What a treat this was. A few weekends ago I spent a very happy Sunday with my friend Shumaiya at the Camden Market Gluten Free Festival. (A bit of a belated post, but better late than never, eh?)
We had one of those lovely afternoons of leisurely hanging out in the sun, eating when we felt like it and catching up on life. We are both somewhat obsessed with good food (and eating it), so we enjoyed having a nose around the market stalls at all the different cuisines, and taking our time choosing which food to eat.
The gluten free food festival was made up of an 100% gluten free yard within the main food market in Camden Lock. There were a variety of stalls selling freshly cooked gluten free food as well as stalls by brands like Wholefoods and Romeo’s Bakery (loaves pictured above! ^) selling ready made gluten free products.
There were tons of gorgeous things on offer, but in the end we chose a couple of dishes to share; Olley’s gluten free fish and chips, and Maize Blaze’s Colombian gluten free beef empanadas.
The fish and chips were yummy. Good quality fish, decent-sized chunky chips, not overly greasy – perfect. Going to Olley’s restaurant in Herne Hill is officially On My List.
And now, for empanadas from Maize Blaze! I had never tried an empanada before but I have got to track them down again. It tasted a bit like a spicy pasty. Unf. I liked the accompanying fried plantain, rice and potatoes too. I had no idea that Colombian cuisine could be so coeliac-friendly!
We did of course try our fair share of free samples juuuust to make sure we chose the right meal. Chilli and sweet potato nachos from the Louisiana Chilli Shack were a particular highlight. I couldn’t eat more than a spoonful due to ALL of the FODMAPs present (more on what the heck a FODMAP is here, here and here), but these and the sweet potato mash were delish.
I was also very tempted by the gluten free french food on offer; raclettes, crepes and tartiflette…mmmmm…but saved them for another day.
Later on in the afternoon we decided we quite felt like a dessert, and opted for a DONUT ICE CREAM SANDWICH (YES, OMG) from Cookies and Scream. The ice scream sandwich was made up of vegan vanilla ice cream sandwiched between a gluten free salted caramel and a jam doughnut. OH MY GOD.
It was pure decadence. I can’t get over the fact that it was all gluten free AND vegan. Shumaiya (who is not usually a gluten free-eater) said the doughnuts were some of the nicest she’d had, and I found the ice cream very good – it didn’t taste any different to the dairy version. I would really recommend stopping by Cookies and Scream if you are on a trip to Camden, they are 100% gluten free so there is no cross-contamination risk, and they have some really tasty treats.
We thought the overall pricing was pretty good! All in all we paid £5 for a small fish & chips, £5 for the empanadas & sides, and £4.50 for the dessert. So, as we shared everything, about £7.25 each for some really delicious food, a full belly and a fun afternoon wandering around the market.
Would I recommend it?
Shumaiya and I had a fun time. I would recommend going along to the next gluten free festival if you can brave the crowds (it was crazy busy – not sure how easy it would be with kids / access needs) and if you will be reasonably nearby anyway. The gluten free festival bit itself was quite small, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend making a special trip just for that, but there are other groovy gluten free options like Honest Burger and Cookies and Scream to complete a gluten free visit to Camden if you fancy it.
Yay for good friends + good food! Did you make it to the festival? Let me know in the comments which foods you liked, or if there is anywhere else you think I should check out in Camden!
P.S. If you’re reading, Camden Market overlords…I think it would be awesome if the gluten free section was made permanent at Camden Market. There are several stalls that are always there that offer gluten free food, and it makes it so nice and easy when they are all grouped together and all 100% gluten free, not just offering one or two things in an environment that may be cross-contaminated.