An outdoor terrace with tables and chairs

Plaza Pastor, Coal Drops Yard, London N1: restaurant review

Head to this chilled out, alfresco Mexican restaurant for smoky rotisserie chicken and mezcal negronis

Looking for places to eat in King’s Cross? Read our review of Mexican restaurant Plaza Pastor in Coal Drops Yard.

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Plaza Pastor in a nutshell: Laid-back, drinks-led Mexican dining from the team behind El Pastor.

What’s the vibe? 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.

A large dark wooden bar with chairs
The restaurant is based around a central bar

What’s the food like a Plaza Pastor?

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). Check out more taco dishes here.

A torta of cochinita pibil – slow-roasted pork shoulder marinated in orange, spicy achiote and charred garlic – was all tender meat and bright, vibrant flavours. The surprise hit of the night is the rotisserie bird – butter-soft meat and a charred, crispy skin, smoky with a marinade from guajillo and pasilla chillies, and served with melting onions decadently confited in chicken fat. Click here for Mexican recipes to cook at home.

A wooden board with roast chicken
Spicy, smoky rotisserie chicken

And the drinks? 

The drinks at Plaza Pastor are as much of a draw as the food, with an extensive mezcal menu divided by flavour profile – from deep, dark and smoky to fresh and green – served the traditional way, with orange slices and worm salt. Click here to listen to our mezcal podcast.

Bar staff also know their way around a margarita – they offer six takes – and their El Pastor was a punchy blend of El Jimador Reposado tequila, aguamiel (agave sap) and lime juice. A fun roster of house cocktails included a Negroni Rosita, a smoky, spicy marriage of Montelobos espadin mezcal with Campari and Cocchi Rosa vermouth. Check out more negroni recipes here.


olive tip: Stop for a pre-dinner aperitif at nearby The Drop and explore their wine list, which is full of low-intervention, offbeat producers.

tacoselpastor.co.uk

Words by Hannah Guinness

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Photographs by Sam Ashton