Once a culinary wasteland, Camden Market is really coming up in the food world. Last year’s installation of dozens of KERB street food traders was the first step; since then, standalone restaurants like the exceptional Cheese Bar have further raised the bar.
And now there’s the freestanding Zala Grill. When the weather’s warm, diners can perch along its open-air grill, where the smoky perfume of cooking kebabs wafts freely. When it’s tipping it down, Zala Grill’s petite indoor dining area is also a fair compromise.
But wherever you sit, opt to sample widely from the sun-drenched, hearty, Israeli cooking. Formerly of R’amas Kitchen in Jerusalem, Head Chef Tomer Niv plays with tradition. His menu begins with a generous, complementary mezze platter (think pickled cauliflower, za’atar-dusted flatbread, and exceptional hummus) before moving on to platters of slow-roasted lamb, sea bream, and kebabs.
But the real stand-outs—and opportunity for creativity—are the “Levantine Pizzas.” Inspired by Turkish lahmacun, they mingle untraditional toppings (chicken with pesto and aubergine, prawns and roasted vegetables) with the most pillowy, moreish flatbread. With a glass of Israeli wine alongside, they’re the makings of a sunny feast.