Originally just a busy rail hub, this north London neighbourhood is a destination in its own right, all focused around the beautifully redeveloped former train goods yards which sit alongside the Regent’s Canal. Not only is the area well served by fashion store branches, but also features independent retailers and charity shops, along with some even on the water itself. If you can drag yourself away from the shops, you’ll be full to bursting with the number of restaurants and food markets on offer. For a taste of culture, there are several established museums and some newer entrants to visit. You won’t have to go far for an evening out, with music venues, but large and small, all nearby, catering for a variety of different tastes.
So whether you’re waiting for a train, staying near King’s Cross or just passing through, here’s what you can get up to and where you can grab a bite to eat.
Where To Eat At King’s Cross Station
Yes, this London train terminus is home to that famous wizard’s secret train platform, or at least photo op location that you don’t even have to buy a ticket to visit. While you’re queuing up for that, take a minute to enjoy the sweeping, canopy-style steel ceiling that covers much of the concourse, or visit one of the many pop-up events that often take place in the station:
– Patisserie Valerie for a budget-friendly afternoon tea before you hop on your train
– Starbucks if you haven’t found another place
Where To Eat At St Pancras Station
One of the grandest train stations in the UK, St Pancras combines stunning neo-Gothic architecture with modern concrete, glass and steel, all topped off with a wide range of shopping and dining options, and lots and lots of trains, including services to mainland Europe. For the best view in the house, check out the art-deco style St Pancras Brasserie & Champagne Bar on the top level, or stay down on the V concourse to enjoy a performance at one of the public street pianos. Top spots in the station include:
– EL&N Café for an Instagram worthy welcome to the city
– Greggs for a British (vegan) sausage roll
– Searcys’ Champagne Bar for the grand views
– Fortnum & Mason if you want to raise your pinky and close off your stay with a boujee afternoon tea
Where to eat around King’s Cross & St Pancras Station
Have Breakfast Or Lunch At Granger & Co
This little spot just off King’s Boulevard between King’s Cross and St Pancras stations serves up a brunch so good, it may well be worth missing your train for. Part of an Aussie-inspired international chain, this branch’s pastel colours and massive windows really channel the sunshine, coupled with a menu high in flavour, but remarkably low in guilt. Grab a seat outside if you can for extra people-watching goodness. Yes, Granger & Co.’s walk-in only policy may mean there’s a queue, but that’s no excuse, just get a friend to wait in line while you enjoy the Birdcage swing that sits just opposite the restaurant.
If the queues are too long head to the nearby:
– German Gymnasium if you’re chasing a bit different kind of brunch
– Drake and Morgan who are serving some of the best brunches in the area
– Cafe BAO for steamed buns and delicious desserts
Where To Eat Near Granary Square
The trains and their transported goods may have long departed, but Granary Square is far from abandoned, and is now one of the busiest and most exciting open spaces in the city. You’ll be spoilt for choice between its pop-up, canal-side cinema, food markets, and countless cafes, restaurants and bars, all focused around a massive fountain featuring over a thousand water jets. Concerts and other major events also take over the square throughout the year.
Some of the best restaurants near Granary Square are:
– Dishroom is dishing up Indian platters you didn’t know you needed in your life
– Caravan for a brunch feast or take-away coffee
– Lina Stories for pasta and the IG-worthy interior
Where To Eat Near Coal Drops Yard
If one beautifully restored industrial spot isn’t enough for you, well King’s Cross has another ace up its sleeve in the form of Coal Drops Yard. Housed in former Victorian industrial warehouses, you’ll find independent boutiques, plenty of places to eat and the occasional pop-up shop or installation all hidden among the arches, just next to the canal. Stick around for its busy calendar of events, featuring live music, craft workshops and food festivals.
Where To Have A Bite At Coal Drops Yard:
– Casa Pastor if you’ve got Mexican on your mind
– Sons + Daughters if you’re on the hunt for the best coffee in the area
– Barrafina brings you the wonderful flavours of Mallorcan and Catalan inspired tapas
Other things to do in the area
Free Things To Do Near Kings Cross: The British Library
Don’t let the rather plain redbrick building put you off, this cultural powerhouse will have you reaching for a bookmark in no time. If their permanent collection showcasing two millennia of texts with everything from Shakespeare to the Beatles isn’t enough for you, the venue also hosts some of the most interesting literary and historical temporary exhibitions in the capital. If you’re feeling rather studious, explore their collection or take a study break in the quiet confines of the Reading Rooms, overlooked by possibly the largest set of books you’ll ever set your eyes on in the form of the King’s Library Tower. Finished your last chapter? Then take a break from the books and King’s Cross itself with a moment in the peaceful library courtyard
Free Things To Do Near Kings Cross: Wellcome Collection
They say you should treat your body like a temple – well this place is a temple dedicated to the body, more specifically its health. A breath of fresh air on the London museum scene, you’ll be challenged by thought-provoking temporary exhibitions dealing with subjects you’d never have imagined. On top of that there’s an intriguing permanent collection of medical artefacts amassed by the museum’s founder, Sir Henry Wellcome.
Things To Do Near Granary Square: Word On The Water
No stroll down the Regent’s Canal is complete without a stop off at Word On The Water, a secret treasure trove of pre-loved, or second-hand, books. If you’re lucky enough you can also catch one of the poetry readings or live music performances they regularly stage.