.  Falafel for a vegan is inescapable so I tend to steer away from cooking it at home, so that when I'm out and it's my only option, eating it is a pleasure, not a chore.

And eating this one was definitely a pleasure - not the best falafel in the world, but decent and full of crunchy veg.

It was somewhat overshadowed by my second gorging stop in Camden, Inspiral Cafe.

I don't know why I've never been there before. I think it's probably because it's always full to bursting with people who've had the same cracking idea of getting some grand vegan food in, only just a bit earlier than me.

I stopped in for some cake, of which Inspiral has many, and they all look amazing. My slice of amazingness was this rather lovely raw banoffee pie.

It was a Goldilocks of a dessert: not too sweet, not too rich, not too heavy, but just right in all measures, without any of the telltale signs of sub-par raw puddings: too crunchy, too savoury, too effortful.

Not this raw dessert: this was perfect in every way: fairy light of topping, pitch perfect biscuit-type base and a fudgy middle. Wonderful - next time anyone disses raw food (as I admit I have, wrongly, in the past) shut them up with a slice of this.

Inspiral? Inspired.

My Village Cafe
(no website)
37 Chalk Farm Road
020 7485 4996

Inspiral Cafe
250 Camden High Street
020 3370 3797

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  1. That photo of the raw pie made me take a sharp breath and your description of it is making me want to hop on the next plane to London!!

  2. I'll put one aside for you! And if you think that's good, their tiramisu is just something else...

  3. I like raw desserts for a lot of reasons but you're right; they're never really too sweet, which is nice. I find it's more about flavors and texture. It sounds delicious; I've never tried that flavor of anything.

  4. Banoffee! I want! I have had a vegan, quinoa-based banoffee tart recipe bookmarked for so long. I really need to get on that.

  5. Camden brings back so many memories! I used to work close by around Mornington Crescent. Camden definitely has quite a good vegan places with a nice health shop too. There's a nice Thai Veg restaurant (6 Kentish Town Road). It's been a few years since I've been there though. That banoffee pie is making my mouth water! Yum!


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