Kings Cross and Euston regularly fall off my list as places to eat, drink & explore. I tend to think of them as places for commuting in and out of. Forgetting about all the cool & wonderful places surrounding both stations.
From markets and coffee shops, to roof terraces and cool pubs, or exhibitions and outside spaces for the sunnier weather, there really is so much to do. There’s even plenty of hotels near King’s Cross too. So if you’re visiting the big city for a night or two, rather than just heading out for the day, there are some fab options in the area to stay.
Alex and I spent this weekend exploring the area. Along with some of our all-time-fave spots, here’s our round-up of where you need to eat, drink, relax and explore in Kings Cross/Euston…
Things To Do
Whether you’re a fan of exhibitions and the more cultural side of exploring, a little more active, or a shopping addict, there’s plenty for everyone.
The British Library sits between both stations. It’s the largest library in the world, with regards to number of catalogued items, and runs a number of exhibitions throughout the year. The Wellcome Collection, is another in the area – closer to Euston Square than Euston. A free exhibition which aims to connect science, medicine, life and art, it showcases a number of medicinal antiquities collated by Henry Wellcome. The collection is really interesting, even to those not with a huge medical interest. I loved the notes to and from the tooth fairy, and a few of the more arty numbers.
If you’re not an exhibition fan, you could go shopping in Pancras Square (home to a HUGE & Other Stories). Or explore the Canopy Market which takes place every week just off Granary Square. Just follow the signs.
There’s also the iconic grass steps on the side of the canal, perfect for chilling in the sunshine. The canal makes for a beautiful walk or cycle too!
For caffeine fanatics, there’s a Notes in the area which does great coffee. There’s also a YumChaa which has a HUGE selection of herbal teas and the most delicious homemade cakes. Both reasonably priced. Whilst I’d highly recommend Caravan for coffee too, I’d say you’re better off saving that one for brunch too or you’ll be sure to suffer from food envy.
Pubs & Craft Beer
There are even more options for beer, wine and cocktails, including plenty of rooftop and outside spots for the summer. Euston Tap is a fab spot for beer. The menu features a range of locally brewed beers, ales and ciders, which can be ordered as a pint or half. You order your number, which is poured from the taps at the back on the wall. At roughly £5 for a pint, it’s really not bad for a prime spot right next to the station.
A beer stand can be found at the Canopy Market too, run by Big Hug Brewing, also selling local brews. The Hammerton Lager was delicious and refreshing. Again only £5 a pint, it’s a great spot to enjoy in the sun.
If you’re thinking about watching the World Cup this year, there are a number of bars/pubs showing the games. We popped into The Rocket to watch the England v Nigeria friendly (Alex is half Nigerian), which is a Fullers pub. It’s not classy, but it did the job with big screens and cheap drinks.
Wine & Cocktails
More into wine or cocktails? There’s a Simmons Bar close by too, not far from Kings Cross. We had a fab night partying away for a friend’s birthday in the downstairs area. They have retro games consoles, cocktails in teapots, reasonably priced bottles of wine and some pretty great tunes.
This by no means is the be all and end all. There’s still a number of rooftop spots I’m dying to try including The Lighterman and Rotunda.
Dishoom is by far our fave. With bacon naans, masala beans, chilli cheese toast and spicy omelettes, it’s pretty heavenly. It’s also really good value for money too!
Caravan is also a great spot for brunch. The menu is pretty creative and different, and the dishes taste fantastic. A little more pricey than Dishoom, but worth it.
I also finally tried the famous ricotta hotcakes in Granger & Co last week. They’re pretty dense, not as sweet as I thought they might be. But delicious with the creamy honeycomb butter, fresh banana & maple syrup. I did have a little food envy over the sweetcorn fritters though too. The service was pretty shocking however. There were long waits, not very attentive staff and wrong dishes were being delivered and taken away from tables all around us. Whilst price-wise it’s at the same level as Caravan, I’d rather spend the money where you get the service as well as the delicious food.
Lunch only really happens for me in the week. At weekends I tend to brunch instead, or have two breakfasts. Because breakfast is the best meal of the day right?
If you are looking for something more lunch-like, the Canopy Market is a great place to go. You can find smaller snacks like quiches, tarts and breads, through to larger bites to eat like pregos (steak sandwiches), cheese toasties or korean fried chicken.
The Chili Prego from Growlers had a fab kick to it and was super saucy. The steak was really flavoursome, but very chewy inside a delicious ciabatta style roll. At £8.50 it’s more expensive than a sandwich, but on par with most street food.
I tried a Goats Cheese, Tomato and Basil Tart from Popina Bakery. With focaccia instead of pastry, it was moist, cheesy, and totally moreish. At £3.50, it’s a cheap option and so tasty!
Dishoom is one for all-day too, although more pricey after breakfast. Whilst I haven’t written a full review, I have been a couple of times, and it’s always a winner. Make sure you always get a House Black Daal!
For authentic Malaysian cuisine, there’s Roti King. It’s often got a long queue, but for good reason. The Roti Canai is delicious! Take someone with you who’s willing to share and order a number of dishes to try. Roti King is on the cheaper end of the scale too, so great if you’re on a budget.
This one’s for the meat eaters. Last weekend we also tried Cattle & Co. which can be found between the two stations, close to the main road. Alex was drawn in, being a serious meat eater himself, and with a variety of options on the menu I couldn’t say no. Full review coming soon, but the Cajun Tuna Steak is a must try!
There are cocktails too, some of the signature ones given cow related names which made me giggle. The Calf-eine, a Cattle & Co. Espresso Martini, was potent yet delicious. Priced mid-range, it was just under £60 for two (mains, cocktails & starter to share).
If you’re looking for something a little more on-the-go, there’s Five Guys which does fab burgers (Go ‘All in’ on the toppings!). Pizza Union is a fab spot for pizza too – fast service, cheap pizza & super tasty! I’ve been a few times after drinks!
- Things to do: Plenty. From cultural to outdoors-y, there’s lots to do and see in the area, including free exhibitions too!
- Drinks: Some great watering holes. Whether you’re a caffeine fiend or after something a little stronger, there’s lots of places to try. Euston Tap is a must-visit for craft beer lovers.
- Food: Whether you’re after brunch, lunch, street food or dinner, there’s something for everyone and all budgets. Dishoom is great for anytime of day!
- Overall: Kings Cross and Euston is not just for commuting in and out of. It’s a fab area to explore, with all sorts to do. Don’t leave the area off your list if you’re exploring London this summer.
What’s your favourite area of London? Where should I explore next?
*This post is in collaboration with Hotels.com. All views my own.