One day in north London

Madeline Pratley | Date posted - 23 May 2019

North London has a distinct charm to it, there’s tonnes of musical history to get to know, and beautiful parks to explore and chill in. If you’ve got a weekend spare, or just one day in North London to enjoy all it has to offer, take a look at this guide for all the foodie recommendations alongside some sights.

Breakfast

Whether you’re up early or its 2pm and you’re ready for “brunch”, here’s where you should go…

Archies

Archie’s is a neighbourhood cafe, bar and bistro in Archway, close to Highgate Cemetery. They’re one of our top choices for breakfast in North London, plus for you late risers, their brunch menu is served until 3pm. The nduja eggs is one to go for if you need a spicy pick me up, with poached eggs, nduja, ricotta, and sourdough toast. If you’ve not heard of the BEC sandwich, then you have to give it a go, the B is for maple bacon, E is a fried egg, and C is the cheese, inside there’s spinach and chipotle ketchup. You can always try a full English, and they’ve got vegan and vegetarian options too. There are light bites too, like the granola and the bircher muesli.

Honey & Co.

If you’d rather start your day nearer the centre of town, you have to go to Honey & Co. for the big breakfast. Just £19.50 per person and you get a lot of food. Just for sharing is the bread, hummus, feta, salad, olives, cereal, yoghurt, homemade jam, and a fig loaf. Then you get to choose your own eggs, choose from the original shakshuka, the green shakshuka (made from spinach and herbs), the boureka (a yummy spinach and feta puff pastry parcel), the merguese sausage roll, or the sabich (roasted aubergine with a dinosaur egg). Behind this restaurant is one of those great London stories, the owners are a husband and wife team. Sarit Packer was a pastry chef at Orrery and her husband Itamar Srulovich worked in several Tel Aviv restaurants before moving to London. Packer later worked as executive chef for Yotam Ottolenghi at Nopi, and in 2012 she opened Honey and Co.

Highgate cemetery

Perhaps one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, and a gothic wonderland with wild trees and overgrown graves. Still a working cemetery, there’s two sections to it, the east side and the western side, it’s best to go on one of their regular tours to see notable gravesites like Karl Marx, George Eliot, Goerge Michael, and Douglas Adams. It’s incredibly atmospheric and will give you some food for thought.

Hampstead heath

If you have some spare time before lunch, or even after lunch, a great place to go for a stroll is Hampstead heath. A great place to hang out is at the top of parliament hill which has amazing views across London. There’s nothing quite like it.

Lunch

Lots of walking still to do this afternoon, I mean, you could take the tube, but North London is a great place to walk around and just experience the atmosphere.

The Wells

Fancy a proper pub lunch? Head to The Wells. Transformed around 11 years ago from a run-down pub in a beautiful Georgian building to an absolute gem in Hampstead. The food is definitely gastro pub in style, with dishes like good ol’ sausage and mash with onion gravy and burgers. You can tell you’re in London as this casual pub has dishes like beef fillet chateaubriand for two, and confit duck leg with potato dauphinoise. Don’t worry if you’re worried this place is going to have tiny desserts with flowers and inedible things on them. One of the dessert dishes is the holy grail of all pub desserts, sticky toffee pudding. For all your tourists, just a heads up, you can tell a good pub if they have sticky toffee pudding on the menu. Another great thing about The Wells is not only can you have a great meal, but you can treat your pooch to some organic dog food from Lily’s kitchen. Get yourself booked in time for when you’re thinking of going cos it’s London and everything gets booked up well in advance.

Primrose Hill

Venture to Primrose Hill for another stunning view across London, there’s also loads of cute shops, cafes, and colourful houses to take a look at. If it’s a sunny day, bring your blanket and chill out for a while on the hill. Once you’ve had a chill moment, head down Regent’s Park Road and visit Primrose Hill Books and pop into Sweet Things for a sweet treat. Browse Graham and Green for interiors goals and if you’ve been good and booked in advance, go to The Cowshed for a relaxing treatment, whether it’s a massage or a facial, you’ll be treated like royalty.

Camden

You need to go to Camden, definitely a different vibe from Primrose Hill, it’s where Amy Winehouse used to live and where there’s tonnes of great pubs and cool shops, all tourists go to Cyberdog where they sell rave gear, neon clothes, and have live dancers getting jiggy with it in cages in the ceiling. Just outside the shop is Camden market and Camden Lock with an array of food stalls, grab a quick snack if you need, but don’t fill up before dinner…

Dinner

We hope you’ve got your appetite. Here’s some places that serve some seriously delicious food.

Kyseri

Get ready for some of the best pasta you’ve eaten in years, but it’s not Italian, it’s Turkish, so said by Marina O’Loughlin in her review of Kyseri (named after the ancient city Kayseri in Cappadocia). You might have heard of the head chef Selin Kiazim who opened Oklava in 2015, and has also appeared on the Great British Menu. If you go, you have to try the star dish that is the beef and sour cherry manti with yoghurt sauce, tomato and chilli butter and pine nuts. The vegetarian option is just as delicious, roasted mushroom and cheese manti with smoked butter, honey and mint. It’s a great place to visit to experience the restaurant scene in London, it’s turkish cuisine with a twist.

Chali Thali

Indian street food doesn’t get any better than that at Chali Thali, although the food is rooted in tradition, it’s bursting with aromatic spices with a contemporary twist. Their food tells the story of the chaotic streets of India, from Dehli to Mumbai to Kerala. There’s everything from chicken pakora to samosa chat to chilli paneer to their masala wedges. If you’re going to try anything, get the thali, where you’ll get a main dish, daal, rice, bread, raita, salad, a mini papad, and the sweet of the day, basically a three course meal for under £20, not bad for London

Take a look at some of our other city guides…

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