Itadaki Zen and the Kings Cross playground

If you find yourself in need of some tlc make your way to Itadaki Zen in Kings Cross. Organic vegan Japanese – but as tasty as can be. They have fostered quite a culture, in fact – permaculture – and host lots of food and art events in their small restaurant. The food, the pace, the ambiance is all very gentle. 

Itadaki Zen139 King’s Cross Road, WC1

And if you’re looking for a drink or two in the area, Exmouth Market is close but these are a really good bet for a change of scenery:

Euston Tap 190 Euston Road NW1 – I used to go to this bar when it was a little more covert, shoehorned into a stone plinth at the entrance to Euston Station. A very incongruous location indeed. There’s nothing secret about it now – in fact the couple of occasions I’ve thought about going it just looks too rammed. Captive audience with commuters. But still, there will be times of day when it’ll be quiet and the famous hand picked world beer selection will be there waiting.

Simmons Bar, Caledonian Rd N1 – feels a bit NY LES or Berlin. Always play good music. Check it out before its taken over with St Martins Art students when they move into the area.

Norfolk Arms -Leigh St, WC1 great Spanish food in a lovely large pub in Bloomsbury. Go early to nab a table for a drink if you haven’t booked.

St Chad’s Place, WC1 – can be a bit suity but see through that. Big barn like bar down a cobbled road. 

And another couple of dining options to blow you head off – Chilli Cool is just brilliant. Small and cheap – rammed full of Chinese students – this is Sichuan at its best. Right opposite the Norfolk Arms on Leigh Street. If you can’t get in and you’re hungry for heat then book into Red n Hot (formerly Snazz Sichuan) on Chalton Street on the other side of Euston Road. 

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