Queenie Chen tries authentic New York style bagels in Camden
Must try: ‘The Brooklyn’ – Roast Beef, melted Cheese on your choice of bagel accompanied with a dark roast Flat White.
Wallet damage: £
Good for: Catching up with friends and catching up with work
Overall: Much better food, coffee and atmosphere than your average coffee shop
Tower 47 is bang in the middle of all the iconic Camden sights – across from the Stables Market, next to Barfly, and a minute’s walk from the Roundhouse. It gets busy on the weekends but most of the time it’s quiet, large and spread out over several floors, so you can have serious DMCs or concentrate on your work.
The coffee is recognised as one of the best in London, being one of 20 coffee shops attending the London Coffee Festival. There’s your usual coffee menu and prices that comes in a choice of light, medium and dark roast, your choice of milk (they do almond!) and also the option of a syphon or a pour over for those more hardcore fans who seek an even smoother, delicate taste. Their loose-leaf tea selection is equally as extensive for non-coffee lovers.
The food ranges from your normal breakfast section of freshly baked croissants, a really good pain au chocolat, salted butter and cream cheese bagel, to full on stacked American style bagels. Although a bit pricey at £6.95 for a bagel – the generous serving makes it surprisingly filling and definitely sharable. The bagels are served on a classy wooden board, accompanied by a selection of mustard, horseradish, ‘special sauce’, coleslaw and a pickle that will defeat all pickle haters.
The effort shows through the roast beef in The Brooklyn bagel with its tenderness and juiciness. The Manhattan is a classic Reuben bagel of salted beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese. Although it was not as rich in flavour as The Brooklyn, the layers of salted beef fall apart in your mouth and are definitely worth a try for salted beef fans.
If you fancy something sweet, they have a selection of perfectly chewy cookies and alternating choice of homemade cakes that are so moist and usually unusual– like the lime and courgette cake.
What makes Tower 47 stand out is not only its coffee, the food, or the lovely American owner, but its involvement with art and music. There is neon artwork displayed on the walls by up and coming Darren West and music merchandise on sale. The coffee shop stretches out to feature a stage, professional rehearsal rooms, and art exhibition space. You can sample their unique mix of coffee, food, art and music at one of their free jazz Sundays.
All image credits: Queenie Chen