Euston used to be all station and no substance. But these days there's more to NW1 than just the commute, and Euston has the burgers, beers, ribs and rotis to prove it.
Straightforward, cheap and cheerful, Double Six Café (66, Eversholt Street, NW1 1DA) is open from 7am on weekdays and doing food to match the old-school caff interior — fry-ups, bacon sandwiches and the classic egg-chips-beans hat-trick.
For a more Mediterranean slant to your morning head to Albertini — open all day but especially good for an unrushed brunch at a pavement table, with a sausage foccacia or eggs scrambled with pesto.
Fans of BBC Sherlock flock to Speedy’s Sandwich Bar thanks to the caff frequently featuring as a location in the series. But as well as assorted merch and some tenuous tie-ins — like the Sherlock Wrap — they do great hot, cold, and genuinely speedy sandwiches, making it ideal for a lunch break visit, fan or not.
The menu at Xi'an restaurant Murger Han is quite opaque, featuring sketches of donkeys and mountains and cryptic references to 'special herbal sauce'. Fortunately you can't go that wrong with the murgers (also known as rou-ji-amo), toasted flatbreads stuffed with minced beef or pork. For the adventurous their Small Nibbles menu covers specialities like chicken feet and pigs' ears in star anise.
If you're looking for a café with a side of culture head for the Wellcome Collection Kitchen, where you can explore medical artefacts and scientific antiques either side of your steak sandwiches or cheese and vegetable tarts. Usually open for lunch and afternoon tea till 6pm, their dinners (Thursday evenings and first Fridays of the month) are worth a visit as well. Or for a more bookish flavour to your cultural hit, try the Peyton and Byrne Café at the British Library, with excellent sandwiches and a few hot dishes. A separate P&B restaurant on the first floor has a bigger range of hot food and less of a working-lunch feel to it.
Pubs, gastropubs and bars
Euston's surprisingly well-served for pubs, with trad boozers, craft beer joints and gastropubs covered. The Crown & Anchor and The Doric Arch are both decent pubs with burgers, live sport being screened and cask ales, although the Bree Louise has the edge on the latter.
For good pubs with a neighbourhood feel, though, the Somers Town side of Euston is the best bet.
Somers Town Coffee House might technically do coffee but the ground floor is a beerhouse through and through, with an extensive (though not very off-piste) range on draught and even a little beer garden. On top of that they do excellent gastropub classics, small plates and occasional supper clubs in the upstairs dining area.
Maybe our favourite pub in Euston, The Pack & Carriage has a good wine list, brilliantly-chosen draught and bottled beers and a warm, faded wooden bar area. And with Goneburger in charge of the food, the menu runs to pulled pork burgers or the Kickflip burger with whiskey-smoked BBQ sauce, stuff of Somers Town legend.
In an old gatehouse opposite the station, the Euston Tap feels less like your friendly local and more a borderline-bar for the after-work drinkers. Foodless and low on seating, it still more than justifies a visit with maybe the best craft beer line-up in NW1 and a heated beer garden.
Sorrento Snack Bar (8, Woburn Walk, WC1H 0JL) isn’t as Italianate as it sounds, with an emphasis on baguettes, Full English breakfasts and toasties. The coffee's good though, and it's an unassuming, friendly place to decamp to one of their wooden booths with a newspaper and espresso.
For takeaway, try the Short & Sweet Espresso bar on Euston Road. It's open from 7am on weekdays, and is an off-shoot of the Peyton and Byrne café in the British Library so features the same great coffee and sweet and savoury pastries at breakfast time.
Despite the grand name, African Kitchen Gallery (102, Drummond St, NW1 2HN) is actually a small, unpretentious café serving up amazing plantain, lamb stewed with dates and jollof rice for a surprisingly low price.
Between the menus at Diwana Bhel Poori House and Ravi Shankar (133-135, Drummond Street, NW1 2HL), you could have Southern Indian vegetarian food every day for a month without repeating a dish. The best dosas are at Ravi Shankar, served with sides of coconut chutney and piles of sambhar lentil stew. Go to Diwana for spectacular and really good-value panni pooris — we recommend ordering one of each, and the Dahi Vada pea fritters to go with them.
For a more carnivorous experience — though vegetarians are still well-catered for — head for the Szechuan chili at Red & Hot where strips of beef, tender chicken and a lot of tripe dishes are doused in mouth-numbing heat.
Euston doesn't have much going on the fine dining front, a smattering of fairly characterless hotel restaurants aside. But it has better than that, with some informal places doing stand-out food. The Rib Man, in a small shopfront at Euston Station is one, serving takeaway-only rib meat rolls and racks. The homemade sauces are almost too hot to handle but far too good not to order.
But reigning monarch of the Euston food scene is Roti King (40, Doric Way, NW1 1LH). Far from fancy, this Malaysian restaurant is cheap, no-frills and housed in a really basic basement, but the curries and roti canai flatbreads routinely send visitors into raptures.
The Cosy Kettle cocktail bar (60, Chalton St, NW1 1HS) is the best place for dessert and a nightcap, the combination you didn't realise you wanted, offering cake and cocktails from the basement of Somers Town Coffee House until the small hours.
We're defining Euston as the NW1 postcode area with Euston station bang in the centre - running from Midland Road in the east, with North Gower Street and Euston Square station at the western edge, to Gordon Square in the south and to Cranleigh Street at the northern edge.