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April 14th, 2011

KIPFERL (Islington)

Category: Bistro (££)

(rating will follow after I have eaten there)

I am a bad Austrian. After one year and about 130 posts, I have not blogged about a single Austrian restaurant/cafe in London.  I have been wanting to go to Bistro Delicat in Battersea forever, but somehow it just never happened. The other noteworthy Austrian etablissement in London is Kipferl. A little cafe just behind the Barbican it has achieved some critical acclaim for its cakes and coffee. Now, while walking through the Antiques Market in Camden Passage last weekend, I stumbled upon a second Kipferl.
 KIPFERL (Islington)
What is ‘Kipferl‘ you might wonder, after you probably have unsuccessfully tried to pronounce it. A Kipferl is a very Austrian thing, it is something to eat and it’s all about the crescent shape.

HungryinLondon is not only about fun but also about education, therefore here a little history lesson for you:

The Austrian Kipferl is said to be the ancestor of the French Croissant. Marie Antoinette, the daughter of the Austrian Empress Maria Theresia, married Louis XVI and brought her favourite bakery with her to France. As opposed to the French croissant however, the Austrian Kipferl is made of brioche and is much lighter.

kipferl for blog KIPFERL (Islington)

No Sunday breakfast is complete in Austria without a Kipferl, it is usually halved and eaten with butter and honey or jam. Some people (I am not one of them *shakesindisgust*) dunk it into their sweetened coffee or hot chocolate.

The second most famous Kipferl is the Vanille-Kipferl, predominantly eaten in the pre-Christmas and Christmas period. Every housewife has her own secret Vanille Kipferl recipe (I shall post my mum’s if she is ever going to tell me) and this Christmas cookie (mainly consisting of butter and sugar) is main reason why most Austrians are 3 kilos heavier after Christmas.

 KIPFERL (Islington)Photo from The Hungarian Girl

The Kipferl in Islington now, is a new and shiny cafe/restaurant, all white and wood with loads of natural light. It also has a few tables outside in case the summer ever comes.

 KIPFERL (Islington)
As I was just coming from a very extensive lunch, I only had a coffee, which was very nice. Particularly with the little Milka Chocolate, which is by far the dominating chocolate brand in Austria. The Austrians among you will probably recgonize the plate: It’s from Aida, a Viennese coffee shop institution. You have one on almost every corner and it is characterized by grumpy waitresses and 70s style furniture (not in a cool way but in an old way 70s if you know what I mean). I couldn’t help feeling a pinch of nostalgia upon spotting these plates.

 KIPFERL (Islington)

There is a nice selection of Austrian cakes to choose from (I actually can’t wait to try them) and a small selection of Austrian dishes such as Tafelspitz, Wiener Schnitzel and Kaiserschmarrn.

 KIPFERL (Islington)

I am a bit homesick at the moment, so I was thrilled to find my favourite Austrian newspaper there, and it was even the current one!
 KIPFERL (Islington)
Kipferl also sells the Austrian beer that I used to get drunk on as a teenager.
 KIPFERL (Islington)
Finally I know where I will get my Styrian Pumpkinseed Oil (‘Kernoel’) from. The pitch-black oil is beautiful on salads but interestingly also works with vanilla ice. KIPFERL (Islington)

I will rate if after I have eaten there, but I am intrigued and happy about having found an affordable, friendly and authentic Austrian place in London. I shall certainly be back!

 KIPFERL (Islington)


20 Camden Passage N1 8ED

Transport Angel tube

Telephone020 7704 1555

Kipferl website

biglink KIPFERL (Islington)

19 comments to KIPFERL (Islington)

  • gorgeous! am so wanting those kipferl right now…! and in HK don’t have an oven can you believe it?

  • I didn’t know there was a second location! The one in Barbican is so tiny the new one looks much bigger.

  • barbaramaria

    Man bemerkt schon a bißl dein “homesick”
    Sehr nett beschrieben

  • Ooh…I haven’t been to an Austrian eatery in London yet and this sounds like the perfect introduction. Desserts too!

  • Ute

    @Jingan – I have to say that I have an oven and never use it… How is HK? When are you back?

    @Kelly – yes much bigger, I tried to have coffee 2 or 3 times at the Barbican one and never got a seat. So definitely improvement!

    @barbaramaria – danke :)

    @Kay – Austrians do great desserts! (but of course not me personally ;)

  • Becky

    Hmmm craving some Almdudler right now…

  • Ute

    @ Almdudler – I haven’t checked if they have Almdudler, but they have to! I love it too…

  • tony

    they moved from Barbican, that one has closed.
    and they certainly do have Almdudler!

  • Ute

    @Tony – thanks for pointing this out, this was clearly bad research from my side!

  • Is this the same one that has a small stall at Coram’s Fields? Anyway, have linked to this review in the Coram’s Fields writeup. Well, they have the same name though.

  • Ute

    @ London Chow – yes it appears to be the same, have never been there though. Thanks for linking, I will link back :)

  • C

    I love this eatery – the food is divine! New favourite place and the staff are a complete delight. Went in for a light lunch and left 3 courses & a coffee later with food high and wondering if it’d be too soon to come back the next day. Absolutely wonderful

  • Ute

    @ C – good to know that the food holds up to the general good impression! I can’t wait to have some proper Austrian in London :)

  • manuela

    Oooh wish I has some quargel or achleitmner sclosskaese right now, with a fresh semmel

  • Ute

    @ Manuela – ohhh a fresh semmel! I do miss them here I have to say, I am surprised actually that no one has imported them yet. I mean really, comparison English ‘bread’ and semmel? I think it’s clear who is the winner :)

  • AZ

    Food really is worth trying. Being a Hungarian I wondered whether they could live up to expectations re Goulash soup. Man,I was amazed how rich and delicious it was! well done for the cook! I found £16 a bit OTT for a portion of Wienersnitzel however it was quality veal.
    Staff was superhelpful, will definitely go back!

  • Ute

    @AZ – ohhh you make me hungry! This is a brilliant recommendation indeed when a Hungarian approves of the goulash! It’s about time I go sample their cooking…

  • [...] Top & single croissant from Pinterest, Croissant interiors from The Fresh Loaf, Kipferl from Hungry In London, last picture of Croissants from Anecdotes and [...]

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