Best restaurants in King's Cross
Check out our favourite restaurants, bars and foodie spots in this buzzing area of north London. Try Mexican-style rotisserie chicken, low-intervention wines, bacon naans and more
Looking for King’s Cross restaurants? Here are our favourite restaurants in King’s Cross. Check out our ideas for eating and drinking in King’s Cross, from Coal Drops Yard to Granary Square and beyond…
Best places to eat and drink near King's Cross station
Bao Kings Cross — for Bao’s take on Western-style cafes in Asia
This modern all-day dining spot, tucked between the canal and St Pancras, offers a chance to dine in and a take-away bakery option. As the name suggests, this is one of the Bao stable and its signature fluffy white bao is on the menu, along with two exclusive versions (giving you a good excuse to visit every venue), a hamburger bao (just as it sounds) and a seafood roll made from a decadent fried brioche filled with lobster, crayfish and mayo. The rest of lobster reappears as a no-waste dish, head split open with crisp fries to dip into the creamy filling. A Taiwanese breakfast staple is reimagined, the standout ham hock congee comes not with a side of youtiao (fried bread sticks) but a golden pastry topping to rip off and dip — if you only eat one thing, make it this. Desserts feature BAOfiterole and an exemplary pineapple cake (actually a pastry), and cocktails include a plum sake-based negroni. The bakery dispenses salted egg custard ‘sad face’ bao and cookie caramel bao alongside coffee — should you wish to take away. baolondon.com
Decimo – for hip Mexican with a view
Hop in the red bubble lift that clings to the outside of The Standard Hotel up to chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’s striking top floor restaurant. Cacti poke out from behind wooden features, Mexican textiles line sweeping curved banquettes, and a large open fireplace provides a focal point. Bag a burgundy-tiled table by the window for iconic London views while you sip zippy margaritas on the rocks or Sevilla mimosas and peruse the menu. Order a selection of Spanish and Mexican small plates, including salty anchovies slivers in a pool of confit garlic oil, panko-coated croquetas laced with iberico ham and manchego, and charcoaled sourdough to scoop up smoky red pepper tartare. At the Saturday brunch, try twists on classic egg dishes, such as huevos flamenco – iberico pork shoulder ribbons topped with two fried eggs. There are also tacos served on chunky bespoke marble platters and delicate skewers including pork in cumin and cinnamon or meltingly soft koji squid. All to the backdrop of live DJs and music.
Hoppers – for Sri Lankan food in bustling Pancras Square
Any food lover will know that Hoppers gets its names from the crisp, bowl-shaped pancakes made from a fermented batter of rice flour and coconut milk. They are devilishly difficult to make at home – but devilishly delicious in the hands of the chefs at the buzzy, spacious, family-friendly King’s Cross branch of Hoppers, the third in the empire from JKS restaurants. Filled with a soft fried egg or masala, they are a must-try. But, there are other essential-order dishes inspired by the street food along the coastal journey from the capital Colombo to Galle. Crunchy mutton rolls yield soft and tender shredded meat. Devilled paneer, a perfect sponge for chilli sauce, has a pleasing bounce. Chilli cheese dosa is as big as a bath sheet and a perfect mop for signature karis, the stand-out of which being swimmer crab – a tangle of shell and claws smothered in intense, silky sauce. Make sure you choose Hoppers’ own beer – Toddy ale. It has a touch of salt, which is as surprising as it is fire-dousing.
Happy Face Pizza – best for pizza
Tucked away behind Coal Drops Yard, Happy Face Pizza is a must-visit if you’re after a low-key dinner without having to queue. A slick marble bar takes centre stage, with high stools and sharing tables filling the industrial-style space. Wood-fired pizzas (with dough fermented for 72 hours) come with puffy, charred crusts and sloppy centres. Try the salsiccia with smoked mozzarella, Neapolitan sausage and fresh fiery chilli, or the prosciutto one for a salty number.
If you just fancy a snack, order shoestring zucchini fritti, washed down with a house-bottled Roller Ball cocktail – a concoction of Suze, white vermouth and tonic cordial. For more party vibes, head downstairs to SUPERMAX, a vermouth-led cocktail bar that’s all glitter balls, plush pink furnishings and DJs every Friday night.
Granger & Co. – for brunch
Granger & Co. King's Cross is the third London location of Australian celebrity chef Bill Granger's restaurants. Focussing on his trademark sunny, healthy style of Med/Southeast Asian food, great cocktails, wine and top-notch coffee, Granger and Co is open from breakfast to dinner every day.
Granger's menus are famously eclectic, bringing flair to the sunny Australian Med/South-east Asian melting-pot. The crispy duck, spring onion crepes, iceberg and plumb sauce, is an especially memorable dish which could be likened to a dream you might have had about what crispy duck pancakes might be like before you'd ever seen any.
Granger & Co. makes reference to 80's Italian train station restaurants, with its Terrazzo floors and bar tops, olive leather banquettes, a wood-panelled ceiling, 70s table lamps, moody modern art, salmon and peach paintwork, an Italian style leather and brass fixed-stool-seated bar with a huge feature mirror dominating the space behind it.
Best places to eat and drink in Coal Drops Yard
Sons + Daughters – for sandwiches
From the duo behind east London’s Pidgin, Sons + Daughters brings sandwiches, soft-serve ice cream and craft beers to Coal Drops Yard. The minimalist space centres around a curved bar, with soft, exposed-grain tables and navy-blue stools lining the outside of the room.
Next-level breakfast muffins include a Burford Brown egg scramble, or a creamy vegan tofu pepped up with corn kernels. Coffee comes from east London’s Climpson & Sons, or go back to basics and order the miso milk for a silky, salty kick.
Stay for lunch and tuck into hearty doorstop sarnies, anything from spicy lamb sausage with french fries, to old-school egg salad with truffle crisps layered between slices of white bloomer. End with a slick of daily-changing, imaginatively flavoured soft serves, from peanut butter and jelly with a crumble of croissant to savoury rosemary focaccia crunch.
Plaza Pastor – for Mexican party vibes
Dining is an alfresco affair at Plaza Pastor – with multicoloured tables and chairs grouped around a central bar in a covered, heated terrace, complete with Latin beats on the speakers.
The menu might be casual – spicy Mexican-style rotisserie chicken, tortas (Mexican toasted sandwiches) and tacos are the stars here – but there’s an attention to detail that elevates the food. A surprisingly meaty mushroom taco comes with oaxaca cheese, caramelised onion, pumpkin seeds and coriander, with a piquant salsa made with toasted árbol chillies and garlic oil (they have seven salsas in total, all made in-house).
Hicce – for contemporary small plates
Pronounced ‘itchy’ and meaning ‘of the moment’ in latin, Hicce is the latest addition to King’s Cross chic new development, Coal Drops Yard. Expect a cool and casual space serving up sensational hot sticks and moreish small plates taking inspiration everywhere from Italy to Japan and Norway, alongside draft wine and sprightly cocktails.
Wild red prawns, scarlet and skewered, are life. Sweet, supremely tender, and bathing in a butter laced with lemon, garlic, herbs and togarashi (all the good stuff) – even their crunchy coats of armour are edible. Spiked chicken thighs, too, are singing with flavour, thanks to Pip’s happy globe trotting for her ingredients – a shiso leaf imparts its unique pep, while crispy chicken skin is crumbled for crunch.
Lina Stores – for pasta
This swish space near Coal Drop’s Yard is made more cosy with soft globe lighting and clever sectioning off into counter dining, a bar lined with Italian aperitivi, and booths sheltered by iconic striped awnings in Lina Stores’ signature pale peppermint hues. Kick things off with a cocktail – try a punchy Villa Ascenti Gin negroni or a refreshing Italian twist on the g&t spiked with vermouth, black olive tonic and a sprig of rosemary.
Antipasti dishes include roast aubergine and red peppers adorned with toasted pine nuts, nocellara olives and caramelised sultanas. Or slices of tuna carpaccio topped with gherkins, salsa verde, caper berries and lemon zest with tuna anchovy mayo. The focus is on fresh, handmade pasta dishes to share. Pici alla Norcia is a highlight, with thick pici pasta worms topped with a deep, umami-rich ragu of porcini mushrooms and Umbrian sausage. Large ravioli parcels are filled with sweet pumpkin and black pepper, or try oxtail ragu enriched with black ferrandina olives and tossed through silky pappardelle folds.
The Drop – for wine
Exposed brick walls, low-arched ceilings and soft lighting give The Drop an intimate, unpretentious feel. There’s a counter to perch on, long sharing tables, and an open kitchen sends out fragrant aromas.
The chiefly European wine list focusses on mostly low-intervention and small producers, from France to Georgia. There’s lots to explore here, but unfortunately not much available by the glass (aside from aperitifs, digestifs and dessert wines).
Vermuteria – for aperitivo
Vermuteria opened at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, in October 2018 and it’s the first café and bar created by chef Anthony Demetre and designer Michael Sodeau. As well as charcuterie and dishes combining European and British influences (think rabbit in mustard sauce, potato and kale; Galician octopus and chickpeas; or venison ragu and gnocchi), there are more than 70 vermouths on the list. The vermouth takes centre stage in the form of simple aperitifs and a base for cocktails such as the sbagliato (Cinzano Rosso, Campari and prosecco).
Best places to eat and drink in Granary Square
Dishoom – for casual Indian food
Inspired by the all-day Irani cafés that were an integral part of Bombay life, there are now four branches of Dishoom in London (and another in Edinburgh), each serving Bombay breakfast, lunch, afternoon chai and dinner. Dishoom restaurant can also be found in Shoreditch, Carnaby and Covent garden.
Ruby Violet – for ice cream
Run with old-school glamour but contemporary flair by ex-food photographer Julie Fisher (the name is a nod to her maternal grandmother), this north London ice cream hot spot developed from a stall at a local market. As Julie says ‘ice cream makes people smile’ and Ruby Violet’s certainly does that. As far as possible, Julie subscribes to the fresh, seasonal, local philosophy; look out for peach and rosewater, damson, English strawberry, Seville orange marmalade ripple and Kentish Town honey.
Canopy Market – for street food
This weekly food market in King’s Cross plays host to independent food producers every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Choose between honeycomb doughnuts from Bread Ahead, meats from The Charcuterie Board and hot sauces from World of Zing. Take your pick between indulgent risotto balls from the Arancini Brothers, or grilled cheese sandwiches at the Big Melt.
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