The scene: Loaded with Camden hipsters and muso types, the cavernous Blues Kitchen has an electric atmosphere, especially during the venue’s almost nightly live music sessions showcasing rhythm and blues bands. The distressed-wood walls are plastered with photos of Blues artists and Fifties memorabilia, while the high ceilings are festooned with trumpet-shaped chandeliers. For diners, there’s comfy US-inspired booth-style seating, lit by candles.
The grub: Expect finger-licking soul food from America’s Deep South: BBQ chicken, ribs, chilli, New Orleans Gumbo and burgers. You won’t go hungry thanks to epic portions. We’re served huge hunks of meat, generous dollops of coleslaw and lashings of fries.
The food is varied: our chilli and Cajun blackened shrimp starters are delectable, but we aren’t overly wowed by our mains: the rib-eye steak and BBQ chicken are slightly overcooked and dry. Desserts include Mississippi mud pie which sounds yummy but has unfortunately run out when I visit, so I opt for a knickerbocker glory which I have no problem gulping down. Any shortcomings with the food are overriden by the merry vibe and cheery staff.
Behind the bar: Bourbon is the star of the show here, with a staggering 40 different fabulously named liquors – from Fighting Cock to Old Grand-Dad. There’s also ?a huge wine, champagne and cocktail list that includes mint juleps and woodberry chilli. Those with a sweet tooth can sup chocolate, strawberry or malt milkshakes with a shot of bourbon. The bartenders really know their stuff.
Bill please: Cocktails from £7.50; starters from £5.50; mains from £8.50 for a bean burger to £14 for a seafood jambalaya.
Verdict: This is a top venue for a birthday celebration or a night out with a group of mates, thanks to its party vibe and extensive drinks menu. Don’t visit for the food alone – serious boozers will not be disappointed
111-113 Camden High Street, NW1 7JN
Tube: Camden Town