If you prefer plant-based food, you’ll know that eating out can take a little more planning than just taking a stroll to see what takes your fancy. To mark Veganuary, we’ve put together a round-up of delicious plant-based eats in Kings Cross. Whether you’re looking for a grab-and-go healthy lunch or a pull-out-all-the-stops fine dining experience, we’ve got you covered.
Crispy tofu plate at Caravan
Vegans will know that getting tofu right is a surprisingly difficult feat, but when done well, it’s delicious. Case in point is the chilli-salt tofu found on the small plates menu at Caravan – mouthwateringly crispy and served with fresh and nutty ong choi, salted black beans and sesame. And there are many more plant-based options to enjoy with it. Try the slow-roasted carrots with brined mustard greens and ajo blanco or the roasted jerusalem artichokes with green tahini, pomegranate, mint.
Caravan, 1 Granary Square.
Hummus KX at Arabica
Those in the know travelled from far and wide to the original Arabica stall in Borough Market for a scoop of its legendary hummus. This updated version, created just for the Kings Cross branch, deserves to be sung about, too. Hummus KX is a ‘super-charged’ roasted chickpea delight, packed with sweet peppers, red chilli, garlic, and parsley. Creamy, zingy and delicious.
And since you’re likely to want to order more than just hummus, you’ll be pleased to know that Arabica has just launched a fully vegan lunch menu. You can select three plates from the restaurant’s best-loved, and entirely plant-based, dips, hot meze, flatbreads, salads & grain-based dishes and for just £15. And if you’re not doing dry January, add a glass of vegan house wine for an additional £5.
Arabica, 7 Lewis Cubitt Walk.
The Vegan Burger at Beer + Burger
The permanent vegan menu option here is aptly called… The Vegan Burger. And while the name might lack inventiveness, the burger more than makes up for it in taste. This punchy patty is made from chickpeas, quinoa, spinach and cep mushrooms with a crunchy (cornflake!) coating, then topped with pickled diakon, cabbage, and a seriously tasty aubergine sauce. Go to town on their line-up of salsas, which vary from mild, to quite spicy to hot. ‘Wild’ is only for show-offs, apparently. Plus! Especially for Veganuary – try Green Jack – a jackfruit patty, courgette + chipotle slaw, cucumber, and an avocado and spinach goop (shown). The vast majority of beers on the menu here are vegan too.
Beer + Burger Store 1 York Way.
Freekeh Hamusta at Coal Office
The Coal Office celebrates the vibrant flavours of modern Jerusalem in a sleek and sexy space overlooking Coal Drops Yard. On a cold January day, order the Freekeh Hamusta. ‘Hamusta’ is originally an Iraqi-Kurdish soup, and this version, packed with green wheat, swiss chard, courgettes, aubergine, and pine nuts is a warming, wholesome bowl of goodness. Pair it with a Morrocan fennel salad, a beautifully balanced plate of sweet orange, salty olives, hot harissa, and fresh greenery, and wave those January blues goodbye.
Coal Office, 2 Bagley Walk, Coal Drops Yard.
Nicoise Salad at Maple & Kings
Maple and Kings, from chef Adria Wu, has more plant-based green goodness than you can shake a stick at, so if its nutritious meat-free food you’re after, then this is the spot. Try the new Nicoise salad, with peppery radish, baby potatoes, greens, and olives, sprinkled with almond flakes and a delicious dill dijon dressing.
Maple & Kings, 3 Pancras Square.
King Banh Mi at Bodega Ritas
An absolute hunk of a sandwich from the tiny Ritas deli on Lower Stable Street. The King Banh Mi is a fluffy baguette dripping with juicy roast king oyster mushrooms, peanut butter, carrot and daikon slaw, coriander, and mint, with a dash of chilli for heat, and peanuts for crunch. Delicious!
Bodega Ritas, 114 Lower Stable Street, Coal Drops Yard
Winter Greens Soup at Vermuteria
Vermuteria puts a spin on the classic vegetable soup with this recipe, where lots of earthy seasonal winter greens are brought to life with a zing of preserved lemons. And just look at that colour…! It’s available to eat in or takeaway, so a great healthy-but-tasty option if you’re pushed for time. If not, then Monday’s Plat du Jour is a winter vegetable cassoulet.
Vermuteria, Coal Drops Yard.
Mauritius Vegan Biryani from Lovely Bunch of Coconuts – plus a whole lot more at KERB
Lovely Bunch of Coconuts serve traditional barbecued Mauritian-inspired dishes from their street food van, including this crowd-pleaser: fragrant veggie biryani with toasted spices, citrus lemon, coconut milk, charcoal aubergine, and lentil stew.
The bad news? The street food traders at KERB change regularly, so you might not find Lovely Bunch of Coconuts and their delicious Biryani when you visit. But, the good news (hurrah) is that KERB is jam-packed with traders creating stellar vegan dishes of their own, all designed to light up lunchtimes.
We love a Soul Bowl packed with vegan fried chicken from Marli’s Kitchen, a plant-powered pizza from Little Leaf, the Funghi Mapo Tofu from Rice Guys, Kimchi Tofu Banh Mi from Ugly Duck, ‘The Veg’ from Piddaji, the Chaat Box from Baba Dhaba… the list goes on (and on).
Find KERB in Granary Square Wed, Thur & Friday 12pm – 2pm.
Lentils, Sweet Potato & Beetroot from Hicce
The chefs at Hicce like to get creative with their dishes, with a big nod to both Scandinavia and Japan, so be prepared to marvel at your (beautifully-presented) dish here. For vegans, our top pick is the punchy bowl of puy lentils, sweet potato cubes, and beetroot, dressed with balsamic and basil – simple ingredients made to sing. There’s even a gorgeously vibrant vegan-friendly sweet dish for dessert, too. Grilled pineapple is topped with a scoop of coconut sorbet and lemon balm then sprinkled with earthy, minty little shiso leaves for an Eastern twist.
Hicce, above Wolf & Badger, Stable Street Coal Drops Yard
The Veggie Pastor at Casa Pastor
Casa Pastor makes its tortillas from scratch, in-house, resulting in tacos that are deliciously authentic and very, very moreish. The Veggie Pastor (2 per portion) is a hot, crunchy, zingy, umami-packed triumph with generously spiced lentils and tofu topped with crispy potatoes. We also recommend the Avocado & Chayote ‘Ceviche’ for a vegan take on the Mexican classic.
Casa Pastor, Coal Drops Yard.
Chole Puri at Dishoom
Essentially a chickpea curry served with puffy bread, or ‘puri’ – but as this is Dishoom, you know it will be a thing of beauty. Authenticly crafted with that deliciously deep colour, the chole is robust, earthy, and hot: in fact, it’s one of the hottest dishes on the menu. Fear not, though, the chola is served with a helping of sweet halwa to help cut through the fire.
Dishoom, Stable Street.
Butternut Squash at The Lighterman
Whether you’re popping in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there are lots of options for vegans here. We love the sweet and creamy British-grown harrier roast butternut squash paired with chestnuts, crispy kale, watercress, and finished with truffle on the all-day starter menu. The harrier butternut squash also makes an appearance on the Sunday Roast menu, in the form of the Squash & Nut Roast Wellington. Served with portobello mushroom sauce, veggies, and roasties.
The Lighterman, 3 Granary Square.
Avocado & jalapeño cream cheese at German Gymnasium
For a Germanic-inspired restaurant, there are a surprising number of vegan dishes on the Gym’s (separate) veggie menu. The standout dish has to be the crushed avocado and crispy jalapeño ‘cream cheese’ ball…its served on a crispy potato rosti with beetroot, coriander, chilli, and lime.
German Gymnasium, King’s Boulevard.
The Vegan Bavette at Vinoteca
This is the vegan spin on Vinoteca’s signature and bestselling dish. Generous slices of succulent portobello mushrooms are marinated in Arbequina extra virgin olive oil, garlic & herbs so they are mouthwateringly juicy, then grilled, sliced, and served with hand-cut chips, horseradish, and watercress. Plus, Vinoteca is offering a Bavette + a glass of Sangiovese for just £16 throughout January.
Vinoteca, Kings Boulevard.
Chocobar from Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse
A visit to this beautiful little store in Coal Drops Yard is a treat in itself, styled like an old-fashioned boutique with glass jars and perfect chocolates lined like jewels. There are several vegan options here – the dark chocolate signature and single-origin bars, the candied fruits, dragées and the hot chocolate mix. We say you can’t go wrong with a classic dark Chocobar which is marked with the signature Ducasse geometric shapes. Creamy, smooth and decadent, the bar is flecked with slivers of pistachios, raisins and candied orange peel in soft hazelnut praline. Willpower might be required.
Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse Bagley Walk, Coal Drops Yard.
Come here often?
We’ll keep updating this list as new restaurants open, and as the vegan scene in Kings Cross evolves, so be sure to check back to find the latest ‘must-tries’. You can find the full listing of restaurants, bars, and cafés in the area here.