Because who hasn’t been in this position before?
We all know the frustration of running in a sweaty mess to the station, pulling a heavy suitcase up the stairs and legging it towards the platform… only to see that your train is an approximately 40 minutes away. And whether it’s due to delays (likely) or an accidental case of getting your timings wrong (almost as likely) we’ve all been there.
You don’t want to wander too far for food and drink, for fear of getting lost and having to repeat the same, frantic rush. But you also want more than a Boots meal deal or a Pret sandwich.
Luckily, we’ve found some excellent spots nearby each of London’s major train stations. So, no matter where you’re heading, you can comfort yourself with a hearty snack and a stiff drink before settling down in an uncomfy chair and being whisked away across the country.
St Pancras/Kings Cross – Carluccio’s
Comfort food in the form of a hearty snack and a posh cocktail is just what you need before embarking on a long train journey. Luckily, there’s a branch of Carluccio’s nestled away upstairs in St Pancras that can offer you exactly that. Although we’d gladly tuck into any of their dishes pre-journey, their new cocktail and antipasto deals are top of our list before we head for the platform. If you’re there in the afternoon or evening (or even late morning, it’s always 5pm somewhere) try the new Sofia cocktail (Tanqueray gin, rosemary, botanicals and soda) with any antipasto for £11.99. Or for a more cleansed palette, try the Sicilian Spritz (Tanqueray gin, limoncello, lemonade and prosecco) with a foccacia for £10.99. You’ll find Carluccio’s at Pancras Rd, London N1C 4QL. ⭐️Sponsored⭐️
Victoria – The Stoke House
Just a stone’s throw from Victoria station you’ll find The Stoke House. It’s possible to spend at least an hour in this smoke joint but it’s also a great option if you’re in a rush but can’t face the train buffet cart. The Stoke House offers everything from a £12 express lunch, to small plates (featuring delights like smoked almond butter and lamb croquettes) and cheese boards. The sandwiches, stuffed full of perfectly slow-roasted meat, are also a great option. Pair with a glass of wine from The Stoke House’s extensive list and treat yourself to a “Happy Ending” (desserts, of course, behave) if you really need a pick-me-up before embarking on your trip. Head to The Stoke House at 81 Buckingham Palace Rd, Westminster, London SW1W 0AJ.
Waterloo – The Fire Station
The Fire Station by Waterloo has been a staple for more than 100 years now, so you can put good money on the deliciousness of the food. Their sourdough pizzas are hand-pressed and come in your traditional but also unconventional flavours. We’re talking peri peri-marinated king prawns, mint pesto and chorizo ketchup, to name but a few. Try one of their smoked spirits (smoked by their very own kitchen “fire starters”) to complete your meal. Top tip: If you can’t finish your pizza or don’t have enough time, ask for the rest to be wrapped up in a doggie bag. Then, when you’re two hours deep on the train and stuck between two stations with no wifi, you’ll find some comfort in your leftover food. You’ll find The Fire Station at 150 Waterloo Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8SB.
London Bridge – The Mug House
Mug House is quietly tucked away underneath London Bridge, which makes it the perfect location for drowning your train-based sorrows without flying too far from this particular nest. With a traditional pub setting, the family-run business offers a huge variety of snacks, from hand-raised pork pies to charcuterie boards and chargrilled flatbreads. There’s also more wines than you could possibly sample in even the longest pre-train sesh, or spirits, ales and lagers to keep you going. It’s also one of the few places around London Bridge station where you’ll be able to buy a pint for less than a fiver. Head to Mug House at 1-3 Tooley St, London SE1 2PF.
Paddington – Heist Bank
Heist Bank is described as a playground for adults, which makes it the perfect hangout for killing some time before catching your train. Its speciality is pizza, beer…and flowers. They pour 12 different beers year round with an alternating extra two guest brews. It’s another with stranger-than-the-usual pizza toppings like bath chaps, wild boar sausage and speciality cheeses. If you’re in a rush, grab a snack in the form of their Fritto Misto – crispy squid, prawns, cod cheeks and wild garlic aioli. What’s even better is that Heist Bank is perfectly prepared for inevitable train delays: Wander around their mini street art gallery, play classic Nintendo and have a go at karaoke in their games room or challenge a pal to a game of pool to pass the time. Heist Bank can be found at 5 N Wharf Rd, Paddington, London W2 1LA.
Euston – Mestizo
Mestizo is renowned for its authentic Mexican food and offers more margaritas than you and your friends could ever work through. Based around the corner from Euston station, you can pop in and order a few tapas and a drink to keep you going for the duration of your travel. Their antojitos (Mexican tapas) can be ordered as a starter or a “mini banquet”, depending on how much time you have and how hungry you’re feeling. Better yet, Mestizo caters for a whole host of dietary requirements including gluten, wheat and lactose intolerances and also offer extensive vegan and nut free options. It’s also (conveniently for delayed trains when you’re reaching the end of your tether) the biggest tequila bar in Europe, with more than 260 labels. Mestizo is at 103 Hampstead Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 3EL.
Charing Cross – Rosetta Farm
Contrary to its name, Rosetta Farm is actually located just around the corner from Charing Cross station rather than the middle of acres of green fields. The Italian cafe is the perfect place to go to line your stomach before a long journey and offers some of the best paninis in the city. Their rosetta buns are freshly baked each morning and come stuffed with meats, cheeses and pickled vegetables. If you’re feeling fancy and/or have extra time to kill, try a portion of the deliciously authentic tiramisù. Wash down your sandwich with a traditional Italian spritz in the form of Aperol or Campari to finish, before heading back to the station. Rosetta Farm‘s address is 38 William IV St, London WC2N 4DD.