If you are unfortunate enough not to be taking a summer holiday this year, you may have given up all hope. However never fear as you can get a little slice of Italy down under the railway arches in N1. Camden Market is playing host to Italian Alley -a restaurant concept which focuses on Aperitivo, the wonderful Italian tradition that pairs delicious food with alcoholic drinks.
In the alleyway there are five arches, all of which host mini restaurants all offering a different taste of Italy. There is Semola which offers fresh pasta, Ciambotta which has bread buns filled with Italian stews, Polpetta which does meatballs, Brace serves Italian barbecue, and Focacceria Nazionale does topped focaccias. As you can see there is quite the variety of different dishes for you to try.
Each restaurant has a different menu showcasing their chosen food with dishes costing between £3-£9, however they all offer a £10 Aperitivo deal all day on weekdays and from 5pm – 9pm on weekends. For £10 you get a try two to three mini tastes from one of the five arches, plus an alcoholic drink which includes beer, wine, or Aperol spritz. Since the drinks are £8 and upwards themselves you are getting a real bargain. We tried the aperitivo deal from Ciambotta which came with an Aperol Spritz and three filled mini bread buns stuffed with margarita, ragu and carbonara. They were the prefect snack to try whilst sipping our cocktails and watching the sun go down.
Since we were invited guests we were able to try something from each of the different arches. One dish that really stood out to me was the Fusili Veggie Pasta (£8.50) from Semola. The cold summer dish was topped with fresh tomatoes and sliced courgette and it was such a treat on a warm summers day. The foccacia style pizzas from Focacceria are not to be missed either. I ate the Vegetiana (£6) which was topped with burrata, tomatoes and rocket. I was somewhat concerned about what my anti-carb Keto dieting husband was going to eat, however he was able to feast upon the Traditional Meatballs (£6) from Polpetta, and the Italian Pork Salad £7 from Brace. We finished our evening with The Cheesecake (£6), a dessert made from cheesecake but styled to look like a bowl of meatballs, it was very cute and extremely tasty.
If the food and location isn’t enough to transport you to Italy, then the live music will. It really added an authentic atmosphere to the evening. As the sun went down over the stone cobbles you could have been anywhere but North London.
Italian Alley is located at Camden Stables Market, Arches 1-8, London NW1 8AH. The nearest tube station is Chalk Farm. For more information you can check out the Instagram account.