Getting to the ground
It's pretty easy to get from Kings Cross to the ground. You've got the choice of three stations to head for - Thornton Heath, Selhurst, or Norwood Junction. The first two are around a 15 minute walk from the ground, and to get there you catch a tube to Victoria and then an overground train (every 10 minutes, total journey time around 45 minutes). Norwood Junction, on the other hand is reached via tube to London Bridge, then overground train (8 an hour, total journey time around 40 minutes), and is only 10 minutes from the ground. The cheapest way of getting over there is with an Oyster Card or contactless debit/credit card. Otherwise you'll need a One Day Travelcard zones 1-4. Your best bet is probably to travel out to Thornton Heath for the pubs (see below), then back from Norwood Junction.
If you get off at Thornton Heath there's a Wetherspoons (the Flores Sandes) straight over the road from the station. It's not the best Spoons though, and you can be sure it'll get packed. A much better bet is the Railway Telegraph, which is just 50 yards down from the station. The pubs around Selhurst station are normally home fans only, which is a shame because one of them is a Shepherds Neane pub that gets good reviews. You should though be able to get in Selhurst Railway Club, which is out the 'back' door from the station and along the alleyway a bit. It'll probably cost you a couple of quid to get in, but once inside the beer will be pretty cheap. I'm not sure about around Norwood Junction, but I suspect they're basically home pubs, nothing special, or closed down. There is a Spoons reasonably close by, but again it gets mixed reviews at best.
My personal recommendation though is the Pawson's Arms. It's a bit out of the way and a 10 minute walk from Thornton Heath station, but it's well worth the hike. It's basically a Palace pub, but they make away fans very welcome. The beer's decent (London Pride and Doom Bar when we were there), and they do sandwiches. Even though it gets busy towards kick-off the service is amazingly quick. They could certainly teach Wetherspoons staff a thing or two!
Other options are:
- drink in the pubs around Kings Cross; you'd have to leave before 7 o'clock to make kick-off though
- find a pub around London Bridge (the Old Kings Head would be my suggestion) then jump on a train to Norwood Junction at the last minute
Kings Cross pub map
Football Ground Guide