I didn’t realise how many variations there were to Shakshuka before visiting Cafe Loren.
A cute little spot nestled under one of the railway arches near Camden Market, this Middle Eastern cafe serves Shakshuka all day everyday. The dream.
Cafe one side, serving coffee, cakes and rainbow bagels (yes they’re still around) it’s the inside where the magic happens. It’s small, intimate and cosy, home to dark woods and black furniture, with plants on every table – almost homey like you’ve stepped into someone’s dining room or conservatory. With only roughly 30 covers max it does get busy.
The menu features nine different Shashuka dishes, all listed with ingredients (and calorie information for those interested), as well as a Shakshuka Sandwich, a few Middle Eastern sharing side dishes (e.g. Hummus Plate), and sweet treats (cookies, cupcakes, muffins, brownies, etc.). A little overwhelming to say the least, the classic dish is always a good starting point, and the Red Shakshuka didn’t disappoint.
The roasted bell pepper stew, with onions, garllic, granny’s harissa and tomatoes, was chunky, flavoursome and served nice and hot. The poached eggs, just runny (probably because I had to take a photo first), tahini, olives on the side and warm, soft bread, completed the dish. It was delicious. Such a warming, comforting dish for the colder months.
Coffee was pretty good too. The flat white, adorned with a milky heart on top, was slightly bitter but not enough to need a sugar. It still went down all too well for the first coffee of the day.
By about 10.45am Cafe Loren was full, and people had started waiting for tables. The host/waiter was all over it though, super friendly, efficient and helpful – I sure felt looked after.
Dining by myself before a morning exploring, I didn’t stay too long as had forgotten a book, however there was no feeling of being rushed or pushed.
At just over £12 for Shakshuka, coffee and service for one, it’s really not too expensive for breakfast or brunch.
There really is something special about heading out for a relaxing breakfast by yourself. Taking time to enjoy the little things. I’m definitely doing it more often.
Do you head out for breakfast by yourself?