Six of the best: quick lunch in King’s Cross

Lunch on the hoof is well catered for around the railway stations and up at KERB, but here are six little places tucked ever-so-slightly off the beaten track that are well worth seeking out

Sausage rolls - the deluxe Niven's variety. Photo: Stehpen Emms
Sausage rolls – the deluxe Niven’s variety. Photo: Stephen Emms
Lunch on the hoof is well catered for around the railway stations and up at KERB, but here are six little places tucked ever-so-slightly off the beaten track that are well worth seeking out.

Whether they do a mean pastry, a dynamite sarni or a seductive salad box, you won’t regret going a little further afield for that lunchtime scran. Tell ‘um Gasholder sent you…

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Green Café

Green  CafeAn unassuming little unit on a pleasant local market street specialising in rotisserie chicken? Yes, please. Humungous salad choices all served on an attractive wooden board. On our visit we enjoyed tender breast with an oozing aubergine, zingy potato and rich olive salads all bursting from the substantial flatbread. You’ll also find their food on the menu up at Kentish Town’s reborn backstreet boozer the Rose and Crown.
A wrap is about £5 15 Chalton Street NW1

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Aux Pains de Papy

Aux Pains de PapyCute family-run bakery, in which a dad and his two sons have brought three generations of baking experience from southern France to this, their first London outpost. Croissants and pastries are, of course, a strong point and ever-popular with the office crowds, but the breads – deeply coloured, heavy, gluten-laden and moist, with a perfect crust, are our favourite.
279 Grays Inn Rd, WC1X

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Chocolate Velvet YumchaaAlways one of the best hangouts in Camden, where they have two atmospheric cafes, the loose leaf tea specialists have just opened a King’s Cross branch in the Granary Building. Expect the same trademark combination of teas – ranging from sweet fruit, oil and herb-infused concoctions to serious Indian and Sri Lankan brews – chunky sarnis and devastatingly good cakes (our fave is the heavy chocolate velvet), with mismatched lounge furniture upon which to enjoy them.
Granary Building, Granary Square, N1C

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Niven’s Fine Food and Provisions

Niven'sThis famous little breakfast and lunchtime spot sells quality dishes in an informal and very social environment. Superior fry-ups and pastries make way for a hot and cold lunchtime menu. Grab a salad selection or choose from the hot dishes. On our visit, salmon teriyaki and Moroccan lamb stew were popular choices. Hot salt beef sandwiches and the monster glazed sausage rolls (pictured above, £3.95) are also faves with the office workers who fill the few tables.
Lunch box from £5.50 157 King’s Cross Road, WC1X, Mon – Fri only.

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Vegan Boutique

Vegan BoutiqueA place of two halves: a trailblazing shop for those wishing to swerve animal produce, leather-free shoes and specialist groceries, dominates the front half, while a small takeaway café dishes up vegan snacks at the back. A couple of tables inside and outside for those wishing to linger longer. Expect things like kebabs, toasties, quesadillas and burgers, but all 100% meat-free. Giant pastries start at £2.50.
73 Caledonian Road N1

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Pattern coffeeWorth the five minute wander up the Cally Road, this laidback coffee shop is attractively strewn with junktique furniture, pendant lighting, upturned fruit boxes, patterned wallpaper (natch) and even the odd guitar or two. It’s mainly a pitstop for a caffeine fix, and we wholly recommend a rich and smooth macchiato from Bristol-based Extract Roasters. A few breakfast and light options, too however, should you be peckish, from granola to croissants, cakes and pastries. Healthy smoothie menu for the coffee-phobic.
Drinks from £2 upwards 82 Caledonian Road, London, N1

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