20 Best Restaurants in York

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Fish and Forest
Image from Fish and Forest

The Top Restaurants in York can be pricey, but there are plenty of great options for those on tight budgets.

When it comes to dinner, the city’s plethora of renowned restaurants and international cuisines can be challenging, which is actually a good problem to have.

One thing is for sure: York’s vibrant culinary scene is on point, especially for complete mess weekenders.

Options range from high-end, experimental eateries like Roots and Skosh to cosy favourited French classics like Rustique or hefty Neapolitan pizza slices at Dough Eyed.

For our recommendations for York’s top eateries, continue reading.

Best Restaurants in York

1. The Bow Room

A delightful stroll down a historic cobblestone side street off York’s leads to a quiet, tree-filled courtyard & a warm Yorkshire reception, making arriving at Grays Court Hotel a treat every time.

Once inside the opulent hotel, the debaucherous, warm, and rich aesthetic continues into the fine restaurant, The Bow Room, wherein chef Adam Jackson dazzles with his extravagant nine-course tasting menu, using products from the hotel’s kitchen garden that Head Gardener Jules Fern sources.

Highlights of the occasion include the scallops with cucumber and mussels and the lamb with asparagus and truffle. This is an occasion to plan for & make last as long as humanly possible.

Note: The restaurant is located in one of York’s most beautiful neighbourhoods.

Look for the hotel’s resident dog guarding his area. The big sash windows look out onto a lovely garden that is surrounded by the old, blonde walls of the city.

2. Fish and Forest Restaurants in York

Don’t pass by Seafood & Forest, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bistro on Micklegate, with their wonderful take on seasonal & sustainable fish, game, and forest delicacies (thus the name).

The creative team of Chef Stephen & Yohan is behind the brand, & their enthusiasm and attention to detail are evident.

Fish and Forest
Image from Fish and Forest

We adore their authentic, waste-free cuisine from the local area, which has earned them acclaim in the Micheli for their dedication to ecological gastronomy.

The charred mackerel & dashi and the Yorkshire venison and green peppercorn are two of the restaurant’s signature dinner dishes.

3. Robinsons

A visit to Robinsons on the autonomous high street known as “Bishy Road” must be planned in advance.

Timing is crucial. You cannot make reservations, so if you are late, you risk waiting at the curb.

However, the line soon thins down, and you quickly realize it was worth the wait, especially when Chef Bex serves you the most Instagram-worthy breakfast meal with a flat white.

Avocado eggs, a colourful medley of Haxby Bakehouse bread filled with guacamole, cherry tomatoes, & precisely presented poached eggs, are one of the menu’s standout items.

The Turkish eggs and truffled mushrooms are also fantastic; everything is consistently good and fairly priced.

Give the kids the super-stacked pancakes, and you’ll be sure to get two tiny angels in return.

4. Roots Restaurant

What is there to dislike about Fleetwood Mac and fine food? The hottest ticket in town for the best dining experience is a table reservation at Roots.

The York restaurant owned by Tommy Bank hits all the right notes and avoids the stuffiness typical of quiet Michelin establishments.

Chic country meets metropolitan edge in the restaurant’s avant-garde interior design, creating an attractive and lively dining area.

The restaurant is located in an old butterscotch-stone bar on the charming Marygate.

Try the grilled chicken with lemon verbena and the glazed lobster, two exquisite small plates with local provenance, during the seasonal table-tasting menu extravaganza.

The dishes are complemented by exceptional organic wines. Fleetwood Mac’s music serves as the soundtrack for the establishment, bringing back the enjoyment of excellent dining.

5. Sora Sky Bar

The sushi paradise at Sora, a beloved Asian tapas restaurant, for honey-hued vistas of York and beyond.

It’s the perfect place to enjoy mouthwatering Japanese sashimi & yakitori while taking in the stunning city views and distant White Horse of Kilburn.

Sora Restaurants in York
Image from Sora Sky Bar

Just keep in mind that it’s York, not Nice; therefore, bring a jacket in case it gets a little “parky,” as they say in Yorkshire.

Expect stripy lounge chairs and Mediterranean music mixed with Zen-inspired décor.

Begin with a cherry blossom negroni before tucking into sticky pork belly, crab-infused spider roll, and KFC – Korean fried cauliflower.

6. Skosh

Chef Neil Bentinck’s delectable yet humorous little meals are charming at Skosh, which takes its name from the Japanese word for “small amount”; they may not be large, but they quickly engage all the senses.

This cheerful, open kitchen and its pleasant staff are a treat. The emphasis is on international fusion, and notable dishes include miso-glazed hake, cauliflower pakoras, and hen’s egg with leek & black vinegar.

The eating area is simple, with a light Hygge-style restaurant & kitchen counter seats, imaginative, varied Asian influences, and high-quality, excellent, occasionally theatrical food. This combination of elements creates a winning mix.

This restaurant embraces international cuisine, incorporating flavours from the Middle East, Spain, Japan, and the US.

Skosh York
Image from Skosh York

We advise getting two plates because Skosh is most known for its magnificent buttermilk fried chicken with aerated hollandaise.

7. The Ivy

The York restaurant’s deep orange velvet banquettes and elegant marble-topped bar fit the bill perfectly because The Ivy is renowned for its delectable brasserie-style menu and exceptional service.

There has never been a better excuse for a selfie than a trip to the elaborate, Chinoiserie-inspired bathroom with its beautiful gold and scarlet decor and rose-adorned ceiling.

Having a pre-prandial glass of candy floss fizz will help you get things going the right way.

The flaky blackened cod fillets with soy marinade, the juicy skillet scallops, and the cosy Ivy shepherd’s pie are some of the best items on the menu. Finish with the chocolate bombe with honeycomb filling.

This dessert is a spectacle that erupts when the waiter pours hot caramel sauce on it.

8. Rustique Fine Dining

The best works are occasionally the classics. The perfect example is Rustique, a quaint, family-run French café with squeaky wooden floors, vibrant décor, and a sunny terrace.

It’s the kind of place you’ll want to go back to over and over again.

The incredibly famous eatery, which is located next to Clifford’s Tower, is frequently booked for a good reason: its super set menu includes dishes like the traditional French onion soup, duck confit, and steak fries.

Similar to the quaint establishment you discovered in Montmartre, Rustique’s delicious and filling French bistro dishes are priced reasonably (as is the wine) and are best enjoyed there with a good companion in the chatty, boisterous setting.

9. Star Inn The City

Numerous Star Inn at Harome trademarks may be found in Andrew Pern’s well-liked York offshoot, but the atmosphere is more relaxed.

There are expansive waterside views of the River Ouse from the charming old-brick Lendal engine house, which is located in a desirable location on the edge of the wild and green Museum Gardens.

We recommend starting with the cured organic salmon or the Yorkshire pudding with an ale sauce, followed by the pan-roasted fish with a tom yum soup or Escrick-raised hog.

On the sunny bar terrace, start with just an icy York Gin G&T before entering the elegant dining area inside.

10. Arras

At Arras, a modern British dining experience located in an art-filled dining room, expect the unexpected and innovative.

Food is treated seriously right away at this restaurant, which is housed in an old coach house with an eye-catching exterior and a welcoming interior.

The set lunch menu is very well-priced for two meals, and Adam & Lovaine run a tight ship.

Remember to get the British cheese trolley along with dishes like slow-cooked beef rump, blueberry and lemon dessert, and salmon pastrami.

Cheese should be served as the dinner’s fourth course. Try the incredible sourdough & Square Mile Coffee at Little Arras, the bakery’s younger sibling.

11. Bettys Cafe

Without a visit to the renowned Café Tea Room, also known as Betty’s tea room, no vacation to York is complete.

Beautiful settings, amiable and competent personnel and excellent meals are all present. You can enjoy the clock dinner in this cafe situated near york college.

Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms, a York landmark in St. Helen’s Square, was inspired by the Queen Mary ocean liner for her lavish, old-worldly grandeur interiors.

Bettys is known for its pretty cakes, delicate confections, and dainty afternoon teas.

However, the lunch and dinner menus are equally impressive; try the chicken schnitzel with pommes allumettes or the hearty Swiss breakfast rosti, both of which are served on the finest silverware.

Bettys Cafe
Image from Bettys Cafe

The gooey rascal dessert is a potent combination of ice cream, fresh cream, and crumbled chocolate cookies presented in a gorgeous tall sundae glass – if you like, a lesson in moderation.

When it comes to Bettys, the devil is in the details, from the place setting to the expertly carved vanilla slices to the teapots.

For an added touch of elegance, coffee is served with a small pot of cream.

The old-fashioned refinery’s long line is a clue that it is truly unique; eating breakfast there and gazing out the wraparound windows are both enjoyable.

12. Los Moros

In a modest hut near Shambles Market, owner Tarik Abdeladim launched Los Moros, and he hasn’t looked back since.

The street vendor is still in business today, but the creative north African eatery, called “The Moors” in Spanish, has grown steadily.

Locally sourced ingredients are the focus of Grape Lane, a restaurant tucked away among the city’s winding lanes.

The crew makes its own pickles and preserves and uses meat & poultry from the Yorkshire Dales.

The dining room’s beautifully tiled, white walls and ceiling are filled with the scent of an Algerian souk.

When the city’s autumnal hues begin to fade, the zesty & colourful shakshuka is the perfect winter warmer, bringing you to more exotic locales.

Inhale the mouthwateringly delicious chicken tagine in saffron, preserved lemons, and potatoes or the hot merguez sausages.

Drink a refreshing Los Moros pale ale produced by Brew York to wash it all down. Tarik always supports the community.

13. Dough Eyed

Dough Eyed is your modest, friendly pizzeria if you want pizza, but it must be the proper pizza.

You won’t find pineapple or strange dips on the side here, but you will get a warm greeting and real Neapolitan pizza.

The 70-seat restaurant is located in the centre of York, close to the flower market on Jubbergate.

Owner Chris Phillips has worked hard to develop his product, and as a result, he has many devoted customers.

During the pandemic, he even brought pizzas to the NHS workers. There are no shortcuts used because the pizza speaks for itself.

Only the best ingredients are used to make the wonderfully chewy & crispy dough, and the toppings are of the greatest quality.

The dessert pizzas containing Nutella are an added bonus, and they go perfectly with the salami and spicy honey. They also pair well with the zingy salami Napoli and the sweet, chilli-infused honey.

14. Le Cochon Aveugle

There isn’t really a menu in this place; you inform the restaurant of any dietary restrictions you may have and take pleasure in the wonderful four or eight-course dinner that is provided to you.

The black pudding macaron is its speciality, though the menu varies depending on the season. Cave du Cochon, a sister establishment and natural wine bar, is nearby if you’re thirsty.

15. Pairings Wine Bar

Sisters own and operate Pairings, an independent wine bar in York that is situated on the storied Castlegate.

This cosy pub offers something for everyone, including exquisite wines by the glass, regional ales, signature cocktails, great coffee, cheese, charcuterie, deli dishes, and desserts.

Don’t worry if you’re not an expert on wine; the helpful staff will pair the wine with the cuisine of your choice.

Pairing is a terrific place to catch out with old friends with wine and tapas or to spend a romantic night with loved ones.

16. Melton

Melton’s is ideal for any special event or a romantic date night with your significant other.

A flawless selection of delectable regional and international meals prepared with just the freshest ingredients are available on Melton’s menu.

It is simple to understand why this lovely restaurant has become a local favourite throughout the years when you combine that with the warm, friendly service.

Try the delicious local duck with soy and five-spice, pak choi and steamed rice, or the flavorful mussel risotto and anise air.

All we can say is that they should retain the chef on board since he deserves Michelin stars!

17. Press Kitchen

The Press Kitchen is a casual, independent, modern British neighbourhood restaurant and wine bar serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the centre of the city.

Hats off to the chef since the food was quite inventive, and the flavours blended beautifully.

There is a sizable wine menu available by the glass, the service is really attentive, and nothing is too much bother.

One of my all-time favourite meals was this one! Simply put, fantastic.

18. Barbakan

One of the nicest places to dine in York is Barbakan, a Polish-inspired, cosy, and charming restaurant serving traditional hearty cuisine if you’re ready to try something a little different.

We’d suggest the Hungarian pancakes with flavorful stew and ending with one of their homemade sweets; the spiced apple cake with meringue reminded me of Christmas.

19. Shambles Market St York

One of York’s top restaurants, without a doubt! Shambles Market is a well-known outdoor market in the city centre that is open seven days a week and sells local goods like apparel, crafts, and food for lunch.

Enjoy a piece of Pizzoli’s homemade pizza that is truly Italian, or select a delectable pastry from Café M while you people-watch.

Look no further if you’re on a diet and need some quick, healthful cuisine.

Some of the finest produce available is served by KERP. Obtain real French cuisine for a reasonable cost.

With over 14 different dealers offering food influenced by India, Asia, Italy, and more, you’ll be inundated with options!

20. Goji Café

Just off York’s main plaza is the vegetarian café & deli known as Goji Café. They want to provide you with sweets that are vibrant, happy, and enriching.

The cafe is a great spot to catch up with friends or use your laptop for work.

This perfect destination offers global cuisine, crab soup, lobster rolls, crab cake, eggs benedict, handcrafted cocktails, seafood, burgers, pasta, appetizer, snacks, barbecue, and fast service.

This comes under the most popular restaurants in york, which offer great service and great food in a casual setting.

You can stop by for a brief lunch break, stay for a light cream tea, curl up by the fireplace with their speciality hot chocolate (served in their renowned Yorkshire “ginormous mugs”) and watch the world go by, or you can order from their amazing takeaway menu.

Final Note

You can find good food and a seasonal menu in these Popular Restaurants in York.

The eating scene in York is as diverse as it is fascinating, ranging from the traditional to the cutting edge, well-known to up-and-coming.

There are Michelin stars available within the city gates for every taste and budget.

There are delicious dining alternatives for everyone, whether you want to eat at a venue that will go down in history or one that is celebrated for its distinct blending of pastry and gravy.

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