Years ago, before Leather Lane became a carnival for foodies and prosecco lovers, it was a standard street market. Your options for food were limited but satisfactory. There was the caf-cum-sandwich bar, a couple of fruit and veg men, Greggs, the chippy next door, and one of those amazing stalls where everything is past the sell-by-date and a basket full of chopped tomatoes, Digestives and stock cubes cost a few quid. Now it’s different. There’s Taiwanese and 20-person strong queues, kebabs and questionable combinations. A hoi sin duck burrito? Hmmm.
Anyway, if that’s not your thing, then perhaps an old classic in the shape of Balady is. The Israeli institution’s second location is cannily placed close to Hatton Garden, and a load of other less celebrated falafel joints. The quality is pretty much the same here as it is in Temple Fortune, and that’s very much a good thing. Their falafel: crisp and fresh out the fryer, is fluffy inside, steaming with green herbiness and spices, all of which cry out for the combination of fruity amba, punchy zhug and cooling tahini that lines their soft pitas. Their other stuff, like hand cut chips and sabich, is also on the menu. Though sitting inside is not. This is a grab-and-go affair, or a-lean on-the-side-counter one if you fancy sticking around. Either way, it's likely you'll be back for more soon enough.
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