The Great British Brand Swap

Written by: Violet Myers

When was the last time KFC bought you a beer, Amazon helped you move or Google gave you a reach around? We’re guessing that, unless you’re George Osborne, never.

It’s been proved time and time again that big goliath brands are not really our friends, so why remain so loyal to them? Way back in 2012 it was revealed that Google, Starbucks and Amazon weren’t paying their fair share of tax in the UK. The good people of the UK were understandably outraged and yet their profits continue to rise, while the communities they exploit suffer.

We think that needless big brand loyalty is a bit sucky. Instead we want to encourage you smart cookies to support the reams of incredible, tax paying, local businesses we’re lucky enough to have here in North London. From your daily coffee to your weekly hangover cure, we show you how to dump big brands and get chummy with the locals…because, in the words of baggy trousered lady band All Saints: “I know where it’s at.”

The Krispy Kreme VS Glazed Doughnut from Bird

Those iconic glistening rings have ruined countless diets over the years, but maybe it’s time to let a new local lovely into your life and destroy those skinny jean dreams once and for all, with curves like this we say let them! Bird’s yeast risen bad boys are freshly hand prepared every day and change their glaze on the daily. Krispy who?

Bird, 81 Holloway Rd N7 8LT + 21-22 Chalk Farm Road NW1 8AG

The Starbuck’s Frappucino VS Iced Mocha from Coffee Circus

Starbucks has slowly transformed into a caffeinated McDonalds for adults. It’s fast, it’s easy, it almost entirely runs on the West’s addiction to processed sugar, which makes the famous iced Frappucino Starbuck’s equivilant to the Happy Meal. But the Frappucino isn’t the only ice queen that will be cooling us down this summer, Crouch End’s Coffee Circus is right on our doorstep and offers an iced mocha worth raising our blood sugar for. Add homemade vanilla syrup for an extra hit.

Coffee Circus, 136 Crouch Hill, N8 9DX

Subway VS Max’s ‘What Is Neil Gill’s Beef All About’

We’ve all been there: waiting in the Subway queue going over our order in our head, when we finally reach our turn and the bored looking, cap wearing sandwich ‘artist’ (this is literally what Subway calls their employees) looks at us expectantly. The pressure gets too much and we panic “olives!” we yell, “lots of olives! and… mayonnaise!” we don’t even like olives and we have a rare yet deadly allergy to mayo. Sometimes too much choice can be overwhelming, that’s why we’re sticking to local favourite Max’s for all of our sandwich needs. Try the braised beef with sauerkraut and creme fraiche, hold the mayo.

Max’s Sandwich Shop, 19 Crouch Hill, N4 4AP

Budweiser VS Gamma Ray from Beavertown

Binge drinking is as British as The Royal Family (BBC not OBE). Piling out of work with a couple of squashed sarnies, some overpriced strawberries and a six pack of beers to desperately squash into the 8 minutes of sunshine us Brits get over summer is not just a national tradition but a god given right! But instead of reaching for a Bud, why not support an awesome local business and kill your brain cells with Beavertown beer, which is brewed in our very own Tottenham Hale.

Beavertown Brewery, Tottenham Hale, N17 9QP

Pizza Hut VS the Al Capone from La Saporita

Pizza Hut for a nine year old is like frickin’ Vegas. There’s balloons, an unlimited ice cream factory, pots of spicy chilli corns you can double donkey dare your mates into snorting…heaven. As soon as you start paying to live in your own house the allure of this sticky tabled hell hole becomes a mystery. Yes the icecream is unlimited, but who’d want an endless supply of something that tastes like watered down cardboard? Save your bus money and walk leisurely to La Saporita, one of N4’s tastiest pizza places.

La Saporita, 174 Tollington Park, London N4 3AJ

Chipotle Burrito VS King Prawn Burrito from N4 Street Burrito

The American chain has snuck its way across the Atlantic and stuffed its monster wraps into our dainty British hands and we can’t get enough. Chipotle boasts an increasingly loyal fan base who’ll happily queue for their favourite fast food fix. We’ll be honest, the burritos are tasty, affordable and rather girthy (and we don’t love a bit of girth) but for the same price you could be wrapping your paws around Street N4’s equally well endowed treats. Plus Chipotle doesn’t offer a mouthwateringly good king prawn burrito, which has us waving our local flag once again!

Street N4, 8 Clifton Terrace, London N4 3JP

The McFlurry VS Chocolate Honeycomb from Udderlicious Ice Cream

God knows what could have been cultivating in McDonald’s big pot of McFlurry pieces over the years. Odd bits of sugary remnants, pulverised Smarties and limited edition ‘seized as ongoing evidence’ shards litter the tops of this tasteless ooze, so sweet it makes us miss Pizza Hut’s ice cream factory. Why not treat yourself to a scoop of Udderlicious’ udderly organic, udderly grown up chocolate honeycomb ice-cream? No pulverised nasties guaranteed!

Udderlicious Ice Cream, 187 Upper St, London, UK N1 1RQ


Photography + excessive gluttony + inventive use of props by: Mike Barry

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The Vinteriors team and Mary le Comte at Moseyhome in Finsbury Park, North London for 'Style My Shop'.

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Hand feeling colourful splashes of artwork at Smith and Sinclair Flavour Gallery
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Hodgepodge on Crouch Hill, North London. New restaurant opening November 2017
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The Moroccan Medina at The Queen of Hoxton Rooftop

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Mento, floristry cafe in finsbury park, North London
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Amelia Donkor as Rose standing in shadow behind Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell holding speech at Park Theatre

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Dog being petted, North Four magazine

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Magic Roundabout's Retro Winter Wonderland

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Slow roasted lamb shank shawarma at Fat Macy's supper club in The Luminary Bakery, Stoke Newington
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North Four Magazine, Alcotraz, London, Pop up, Prison Bar, Hackney, East London
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