Restaurants in York
York’s culinary scene is impressive for a relatively small city. There are rafts of restaurants showing off British cooking to the large tourist numbers, ranging from gastronomic to quality pub food. There are also various Italian, Indian, Chinese and other international cuisines to try.
The restaurants below have been hand-picked by our guide author and are grouped into three different pricing categories:
Expensive (over £40)
Moderate (£20 to £40)
Cheap (up to £20)
These prices are based on the cost of a three-course meal for one and a half-bottle of house wine or equivalent (where applicable). Tip 10% if the service is good and it hasn’t already been added to the bill.
Café No 8Cuisine: British, international
This elegant bistro serves some of the best food to be found in York, and despite the local sophisticates that frequent, there's nothing pretentious about Café No 8. Small without being too close, the interior is dotted with large plant pots, wooden floorboards and timber beams suggestive of an old townhouse, but it's cleanly decorated, with a fresh, modern feel. Try the grilled halloumi to start, while the main of pork belly (a small but delicious cube of tender slow-cooked meat that melts in the mouth) is delightful. Ask to sit in the pretty garden in summer, which extends up a set of old stone steps.Address: , 8 Gillygate, York, YO31 7EQ
Telephone: 01904 653 074.
The Blue BicycleCuisine: British
Housed in a building that used to be a brothel in the early 20th century, The Blue Bicycle channels its heritage with a sensual, baroque atmosphere, featuring soft candlelight, private vaulted booths and a red and rustic design. As for the food, expect gourmet standard at relatively reasonable prices, including the likes of char-grilled venison with saffron and apple puree. The Blue Bicycle is best known for its seafood, and from the pan-fried salmon to the butter-poached fillet of curried monkfish tail, it's all delightful.Address: , 34 Fossgate, York, YO1 9TA
Telephone: 01904 673 990.
The Judge’s LodgingCuisine: British
The most-talked about hotel in York is The Judge's Lodging, which opened in summer 2014 after a six-month renovation. Its eclectic basement bar and front terrace are already becoming a popular spot for a drink but the hotel restaurant is also worth a visit. Ask to sit in the so-called 'monkey room' (with high ceilings and quirky primates-on-pillars wallpaper) by the big windows looking onto the garden or next to the fireplace. The food is quality English pub grub and the premium steaks are superb.Address: , 9 Lendal, York, YO1 8AQ
Telephone: 01904 639 312.
Cafe ConcertoCuisine: British, international
Expect lovingly cooked homemade dishes at this welcoming, quirky bistro run by husband-and-wife team Ian and Rozz Hancox since 1993. The interior is like a muso’s living room with sheet music papering the walls, violins and other instruments hung like paintings, and assorted furniture including pew-like benches. It’s the perfect cosy environment to sample a changing menu that pivots around local produce. Don’t miss the delicious dauphinoise of chicken and mushroom, a creamy oven-baked delight that comes in a little tin pot.Address: , 21 High Petergate, York, YO1 7EN
Telephone: 01904 610 478.
El PianoCuisine: International
For something a bit different, head to this charming spot where the bohemian atmosphere is complemented by Moroccan cushions, Spanish tiles and a hammock hanging in one corner. That it's vegan and gluten-free may resonate with a niche crowd, but a few bites of the delicious, rich food will leave many wondering whether they'd really miss meat. There are Latin American, Spanish and Middle Eastern influences here, so try cornballs covered in mole (rich Mexican sauce) and pestolito fritters composed of spinach, tomato, mushroom and houmus. It's also a great place to while away the afternoon over big cups of coffee.Address: , 15-17 Grape Lane, York,
Telephone: 01904 610 676.
Il Paradiso del CiboCuisine: Italian
For the most entertaining dining option in York, head to this one-of-a-kind Italian. There are more glamorous options for pasta in the city, but don't be put off by the green-white-and-red sign outside and garish décor as Il Paradiso is the real deal. Run by Sardinian native Paolo Silesu, the team are friendly (especially to women) and the food is incredible. The starter of burrata campana (a Sardinian cheese a bit like mozzarella) is 'flown in special', has a two-day shelf-life and is sublime, while any one of the mains such as busa con triglie (chunky pasta strips with red mullet in a rich spicy sauce), bauletti all'astice (lobster-stuffed ravioli) and maialetto al mirto (slow-roasted suckling piglet) could make your day, if not your entire stay.Address: , 34 Fossgate, York, YO1 9TJ
Telephone: 01904 611 444.
York's Ask, of pizza and pasta fame, is no ordinary chain restaurant. Situated in the Grand Assembly Rooms, possibly the earliest neoclassical building in Europe, the interior threatens to overwhelm the food with lofty ceilings, giant chandeliers and opulent marble pillars garnishing this Palladian space. You may not fancy a high street name while visiting one of England's most venerable cities, but through Ask, a national treasure lives on.Address: , The Grand Assembly Rooms, Blake Street, York, YO1 8QG
Telephone: 01904 637 254.
Mannion & CoCuisine: British
If you fancy a less showy alternative to the famous Bettys tea rooms, head to this quaint café not far from the Minster. Little more than a handsome nook from the outside, there are a surprising number of old, wooden and reclaimed tables within, and even a pleasant little courtyard offering glimpses of the cathedral. The large selection of teas includes Dale's 'with Yorkshire water', Darjeeling 'first flush', and spiced Masala chai. Take it with delicious crumbly scones topped by clotted cream and fresh jam. Ideal for afternoon tea, Mannion is also a great brunch stop with bacon and sausage sandwiches.Address: , 1 Blake Street, York, YO1 8QJ
Telephone: 01904 631 030.
For something a bit different, head to York's first Korean restaurant. With a welcoming bistro atmosphere, husband-and-wife team, Soang Ho and Ross Sinclair, run this hidden gem nestled within the tangle of streets north of the Minster. The sushi is delicious and fresh, the goyza dumplings delicious and the bulgogi (beef marinated with pears, ginger and garlic) keep the locals coming back.Address: Fossgate, 9 Franklins Yard, York, YO1 9TN
Telephone: 01904 593 649.