Talisa Dean 17/06/20

The Best Bars In King’s Cross



And on returning from our writing sojourn across the channel, we took the opportunity to size up the bars, restaurants and shops that have suddenly sprung up around King’s Cross.

With the recent unveiling of the swooping new development Coal Drops Yard, next to the fountain-filled Granary Square, King’s Cross – once merely a travel hub for students, businessmen, and children pushing trolleys with owls headfirst into platform pillars – has become a food and drink destination in its own right. Restaurants in the area now include renowned tapas bar Barrafina (whose central London sister boasts a Michelin-star); Assaf Granit and Tom Dixon’s critically acclaimed Coal Office; Casa Pastor and Plaza Pastor; as well as many more.

All of which you should definitely visit…after an aperitif at one of the below bars.

Et voilà – the best bars in King’s Cross…


George’s Bar

George's Bar Kings Cross

Housed in a jaw-droppingly beautiful 19th century room in the grand, gothic revival hotel by King’s Cross station, George’s Bar is the liquid counterpart to the neighbouring restaurant, also overseen by Michelin star-winning chef Marcus Wareing. Beneath a glittering mosaic ceiling and giant church bell chandeliers, you can score botanical-leaning cocktails like The Herbalist – with thyme-infused gin, green Chartreuse, elderflower and absinthe – while snacking on charcuterie, crispy whitebait and parmesan arancini.

Address: St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR | Opening hours: Daily 11.30am-late | Average price of a cocktail: £13

Permit Room at Dishoom

Best Bars Kings Cross The Permit Room

Head down to the basement of Dishoom King’s Cross and you’ll find The Permit Room, a dimly-lit subterranean bar made up of cobbled floors, dark bentwood stools and marble tables, and enough vintage lighting, photographs and hand-painted signage to take you back to the 40s. It gives a nod to the introduction of Bombay’s Prohibition Act in 1949, when alcohol was banned except for those carrying a medical permit. Here, however, you can freely sip on their selection of Pens & Paanch; Slings, Coolers & Fizzes; and Sours & Fancies with fervour. It’s table service too, which means no cramming and queuing at the bar. Instead, your drinks will be delivered to your table, alongside a selection of Bombay-inspired snacks, should you permit.

Address: 5 Stable Street, N1C 4AB | Opening hours: Mon-Wed 8am-11pm, Thurs-Fri 8am-12am, Sat 9am-12am, Sun 9am-11pm | Average cocktail price: £8

The Racketeer

Best Bars In Kings Cross Racketeer

Racketeers may be fraudulent businessmen, but you won’t be cheated out of anything at this shabby chic cocktail bar and bottle-shop, with a basement dancefloor and a secret walled garden out back. For the most part they serve cocktail classics with a twist, although there’s also a small menu of wines and a few beers on tap, all of which you can sip with a side of charcuterie and/or cheese. Bottle-shop wise they sell wine – mostly from small producers – and craft beer, which they’ll happily wrap up for you to smash back at home.

Address: 105 King’s Cross Road, WC1X 9LR | Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 4pm-12am, Fri & Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 3-11pm | Average cocktail price: £8.50

The Drop

The Drop King's Cross Bar

It’s the Hart brothers’ answer to the mic drop; not their first, or second, but their fourth venue in King’s Cross’ brand new development Coal Drops Yard. And, whilst the other two (Barrafina, Parrillan and Casa Pastor) are spin-offs of already existing (and undeniably amazing) restaurants, this one’s a first: an intimate wine bar set up in one of the development’s railway arches, focusing on delicious wines at all price points, with some British bar fare on the side.

Address: Unit 22-24, Bagley Walk Arches, Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DH | Opening hours: Mon 4.30-11pm, Tues – Sat 12-11pm, Sun 1-9pmAverage price of a glass of wine: £6.50


Vermuteria King's Cross

Vermouth and cycling. Apparently, they’re two themes that work well in tandem. This bar in Coal Drops Yard is a cosy, brick-walled space with a terrace for the warmer months and vintage posters of aperitif spirits and cycling competitions plastered across the walls. The drinks here are suitably focussed on vermouths (both on tap and by the glass), americanos, amaros and bitters, as well as cocktails combining them – but there’s a solid wine and beer list, too. Pop by for a couple of dishes in the evening – since chef Anthony Demetre co-owns the place, it’s a stellar line-up.

Details: 38-39 Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ | Opening hours: Mon-Wed 8am-11.30pm, Thurs & Fri 8am-12am, Sat 10am-12am and Sun 10am-10.30pm | Average price of a drink: Vermouth ~£4, cocktails ~£9

German Gymnasium

German Gymnasium King's Cross bar

This lofty bar and restaurant opened in London’s first purpose-built gymnasium hall back in 2015. And it worked out. Perched up on the mezzanine, the gold-hued Meister Bar serves up some of the most unusual cocktails in the area. Currently, the menu’s inspired by iconic works of art, so sip on liquid versions of Magritte’s Ceci n’est pas une pipe with mint chocolate-washed Laphroaig whisky, Portuguese liquor and pine; or the Gyotaku, an homage to Japanese fish prints with smoked salmon-infused aquavit, tarragon tonic, sherry and peat spray.

Address: King’s Boulevard, Kings Cross, N1C 4BU | Opening hours: Mon 5pm-12am, Tues & Wed 12pm-12am, Thurs-Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 12-7pm | Average price of a cocktail: £13

Booking Office 1869

Booking Office 1869 is huge. It’s massive. It’s gigantic. There are eight meter high palm trees that barely seem to come half way up to the cavernous ceiling. Light cascades in from the vast, arched brick windows lining the walls. The emerald green bar is a massive 22 meters long. It feels almost more like a church than a restaurant. And the cocktails, curated by one Jack Porter (formerly of The Ned), include a Clear Margarita (given a smoky kick with “Ilegal Joven” mezcal), a Victoria Sour that throws pisco together with long pepper spice & plum syrup; and their Ol’ Signalman, which is built from an inventive pecan nut-infused bourbon, and topped off with coconut bitters…

Address: Euston Road, NW1 2AR | Opening hours: Closed Sun-Mon | Average cocktail price: £15


The Standard London

Sweeties is a ‘discotheque and late-night lounge’, freshly opened in the Standard Hotel. Expect plush retro interiors, DJs, cocktails including ingredients like ‘adaptogenic mushrooms’, and what can only be described as “a six-foot antique phallic sculpture.”

Details: 10th Floor, The Standard, 10 Argyle Street, WC1H 8EG | Opening hours: Wed-Sat, 5pm – late | Average cocktail price: £18


Best Bars Kings Cross Spiritland

You wouldn’t be blamed for imagining a bar called Spiritland to be a little sheet…You would however be wrong. Not only is it an undeniably handsome space – a retro-inspired mix of caramels and lime greens – it’s also home to a world-class, multi-million pound sound system, from you which can enjoy an all-week music-focused programme of talks, gigs, albums launches, and sets by world-renowned DJs (as well as the day to day playlist of handpicked instrumental).  Somehow they still have time to focus on the food and drink, with an excellent all-day food offering spanning breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner, as well as a drinks menu full of softs, cocktails, sake, beer, wine, and….spirits.

Address: 9 – 10 Stable Street, N1C 4AB | Opening hours: Mon-Wed 8am-12am, Thurs-Fri 8am-1am, Sat 10am-1am, Sun 10am-10pm | Average cocktail price: £9


Best Bars Kings Cross Vinoteca

As the name suggests, these guys have got all the tekkers necessary to pick a great bottle of wine, constantly keeping their 200-strong wine-list fresh with the best grapes. You can order by the bottle, or there are plenty available by the glass, both of which you can enjoy alongside a few dishes from their daily-changing menu, mostly focused on British fare.

Address: 3 King’s Boulevard, Kings Cross, N1C 4BU | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7.30am-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm | Price of a glass of wine: £4-16


Anthracite Kings Cross Bars

As a hotel bar in King’s Cross, the caveat here is that you might find yourself with a couple of businessmen for company.

But sometimes, it’s a good idea to follow suit.

Especially when they lead you into a very dimly lit, coal-black martini lounge where you can personalise your order not just with the gin or vodka of your choice, but your vermouth, too. There are five more playful variations on the martini if you’re not too partial to the original, as well as classic cocktails (the good kind: martinez, gimlets and gibsons).

Address: Great Northern Hotel, Pancras Road, N1C 4TB | Opening hours: Weekdays from 7am-late, weekends 8am-late | Average price of a cocktail: £14


Main image: Anthracite

Liked this? We’ve written a guide to the Best Bars In Shoreditch too. 

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