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Three prawn and water chestnut dumplings topped with green ringlets of chive, in a bamboo steam basket, shot from above James Hansen/Eater London

Where to Eat Near King’s Cross Station

Two outstanding Ethiopian restaurants, serious sandwiches, one of London’s best croissants, a hidden gem for Indian cuisine, and more

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It’s important to know where to eat near one of London’s busiest stations and biggest libraries — The British — especially as disappointing chains lie in wait to catch unsuspecting travellers. Find reliable, superb sustenance at all of King’s Cross’ best restaurants, listed below.

London’s restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bars reopened for indoor service from 17 May, with the rule of six in place. Customers can check with individual venues to determine their availability and Covid-secure measures before deciding to visit.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Lina Stores King's Cross

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20 Stable St, Kings Cross
London N1C 4DR, UK

Lina Stores’ transition from storied Soho deli with diminutive satellite restaurant into storied Soho deli with diminutive satellite restaurant and mega-pastaplex in King’s Cross hasn’t been the smoothest, but things look to have settled. The melding of deli and restaurant is to its credit in an area beset by overpriced sandwiches (no, not those ones, and not those ones either) with superlative panini and simple takeaway pastas, while the ravioli di zucca, pici alla norcina, and anchovy brioche are the best orders come dinner.

Lina Stores in Soho is one of the best places in London to eat pasta Lina Stores [Official Photo]

2. Merkato Restaurant London

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196 Caledonian Rd, Barnsbury Estate
London N1 0SQ, UK

Calling Merkato a restaurant is maybe a disservice to its vibe, so low-key and relaxed that diners could easily sink into it like injera into kitfo, a heady, melting pile of chopped raw beef in warm butter and mitmita, a spice blend of bird’s eye chillis, salt, and spices normally including Ethiopian cardamom and clove. First-timers should take a look at the fifty-fifty — which pairs hot or mild lamb, aggressively fried, with any of the textbook vegetarian dishes.

Best east African restaurants in London: Merkato on Caledonian Road Merkato [Official Photo]

3. Le Café Alain Ducasse

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Stable St, Kings Cross
London N1C 4DQ, UK

Alain Ducasse’s entry into Britain’s cafe culture was probably a ruder awakening than the man is used to, with screams of “blue murder,” “extortion,” and “£15 coffee?!?!?!?!?!?” filling the online air after his Coal Drops Yard cafe priced a high-cost product with the appropriate margin and everyone lost their minds. It’s probably fair to say that a chunk of the price is more brand Ducasse than laudable producer dedication, but it’s still emphasising specialness with the attitude of a restaurant or wine bar at prices to match, so be aware before going in that we’re not in Starbucks anymore. Espressos and filters are brewed impeccably, while considered descriptions — “like hot tea,” “like whisky” — for innovative serves on the London market prove that treating coffee as a high-end experience needn’t be a tedious curio.

A filter coffee and madeleine at Alain Ducasse Coal Drops Yard Cafe Alain Ducasse [Official Photo]

4. Dishoom King's Cross

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5 Stable St, Kings Cross
London N1C 4AB, UK

It’s beloved chain Dishoom, inspired by Mumbai’s Irani cafes. Get the bacon naan. Get the vada pav. Get the keema pav. Get the chef’s special — the part which is unique to King’s Cross — of lamb nihari.

Best bacon sandwiches in London: Bacon naan at Dishoom Dishoom [Official Photo]

5. Beer and Burger Store King’s Cross

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1 York Way, Kings Cross
London N1C 4AS, UK

King’s Cross is a railway station; people are hungry when they get off trains; people are susceptible to nominative determinist clarity when they are hungry. Enter Beer and Burger Store, which serves very good burgers and very good beers and decent chips and sees no reason to shout about anything else. It’s smashburgers here, with a monthly guest — currently a sloppy Joe vibe — and something called goop sauce which mercifully has nothing to do with Gwyneth Paltrow.

A burger and chips on top of a wooden bar Beer and Burger [Official Photo]

6. Caravan Granary Square

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1 Granary Square, Kings Cross
London N1C 4AA, UK

A redoubtable bastion of all-day dining, Caravan King’s Cross is here because it’s around for every meal of the day, does them all pretty well, and is a balm against paying over the odds for bad breakfast before a long train journey and consequently ruining it entirely. The cavernous space is a din of egg yolks and flat whites on weekends, but weekdays are better with fried jalapeño cornbread, jamon croquettes, and a pork schnitzel with fried egg (yes ok) and dill mustard cream. Its drink game has also improved, with a zippy range of kefirs alongside the consistent coffee. Open for delivery.

Speciality coffee at Caravan, one of London’s most successful cafes. McDonalds wants to roll out barista coffee having lampooned it for two years Caravan Restaurants [Official Photo]

7. The Drop Wine Bar

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Unit 22-24 Bagley Walk Arches Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross
London N1C 4DH, UK

The Harts’ crop of restaurants yawns over Coal Drops Yard like an arriving commuter, but given Spanish star Barrafina and its Pastor Mexican restaurants exist elsewhere, The Drop gets the pick as both a reliable after-work drinking spot and a wine bar whose menu edges it into “worth the trip” territory. All the cheese meat olives and that are decent, but head for Karan Ghosh’s beef and marmite mayonnaise toast, roast potatoes, and rabbit pie to go with a glass.

Grilled squid, charcuterie, cheese, and salad with white wine in glasses on a wooden table
A spread from The Drop, wine included
The Drop [Official Photo]

8. Sons + Daughters

Copy Link
Unit 119a Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross
London N1C 4DQ, UK

James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy’s Pidgin is one of the most peripatetic restaurants in the city, so it’s fitting that their sandwich shop at the top of Coal Drops Yard hops from a prawn sandwich with prawn crackers, jalapeño, and pickled ginger, to a miso egg mayonnaise with truffle crisps, to a mortadella and taleggio number set off by a careful whisper of Thai basil. The golden arches besting breakfast muffin is also worth a look.

One of London’s best sandwiches, the miso egg mayonnaise at Sons and Daughters Sons and Daughters [Official Photo]

9. Coal Office Restaurant

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2 Bagley Walk, Kings Cross
London N1C 4PQ, UK

Coal Office refers to itself as a “food and design playground,” which is obnoxious, but please try to get past it for the sake of the food part. The attitude comes across in some titles too — pizza from the past; beef fillet of Gallillee; Jericho’s lamb chops — but the dishes themselves put its wry playfulness to good use, strewing shawarma over bone marrow, blackening aubergines to pitch and baking kubala, manakish, and pretzel to be dolloped with the cargo from “A plate for the brave” — various heats of chilli, and chrain.

Chef Assaf Granit behind the pass at Coal Office Restaurant Coal Office [Official Photo]

10. Kaki

Copy Link
125 Caledonian Rd
London N1 9RG, UK

Kaki enters into London’s noble blackboard menu tradition with a new range of specials, recent stand-outs bringing braised pork in oolong and soy to this canalside, Caledonian Road-side looker. Classically Sichuan dishes are the move on the main menu, and this is a place to bring a group, jumping in and out of dishes like the frogs whose legs are now on the table. If wishing to impress fellow diners or just look like a fool absolute boss, order the 800g — 1 kilogram seabass, which arrives colossal in a metal tray brimming with chilli oil and Sichuan peppercorn.

Sichuan specialities at Sichuan Chinese restaurant Kaki on Caledonian Road, London, one of the hottest restaurants in London right now Seauy7/Instagram

11. Hoppers King's Cross

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Unit 3, 4 Pancras Square, Kings Cross
London N1C 4AG, UK

Hoppers’ third iteration departs from its Marylebone and Soho siblings with a focus on Sri Lankan’s coastal cooking and environment, retaining hits from its other menus — Jaffna lamb chops, bone marrow varuval — and adding prawns grilled until sticky scarlet with black pepper and curry leaf, and a kari of blue swimmer crab. Its success has also been predicated on a creditable drinks menu, and this continues with green papaya highballs, sour swizzles, and and witty punches, like a “Mangrove Dream” made with vermouth, gin, lemongrass and tamarind.

Best restaurants in Soho, London: Sri Lankan food at Hoppers Hoppers [Official Photo]

12. Addis

Copy Link
40-42 Caledonian Rd, Islington
London N1 9DT, UK

Addis, resident for 19 years on Caledonian Road, is more self-consciously transportive than near neighbour Merkato, with a slightly greater focus on meat dishes rewarded with tibs, lamb, chillis and onions blasted with heat until fused; kitfo prepared three ways — raw, medium, or well done for cowards — and a neat example of seneg kariya, chilli peppers as long as fingers stuffed with onions and peppers and blistered till ready to prise open.

Best east African restaurants in London: Addis on Caledonian Road

13. Supawan Thai Food

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38 Caledonian Rd, Kings Cross
London N1 9DT, UK

Biting into peek gai yud sai, fried chicken wings standing as proud as rabbits’ ears and stuffed with aggressively seasoned minced chicken, prawn, mushrooms, and glass noodles round the corner from King’s Cross feels like a small victory. Perhaps no more violence has been done to Thai cuisine and forced upon Thai restaurateurs in the name of appeasing “local taste” than any other cuisine in London, and Supawan’s enthusiastically friendly staff, homey vibe and uncompromising menu feels like a corrective.

Stuffed chicken wings at Supawan in King’s Cross Supawan/Instagram

14. Q's Kitchen

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12 Caledonian Rd
London N1 9DU, UK

Walking into Q’s Kitchen chicken shop and ordering chicken and chips would be like telling an in-demand football manager that their club hadn’t broken any financial regulations when they had. A grave and embarrassing mistake soon to be revealed in the press. The correct procedure is to walk past the staff at a well-known locally headquartered newspaper and look to the right hand side of the counter, where a small blackboard might promise biryani, beef paya glistening with molten marrow, and rarely — very rarely — chapli kebabs. Possibly the best-value lunch in the area.

Beef paya at Q’s Kitchen King’s Cross George Reynolds

15. Bar Pepito

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3 Pentonville Rd, Kings Cross
London N1 9DF, UK

The black sheep in the Camino group whose Spanish-ish outlets pop up over the city, in that it’s actually good, Pepito is a sherry bar first and a cured meat, cheese and tapas slinger second, in a cute, neatly tiled space lined with bottles like books in a library. Get a flight if feeling flush, or just go for a bone dry manzanilla that tastes like raisins on a windswept beach.

16. Pizza Union

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246-250 Pentonville Rd
London N1 9JY, UK

A margherita at Pizza Union costs £3.95, will arrive in roughly 10 minutes, and it’s a properly decent, Roman-style assembly of sweet, garlic-raspy tomato, fragrant basil, and admittedly uncomplicated crust. There are pots of olives and marinated garlic, a nutella pizza dessert, and more interesting pizzas — yes, ‘nduja is here, relax — with fridges full of grab-your-own beers. Fast, casual, good: everything a near-station restaurant needs to be. Open for takeaway.

Four Roman-style pizzas on a wooden table with cutlery and salt and pepper shakers Pizza Union/Deliveroo

17. Itadaki Zen

Copy Link
139 King's Cross Rd
London WC1X 9BJ, UK

Serene, light wood lures diners off the horn-honking King’s Cross Road for bowls of miso soup, baskets of gossamer tempura, and deep bowls of writhing udon in broth, of which the kitsune, with its bobbing dinghy of tofu, is a stand-out. All vegan, no shouting about it, all-round excellent.

Udon at Itadaki Zen King’s Cross Anna Sulan Masing/Eater London

18. Aux Pains de Papy

Copy Link
279 Grays Inn Rd
London WC1X 8QF, UK

Butter is at the heart of a croissant. Aux Pains de Papy founder Mathieu Esposito knows this, and the croissants at this très Français bakery on Grays Inn Road are the most faithful to France’s high bottom level for pastry and consequently one of the best in London. Honeycomb layers, a properly burnished exterior, and butter, so much butter. Best enjoyed warm on a mad dash down the road, with pains aux chocolats, croissants amandes, and a noble Paris Brest also worth a look.

The brown frontage and awning of Aux Pains de Papy bakery in King’s Cross King’s Cross Environment

19. Decimo @ The Standard London

Copy Link
10 Argyle St, Kings Cross
London WC1H 8EG, UK

Blow-out territory. Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ rooftop looker at the area’s coolest hotel is the best of London’s newest nu-hotel restaurants, combining the city’s critics’ current obsession with “FuN ReStAuRanTs,” decent-to-excellent Spanish and Mexican dishes, and the kind of prices that are prohibitive to having a normal one and must lead to “having a normal one” instead. The tortilla with caviar is pretty but no-one in recorded history has ever eaten it, so rely on the deep-water shrimp on ice, mangalitza pork, and mushroom “bomba rice” instead.

Spanish potato tortilla with caviar, on a red tile background at Decimo restaurant at The Standard London Charlie McKay/The Standard London

20. Dim Sum Duck | 点都得

Copy Link
124 King's Cross Rd
London WC1X 9DS, UK

Nominative determinism is an underrated quality when it comes to naming restaurants, but this turquoise shopfront on King’s Cross Road goes all in. Certain details are a little mysterious — an intrepid visitor of premises license registers and company filings might deduce a connection to the famed Royal China Club — but the clarity of the prawn and chive dumplings, the soupiness of the xiaolongbao, and the slipperiness of the cheung fun are all undeniable.

Three prawn and water chestnut dumplings topped with green ringlets of chive, in a bamboo steam basket, shot from above James Hansen/Eater London

21. Cafe Bao

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Unit 2, Building, 4 Pancras Square
London N1C 4AG, UK

If Netil Market is the OG, Soho is the hypebeast, Fitzrovia is for the development nerds, and Borough Market was inevitable, then Cafe Bao finds the group on its most stylised form in King’s Cross, with a menu that pays tribute to yoshoku cuisine while kind of thumbing its nose at it with a 1970s vibe. An explosive Taiwanese “chicken Kiev”; a ham hock congee pie; a banoffee sundae — these all run deep on comfort but in an ironised fashion that only Bao can really pull off in such a spotlight.

A ham hock pie, filling encased by golden pastry, in a large white pie dish, with a chilli oil dip and spring onion garnish in small ceramic dishes, also white, to its left-hand side. The vibe is very 1970s. Cafe Bao [Official Photo]

1. Lina Stores King's Cross

20 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4DR, UK
Lina Stores in Soho is one of the best places in London to eat pasta Lina Stores [Official Photo]

Lina Stores’ transition from storied Soho deli with diminutive satellite restaurant into storied Soho deli with diminutive satellite restaurant and mega-pastaplex in King’s Cross hasn’t been the smoothest, but things look to have settled. The melding of deli and restaurant is to its credit in an area beset by overpriced sandwiches (no, not those ones, and not those ones either) with superlative panini and simple takeaway pastas, while the ravioli di zucca, pici alla norcina, and anchovy brioche are the best orders come dinner.

20 Stable St, Kings Cross
London N1C 4DR, UK

2. Merkato Restaurant London

196 Caledonian Rd, Barnsbury Estate, London N1 0SQ, UK
Best east African restaurants in London: Merkato on Caledonian Road Merkato [Official Photo]

Calling Merkato a restaurant is maybe a disservice to its vibe, so low-key and relaxed that diners could easily sink into it like injera into kitfo, a heady, melting pile of chopped raw beef in warm butter and mitmita, a spice blend of bird’s eye chillis, salt, and spices normally including Ethiopian cardamom and clove. First-timers should take a look at the fifty-fifty — which pairs hot or mild lamb, aggressively fried, with any of the textbook vegetarian dishes.

196 Caledonian Rd, Barnsbury Estate
London N1 0SQ, UK

3. Le Café Alain Ducasse

Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4DQ, UK
A filter coffee and madeleine at Alain Ducasse Coal Drops Yard Cafe Alain Ducasse [Official Photo]

Alain Ducasse’s entry into Britain’s cafe culture was probably a ruder awakening than the man is used to, with screams of “blue murder,” “extortion,” and “£15 coffee?!?!?!?!?!?” filling the online air after his Coal Drops Yard cafe priced a high-cost product with the appropriate margin and everyone lost their minds. It’s probably fair to say that a chunk of the price is more brand Ducasse than laudable producer dedication, but it’s still emphasising specialness with the attitude of a restaurant or wine bar at prices to match, so be aware before going in that we’re not in Starbucks anymore. Espressos and filters are brewed impeccably, while considered descriptions — “like hot tea,” “like whisky” — for innovative serves on the London market prove that treating coffee as a high-end experience needn’t be a tedious curio.

Stable St, Kings Cross
London N1C 4DQ, UK

4. Dishoom King's Cross

5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB, UK
Best bacon sandwiches in London: Bacon naan at Dishoom Dishoom [Official Photo]

It’s beloved chain Dishoom, inspired by Mumbai’s Irani cafes. Get the bacon naan. Get the vada pav. Get the keema pav. Get the chef’s special — the part which is unique to King’s Cross — of lamb nihari.

5 Stable St, Kings Cross
London N1C 4AB, UK

5. Beer and Burger Store King’s Cross

1 York Way, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AS, UK
A burger and chips on top of a wooden bar Beer and Burger [Official Photo]

King’s Cross is a railway station; people are hungry when they get off trains; people are susceptible to nominative determinist clarity when they are hungry. Enter Beer and Burger Store, which serves very good burgers and very good beers and decent chips and sees no reason to shout about anything else. It’s smashburgers here, with a monthly guest — currently a sloppy Joe vibe — and something called goop sauce which mercifully has nothing to do with Gwyneth Paltrow.

1 York Way, Kings Cross
London N1C 4AS, UK

6. Caravan Granary Square

1 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AA, UK
Speciality coffee at Caravan, one of London’s most successful cafes. McDonalds wants to roll out barista coffee having lampooned it for two years Caravan Restaurants [Official Photo]

A redoubtable bastion of all-day dining, Caravan King’s Cross is here because it’s around for every meal of the day, does them all pretty well, and is a balm against paying over the odds for bad breakfast before a long train journey and consequently ruining it entirely. The cavernous space is a din of egg yolks and flat whites on weekends, but weekdays are better with fried jalapeño cornbread, jamon croquettes, and a pork schnitzel with fried egg (yes ok) and dill mustard cream. Its drink game has also improved, with a zippy range of kefirs alongside the consistent coffee. Open for delivery.

1 Granary Square, Kings Cross
London N1C 4AA, UK

7. The Drop Wine Bar

Unit 22-24 Bagley Walk Arches Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London N1C 4DH, UK
Grilled squid, charcuterie, cheese, and salad with white wine in glasses on a wooden table
A spread from The Drop, wine included
The Drop [Official Photo]

The Harts’ crop of restaurants yawns over Coal Drops Yard like an arriving commuter, but given Spanish star Barrafina and its Pastor Mexican restaurants exist elsewhere, The Drop gets the pick as both a reliable after-work drinking spot and a wine bar whose menu edges it into “worth the trip” territory. All the cheese meat olives and that are decent, but head for Karan Ghosh’s beef and marmite mayonnaise toast, roast potatoes, and rabbit pie to go with a glass.

Unit 22-24 Bagley Walk Arches Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross
London N1C 4DH, UK

8. Sons + Daughters

Unit 119a Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London N1C 4DQ, UK
One of London’s best sandwiches, the miso egg mayonnaise at Sons and Daughters Sons and Daughters [Official Photo]

James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy’s Pidgin is one of the most peripatetic restaurants in the city, so it’s fitting that their sandwich shop at the top of Coal Drops Yard hops from a prawn sandwich with prawn crackers, jalapeño, and pickled ginger, to a miso egg mayonnaise with truffle crisps, to a mortadella and taleggio number set off by a careful whisper of Thai basil. The golden arches besting breakfast muffin is also worth a look.

Unit 119a Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross
London N1C 4DQ, UK

9. Coal Office Restaurant

2 Bagley Walk, Kings Cross, London N1C 4PQ, UK
Chef Assaf Granit behind the pass at Coal Office Restaurant Coal Office [Official Photo]

Coal Office refers to itself as a “food and design playground,” which is obnoxious, but please try to get past it for the sake of the food part. The attitude comes across in some titles too — pizza from the past; beef fillet of Gallillee; Jericho’s lamb chops — but the dishes themselves put its wry playfulness to good use, strewing shawarma over bone marrow, blackening aubergines to pitch and baking kubala, manakish, and pretzel to be dolloped with the cargo from “A plate for the brave” — various heats of chilli, and chrain.

2 Bagley Walk, Kings Cross
London N1C 4PQ, UK

10. Kaki

125 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9RG, UK
Sichuan specialities at Sichuan Chinese restaurant Kaki on Caledonian Road, London, one of the hottest restaurants in London right now Seauy7/Instagram

Kaki enters into London’s noble blackboard menu tradition with a new range of specials, recent stand-outs bringing braised pork in oolong and soy to this canalside, Caledonian Road-side looker. Classically Sichuan dishes are the move on the main menu, and this is a place to bring a group, jumping in and out of dishes like the frogs whose legs are now on the table. If wishing to impress fellow diners or just look like a fool absolute boss, order the 800g — 1 kilogram seabass, which arrives colossal in a metal tray brimming with chilli oil and Sichuan peppercorn.

125 Caledonian Rd
London N1 9RG, UK

11. Hoppers King's Cross

Unit 3, 4 Pancras Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AG, UK
Best restaurants in Soho, London: Sri Lankan food at Hoppers Hoppers [Official Photo]

Hoppers’ third iteration departs from its Marylebone and Soho siblings with a focus on Sri Lankan’s coastal cooking and environment, retaining hits from its other menus — Jaffna lamb chops, bone marrow varuval — and adding prawns grilled until sticky scarlet with black pepper and curry leaf, and a kari of blue swimmer crab. Its success has also been predicated on a creditable drinks menu, and this continues with green papaya highballs, sour swizzles, and and witty punches, like a “Mangrove Dream” made with vermouth, gin, lemongrass and tamarind.

Unit 3, 4 Pancras Square, Kings Cross
London N1C 4AG, UK

12. Addis

40-42 Caledonian Rd, Islington, London N1 9DT, UK
Best east African restaurants in London: Addis on Caledonian Road

Addis, resident for 19 years on Caledonian Road, is more self-consciously transportive than near neighbour Merkato, with a slightly greater focus on meat dishes rewarded with tibs, lamb, chillis and onions blasted with heat until fused; kitfo prepared three ways — raw, medium, or well done for cowards — and a neat example of seneg kariya, chilli peppers as long as fingers stuffed with onions and peppers and blistered till ready to prise open.

40-42 Caledonian Rd, Islington
London N1 9DT, UK

13. Supawan Thai Food

38 Caledonian Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9DT, UK
Stuffed chicken wings at Supawan in King’s Cross Supawan/Instagram

Biting into peek gai yud sai, fried chicken wings standing as proud as rabbits’ ears and stuffed with aggressively seasoned minced chicken, prawn, mushrooms, and glass noodles round the corner from King’s Cross feels like a small victory. Perhaps no more violence has been done to Thai cuisine and forced upon Thai restaurateurs in the name of appeasing “local taste” than any other cuisine in London, and Supawan’s enthusiastically friendly staff, homey vibe and uncompromising menu feels like a corrective.

38 Caledonian Rd, Kings Cross
London N1 9DT, UK

14. Q's Kitchen

12 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DU, UK
Beef paya at Q’s Kitchen King’s Cross George Reynolds

Walking into Q’s Kitchen chicken shop and ordering chicken and chips would be like telling an in-demand football manager that their club hadn’t broken any financial regulations when they had. A grave and embarrassing mistake soon to be revealed in the press. The correct procedure is to walk past the staff at a well-known locally headquartered newspaper and look to the right hand side of the counter, where a small blackboard might promise biryani, beef paya glistening with molten marrow, and rarely — very rarely — chapli kebabs. Possibly the best-value lunch in the area.

12 Caledonian Rd
London N1 9DU, UK

15. Bar Pepito

3 Pentonville Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9DF, UK

The black sheep in the Camino group whose Spanish-ish outlets pop up over the city, in that it’s actually good, Pepito is a sherry bar first and a cured meat, cheese and tapas slinger second, in a cute, neatly tiled space lined with bottles like books in a library. Get a flight if feeling flush, or just go for a bone dry manzanilla that tastes like raisins on a windswept beach.

3 Pentonville Rd, Kings Cross
London N1 9DF, UK

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16. Pizza Union

246-250 Pentonville Rd, London N1 9JY, UK
Four Roman-style pizzas on a wooden table with cutlery and salt and pepper shakers Pizza Union/Deliveroo

A margherita at Pizza Union costs £3.95, will arrive in roughly 10 minutes, and it’s a properly decent, Roman-style assembly of sweet, garlic-raspy tomato, fragrant basil, and admittedly uncomplicated crust. There are pots of olives and marinated garlic, a nutella pizza dessert, and more interesting pizzas — yes, ‘nduja is here, relax — with fridges full of grab-your-own beers. Fast, casual, good: everything a near-station restaurant needs to be. Open for takeaway.

246-250 Pentonville Rd
London N1 9JY, UK

17. Itadaki Zen

139 King's Cross Rd, London WC1X 9BJ, UK
Udon at Itadaki Zen King’s Cross Anna Sulan Masing/Eater London

Serene, light wood lures diners off the horn-honking King’s Cross Road for bowls of miso soup, baskets of gossamer tempura, and deep bowls of writhing udon in broth, of which the kitsune, with its bobbing dinghy of tofu, is a stand-out. All vegan, no shouting about it, all-round excellent.

139 King's Cross Rd
London WC1X 9BJ, UK

18. Aux Pains de Papy

279 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1X 8QF, UK
The brown frontage and awning of Aux Pains de Papy bakery in King’s Cross King’s Cross Environment

Butter is at the heart of a croissant. Aux Pains de Papy founder Mathieu Esposito knows this, and the croissants at this très Français bakery on Grays Inn Road are the most faithful to France’s high bottom level for pastry and consequently one of the best in London. Honeycomb layers, a properly burnished exterior, and butter, so much butter. Best enjoyed warm on a mad dash down the road, with pains aux chocolats, croissants amandes, and a noble Paris Brest also worth a look.

279 Grays Inn Rd
London WC1X 8QF, UK

19. Decimo @ The Standard London

10 Argyle St, Kings Cross, London WC1H 8EG, UK
Spanish potato tortilla with caviar, on a red tile background at Decimo restaurant at The Standard London Charlie McKay/The Standard London

Blow-out territory. Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ rooftop looker at the area’s coolest hotel is the best of London’s newest nu-hotel restaurants, combining the city’s critics’ current obsession with “FuN ReStAuRanTs,” decent-to-excellent Spanish and Mexican dishes, and the kind of prices that are prohibitive to having a normal one and must lead to “having a normal one” instead. The tortilla with caviar is pretty but no-one in recorded history has ever eaten it, so rely on the deep-water shrimp on ice, mangalitza pork, and mushroom “bomba rice” instead.

10 Argyle St, Kings Cross
London WC1H 8EG, UK

20. Dim Sum Duck | 点都得

124 King's Cross Rd, London WC1X 9DS, UK
Three prawn and water chestnut dumplings topped with green ringlets of chive, in a bamboo steam basket, shot from above James Hansen/Eater London

Nominative determinism is an underrated quality when it comes to naming restaurants, but this turquoise shopfront on King’s Cross Road goes all in. Certain details are a little mysterious — an intrepid visitor of premises license registers and company filings might deduce a connection to the famed Royal China Club — but the clarity of the prawn and chive dumplings, the soupiness of the xiaolongbao, and the slipperiness of the cheung fun are all undeniable.

124 King's Cross Rd
London WC1X 9DS, UK

21. Cafe Bao

Unit 2, Building, 4 Pancras Square, London N1C 4AG, UK
A ham hock pie, filling encased by golden pastry, in a large white pie dish, with a chilli oil dip and spring onion garnish in small ceramic dishes, also white, to its left-hand side. The vibe is very 1970s. Cafe Bao [Official Photo]

If Netil Market is the OG, Soho is the hypebeast, Fitzrovia is for the development nerds, and Borough Market was inevitable, then Cafe Bao finds the group on its most stylised form in King’s Cross, with a menu that pays tribute to yoshoku cuisine while kind of thumbing its nose at it with a 1970s vibe. An explosive Taiwanese “chicken Kiev”; a ham hock congee pie; a banoffee sundae — these all run deep on comfort but in an ironised fashion that only Bao can really pull off in such a spotlight.

Unit 2, Building, 4 Pancras Square
London N1C 4AG, UK

Related Maps