In each print issue of Eustontowner we aim to get under the skin of a different part of the area. Why? To help you get to know this underrated neighbourhood that bit better – even if you’ve lived here all your life.
Last time our focus was Chalton Street, where we met the folk driving the restaurants, shops, market, salons and charities lining the stretch from Euston up north towards Camden.
This month it’s the turn of famous Drummond Street, now mostly known for its concentration of Bengali restaurants. But look closely and there’s much more.
So for the first time ever, below is a complete directory of what to do, where to eat and shop, as well as some atmospheric portraits of its street life. We start roughly at the western end, and proceed east along the street.
Massala Hut: Impressive range of signature dishes including crabmeat massala. Cobra beer on tap alongside Bollywood beats.12pm-11pm. 161-163 Drummond Street (hereafter we just list numbers). More here
Shah Tandoori: Notably good quality Indian grub – all spices are ground in-house and everything is made fresh. Recommended are the tandoori marinated trout (£10.95) and salmon shashlik (£8.95). More here 12pm-12am. No.159
Costcutter: Convenience store chain, with independently owned outlets. You know the drill: fags, gum, croissants-in-a-bag and toilet roll. No. 151-153
Falafel Cafe: Freshly prepared Lebanese and Moroccan food. Specialising in kofta, shawarma, tabouli salad and yep, you guessed it, falafel. 9-4pm. No. 149
Ringtone Boxing Gym: Underground gym offers classes for men and women designed around workouts and training methods used by boxers. No. 147
Hot Pepper Cafe: “Levent is a very talented chef,” says Gil about her husband with whom she has been running this neighbourhood cafe for seven years. The pair are Turkish and have made sure to bring a Mediterranean flex to their menu, which includes vegetarian full English, salad boxes and a mixed grill served with rice and fries.
They receive a steady flow of hungry folks, workers from Regent’s Place, locals and builders alike from 6am until 4pm when they close for the day. Gil clearly has a passion for what she does. She seems to know everyone (and their orders) who walks in, and shouts a stream of dishes back to Levent who spent the entirety of out visit grilling koftes, toasting ciabattas and flipping omelettes out back. No.142
Log Nail Spa: Decked out with rows of massage chairs, head here for manis, pedis and waxing. Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm. No.141
Crescent Dry Cleaners: Muhammad has been running this useful outlet for three years. A mere 5-minute walk from Regent’s Place, he offers a range of services (including same-day), repairs and alterations as well as shoe repair. Mon-Fri 8am-6:30pm, Sat 9-5pm. No.138
Crown & Anchor: Spacious pub with pop art and large windows. Lunchtime special: sandwich, chips and a drink (Mon-Fri £9.00). More here. No.137
Ravi Shankar: Southern Indian veggie spot with lunch buffet. Specialities include dosas, bhel puri and some of the best tasting and looking thali on the street. More here No.133-135
Sizzling Bombay: This unassuming Indian and kebab shop is coated in varnished wood and beige plastic benches, giving it the feel of a set from a 70s detective drama. Running for 23 years, the institution has been dishing up Seekh kebabs, tandoori marinated mixed grills and doners alongside a selection of curry and biryani. Offering delivery, take-away and a time-warp eat-in option, this has been tipped as the “cheapest, good quality and well portioned Indian on the street,” by long-time Drummond business owner, Harish from the Indian Spice Shop. No.132
Brizzi’s Italian: Authentic Italian, great service and extensive menu spanning pizza, pasta, meat and fish. Family-run, basement restaurant, perfecting their craft since 1984. 12-3:30pm, 5:30-11pm. No.131
Taste of India: Good range of veg starters and meaty mains. Red leather seats, painted murals, in a fairly formal setting. 12pm-12am. No.128-130
Simply Chicken: Tasty fried chicken and chips. Good for soaking up any of the day’s excesses. 11:30-10pm, No.129
Laksa King: Don’t be fooled by the deceptively narrow exteriors of Laksa King: follow the series of floor-to-ceiling painted murals downstairs to get to a bellowing 130 capacity underground restaurant. Selling authentic Chinese, Malaysian and Thai street food, we popped in just before 12pm while they were preparing for lunch and making roti chanai from scratch.
Tito, a local who has been working at Laksa for three years and in Chinese restaurants for 12 more, says the lunchbox specials, which include Chicken Ho Fun and Singapore noodles, do very well. “They are really tasty and only cost £4.95,” he says enthusiastically. Daily (except Sunday), 12-3, 5-11pm. No.126
Raavi Kebab: Opened in 1976, serving halal grilled meats, curries and naan. 12:30-10:15pm. No.125
Chutneys: Third Indian veggie restaurant to open on the street back in 1987. Simply decorated, vast lunch buffet offerings and a la carte in the evening. 12-11pm. No.124
DMT Barber: Jay has been running his sleek barber’s shop for five years. With a full house during the lunchtime office rush, Jay’s one-man operation, sees locals and workers soon becoming regulars. This probably has something to do with the thorough post-cut neck, shoulder and head massage he gives to all his customers. Daily until 6pm. No.122b
Diwana Bhel Poori House: The oldest Indian veggie restaurant on the street. Casual, furnished wood, extensive lunch buffet, specialising in dosa and poori dishes. More here Open 12-11:30pm, 121-123
Café Nora: The highlight of this sandwich bar and cafe is the glass-roofed extension outback, with a handful of tables this is an ideal, airy area to “sit, relax and have a coffee,” says Ilidio, the chipper Brazilian who has been working there for 4 years. 120
Drummond Villa: Slightly more formal Indian restaurant, set with wicker chairs and red velvet seats. Service is good with an impressive range of curries, the lamb biryani is a must. More here 118
Gupta Confectionary: The cover star of the last print issue of Eustontowner, Mr Jain, runs this sweet shop, which opened in 1979 in Hendon – and was followed a couple of years later by this Euston branch.
With an extensive range of sweet and savoury offerings, the shop is popular with locals and offers a catering service for weddings and events. 12pm-12am. No.100
Lavender & Rosemary Clinic: Open since 2012, this massage parlour offers a range of services from aromatherapy, to deep tissue massage, acupuncture to Chinese herbal medicine. 11-10pm weekdays, Sat 12-6pm. No.98
i-Optix: Conveniently considering his chosen profession, Oli, the manager of this eye-care centre has got a striking set of turquoise eyes. Having taken the reins on i-Optix five years ago, he has heavily involved himself in the local community, attending multiple meetings about HS2 and the security of the businesses on Drummond Street.
Oli is keen to have a chat about the state of the world, religion, and politics with any willing patients who would like a stimulated conversation alongside their check-up. “No matter what is going on in the world and what is portrayed to us by the media, it is important to remember that there are plenty of good people,” Oli says, “I meet them in here almost every day.” Weekdays 10-6pm, No.96
Ashtanga Yoga London: Devotees of the authentic Mysore-style Ashtanga, one of the most physically demanding forms of yoga, traditionally rise super-early each day to practice. This unassuming studio has been the capital’s leading morning session for years, with guru-certified teacher Hamish Hendry providing the hands-on assistance. It’s popular, so you need to book your place in advance. Mon-Fri from 5:30am, No.94
Calumet Photographic: This is a vast camera warehouse rammed with tripods, screens, printers, ink, rucksacks and hundreds of other photographic tools. The team are friendly and offer a range of printing services, rentals of state-of-the-art equipment, studio space for hire and courses from the Calumet Academy. Weekdays, 8-7pm, Sat, 9-6pm. No.93-103