The best restaurants in King's Cross
King's Cross has seen a revitalisation in recent years, with sprawling nightclubs making way for some of the city's best restaurants. We round up our pick of the best places to eat in the area.
Ah, King's Cross . Home to one of the busiest stations in London, this central area of London has long been one of the city's major transport hubs and can often be found packed to the brim with an overwhelming number of people that are too busy to think about anything apart from their Oyster card – let alone think about eating an oyster .
While King's Cross is, for many, nothing more than a brief pit-stop on a journey to somewhere else, we'd actually recommend testing out the area as your end destination. Yes, contrary to popular belief, there's actually more to see and do in King's Cross than, er, leave it. Our go-to way of exploring a part of the capital that might be unfamiliar to us is always through the restaurants and cafés that are doing their best to feed locals and visitors alike. We'd recommend you use that approach with this guide to where to eat in King's Cross.
From excellent Indian food at Dishoom and Thenga Cafe to some of the best cheung fun in London in the form of the superlative Dim Sum and Duck, King's Cross has got a little bit for everyone. And a hell of a lot for you to enjoy no matter what your budget may be. Fancy getting your chops around an excellent sandwich before you head back home? Sons + Daughters will sort you right out, and offers a far more exciting lunch break than Pret.
Presented in no particular order, here's our guide to the best places to eat in King's Cross. If you've got any qualms with it – or feel we've missed out your favourite spot – let us know.
The best restaurants in King's Cross
Sons + Daughters
Unit 119a Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ
Another sandwich concept from a successful restaurant duo, Sons + Daughters is the creation of Sam Herlihy and James Ramsden. Having previously experienced great success with Pidgin, Herlihy and Ramsden's fast casual restaurant is a great place to grab a quick lunch that'll have you full throughout the day. No, really – the sangers here are proper two-handers, filled with everything from egg and truffle to pert and spicy merguez sausages. The proper allure of S+D is the fact that, even after coming once, you'll need to come back at least three more times to make sure you've had a proper go at all of the sandwiches. Priced at roughly £9 a pop they're not particularly cheap, and roughly three times as expensive as your regular Sainos meal deal, but they're about a hundred times better. Make of that what you will, and don't forget to grab yourself a soft-serve ice cream on your way out the door.
7 Lewis Cubitt Walk, N1C 4DT
This new branch of the Middle Eastern Borough Market mainstay, the King's Cross Arabica has all the trappings of a great neighbourhood restaurant. Attentive staff, a large menu and a laid-back atmosphere make up the brunt of the restaurant's broad appeal that'll have you want to come back again and again until they can't help but recognise you every time you walk through the door. Yeah, they might think: "Oh God, here they come to eat us out of house and home for the fifth time this week" but hey: at least they recognise you. Essential picks on the Arabica menu include the falafel, hummus, and moutabel but it's honestly hard to go wrong with anything from the joint's mezze selection. Freshly baked pita breads are recommended accompaniments to every plate. If you're looking to get your daily intake of za'atar in one meal, Arabica is where to eat in King's Cross.
20 Stable Street, N1C 4DR
The third outpost from the dinky little deli on Soho’s Brewer Street, the King's Cross Lina Stores is something of a rapid growth for the burgeoning Italian collective. A behemoth of a space, it supersizes the Soho charm of its initial restaurant to cater for the neverending crowds that seem to throng through King's Cross. While the chic space, decorated in the brand’s iconic mint green, serves as catnip for the discerning diner, it is the food that keeps people coming back: plates of plump, juicy king prawns, golden little nuggets of pork cheek croquettes and plate after plate of silky pasta, laden with sauces that range from the classic to the modern and inventive.
2 Bagley Walk, N1C 4PQ
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Much like many of the spaces in King's Cross, the Coal Office team decided that bigger was certainly better when developing this all-day drinking and dining spot. Designed by Tom Dixon, the space is all moody tones and large, globular pendant lights that emanate a warming glow around a space that seems otherwise designed for a dark, sultry feel. Food comes from chef Assaf Granit, the man who was partly responsible for cult favourite spots The Palomar and Barbary, so expect a menu of heavy-hitting Middle Eastern classics filled with bold flavours and beautiful ingredients.
Dim Sum and Duck
124 King's Cross Rd, WC1X 9DS
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This under the radar Chinese restaurant had something of a fairytale moment in May 2021 when Marina O’Loughlin gave them a glowing review in The Guardian. Suddenly, their phone was ringing off the hook, queues were spreading around the corner and they had to stop taking reservations. It was not undeserved praise, in fact, quite the opposite. And so that is why the hour-long queues remained, and the fervour grew and Dim Sum and Duck quickly became one of London’s favourite restaurants. Expect to feast on slippery, chopstick-defiant cheung fun, steaming, soup-packed xiaolongbao and, unsurprisingly, crispy plates of glistening roast duck.
5 Stable Street, N1C 4AB
It's rare that we're ever stopped in our tracks by a restaurant's so-called "allure" or "drawing power". Generally speaking, we often go out to eat with a plan already in mind and there's not many things that are capable of relenting our pace when we're on the hunt for a good meal. The queue that you'll see outside of Dishoom in King's Cross is, however, one of those rare phenomena. Snaking its way outside of the restaurant and around the corner like a fat and happy anaconda, that baying crowd of hungry customers is capable of making us forget all about whatever dinner plans we might have had in place and enticing us into that scrum of people like the sheep we are. The secret to Dishoom's King's Cross queue is also painfully simple: the food is really, really good. Grabbing a black dhal here is a dining experience that doesn't just live up to the hype, but surpasses it in just about every way. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. For more seriously sexy curries just a stone's throw from your digs, read Foodism's guide to the best Indian restaurants in London .
120 Cromer Street, WC1H 8BS
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Located at the local YMCA, Thenga Cafe is a warm and inviting Indian café that specialises in vegan and vegetarian cooking. The daily set meals are one of London's most affordable eats: a thali platter that can be found bristling with portions of simmering dhal and crisp bhajis that'll give any high-end restaurant a run for its money. Literally. The set meal only costs £5.95. Want an affordable lunch? The Thenga Cafe is where to eat in King's Cross. And if you're looking for somewhere to dine that'll also leave a smile on your face and comforting food in your stomach, Thenga Cafe is the restaurant for the job. As for dessert, an array of freshly baked cakes and energy balls are far too tempting not to take back to the office with you. Sharing those treats with Sandy in the cubicle next to yours, though? That's a step too far.
47-51 Caledonian Road, N1 9BU
No reservations and a £11 steak: that's Flat Iron's gimmick. And, we've got to admit, it's a bloody good one. A glass of wine and a hunk of medium rare chargrilled meat with a side order of dripping cooked chips? It's hard to say no and there's a reason that Flat Iron has seen such a rapid expansion throughout the capital. It's got a concept that works, a loyal clientele, and an end-product that delivers the goods time after time. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a Flat Iron.
Beer + Burger
1 York Way, N1C 4AS
Beer + Burger is probably the best burger chain in London that you've never been to. Despite boasting four sites across the city (Dalston, The O2, and Willesden Green sites make up the rest of the roster), it seems like Beer + Burger is perennially slept on. Which is odd considering that beers and burgers – two things that Beer + Burger do unsurprisingly well – aren't exactly under the radar items of food and drink. Beers from the likes of Northern Monk, Two Tribes, Cloudwater and more can be found on the regularly changing tap list. Pair a cold pint of any of those with a double cheeseburger so good it'll have you swearing off Whoppers for life, and you'll be set for a meal to remember. If you are going to share your love of Beer + Burger with someone you care about, you also might as well do it on the last Tuesday of the month – a day that B+B brands "Best Friend Tuesday". The gist of "Best Friend Tuesday" is simple: if you bring a friend with you, they get their burger completely free. Grand.
Unit 3, 4 Pancras Square, N1C 4AG
Hoppers has been slapping us in the face with the bright flavours of Sri Lankan cooking long before they became a thing, and we loved it so much it became very hard to get a table. So good news, then, that last year it opened a larger restaurant in King's Cross, giving us a better chance of slinging swimmer crab kari, pulled mutton shoulder rotis and those famous egg hoppers down our gullet. The King's Cross branch is inspired by the stretch of Sri Lankan coast from the capital city Colombo, down to former colonial fort town Galle, so think plenty of seafood and alongside Hoppers' signature roasted beef marrow.
10 Argyle Street, WC1H 8EG
Having already experienced certifiable success with his restaurants Casa Mia and Poco Tapas in Bristol, chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias's latest venture at The Standard hotel is just as gert lush as his last. Not only is the food beautiful (get your peepers on the caviar-topped Spanish tortilla for a lesson in how to make the most extra dish going), but the space that the restaurant occupies is just as impressive. Plates are predominantly Spanish though do bear some nods to Mexican cuisine through dedicated aguechile and taco sections of the menu. Decimo, like its name suggests, is a real 10/10.
Casa & Plaza Pastor
Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ
Is including two restaurants in one entry cheating? Well, we make the rules over here. So, no. No, it's not. The reason we've included both of these restaurants isn't that they're not both worth visiting in their own right, but rather that they share so much of the same DNA that it just made sense to talk about them both at the same time. As the big sister of Borough's El Pastor and Bermondsey's Tortilleria El Pastor, Casa Pastor offers an expanded Mexican menu along with Californian-style fare and a big, sexy tequila-slinging central bar. If you've ever scoffed a taco at El Pastor and thought: "this is great, but I'd like it to be a bit bigger and brasher", then Casa Pastor is the restaurant for you. Not just good at the big but the small, too, CP makes its tortillas in-house on the daily out of Mexican heritage corn. Plaza Pastor, on the other hand, is the name given to the buzzy terrace outside Casa Pastor – a drinks-led casual eatery with rotisserie chicken, tortas, tacos and a live music programme. Both great. For more of Foodism's favourite Mexican restaurants in London , simply click the link.
Stable Street, N1C 4AB
In the need of a personal life pick-me-up? Want to find somewhere to take yourself for a romantic solo meal when you're feeling a little down in the dumps? There's not many places we'd recommend more heartily than Coal Drops Yard and, in particular, the swanky Barrafina that now calls that development home. The fourth – and largest – Barrafina of them all, it's here you can get your fill of golden brown tortillas, unctuous chargrilled sweetbreads, and lovely, lacy slices of jamón Ibérico. Sit at the bar with a selection of tapas and a carafe of El Muro Blanco to watch a never-ending parade of immaculately dressed UAL students go by.
1 Granary Square, N1C 4AA
Housed within a Grade-II listed Victorian grain store, Caravan is an ideal spot to do some good eating and drinking over the course of an entire day. Vibe it out with a freshly roasted cup of coffee in front of the open kitchen and you'll soon come to the conclusion that you never actually want to leave. So, don't. Breakfast with a stack of buttermilk vanilla hotcakes, lunch with a split pea dahl, and dinner with a crisp and addictive Dingley dell pork schnitzel served with a fluorescent fried duck egg. Yep, Caravan is one of those crowd-pleasing spots where it's actively difficult to have a bad meal. We mean, you'd have had to be trying really, really hard to sabotage your own dining experience if so. And nobody wants you doing that now, do they?
Granger & Co
1 Stanley Building, N1C 4AG
In the market for a bonzer breakfast after a hellish journey into King's Cross? Located right next to the station, Aussie import Granger & Co does a fantastic job at starting your day off on the right foot. Yes, the 'fresh squeezed juice x açaí bowl x bircher muesli' vibe might be a bit much if you've just got off a long ass train journey that morning, but trust us that the dishes are all good enough to make you forget the concept of exhaustion even exists. Scrambled eggs and St John's sourdough toast put all other iterations of eggs on toast to shame – eggs whipped to such a fluffy, soft and creamy frenzy that they melt in your mouth and toast that has just the right amount of give and chew to make you feel like you've worked for your breakfast.
Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4PW
We know that the whole point of going out to eat is getting someone else to make your meal for you (and do it a damn sight better than you ever could) but cooking your own food when you're eating out can actually be a lot more fun than it sounds. Just make sure you do it at a place like Parillan when the weather's good. The tabletop-grill concept at this restaurant means you can choose from a selection of meat, seafood and vegetables that you can grill on your own bespoke parrilla to your heart's content. It's a lot of fun and can be a great way to get your entire group more involved in the overall dining experience. That being said, overcook a tender Isle of Mull Scallop into an incinerated oblivion and you've only got yourself to blame. It's high-risk, high-reward eating.
10 Argyle Street, WC1H 8EG
Restaurants in hotels can often be fairly hit or miss. And by that we mean that they're often sterile, monumental misses: Godless, timeless, nether zones where stony faced guests float in and out of breakfast buffet queues in endless procession. Thankfully, Isla at The Standard is one of the rare hits. For one, the laid-back restaurant very much speaks the language of the London dining scene by offering a seasonal menu with a predominantly low-intervention wine list. It's the sort of spot that, at first, seems far too cool and intimidating for you to approach at the bar but actually turns out to be super down-to-earth once you get to know it. Basically, Isla's near perfect, and it's hard not to become enamoured by it as it gently spills itself out into The Standard's lovely garden terrace. Order the fuzi.