Caravan King's Cross

Restaurants , Cafés King's Cross
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(38 user reviews)
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Caravan King's Cross
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Caravan King's Cross (©Rob Grieg)
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©Rob Grieg
Caravan King's Cross
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Caravan King's Cross (Rob Greig / Time Out)
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Rob Greig / Time Out
Caravan King's Cross (Rob Greig / Time Out)
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Rob Greig / Time Out
Caravan King's Cross
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Caravan King's Cross (Rob Greig / Time Out)
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Rob Greig / Time Out

This large, industrial-looking room lacks intimacy but makes up for it with a laid-back buzz, great people-watching opportunities, and great grub.

Whereas the original Caravan (on Exmouth Market) is a small space, with a neighbourhood vibe, this offshoot is an altogether bigger, more urbane operation. The large, industrial-looking room lacks intimacy, but has a laid-back buzz and great people-watching opportunities. The ethos is the same in both branches: welcoming, efficient staff and a menu of what they call ‘well travelled food’. Most are small plates – deep-fried duck egg with baba ganoush, chorizo oil and crispy shallots, say, or grits, collard greens and brown shrimp butter, plus a few large plates and (at King’s Cross only) a handful of first-class pizzas. The results are usually interesting: recent favourites include a richly flavoured celeriac gratin with parsley, walnut and a brandy apple topping, and naughty-but-nice crispy fried chicken (in cubes) with jerk mayo and pawpaw salsa (both King’s Cross), and meaty, comforting ham hock croquettes and zingy burmese chicken salad (Exmouth Market). Jalapeno cornbread with chipotle butter is hard to resist from either menu, and it’s always worth ordering a pudding. Breakfast and brunch menus apply the same pick and mix attitude as the all-day one. Drinks are equally good, from the global wine list to the own-roast coffee. The fruity Caravan blend is perfectly brewed, whether as a textbook espresso or an expertly feathered flat white. The setting, next door to the Grain Store and overlooking the fountains of the piazza-like Granary Square, is a further plus. One caveat – we’re not convinced by the unisex loos.

 

Venue name: Caravan King's Cross
Contact:
Address: Granary Building
1 Granary Square
London
N1C 4AA
Opening hours: Breakfast served 8-11.30pm Mon-Fri. Brunch served 10am-4pm Sat, Sun. Meals served noon-10.30pm Mon-Fri; 5-10.30pm Sat
Transport: Tube: King's Cross or St Pancras tube/rail
Price: Main courses £13-£17Meal for two with drinks and service:around £60
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Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:10
  • 2 star:7
  • 1 star:9
LiveReviews|38
2 people listening
Bea R
1 of 1 found helpful

After visiting a couple of years ago, and being unimpressed, we thought we'd give Caravan another shot for brunch.
What a mistake, surly art student staff studiously ignored us, after we were seated in a draft so persistent that we ate with our coats on. The smoked salmon and new potatoes was basically sashimi with a potato garnish and the baked beans were so sweet that any other flavour was lost in their syrup. To top off that impressive anti-climax we thought we'd sample it's coffee, which boasts great things. Ah we should have learned, it arrived served in a science beaker, luke warm, burnt and was dishwater'esque weak. Completely undrinkable. With enough to fill a tumbler (yes no crockery here) each, at £3 a head it was as underwhelming as the rest of our meal. 


Brunch for two, for  nearly £50, like this... bad show Caravan. We WONT be coming back.

Tasman P
1 of 1 found helpful

I arrived at Caravan this morning and asked if I could sit down for a coffee. I was guided to a table where I then sat for 30 minutes without any service or interaction by any staff.

Even when I then packed up all my stuff, and left, I was not acknowledged.

Having been a regular dining customer at Caravan in the past, and having filled multiple loyalty cards over the last few months with regular takeaways, I'm really disappointed that I'm now unlikely to feel comfortable buying coffee or food there again.

Mark Radix
1 of 1 found helpful

Having had a pleasurable if expensive brunch on my first and recent visit, I returned yesterday at approx. 3pm on a Saturday to have a late lunch at my local eatery. As usual it was full and was advised the wait would be 30-40 mins. I was told I could order a coffee in a random queue near the entrance desk but would have to consume it and wait outside. I looked at the confusing group trying to figure out where to order some coffees. I went back to the person who took my reservation only to find out I had to order the coffees from the person standing next to her. What a convoluted and disrespectful system for accepting diners? A victim of their own success handled by staff too cool for school? I questioned to being 'handled' and 'ushered' in such a slap dash manner and promptly decided not to wait out in the windy cold of winter and save my dosh. Very interesting discord between Time Out's 5* rating and Users 3* experience. I shall think twice about going there again!

Sam H
1 of 1 found helpful

An amazing setting for what I wanted to be a birthday treat to remember. Working in hospitality myself, I said to my girlfriend as we sat down "I'd quite fancy working here"… not now!! The service was slow even though we were only given an hour and half to eat before the next booking arrived. The menu is very well laid out but you may need to ask what half of it actually is. My starter of balsamic glazed ox tongue was swimming in balsamic vinegar and inedible to even the biggest of balsamic lovers. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I asked a member of staff to bring me another menu so I could pick something else after my second bite. I was then left till around 4-5 minuets after my girlfriend (not a quick eater) had finished her starter, without anyone coming back to see if I wanted to order a replacement. My main course of duck and bean cossoulet was amazing after they took it back to heat up! However pumpkin, blue cheese and sage risotto that my girlfriend had was warm but very average! On a plus when I asked if the management would kindly take off the inedible starter, they did without any hassle. Although a service charge of 12.5% seemed a little steep considering the inconsistent, slow and unthoughtful attention of the staff. Maybe you should try giving them sections, instead of a free for all and then this could be avoided. A real shame as this place has obviously had a lot of thought in to style but not much into service. Will definitely not hurry back.

JulesP
1 of 1 found helpful

I want to like Caravan - I really do - but having been there several times over the last few weeks, the service is just relentlessly terrible. The staff ignore you/don't see you/cluster at either end of the restaurant and don't look at their customers. They're often rude, rushed, harried, or simply too cool to care. So fed up of it now - despite the convenience and the good coffee - that I'm going to avoid Caravan in future. Added to which, the food is disappointing. Menus look promising and there are a couple of great ideas (it changes regularly but a spiced cabbage was good, as are their meatballs), but most of it is lacking really standout flavours, and it's executed hurriedly and en masse, meaning that onion flatbread is drowned in yoghurt dressing, or fried chicken cubes have tiny pieces of bone in. I'm not sure it was a good idea, quality-wise if not profit-wise, to go so big in the space at King's Cross; everything seems to have suffered. But it's always packed, so I doubt they're too worried! Until the service and the food improve, I'm sticking to Grain Store nextdoor, or trying the great food stalls along Goods Way instead.

Laura
1 of 1 found helpful

So I finally managed to get a booking at Caravan and what a disappointment this place turned out to be! I know that London is not particularly great for service unless you are going to a quality michelin star rated restaurant like The Ledbury for example but this was a joke and I am not surprised to see some of the other reviews on the page. What I am surprised about is that Time Out have it as a critics choice venue? How much are they spending on advertising I wonder. Basically in 3 words- expensive , crap service! Would definitely not recommend it to anyone that prefers to go to a place which can offer the full package - great food, fantastic service and great atmosphere for the equivalent price.

Lidia
1 of 1 found helpful

Food was goo but portions very small for the price. The service was a bit of a joke. I ordered share dishes for our table of 6 people and the start off ok when they give us the first four dishes but then stopped and left us waiting for 45 minutes. Even though I kept asking the staff where the rest of the food was, they just said they would check. They would then proceed to avoid coming to our table so they would not be asked again. This only made things worse because we could not get anyone to take a second drinks order. Finally I spoke to the fourth waitress that bothered to pay attention to us and she checked on the food, then came back to tell me it would be another 10 mins which was ridiculous. So we told her to cancel it all and bring the bill. Once I said this, all the dishes we were waiting for miraculously appeared on the table and she was behind the waiter carrying the food and asked if I still wanted it all taken back. This was stupid because the waiter with the food completely ignored me when I told him that we had cancelled the rest because of the ridiculous wait and he still put it down on the table and walked away. After having waited for so long we all could no longer eat the food so we asked the to pack it up. She got annoyed at my request and rolled her eyes at while she was snatching the food off the table all angry! When it was time to pay, I said we are not happy to pay any discretionary service charge because of the bad service. Again the looks death we got from all the staff at the cashier desk was enough to make me think that these kids need serious lessons in customer service if they want to be getting £40 pounds extra out of dissatisfied customers. The service charge was £40 on our bill. Again not cheap, crap service, bitchy incompetent staff and no concept of timing with the food when people are ordering only sharing dishes. It's a shame because the few dishes we ate we're nice but the rest just tasted like crap because of the wait and service. Don't recommend it.

JamesBarker82
tastemaker

On the outset I loved Caravan's decor and ambiance - its a beautiful industrial restaurant.  The menu sounded modern and super delicious - we went for the small plate options between 4 for us.  Some of the dishes were delicisious. 


But the food seam to come very quickly which made me feel like it had just been microwaved - but overall the food was nice.  We had a variety of dishes - included crab (which wasnt super fresh) chorizo croquettes, cheeses, artichoke hearts and salmon.


The service was much to be desired - the staff were not very well educated on the menu and they were not very attentive at all.  This was a real shame as I had high hopes for this restaurant. 



Daniel L
Tastemaker

Caravan has been known to serve one of the best coffees in London, but when it comes to food, I thought that this would also match. Unfortunately, it might just have been me being my greedy unhealthy self, but I found the food bordering on the bland and overly boasting "health" and "organic". Maybe this is a trend (see l'arperge in France which is also kicking off a vegetable focussed meal) that is going to take off but for me I really did not enjoy it as much as my 2 companions. Overall, the experience was pleasant as the setting made for a nice dinner and the location was fantastic. Whether I would go back or not would really depend on if the menu changes dramatically, which I heard they do since they use seasonal ingredients. Maybe I just wasn't ready for that season... Not my favourite but not something to avoid.

Tom K

 I was looking for a nice sun trap to make the most of the hot weather and Caravan delivered! The Waiter advised us that it would take over an hour to get a table but sorted us out with a nice bottle of rose to enjoy in the sun whilst we waited. It only took around half an hour to be seated at an outdoor table for 4 in the end. The food was delicious - we took the advice of our waiter and took 2 dishes each and a pizza and all shared. My particular favourites were the crispy pork belly which was crisped to perfection and the cheese Beef carpaccio with delicious crispy bits.

Mei M
Tastemaker

Took a few friends here last weekend for brunch as they were staying close to King's Cross. I heard about it a lot, and I have to say I was impressed by the atmosphere - the place is buzzy, industrial, very cool (my friends absolutely loved it). 


We were seated in about thirty minutes (we didn't have a booking and staff was very friendly with us); service was a bit slow. Coffee was really good, and food was delicious too, although prices are quite high. The avocado/chilly/poached egg on sourdough is really good, I loved it. One of my friends had quinoa porridge and made me so jealous, it looked soooo good!


It's a place I would go back to if I'm around the area but wouldn't go there on purpose. Good brunch if you're around King's Cross, try and book a table if you can as it's quite busy all the time!

Diana T
Tastemaker

Going here today for a first date was a fairly good choice. I had already made a reservation so we were seated quickly and no one looked down on us for ordering tap water. 

I ordered two of the small plates, while my date had one of the larger dishes. We both opted for a cocktail, dessert and a coffee because our conversation was flowing rather freely. Thankfully the staff didn't interrupt us but rather came in to take the order and bring the food with good timing. 

The main dishes arrived really quickly whereas the dessert took a little more time. The menu has an interesting combination of flavours and textures, especially the squash dish I had. The paper table cloth is a little drab and the cocktail glasses are rather small but everything else was pretty good. 

The reason the rating isn't higher is due to the pretty big price tag and that we didn't really get a feel for the restaurant's personality. I like to have conversations with wait staff especially when struggling to pick a dish. It was also unusual to be served by so many different people instead of one person throughout the meal. They were quite relaxed with us leaving the table, allowing us to keep talking for a while after paying the bill. 

Overall, I like Caravan, but I prefer it more as a pit stop just for coffee or dessert rather than a destination. 

MillieMollyMoo
Tastemaker

I visited Caravan to buy a bag of coffee,actually! I was out on a day in Granary Square with my man and we thought- lets buy some fancy coffee to take home. My first impression of the place was,yeah I like it. I saw lovely brunch dishes being served, a bountiful avocado on toast,eggs and sausages in a bowl and the like. It looked yummy and the people eating seemed happy. It was a brisk afternoon in the place and the staff were more than happy to help and direct us to their coffee section. Lots of different coffee's to buy and some snazzy equipment,should you want that too. I have to admit the coffee was £8.50 a bag and the coffee was ok. It has a nice taste to it but it was a bit too passive for me. It had some good notes to it and very drinkable but didn't have the kick that I like with my coffee. I would go and have some food there,it looks good fun. I think it's a good place for a bite and a coffee. Nice settings,pleasant staff and an air of trendy throughout. 

Alex Plim
moderatorStaff Writer

Caravan has an excellent reputation on the London food scene, and for good reason: this place churns out a fantastic range of dishes, and their coffee beans are some of the best in the city. Caravan is particularly outstanding when it comes to brunch: expect a few healthy options along with intriguing things like kimchi pancakes and baked eggs. It's also perfect if you just want somewhere to settle down with a hot drink and a book.


My only criticism of Caravan is their portion sizes. I'm not someone who needs a lot of food, but I do tend to find myself wanted more whenever I go here. Then again, that's as much a compliment to the chefs as it is a criticism.

ELI
Staff Writer

I do love the brunch menu at Caravan but I'm not loving the KX venue - more recently the wait is getting longer and the staff on the door aren't especially hospitable or friendly. We were told the wait would be 45 mins - we gave up waiting after 50 mins and went down the road to German Gymnasium which was fab. 

Sarah (kukkiiandkoppee)
Tastemaker

The main reason for me coming here was to get my hands on some Acme coffee cups. The large industrial dining area was not what I was expecting. It was really busy and buzzing. Upon entering we asked if we could get a coffee and the waitress just pointed us to the bar. There really wasn't much space for enjoying a coffee in the coffee section - we ended up sitting on chairs of the wrong height at the bar with our knees banging into the sides of the bar. I first got a taste of their coffee when I was at Freestate Coffee in Holborn and instantly fell in love with it. I was expecting to get a full-bodied delicious flat white but instead it was a little watery and bitter. The fruity hot chocolate was a lot better. The cardamom-laced ginger cake was too sweet and a little dry. In contrast the orange and almond cake was moist and tasty. I got a couple of Acme coffee cups and a bag of coffee beans to take away. 

Sohère R
Tastemaker

My friend and I went for a Saturday brunch. Caravan do a brunch until 4pm. They don't take bookings so we had to wait for about half an hour, but there's a seating area at the back where you can get coffee and the coffee donuts (which are to die for!) 

Service was good and the food was delicious. The place had a cool vibe, with funky Motown tunes playing in the background, the decor was underdone chic.  Brunch was about £20 each for 2 courses and drinks, which is pretty good for Granary Square. Very enjoyable, highly recommended for a leisurely brunch. 

Dudley F

I have been to Caravan Kings Cross twice and both times failed to actually place an order. The first time we were seated outside and ignored. Other customers left without paying, as they gave up waiting for any service. Having failed to get served at all, my friend and I decided to walk to caravan ex mouth market as it would be faster. The second time, today, I was told I could only have a table for an hour. This was fine as I wanted to eat quickly and go back to work. I was seated and ignored for twenty minutes. The service I have witnessed is rude. Nevertheless rude service is at least service. Give up. Don't bother.

bowertron

I really feel that this place is over hyped. However I think it is worthy of all the hype. The food, service and ambience are superb. I love sitting at the bar and soaking up the atmosphere while grabbing a bite to eat and watching the bar staff working hard. If I lved or worked in Kings Cross I'd be there all the time.

Laura B
Tastemaker

Superb pizzas, excellent customer service. Have been here several times for the pizzas which are just excellent. Good base, delicious fresh, juicy toppings and a good selection too. Was a really busy night so we sat up at the bar which was fine. Ordered dessert which took ages to arrive – in fact it was the barman who pointed out the delay, got his colleague to pop to the kitchen and check, assured us it would only be a few minutes and it was then brought over by the manager who told us it would be complimentary due to the wait. Exceptional service! Other places could learn a lot from this. Would happily return again and again. Fabulous!

 

Dee
Tastemaker

Such an overrated spot. Neither My husband nor I enjoyed our breakfast dishes here. I guess the quality of food here drops the more crowded it gets for brunch.

Ioanna La
Tastemaker

Interesting and unique flavours (one of the places I have to google / google translate every single word on the menu), very good service and marvellous industrial style interior design. A vibrant place for a Sunday brunch, in my opinion a bit overpriced though.

Christie A

Great spot and amazing food. Causal relaxed group and friendly staff. I like that while you still may have to wait at the bar, there is plenty of space and you do not feel cramped while you wait for your table. Menu is varied but the specials are always delicious and breakfast menu is an impressive as the dinner options. 

Lizzie W
Tastemaker

My friend and I treated ourselves to brunch here last weekend and again we were so impressed with the food and service.

We arrived at 10.45 without booking (not sure if you can book?) and knew we would be up for a wait. They took our number and we ordered a coffee to go and sat outside in their outdoors seating and chatted/ played cards til they called us (we were in no rush) but just be warned on the weekends you're going to have to wait to get a table!
While we waited we looked at the menu so we knew exactly what we were going to get when we sat down! 
Exactly 45 minutes later they rang us so we dashed inside and were seated right away!
As there was so much on the menu to try we decided to share everything and get one dish at a time. To start we ordered the kimchee pork belly pancake which was sooo good! Pork was delicious and full of flavours. Pancake isn't so pancakey but tasty all the same. I couldn't have eaten the whole thing though! We also ordered the apricot mimosas which were good but nothing amazing! Next up was the pumpkin waffle with ricotta, peppers, pecans and maple syrup. I thought this dish was going to more of a sweet dish but it was actually savoury! Interesting flavours and worth trying but again couldn't eat the whole thing. Finally we had the coconut bread with lemon curd and strawberries! My favourite by far! Would definitely have again to myself! Overall had a lovely brunch - the waitress was very friendly and we weren't rushed at all! Will definitely be back for brunch but looking to try the bbq beans and the baked eggs next time!

Alex B

Service is a bit mixed but generally the food is good and there is always a good buzz to the atmosphere. I've been a few times for brunch and the poached eggs were great but I've never ordered anything more complicated. They did mess up the drinks order but were helpful when we chased it up. A good place to go if you live locally and aren't under any time restraints but not worth a trek across town.

Maggie W
Staff WriterStaff Comp

We used to live in Kings X and this was our favourite spot. Yes, it gets busy... yes, the food can come out a bit slow, and YES, I’ve heard people complain about its inconsistency. I have to say personally though, I’ve eaten and drank here loads of times and always find it to be good food, good atmosphere, good service and a fair price. The chorizo and octopus salad and the artichoke heart pizza are regular favourites, and they have good beer on tab and house wine, as well as refreshing cocktails in the summer. It’s a great spot to pop into after hanging out in granary square. There’s nothing they can do about the popularity though, so it does get busy!

Patricia

The space and atmosphere are great but the service is really hardly there, and the price to portion size ratio is breathtakingly bad, we paid £30 a head for a variety of tapas, got a few tiny mouthfuls each and went home really hungry. We also specifically asked for white wine that was well chilled and it arrived barely below room temperature. It is not good enough just to to be fashionable when people are spending hard earned money on a night out.

Wendy

Was told that we couldn't order pizzas as the dough had not had time to prove. Made another selection which we didn't really want. 10 mins later and the table next to us ordered and got served pizzas! Very disappointed and felt we were fobbed off with a poor excuse. On the plus side they didn't charge us for the meal, but we were looking forward to a relaxing meal and chat and ended up in a bad mood. There was some confusion about sell by dates on the beer as well. I don't think we will be going back.

George Skerket

Beef Wagyu was truly excellent and Lamb Tagine wasn't bad either. Great atmosphere, attentive yet relaxed staff and a creative cocktail list - Expresso Martini is a must-try.

Reetabix

Great, imaginative food & a lively atmosphere but the service was poor the day we went. We had to wait 45 minutes for our party of 7 to be seated for Sunday brunch ( you can't reserve). Once seated, & having ordered hot drinks, it took another 25 minutes for my coffee to arrive. When I raised this with a waiter, far from apologising, he informed that a 25 minute wait for coffee was the norm! We were eventually let off the cost of the coffee by a much more affable colleague. Overall staff seemed overwhelmed by the large crowds keen to eat here.

Claire

The toilets were mixed, the door didn't lock, not good especially when a man can walk in. Not enough soap dispensers, lentil and fish main was good but small for the price. Scallops, goats cheese salad, quail and ricotta pizza were all mediocre.

mavis

average small plates, good pizza. will go back and try the brunches. very nice space, good for a casual dinner with friends.

Stephen
0 of 1 found helpful

Appalling treatment from staff, including manager over an £8 bag of coffee beans: date on bag was out of date as we discovered when we got home. Rude responses on telephone showed utter contempt for customer relations - over a measly £8 refund. Shall not be returning to the restaurant on principle, nor shall our friends. Definitely not worth recommending if this is how senior staff react over such a trivial refund.

James
0 of 1 found helpful

Had a brilliant brunch - our waiter was exceptional.. Didn't catch his name but he had curly brown hair and an arm covered in quirky tattoos and he Knew the menu inside out. We had to wait a while for our food but he kept us entertained and laughing and it was well worth the wait. We wouldn't hesitate to come again and would recommend it to anyone.

Sarah
0 of 1 found helpful

3 of us came here for a late lunch a couple of weeks ago, just popped in with no need for a reservation luckily as it was fairly busy for 4.30pm on a Saturday. We had the cornbread and the curry onion flatbread to start which were both delicious. The cornbread was pretty spicy but I think I preferred the flatbread- a sort of curry pizza with yoghurt dressing. For the main I had the lamb gnocchi with olives, tomato and parmesan which was incredible. Melt in the mouth lamb, gooey gnocchi and lovely little salty bites of olive. I'm still drooling thinking about it now! The others had the pork and the fish (can't remember which...perhaps pollock) which they also enjoyed thoroughly. Service was great, and discreet. Agree the unisex loos were a bit odd, it felt like they were unfinished/I'd walked into the staff room! Much recommended!