If you're looking for a slice of La Dolce Vita but don’t fancy leaving London, we’ve got just the ticket! Goodfare restaurant in Camden is just about the most authentic local joint you could find; it’s brilliant value despite serving the highest quality food, the staff bring a great sense of fun to the restaurant, and its position on the corner of Parkway means it’s the perfect spot for people-watching. Word on the street is that Jude Law and some other famous faces are regulars, so I put on some lippy and popped in for lunch with owner, Numan Devrim…
While there are Italian chain restaurants aplenty in London, finding something a little more authentic can be difficult. And that’s why Goodfare is so popular: the interiors are rustic and cheerful in style, with red and white vinyl tables that spill out onto the bustling street outside; the food is honest Italian cooking, made with love and only top quality ingredients; and the staff are the reason why they have so many regulars, from the chef who sings while cooking, to the chatty waiters dancing around each other and serving up dishes with a smile.
I headed over on a chilly Friday afternoon to meet owner Numan, who also owns nearby restaurant Bistro Laz and Al Parco.
Numan and I chatted between sips of real Italian coffee and incredibly moreish bites of halloumi and pomegranate salad and flavoursome penne with avocado, mozzarella and basil pesto sauce. He bought Goodfare at just 28 years old, and it’s been a popular, prominent and family-run spot on Parkway since 1959 - with the same chef! In fact, Goodfare is quite the celebrity hangout, and Numan proudly showed me photographs of him in the restaurant with a number of celebrities, from a pizza-loving David Cameron to big name DJs.
The menu here is traditional Italian, think fresh pasta dishes packed with flavour, to generously topped crispy base pizzas, doused in gooey mozzarella. As Goodfare is just a five minute walk from the office, I’ve done a good job of working my way through the menu. Highlights are definitely the Sallapa pizza, which is topped with creamy mushrooms, ham, sausage, garlic and rocket, and the Tortelloni Di Spinaci, which is fresh pasta filled with ricotto and spinach, liberally sprinkled with the most delicious creamy parmesan cheese. That being said, I’m yet to have a dish that’s anything short of delicious.
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