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king's cross pubs, scottish stores
Ben Rowe

King’s Cross pubs

Find the best places to drink in King’s Cross, from no-frills boozers and old-school ale houses to poshed-up gastropubs

By Laura Richards

Finding a down-to-earth pub in the King’s Cross neighbourhood is harder than you might imagine. Don’t worry; this list delivers all the backstreet boozers you need to have on the radar – from places that champion craft beer from breweries around the world to gastropubs and watering holes with handy rooftop terraces. Cheers.

RECOMMENDED: Find more fun in the neighbourhood in our King’s Cross area guide

The best pubs in King’s Cross

The Driver

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Caledonian Road

Set in the tangle of unpromising streets behind King’s Cross, the Driver is a stylish gastropub with a ‘vertical garden’ and a decked roof terrace. It’s complemented by three more floors of dining and drinking space, above a street-level bar and restaurant of equally interesting design.

The Fellow

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Gastropubs King’s Cross

Part of the Geronimo Inn fleet, this gastropub is a well-kept spot for a drink with a few decorative nods made to horse-racing (but not enough to leave you with a nagging feeling). Although a grazing menu may tempt you in, it’s the pub’s outdoor (and covered) terrace that will convince you to stay for another round.

King Charles I002.jpg
© Monica Roche

King Charles I

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs King’s Cross

Hidden from the outside world, this homely pub provides rare ales, many whiskies, a roaring fire and the day’s papers to the surprisingly few regulars who frequent it. In fact, if you had to describe what a pub was to someone from Pluto, this would do the job. 

The Lighterman

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Gastropubs King’s Cross

Situated in a brand-new three-floor building in the redeveloped plaza behind King’s Cross station, The Lighterman has that feeling of being fresh out of the box. It’s doing the gastropub thing to a fault, but swish surroundings and attentive staff, plus a terrace overlooking the fountains of Granary Square make it worth a visit. 

queens head, king's cross
Rob Greig

Queen's Head

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Craft beer pubs King’s Cross

This compact Victorian hole-in-the-wall pub with three real-ale pumps and an astutely chosen handful of craft beers on draught is brought to you by the Mother Kelly’s team. With that knowledge, it’s hardly a surprise that the bottled beer selection is just as impressive. It’s usually cosy and blissfully music-free, apart from the odd hipster-trad jazz session around the old piano. 

The Scottish Stores

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Craft beer pubs Caledonian Road

This small but handsome wood-panelled pub specialises in interesting beers and tap takeovers from breweries around the world. There are around ten draught options and a good few more in the fridge. There’s also a fairly secretive roof terrace. If you arrived fresh off the train, you’d never guess this building was a grotty strip club up until very recently.


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