There are plenty of great casual food outlets in Camden for you to relax those tired legs, but for those who are egg-lovers or vegetarians, Cafe Loren is a top choice to consider. Walking around the maze of markets in Camden, sometimes it can be extremely hard to locate a restaurant. Thankfully Cafe Loren is situated by the entrance to the stables market off the main road.
You can’t help but be attracted by the enticing array of pastries on display that will no doubt lure you inside. It also helps that they have a transparent pricing structure: hot drink and any pastry or hot drink and sandwich for only £3.99.
The inside is particularly cosy and you feel like you’ve entered what could be a friend’s living room with comfortable cushions and a retro bookshelf. There are not too many seats inside, so there might be the potential of a short wait for seating; but they do generally turn seats around relatively quickly.
We shared a hummus plate for our starters. It was carefully grounded and well-flavoured with spices such as paprika and herbs like parsley and olive oil. The portion isn’t particularly large but thankfully it comes with some weighty, freshly baked bread. Other options for sharing include Jerusalem salad and a Mediterranean plate, which is hummus with cheese burakas.
However, Café Loren is all about shakshuka. It is a traditional dish based on eggs braised in typically fresh, homemade tomato sauce and slow roasted in a variety of vegetables and spices as a stew. We tried the Trio Shakshuka option which contained the red, green and white choices.
The red option is the most classic of the choices with vibrant flavours from the tomatoes, garlic and granny’s Harissa. There are other vegetables in the dish including roasted bell peppers and onions. Although I am not a massive leek fan, the green shakshuka offers a distinct variation in terms of taste with excellent use of pesto and coriander. The real winner for me was the white version with rich mushroom notes combining well with the cream and feta cheese. In case you feel, there’s still a lack of taste (unlikely), the shakshukas are served with tahini and homemade fresh bread. The bread is perfectly spongy and ideal for soaking up the wonderful flavours from the 3 different egg dishes.
They have top-notch smoothies using 100% real fruits. The tropical crush had passion fruit, mango, papaya but the main taste was from the pineapple. Peachy greens had a healthy balance of fruits and vegetables, as it contained kiwi, peach, kale and broccoli.
If you are in the Camden area, make sure you take time out to visit this Israeli cafe.