Little London Guide | Kentish Town

19 August, 2018
Kentish Town train station

Little London Guide is a blog series on Fox & Feather where I explore and show you little snippets of London in more manageable chunks. The UK's capital is overwhelmingly huge spanning over an area of 1,572 km² and is home to over 8 million people so I've taken it upon myself, as a Londoner, to compose smaller guides that focus on different areas within the city. Just think of it as your bitesize guide to the city complete with recommendations from a London local!

Everyone's heard of Camden Town but have you heard of its close neighbouring district, Kentish Town? Kentish Town is often overlooked by those visiting London in favour of Camden due to Camden's food offerings, history, music scene and markets. However, just five minutes up the road is the charming Kentish Town, which offers a welcome escape from the bustle and sirens of Camden. Kentish Town is an area where the more built-up city centre of London starts to meet the north London residential suburbs meaning its a concoction of independent and chain restaurants, boutique little shops, multiple pubs, picturesque pastel houses with vintage cars parked outside. If you're ever in Camden, make sure you take a few hours to explore the less tourist-packed Kentish Town that's full of local charm!

Where To Eat (Vegan, obvs)

The Fields Beneath, Kentish Town
Vegan carrot cake from The Fields Beneath in Kentish Town

The Fields Beneath

Tucked away beneath Kentish Town West station is a humble little cafe named The Fields Beneath. Despite having set up shop in Kentish Town way back in 2012, last year they transformed their entire cafe to be 100% vegan after one of their staff made the switch to a vegan lifestyle. Since then they've stopped pouring dairy and have focused their energy on making tasty, accessible plant-based food and drinks that appeal to everyone. They're pretty well-known for their vegan croissants, which sadly I'm yet to try because when I visited they had sold out *sob*.

Now, I've only been to The Fields Beneath once but it's definitely one of my favourite little hidden, vegan hotspots in London. The space is full of natural light, the decor is beautiful whilst the vibe is laidback and welcoming; it's the kinda place that you'd feel comfortable sitting outside with your laptop and coffee outside for a couple of hours.

Address: 52a, Prince of Wales Rd, London NW5 3LN

Vegan sorberts from Ruby Violet in Kentish Town

Ruby Violet

I mean, who doesn't love an ice cream parlour? Ruby Violet is a very short walk from Tufnell Park station small ice-cream bar that offers handmade bespoke ice-creams, sorbets and other frozen treats. The best thing is that all of their sorbets are vegan, as well as their cones and wafers! They always have constantly changing and exciting flavours available. Pictured above is their orange sorbet and a raspberry, rose & prosecco sorbet - mmm!

Address: 118 Fortess Rd, London NW5 2HL

Arancini Brothers / Arancini Factory Cafe

Tucked away on the lower half of Kentish Town Road towards Camden is The Arancini Factory Cafe, also known as Arancini Brothers, who serve up dishes that tend to revolve around their famous, entirely vegan, deep-fried risotto balls and burgers to eat-in at their Kentish Town restaurant or to take away. The crunchy, breadcrumbed balls are filled with creamy risotto that oozes out as you take a bite; it's the comfort food that you've always dreamt of! The London-based, small chain actually only made the switch to an entirely vegan menu at the start of the year after the success of trialling a 100% vegan menu at their Old Street restaurant. Despite being relatively new on the London vegan scene, their food tastes so darn delicious that you'd think they'd been serving up a vegan menu for years. My favourite has to be their hot sauce, deep-fried risotto burger that's topped with vegan chorizo.

It's also worth mentioning that the restaurant runs a BYOB (bring your own booze) scheme making it an ideal spot for a budget-friendly night out.

Address: 115A Kentish Town Rd, London NW1 8PB

Zing Zing vegan Chinese takeaway

Zing Zing Chinese

If it's a takeaway that you fancy then Zing Zing Chinese is definitely the place to go! This takeaway joint serves up strictly no MSG Chinese food and has the best vegan Chinese menu I've ever tasted. Rather than using questionable mock meats to try and replicate traditional takeaway dishes, Zing Zing create purely vegetable-based dishes. In case you needed a recommendation, my usual order is their Firecracker Cauliflower, Cauliflower Chow Mein, Sweet Sesame Tofu and  Sweet Potato Katsu Curry - you won't be disappointed!

Address: 81 Kentish Town Rd, London NW1 8NY

Where To Grab A Drink

Camden Town brewery's bar in Kentish Town
Camden Town brewery in Kentish Town

Camden Town Brewery

Now, I'm pretty biased because my favourite 'go to' beer is a Camden Pale Ale so of course I was going to recommend Camden Town brewery, which is located just beneath Kentish Town West station. In fact, it's pretty much next door to my earlier recommendation, The Fields Beneath, so it's worth covering both if you're that particular end of Kentish Town. At the brewery, you can find all of the brewery's own beers on tap at their bar, which has a sizeable beer garden to enjoy in the summer.

For the more keen beer connoisseurs amongst us, Camden Town brewery even offers tours from as little as £15 per person, which includes a tasting session! Find out more about their tours here.

Address: 55-59 Wilkin Street Mews, London NW5 3NN

Authentique winer bar in Kentish TownEpicerie with plenty of French wines and foods in Authentique, Kentish Town

Authentique - Epicerie & Bar

Closer to Tufnell Park station is Authentique, a French-owned wine bar and epicerie that opened earlier this summer. The concept is simple yet genius; one side of the space is set up as a stylish, sleek wine bar and the other is a store space displaying lots of French treats to purchase and enjoy at home. Laila and I stumbled across it by chance one day when wandering around Kentish Town and found ourselves sipping on a craft Belgian draught beer on a Sunday afternoon whilst watching the football. They always have at least 15 varieties of wine on offer at the bar to purchase by the glass and over 50 craft beers.

However, across their epicerie, which spans across 12 French-speaking regions, they offer 250+ varieties of wine, over 50 craft beers and plenty of French foods. You're also allowed to purchase a bottle of wine from the store and enjoy it at the bar too!

Address: 114a-116 Fortess Rd, London NW5 2HL

What To Do

Cacti and other houseplants in Boma Garden centre
Houseplants in Boma Garden centre
Boma Garden centre's Arbour Cafe

Wander around Boma Garden Centre & pick out a new plant

Hidden just behind Kentish Town station is the tranquil Boma Garden Centre, which is an oasis for any green-fingered pals like myself! Boma is open seven days a week and sells a both outdoor and indoor plants alongside everything you may need to look after them. There's nothing better than getting lost inside their green wonderland of plants and choosing a new one to take home; it's almost impossible to enter and leave without clutching a new addition to your plant family.

Also, there's a small café inside the centre named the Arbour Café that sells a selection of teas, coffees, cake and light snacks. They usually have a few vegan food options available too!

Address: 51 - 53 Islip St, London NW5 2DL

Pastel-coloured buildings in Kentish Town make the perfect Instagram backdrop

Explore the pastel-coloured backstreets of Kentish Town

The back streets of Kentish Town  are an Instagram addict's dream location as pastel-coloured houses line the narrow cobbled streets, usually complimented with a vintage car or two parked outside. Just a few seconds from the high street sits this quaint little side street that wouldn't look out of place in a little town out in the countryside.

Kentish Town's high street is surrounded by little roads that lead onto more residential areas with beautiful houses covered in shrubbery and hidden little pubs frequented by locals. Give yourself some time to wander around and have your camera at the ready because you'll be snapping away at every turn!

Kentish Town Public Hall
Vintage car in Kentish Town

Have you been to Kentish Town before? If so, where are some of your favourite spots? Share them in the comments below!

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  1. I did pass by Kentish Town many times on the train but never actually wondered how it might look like. The food scene is definitely on top, I would love to try an arancini from the Arancini Bothers. I fell in love with these little rice balls in Sicily.

  2. Well now I need to visit all of these glorious places! That ice cream though!

  3. Wow! Kentish Town looks lovely, especially the pastel coloured houses.

  4. This has made me want to have a day out in Kentish town, has such a good look to it x

  5. I've only ever passed by Kentish Town - getting off at the train station to catch the tube to Camden. I definitely need to visit for sure.

  6. I've not heard of Kentish Town but the restaurants and cafes there look like great places to hang out at and the food looks amazing as well.

  7. This is a great idea for series, love the way you introduced Kentish Town.

  8. Love this Leigh! For coffee I would recommend Saint Espresso and Kitchen, the people are so nice! Phoenicias is amazing for finding the best food from around the world that doesn't cost the earth! Also I live for the Oxfam bookshop there, so many gems!

    Agree with you that Kentish Town is a welcome respite from the busyness of Camden.

    Beautiful post!

    The Traffic Jam of Life

  9. You've got to be kidding be! Every trip to London I make sure I hit Camden with the hopes of discovering something new but missed Kentish Town completely! I'll be hitting it next time I'm there for sure!

  10. Zing Zing Chinese looks lovely and sounds delicious! The pastel coloured streets also look amazing why isn't everywhere like that? :)


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