New indie coffee shops are a dime a dozen in London, with the pleasant effect of pushing aspirations beyond the established Italo-triumvirate – ciabatta, biscotti, Lavazza. But what makes another little hangout a hot destination? Well, a booze licence certainly helps; as does having an effortlessly affable owner, and chef with the ability to make simple food sing. All of which seem happily present and correct at Casa Tua, which has quickly carved out a role as the place for a Camden brunch, just opposite Camden Road overground.
On our Tuesday lunchtime visit, couples giggled across lazy afternoon Aperol spritzes, office groups dallied over returning to their desks and a series of beautifully gesticulating Italians dropped in. Close your eyes and you could be tucked away on a Milanese backstreet.
Where to go for a Camden Brunch?
The relaxed, urban holiday vibe continued as host and trained mixologist, Giuseppe Miggiano, poured a potent Campari spritz while we grazed on bruschetta, struck by the obvious quality of the ingredients verses their £3 price tag. A board of meat and cheese antipasti (£5) made an equally affordable, perky light lunch choice too. Like everything else on the menu, it’s available to take away if you’re in a dash, although lingering in the cosy interior, alternating bites with cheeky sips of vino, admiring the old gramophone, is surely the point. The dish was, however, easily surpassed by the café’s most popular pasta, a house tortelloni of chicken and pancetta (£8). Six generous parcels burst with buttery richness and a spicy tang. Some red by-the-glass Mezzogiorno (£4.50) set off the zippiness of the filling a treat too.
All smiles and genuine warmth, Giuseppe seems rightly pleased with all he has created here in a few short months. And he’s already maximised every opportunity to keep the place busy throughout the day. An attractive selection of brunch items draw the early(ish) risers, while live music and cocktails keep things lively after dark. Weekends often see baking workshops, mixology masterclasses and other foodie-focussed events.