With its sprawling labyrinth of shops and stalls, it’s easy to get disorientated and miss out on the best Camden Market has to offer. Food-wise, it’s best to stay clear of the Stables Market, as well as the east side of the Lock Market (where the Lambrettas are lined up as novelty seats, and the seagulls live off soggy chips). For freshness and authenticity, the West Yard (beside the arched bridge) is the place to be. All of the top five reside there.
When Mac met Cheese
Serves: Made-to-order mac and cheese, with or without bacon/chicken and fresh veg. Recommended: Out of the three choices, my favourite is ‘Carlos the Cactus’: mature cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan and jalapeños. Beautiful. He also serves deep-fried Oreos, if that floats your boat.
Pricing: £5 with meat, £4.50 without.
Regularity: One of the true West Yard staples, but you can always check his plans via Twitter.
Mamas Jerk Station
Serves: Seriously fiery Caribbean Jerk chicken, pork and beans in wraps or with salad.
Recommended: The purist would go for the chicken, but there’s a combination wrap that does all kinds of crazy stuff to your taste buds. Throw some fried plantain in for 50p too, whatever you’re getting.
Pricing: Basically everything’s a fiver, other than the combo which costs £6.
West Yard Pies
Serves: Homemade pies and mash
Recommended: The fish/seafood pies are unbeatable, but sell out quick due to the owner’s insistence on only using fresh ingredients. The steak and cheddar is the best seller and a worthy alternative.
Pricing: The pies are yours for £4, the tasty mash 50p.
Regularity: A proper regular. Check his Twitter in case though.
Serves: Um, I forget…
Recommended: It’s got to be the ‘little bit of everything’: the potatoes are surprisingly flavoursome, and the sauces light the whole shebang up.
Pricing: £6 for the combo, the individual chicken and lamb dishes are £5.50.
Regularity: Very rarely absent at the weekends, but more sporadic midweek.
Serves: Freshly cooked Pad Thai (stir-fried dish with rice noodles; a tamarind-powered orgy of flavours)
Recommended: King prawn is the winner for me but chilli fans will enjoy the fresh Thai chilli versions.
Regularity: He’s pretty reliable; I’m yet to see him missing on a weekend.