Pick the perfect spot for every situation
Aside from Arsène, Baban is the most loved name around this part of north London. The reason? His naan is sensationally delicious. To the point that when I lived around the corner, every meal became structured around the presence of a freshly baked, bubbling and crisp naan or three. And you’ll often find a queue of people thinking the same thing circa 4pm. They’re meals in themselves too though: a chilli cheese combo is always good for a couple of quid, as is a Kurdish kebab.
Your order: Merguez baguette (£4)
Often filled with locals inside, hovering and joking by the doorway, or outside moped helmet in one hand and a hefty baguette in the other, La Casbah is a little Mediterranean cafe that encapsulates Blackstock Road’s energy. The most popular menu choice is a beef mince baguette, fried within an inch of its life on the hot plate, with an egg cracked in, before being mixed together with chips and chunks of onion, all stuffed into a soft baguette liberally spread with Tunisian harissa paste and mayo. It’s a big boy. But it’s the merguez you want. The spicy sausage has a much better punch of flavour, plus sausage and chips in a sandwich is always, always, a winner.