Bel & Nev

Restaurants, Cafés Kensal Rise
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(31user reviews)
130 Love It
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Bel & Nev (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski
Bel & Nev (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski
Bel & Nev (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski
Bel & Nev (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski
Bel & Nev (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski
Bel & Nev (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski

A child-friendly (and dog-friendly) Kensal Rise café with great food.

Appearances can be deceiving. Bel and Nev Dartora, co-owners of their eponymous Kensal Rise café, probably do not know personally every single customer who walks in their door. But after eating a leisurely brunch there on a sunny Saturday, I got the impression that they possibly do. Everyone seemed to know everyone else. Some customers got a welcome or farewell hug. It felt like an at-home drop-in.

Bel & Nev have been running their caff in Kensal Rise, around 30 seconds from the Overground station (if you’re walking slowly), since late 2014. They came here from cheffing at restaurants such as Polpo and Bocca di Lupo. They’ve settled in a small place in a non-central location with limited opening hours.

The capacity is around 15, with kitchen and serving area at the front of the room. The menu’s short and simple: breakfasts, sandwiches and simple dishes such as soups, salads and baked beans with chorizo. Very little costs over £7, and most breakfast dishes cost less than £5. Everything is made on the premises except bread and muffins from the Bread Factory (owner of the Gail’s Bakery chain).

Careful attention to detail showed in a toasted cheese sandwich, made with three different cheeses (Emmental, mozzarella and cheddar) given a spritz of acidity through the addition of pickled red onion (and own-made ketchup on the side). Indecently rich and cooked with precision, it costs just a fiver; some people would regard it as a decent-sized lunch portion for two.

The baked good are great too: a raspberry and white chocolate muffin was a technical masterpiece and tasted fantastic, as did a Bakewell slice of impeccable texture.

If I lived nearby, Bel & Nev would be my second home. Who knows, eventually I might even qualify for a hug. 

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Bel & Nev says
Bel & Nev is a family-friendly café in the heart of Kensal Rise serving great coffee and tasty, seasonal food and cakes. Everything is homemade in the tiny open kitchen in the café by trained chefs, husband and wife team, Bel & Nev.
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By: Richard Ehrlich

Posted:

Venue name: Bel & Nev
Contact:
Address: 15 Station Terrace

London
NW10 5RX
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7.30am-5pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm
Transport: Tube: Kensal Green. Kensal Rise Overground
Do you own this business?
To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com

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Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:29
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|31
1 person listening

We love this place. Everything is great, but those cheese toasties oh mate.


Friendly staff, amazing food, great value, lovely atmosphere... it's always my weekend go-to and morning coffee stop!


Incredible Food. There you feel like your house. Nice music, cakes. One of the Best Coffee in London!


Delicious food and the best coffee. A proper neighborhood cafe where they know you by name and exactly what coffee you order. Have made friends just hanging out there. The best


Fantastic brunch, at a good price with great service. Friendly family run cafe with an extensive menu of fresh and tasty options. Highly recommended!


The team are so friendly and the food is DELICIOUS. A perfect place to stroll to for a cosy and comfortable breakfast/brunch. Great atmosphere and addictive menu.


Small and cosy, great food, very good coffee, and makes the neighbourhood feel cool and casual.

Tastemaker

So I’m new to the area and like any good and sane human being the first thing I did when researching where to live was see what TimeOut had to say about the situation - and ask TO or anyone about Kensal Rise and you'll more often than not be greeted with a "you have to go to Bel & Nev!!" so naturally my ridiculous hipster-wannabe side took over and I scoffed to myself "pah... these fools, they don't know. It can't be any good if EVERYONE has heard of it!" Thankfully my girlfriend took me there upon our moving in to KR and even more thankfullier I was wrong, completely wrong!

There's really nothing to complain about when it come to Bel & Nev, the food is all delicious, the coffee even more so - the range of milk is really impressive. I mean did you know you can get milk from a carrot? Well that's because you can't, don't be ridiculous, but almond, coconut and rice you can; and you know how I know ... Bel told me, or maybe it was Nev. Although come to think of it, it was probably neither.

I had the chocolate carrot cake and it's all I've thought about since, I won't say I’m a connoisseur of carrot cake but I'm definitely an expert and this was another scoff from your's truly ... "carrot ... and chocolate," well to quote the late (career wise) great Peter Kay "it's the future!"

Stationed right next to the station, it's almost too easy to get to and too tempting to not go in. Honestly, when it comes to Kensal Rise, you're not gunna not go to Bel & Nev - it's a winner of a Love London Award for very good reason.

And sure the coffees are smaller than a Starbucks, or Costa but I have it on good word that that's how they're supposed to be - and why would someone lie to me about something as sacred as my morning coffee, especially not the prince of Gambia! Though he does still owe me from that time I helped him release his funds ... wait ...

So the thing really isyou "have" to get there if you can, just for the cake alone, and the kitsch decor, and bring your dog that's also a thing! And whilst you're there you can buy me a coffee cause, I'm sure Prince Pateh is good for it; it's just been a good while now.

Tastemaker

Avocado on toast at Bel & Nev is some next level culinary concoction. Splatter that homemade sweet chilli jam on top and baby you've got yourself a meal! Warm, crunchy fresh sourdough bread as a base ties it all up to make a five star brunch. Most breakfasts, sandwiches and soups come in at about £4.50 to £5, but the temptation to add extra bits proved too much for your weak willed correspondent. After going all out by ordering a soy mocha too, the bill tallied up to a tenner (tip included), which was more than one might expect for a quick bite to eat in a 'mom n pop shop' cafe. Actually, it's a 'husband and wife shop' anyway - they run it everyday and are on close terms with their customer base - mostly young mothers from the Queen's Park area. 


Staff helpfulness and overall comfort make the difference in Bel & Nev compared to the two builder breakfast business right next door. Yes, it is more expensive, but the food is put together with love and even the simplest dishes - like just plain old beans - have creative twists to them. After finishing, it if its't too busy (which it was, then wasn't, then was again on my visit) it's nice to just spend an hour in there reading and soaking up the happiness exuded from Bel & Nev's owners. Who are called Bel and Nev. 


Unbelievably delicious and fresh food. The smashed avocado on toast is the best in town!


Lovely wee cafe with a relaxed vibe, quality coffee and brilliant food. Whether you're after a gargantuan '3 cheese toastie' and caramel brownie, or Quinoa, beetroot, lentil and rocket salad with gluten-free blueberry cake for dessert, Bel & Nev provide something for everyone. Plenty of handsome Brazillians behind the counter too!


a special lil spot. the coffee is delicious, the coconut porridge, the beans and chorizo, the toasted banana bread - it's all divine. they are friendly and warm and laid-back - best local place ever.


Delicious and interesting food; relaxed and friendly atmosphere. What more could you want from your local cafe? Bel & Nev have created a really good welcoming ambience with food to match. Love the cakes!


Brilliant cuisine from 2 cordon bleu trained chefs who have created a friendly and inexpensive cafe that you can always depend on. Also you can take babies, toddlers and grand dads and colleagues.


Great lunches, coffee, cakes and other scrumptious food on offer here for amazingly reasonable prices. You will not be disappointed!


The B&N three cheese toastie is perfection and the BLT is also a winner! Great Coffee too!


Great little place, cosy and friendly, I like the menu which is cooked using good ingredients and as a chef I know the couple in charge has high standard.


Small but perfectly formed. Bel & Nev are a brilliant team serving innovative, fresh and delicious breakfast, lunch and AMAZING cakes- all homemade. You have to taste the toasted banana bread to believe how good it is.