Once a hub for raving, rocking and generally letting loose, King’s Cross has undergone something of a makeover in recent years. Like the clubbers that once snuck into its warehouses, it’s grown up a bit, and found a new penchant for house plants.
Among the boutiques, yoga studios and tech hubs are some great places to eat, and plenty of them. From Spanish tapas and bao buns to omakase and fine-dining, here’s our pick of the best King’s Cross restaurants.
Barrafina King’s Cross
Barrafina’s growing empire might seem in danger of becoming a chain, but its eternally high quality will always prevent that. This is the restaurant’s fourth location in the capital and it takes prime position on the top floor of Coal Drops Yard, the swish new development to the left of Granary Square. Bag yourself a seat at the marble-topped bar, order a glass of Cava to whet your appetite and dive right into the all-Catalonian menu, orchestrated by executive head chef, Angel Zapata Martin.
Details: Unit 22-24, Bagley Walk Arches, Coal Drops Yard, London, N1C 4AB | Book here
Casa & Plaza Pastor
The El Pastor family knows how to put on a good time. Every restaurant strikes the balance between party and eatery just right with a menu of lip-tingling Mexican food, good playlists and plenty of tequila slinging. Inside Casa Pastor it’s all exposed-brick walls splashed with colourful posters, tables fit for dancing on and plenty of lush foliage. Outside, you’ll find Plaza Pastor, a covered and heated terrace offering the same menu of tacos, tostados and sharing plates, plus regular live music and a DJ programme on weekends.
Details: Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ | Most tables reserved for walk-ins, or you can book here
From the outside, the Coal Office is a brooding presence, all Victorian brickwork and big windows. Inside, it’s been transformed into a shrine to design. Specifically Tom Dixon’s extravagant, contemporary creations, which are displayed in all their gorgeous weirdness throughout the space. Above the design HQ on the ground floor is where you’ll find Coal Office, where Chef Assaf Granit (The Palomar, The Barbary) is at the helm serving Middle Eastern flavours in unconventional combinations. Start with a Tea Kar Highball cocktail, order some small plates – the Hatzil Til roasted aubergine is a must – then try the Octopus Al Lachuh. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the bread, ideal for gliding through saucy remains.
Details: 2 Bagley Walk, Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4PQ | Book here
Booking Office 1869
Located inside St Pancras International, Booking Office 1869 gives a new meaning to railway fare.
Easily the most decadent restaurant in King’s Cross, the interior has heavy shades of Murder on The Orient Express; picture palm trees, burnish-brass detailing and a 22-metre long bar topped with antique marble. On the menu, expect souped-up British classics – including a very good burger – peppered with top-notch bar snacks, delicacies from the raw bar, and sparkling English wines.
Details: St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR | Book here
Parrillan King’s Cross
Going out to cook your own dinner might not sound like an ideal night out, but Parrillan in Coal Drops Yard proves this theory wrong. From the folk at Barrafina – conveniently located next door – Parrillan is a grill-it-yourself restaurant with a menu of meticulously prepared cuts of meat, fish and veg ready to cook on your own mini grill (parrilla). If that hasn’t fired you up, there are also Spanish nibbles aka para picar and very good rice dishes, which require no grilling. But where’s the fun in that?
Details: Coal Drops Yard, Bagley Walk, N1C 4AB | Book here
Sushi on Jones
While perusing a menu can be fun, sometimes you want to dine out without deliberating over your order. Cue Sushi on Jones, an export from New York that’s all about lo-fi, high energy omakase; a Japanese dining experience where the chef chooses your dishes. Unlike traditional omakase, Sushi on Jones operates at double the pace. Guided by head sushi chef Mattia Aranini, buckle up and embark on a 12-piece tasting menu, served in express 45-minute slots. Expect moreishly good uni, melt-in-the-mouth wagyu and fresh cuts of fish – all hand-selected on the day.
Details: 11 Goods Way, N1C 4DP | Book here
BAO Kings Cross
A traditional Taiwanese tea shop hidden among the restaurants in King’s Cross. Cafe Bao in St Pancras Square fits within the Bao brand, but here there’s also a focus on baked goods to take away. There are squishable peach-shaped bao stuffed with red bean and white chocolate and the now iconic Sad Face salted egg-custard buns, crying out to be your next afternoon pick me up. On the savoury side, there’s bao’s signature pizza slices, fluffy bao burgers, and sausage rolls that’ll knock spots off Gregg’s.
Details: Unit 2, 4 Pancras Square, London N1C 4AG | Book here
Supawan is so much more than a purveyor of properly good Pad Thai. Understated though it may appear from the outside, don’t be fooled by its nondescript frontage because the menu is anything but subtle. All the dishes – from the fully-loaded yum khao tod rice salad to the tongue-tickling chilli-spiced chicken red curry – are rooted in authentic recipes, fine tuned by Executive Chef Wichet Khongphoon and his all-Thai team. Be prepared for flavours that kick and punch, like a Muay Thai match in your mouth.
Details: 38 Caledonian Road, King Cross, N1 9DT | Book here
Dishoom King’s Cross
A traditional Irani-styled eatery set in a vast Bombay godown warehouse… in King’s Cross. There’s a literal shed-load of antique Indian furniture, a gigantic clock, swathes of geometric tiles and heaps of outdoor dining space. To eat, the menu features all of Dishoom’s greatest hits; deeply-flavoured house black dahl, fragrant chicken ruby curry and of course, breakfast naan rolls loaded with crispy-edged bacon.
Details: 5 Stable Street, N1C 4AB | Book here
Caravan King’s Cross
If Caravan were a person, they’d be worldly, bookish and well-dressed. This eclectic, contagious mix is what you can experience at Caravan’s King’s Cross restaurant and café, where brunch is the headline act and delicious coffee is on tap, thanks to its in-house roastery. Choose, if you can, between vanilla pancakes, toast with sunshine-yolked cacklebean eggs, and chorizo and potato hash, with the option to spill out onto the front terrace overlooking the fountains of Granary Square.
Details: 1 Granary Square, N1C 4AA | Book here
Now that you’ve chosen where to eat… you might like to peruse this guide to the best bars in King’s Cross
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