Sometimes I’m amazed at how long I’ve been living in London. What often feels like a few months has actually been eight years, and the city has changed a lot in that time. When I first arrived, there wasn’t much to do around King’s Cross, but the area has been revitalized beyond recognition. Now I find myself there all the time to meet friends or just explore. So here’s a little guide to what’s new, from the best King’s Cross restaurants, bars, and cafes to the area’s prettiest squares, secret courtyards, and colorful streets.

King's Cross Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes

King’s Cross

The revitalization of this central London neighborhood started with the completion of the refurbishment of St Pancras train station in 2007, continued with the re-opening of the stunning Gothic Revival-style hotel next door, and went on with the development of neighboring King’s Cross station and its surrounding area. It’s all happened remarkably fast.

King's Cross Station, London

And now the construction is quieting down and the neighborhood is emerging from its makeover.

Benches in King's Cross, London

From the pedestrianized stretch of King’s Boulevard to the fountains in Pancras Square and Granary Square, there’s a lot more to bring locals and visitors to the area than there once was.

Pancras Square, London

King’s Cross Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes

I’m one of the locals it brings. I find myself in the neighborhood a lot these days, whether it’s for drinks at one of the pubs or bars, or dinner with friends at one of the new restaurants in King’s Cross. I love having brunch at the outdoor tables at Caravan in Granary Square, and I’ve been looking forward to dinners at the new branches of Vinoteca and Granger & Co in Pancras Square.

Caravan King's Cross, London

Cocktails at the Booking Office Bar, one of my favorite travel-themed bars in London, are a regular occurrence, and I always love pressing the champagne button at Searcys in St Pancras Station. As for pubs, I have a special place in my heart for the riverside Canal 125, where I first met my boyfriend at an event last summer.

Bar in Kings Cross, London

When I need a break from booze, I head back to St Pancras for tea at Fortnum & Mason’s sweet little cafe in the station.

St Pancras Station, London

King’s Cross Neighborhood

But despite the abundance of good King’s Cross restaurants, bars, and cafes, eating and drinking aren’t the only things to do there. Regent’s Canal cuts through the area, and there are plenty of colorful canal boats to browse along the Grand Union Tow Path. I love walking from Granary Square up to Camden on sunny Saturdays, taking in the waterside views along the way.

Regent's Canal in King's Cross, London

And speaking of the canal, the London Canal Museum is one of London’s secret museums. Tucked away on New Wharf Road, it offers insights into the history of the city’s waterways and their vessels. Nearby, the Pangolin London gallery showcases historic and contemporary British sculpture in a sleek space on York Way.

London Canal Museum

And a little further down the street are some of my favorite parts of King’s Cross. Hidden courtyards fill the area, drawing out my curious side as I duck my head into spaces showcasing a mix of old London and new. One such courtyard is Varnishers Yard, which reveals tapas bars, restaurants, and cafes with nice outdoor areas in between.

Varnishers Yard, London

Just across Caledonian Road are streets like Keystone Crescent, which has some of the most colorful doors in London. They add welcome local and historic touches to the area, as if to remind us that despite all the new developments this is still a traditional neighborhood.

Colorful Doors in London

And thank goodness for that, because exploring different London neighborhoods has been one of my favorite things to do over the last eight years. I’m sure King’s Cross will look different in another eight, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for it.

Pancras Square, London

What are your favorite places in King’s Cross?

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King's Cross Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes

30 Comments on Lady’s Lovely Guide to King’s Cross

  1. I have to say, Kings Cross isn’t a place I visit very often but when I have been travelling through the train station, often on the way back from Nottingham, it always fills me with joy. There’s plenty of security around at all times and it’s a station that really shows itself and respects itself. Beautiful decorations and the thing I love the most… The piano at the end of the station…
    I stood and listened to one man play and he was amazing. Just that little bit of music really brings joy to people during horrible times travelling on trains!

    Love, May x

    The Little Blonde Backpacker

  2. The last time I was in London in November of 2013, I spent a lot of time in this area and now I can see that I need to visit it again. I have to say, my favorite place on that visit was the champagne bar at St. Pancras. I made two visits there during that short trip.
    I haven’t told you how much I enjoy your site. I usually read one of your posts and pull up a map of the area on another browser tab while I’m reading and follow along. I’m planning another trip to London in late September or early October and I’ve already added several places to my list because of your posts. I had never heard of the Dulwich Picture Gallery until your post and now it’s on my list of places to visit.
    My favorite thing to do when I’m in London is just walk and explore different areas so your posts fit my style perfectly. Thanks.

  3. This is an area that I am very familiar with as my office is based in Pancras Square! Another place definitely worth checking out is the German Gymnasium where you can sample typical German kaffee und kuchen during the late afternoon.

  4. Angel is also really close to King’s Cross (about a 10-15 minute walk), and it is definitely worth the trip! Lots of cool restaurants and shops!

  5. For every good memory I’ve made in King’s Cross I have another memory of a terrible job interview. So many awful companies have interviewed me round there, it’s ridiculous! 😉

  6. Thanks for this timely review of King’s Cross. We will be visiting London in May and we are staying in King’s Cross. I am excited to visit the tea room and of course the Bookings Office Bar and Searcy’s. We have 12 days and I am trying to prioritize my sightseeing excursions. Any suggestions on what is MUST SEE, perhaps the Cotswolds or Glastonbury? I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions you have. Thanks so much!!

  7. I just saw your event planning on your home page, I apologize for not looking there first. I may get in touch with you later for these services.

  8. Hi Julia,

    I was at your talk at GA yesterday and really liked it! I keep a blog and have been working with social media for a few years in Brazil (where I come from) and now I’m starting my work here in London as a brand strategist consultant for fashion and beauty markets. It’s always great to meet new people and keep up with what’s going on in the digital world! Hope to attend another talk soon! By the way, as I told in IG, your pictures are amazing! A Lady in London is now my guide to discover places that I haven’t been in the city! All the best, Mirela

  9. I would say Camley street nature park for some peace and quiet and pond dipping for the kids. I live in Kings cross so I prefer to get out of the concrete jungle whenever possible.

  10. Oh this is so useful – it can be a difficult area to know where to go! We also found an amazing vegan sushi place 5 minutes walk away from the station which is my favourite! Great post 🙂

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