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A beautiful city steeped in history and gateway to the rural splendour of North Yorkshire, tourists will always flock to York - with almost 9m people visiting last year. Increasingly, its food scene is an attraction, too. In the last decade, a new wave of independent restaurants, bars and street food operators have transformed what, in food and drink terms was previously a rather staid city, dominated by the big-name chains, into an exciting, thoroughly modern place to eat. After a day of sightseeing, tuck in!

For more guides with recommendations on the top restaurants in each city, check out our travel hub. We have guides for more northern cities, such as Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Liverpool.

Best restaurants in York at a glance

22 Yards
Special occasions, casual dining

Oysters at 22 Yards restaurant

Opened summer 2022, diagonally opposite York Minster, this stylish, cosy wine shop and bistro has rapidly established itself as one of the city’s best places to eat and drink. The warm service is well-drilled, the cooking pin-sharp. Sharing plates such as a duck fat pavé topped with punchy, funky black garlic aioli and deeply savoury Old Winchester cheese, mix classical technique and contemporary influences with great confidence. With its ace wines, casual vibe and French-leaning but international menu, there is something of the Parisian neo-bistro about 22 Yards. Dishes might run, for example, from a plate of miso-glazed courgettes with salsa verde, ricotta and hazelnuts to a timelessly delicious sole with greens in a creamy mussel and white wine sauce. Plates around £7-£23.

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Cresci Pizza
Casual dining, kid-friendly


One of a handful of UK restaurants certified by the Association Verace Pizza Napoletana, this Italian-owned, wood-fired Piccadilly joint produces stellar pizza from its open kitchen. A buzzy, friendly corner restaurant, colourfully decorated with shelves of Italian food products and southern Mediterranean tile work, its pizzas boast soft, elastic, easily digestible bases which, due to a long proving process, achieve real flavour depth. The distinctive, swollen outer-rim (or cornicione) on Cresci’s Neapolitan-style pizzas is as delicious as the margherita’s vibrant San Marzano tomato sauce or its creamy mozzarella. Elsewhere, topping combinations run from onions, lardo, basil and pecorino to sweet salami and chilli. Pizza from £6.50.

Tasca Frango
Casual dining

Drop down shot of plates of food on a table at Tasca Frango restaurant in York

After building a local following, not least through its pop-up street food arm, Frango Eduardo, this Portuguese-inspired outfit recently opened this small, casual city-centre restaurant. Full of big flavours and often rib-sticking dishes, Portuguese food is heartier than you might expect which Tasca reflects in pork bifana sandwiches, a Goan curry or specials such as piri-piri chicken on lentils. In the latter, the chicken thigh meat was moist, the spiced skin expertly charred and the depth of flavour the lentils had achieved spoke of diligent work with herbs, stock and chillies. Lighter dishes of, say, piri-piri prawns or chargrilled sardines with chimichurri-like molhu cru sauce, round-out the short menu. Naturally, there is pastel de nata available to finish. Mains from around £10.

Cosgriff & Sons
Cheap eats

In the last couple of years, Australian chef-turned-ace-baker, Paul Cosgriff, has built an ardent cult following. Fans include such picky contemporaries as chefs Tommy Banks and Josh Overington. Cosgriff’s pastries and his sourdough-starter breads and donuts are next-level examples of artisan baking, as are the sandwiches he sells Thursday-Sunday at 14 Tower Street. The selection is limited to three fillings (one meat, one veggie, one vegan) but every detail is lovingly prepared, from the slow-cooked meats to Paul’s hybrid sourdough-focaccia sandwich bread. Expect creative fillings such as soy-marinated mushrooms, white bean béchamel, kale and cheddar, or kimchi, goat’s cheese, coriander and peanut salsa. From £6.50.

Special occasion, casual dining

Interior shot of Izakaya restaurant in York of a set table

After making waves with Shori at Spark: York (see below), last year chef Danny Victory opened Izakaya to great acclaim. Two Japanese-inspired menus are offered, including an omakase tasting menu where you can take a deep dive into Victory’s beautifully composed dishes of, for example, halibut ceviche with cucumber, ponzu-dressed lobster with tomato tea-steeped watermelon or Yorkshire grouse with wild hedgerow berries. The bar’s cocktails are equally creative. Menus from £32.

RAD Pizza @ Angel on the Green
Casual dining

Heading out of town past Clifford’s Tower, Bishopthorpe Road (aka. Bishy Road) is home to an enclave of indie businesses that tourists tend to overlook, to their detriment. The Angel is many things: hip watering hole, music venue, platform for food talent. It hosts pop-up supperclubs by up ‘n’ coming young chefs and a weekend breakfast-brunch service by Bobbin’ Bagels. It is also home, Thursday-through-Sunday, to sourdough pizza slingers RAD (which also serves its wood-fired work at Spark: York). Dishes from £7.50.

Yuzu Street Food @ Brew York
Casual dining

Exterior shot of Yuzu street food in York

A vast, colourful, industrial space (comprising a summer courtyard, riverside terrace, main brewery bar and upper beer hall), Brew York’s brewery-tap is a popular destination among beer lovers. Yuzu’s East Asian street food also draws a crowd. Tasty katsu curries, rice bowls, terrific gyoza and innovatively filled bao (think: shredded bulgogi beef, miso aubergine, Korean fried chicken), are sharply executed and great value. Meals from around £9.50.

Spark: York
Cheap eats, casual dining

Exterior of Spark in York

This split-level shipping container development has played a major role in re-energising York’s food scene. Like Shambles Market Food Court (see below), Spark’s street food kitchens have offered a proving ground for talented local chefs (several of whom now run their own restaurants), while helping inject the city with some much needed youthful vigour. Ten food traders run the gastronomic gamut, with various cocktail and beer bars (including the Outpost from Knaresborough’s Turning Point Brew Co.), lubricating proceedings. Various prices.

The Star Inn The City & York Minster Refectory
Casual dining, kid-friendly

Top down shot of sharing platters on wooden boards at York Minster Refectory

Chef Andrew Pern, owner of celebrated Harome gastropub, The Star Inn, also operates two spin-offs in magical York locations. His Star Inn The City sits on the River Ouse, its restaurant and summer terrace attracting a crowd from breakfast until late. Expect eggs Benedict first thing and, as the day progresses, dishes such as chianti-braised ox cheek, Cheshire saffron risotto and sprouting broccoli. This year, Pern also opened the Refectory in a beautiful, historic Grade II-listed building by York Minster. Its large patio garden is prime real estate when the sun comes out. Various menus and spaces offer everything from grazing charcuterie and cheese platters or high-end takeaway sandwiches to a £45 per-head, seven-course tasting menu that might include, for example, a truffled artichoke velouté or IPA-braised lamb shoulder with turnips, lamb fat potatoes and pickled mint. Refectory all-day menu, mains from £22.

Special occasion, casual dining

Outside view of roots restaurant

The days of Roots operating as the younger sibling to Tommy Banks’ Black Swan in Oldstead are over. Roots has its own Michelin star and, while the two restaurants share an ethos, staff and, crucially, unique produce from the Banks’ family farm (not solely fresh ingredients but incredible pickles, ferments, charcuterie and more), it has evolved its own distinct flavour. Tommy is closely involved in dish development, but Roots is very much a co-pro with its head chef, Will Lockwood.

If the restaurant décor leans spartan, the vibe is super-relaxed – fine dining in trainers, to borrow Nuno Mendes’s famous phrase. Well-drilled, friendly staff and gently buzzy background music, give these light-filled rooms a warm edge, as anticipation builds for the tasting menu to come. The farm-to-fork nature of Roots’ supply chain and its focus on northern European ingredients might imply a certain rustic, seasonal simplicity, but its dishes are, instead, highly inventive. This is where nature meets innovation, in classics such as a tiramisu-like dessert of aerated potato and chicory root, or the stand-out cruffin, a savoury take on the muffin-croissant hybrid, stuffed with, for example, lamb neck and served as a secondary course to your main.

Crab toast – brioche fried in clarified butter – served with a bowl of crab, mussel and caviar ‘custard’, punctuated by spritzy pickled parsley shoots, is as accomplished a dish as you will eat: dreamily indulgent yet with a depth and balance that speaks of real intelligence in the kitchen. Dinner tasting menu from £145-£160.

Casual dining

Plate of fish at Skosh restaurant York

Skosh is that rare beast: a fun restaurant with fantastic, relaxed staff, where the food, while ambitious and exacting, has a crowd-pleasing edge that will disarm even the fussiest eater. Food nerds, meanwhile, will lap-up chef-owner Neil Bentinck’s small plates, which deploy East Asian, Indian, classical French and modern British influences with rare self-assurance and creative vim. Each dish is a self-contained marvel. Don't miss the sensational hen’s egg, in winter a glamorous union of Dale End cheddar velouté, mushroom duxelle and Pedro Ximénez sherry. Elsewhere dishes might range from char siu pork belly with baby gem, gooseberry and pine nut, to roasted day-boat plaice with tandoori butter and lime pickle. Testament to its popularity, Skosh is planning to expand its capacity early in 2024. Main plates £8-£25.

The Pig & Pastry
Cheap eats, casual dining, kid-friendly

Cafe counter with two women serving

Perenially brilliant breakfast-brunch-lunch spot. For 15 years the Pig has gone above-and-beyond in its, for example, Haxby Bakehouse sourdough toasties, kimchi fritters or a Brindisa chorizo and seasonal greens take on eggs Benedict. Its breakfast buns, such as its herby mushroom sandwich with fried egg, mature cheddar, rocket, grilled peppers, smoky mayo and tomato relish (there are meat and vegan versions, too), are an exceptional way to start the day. Dishes £3.95-£9.

Los Moros
Cheap eats, casual dining

A graduate of Shambles Market (see below, where Los Moros still has a kitchen), Algerian chef Tarik Abdeladim creates vibrant, deftly spiced North African and Levantine dishes at his acclaimed Grape Lane restaurant. Tarik’s homemade merguez sausages with minted cucumber cacik (yoghurt) and urfa chilli oil, are a must. His sumac and za’atar fried chicken with preserved lemon mayo also has many fans. Beyond the classics such as Los Moro’s shakshouka or chicken tagine, the mains might include grilled sea bass, batata harra potatoes, house chermoula, baby courgettes and saffron aioli, or freekeh and apricot-stuffed quail with chicken velouté. Mains from £14.

Coconut Lagoon
Casual dining

A little off the tourist beat, just beyond the city walls, this reliably terrific South Indian restaurant - now in its tenth year - conjures exhilarating flavours of real nuance and depth in its freshly spiced dishes. Tamarind, dried chillies, curry leaves and mustard seeds are deployed with great aplomb across everything from masala dosa to Keralan specialities such as beef curry with shallots and coriander or lamb stew with coconut, chilli and cinnamon. Mains from £8.45.

Shambles Market Food Court
Cheap eats, kid-friendly

Woman making a crepe

There are two main street food hubs in York: shipping container development, Spark: York (see above) and Shambles Market Food Court. At the latter, Dark Horse Coffee serves a superlative flat white from its horsebox. You will also find, among an array of kitchens serving everything from crepes to Sicilian snacks, the original outpost of Los Moros [see entry] and Smokehouse Burritos, offshoot from nearby, Shambles Kitchen (see below). The Smokehouse barbacoa burrito (beef shin smoked for eight hours, braised in homemade adobo broth and rolled with paprika rice and roasted red peppers), has fathoms of flavour. On Sunday, don’t miss Goldee’s Bagels, with their fresh and filled bagels. Burrito from £7.

Casual dining

Cake shop, café, gallery and restaurant, Partisan is a quirky spot; one where, within its neo-Victorian rooms, you will find various pieces of art and antiques for sale. Local, seasonal ingredients (including herbs from chef-owner Florencia Clifford’s arable farm), and products from high-quality artisan-makers, many from Yorkshire, underpin a globe-trotting daytime menu ranging from French toast and gussied-up sandwiches to shakshuka. The Persian eggs, in which scrambled eggs on Haxby Bakehouse sourdough are lifted by medjool dates, spinach, caramelised onions, natural yogurt and almond dukkah, is delicious. Dishes £7-£14.50. Its spin-off evening restaurant Brancusi is now also open.

Fish & Forest
Casual dining

From Spark: York via the Gillygate pub, chef Stephen Andrews built a sterling rep for his creative, sustainably-sourced game, fish and vegetable-led dishes, before opening his Micklegate bistro. Its seasonal chalkboard menus change constantly, but expect crisply executed plates such as crayfish with ajo blanco, Konro-barbecued bream, pickled mussels, samphire, black salsify and a vadouvan-spiced sauce or venison with fennel and jus. Mains from £19.50.

Love Cheese
Cheap eats, casual dining

Located on Gillygate, just beyond the city walls, this cheesemonger and deli is home to the so-called “speakcheesey”, a back-room café that leads into a ‘secret’ garden dining space. Linger over afternoon cheeseboards or upmarket grilled cheese sandwich, made with Haxby Bakehouse sourdough and cultured Bungay raw butter. Larger dishes from £7.95.

Special occasions

For 33 years, Melton’s has been applying sharp classical technique to fine seasonal Yorkshire produce, to great acclaim. It was a pioneer of good food in York, and not just within the confines of its dining room. Co-owner, chef Michael Hjort, is also creative director at York Food & Drink Festival (see entry in 10 More York Hotspots), which he has steered over two decades.

These days, Michael cooks at Melton’s sister business, Anglo-French restaurant, The Chopping Block, while his wife, Lucy, continues to run Melton’s front-of-house. Michael’s long-term colleague, Calvin Miller, a chef steeped in the Melton’s ethos, leads its kitchen in the production of beautiful, quietly modish dishes of, say, Orkney scallop ceviche, a girolle tartlet with BBQ sweetcorn, black truffle and chive or cod, mussels, courgette, smoked butter and roe sauce. Menus from £58.

Mannion & Co
Casual dining, cheap eats

Way back in 2010, when Andrew Burton opened Mannion & Co., it was one of York’s first good, centrally located indie deli-cafes. Today, the city is in a far better place. Its food scene is diverse and vibrant, and Mannion’s has kept pace. It remains a reliably good option for breakfast eggs Benedict (with smoked bacon, beurre noisette and truffled hollandaise), Yorkshire rarebit, superb sandwiches and dishes of, for example, beef cheek macaroni cheese or harissa-roasted cauliflower with cauli cous cous, tahini, dukkah and yoghurt. Mannion’s creates great takeaway sweet and savoury bakes, too. Meals from around £11.

Il Paradiso del Cibo
Cheap eats, casual dining, kid friendly

This local legend has been spruced-up in recent years. For instance, its front room now sits behind retractable doors that open Il Paradiso out onto the street on warm summer nights. It retains the friendly feel of a bustling, family-run joint you might find in Rome or Naples – complete with occasional televised live football. Keen prices (eg. weekdays until 7pm, main and drink, £12.95), and fastidious methods (wood-fired pizza oven; fresh egg pastas made daily), ensure continued love among a loyal following. Mains from £10.50.

Café No.8 Bistro
Casual dining

21 years in, this Gillygate bistro (look for its gorgeous art nouveau shop front), continues to impress with its weekly-changing menu of modern European dishes. These might include, for example, prawn and smoked mackerel fishcakes, chive mayo and pea puree, fresh pasta with slow-cooked beef ragu, blue cheese and pesto or chargrilled Yorkshire lamb, Mediterranean vegetables, rosemary garlic potatoes and hollandaise. In summer, its rear garden is lovely. Mains from £15.

Casual dining

Bread, cheese and charcuterie board with glasses of wine at Pairings York

This stylish wine bar serves meat and cheese boards, small plates and salads (think: pork rillettes, smoked mackerel pate, burrata and watermelon), that draw on the work of high-quality artisan makers from East Yorkshire’s Staal Smokehouse to Salamanca’s Arturo Sánchez, supplier of Pairings’ 48-month-aged ibérico de bellota. There is, naturally, a large selection of wines by-the-glass, most available in exploratory flights or as recommended food pairings. Plates from £4.50; boards from £15.50.

Shambles Kitchen
Cheap eats

Street food at Shambles Kitchen in York

The concept is simple at this refreshingly on-point takeaway. It serves a selection of wraps and sandwiches, for which the sauces, pickles and fillings are all diligently cooked from scratch. Combos include 8-hour-smoked pork collar, shredded onto warm focaccia with smoked gammon, blow-torched cheddar, mayo and pickles, or roast, spiced cauliflower and chickpeas in a vegan coronation sauce with green sauce, tahini, lettuce and crispy onions. As the strapline once ran for its pastrami: “Two weeks to make, two minutes to devour”. From £6.50.

Special occasion, casual dining

Decorated with bold street art designs, this smart restaurant on Peasholme Green is home to Adam Humphrey, a chef who previously cooked in that culinary melting pot, Sydney. Those global influences are reflected in fascinating, skilfully executed plates of, for example, kombu-cured, roasted monkfish with kohlrabi, seaweed relish and cucumber butter sauce or spiced lamb rump, braised lamb dolmade, quinoa tabbouleh, salsify and date. The peripherals are good, too: interesting wines, notable cheese trolley, ace sourdough. Indeed, such is the kitchen’s baking prowess, it also has a coolly minimalist bakery-café space, Little Arras, at 50 Goodramgate. Dinner from £58.

Casual dining

Craft beer, artisan gins, crisp cocktails and Spanish tapas is the order of the day at this hidden gem. Originally just a basement bar (open until 3am, food until 9pm), Sotano now also includes a covered rooftop on its upper floors, where you can also enjoy its gambas pil pil, padron peppers, chicken and chorizo romesco-dressed skewers and morcilla black pudding balls. Tapas from £4.50.

10 more York hotspots

Thor's Tipi

Each summer/winter Thor’s tipis pop-up (in the Principal Hotel gardens and on Parliament Street), for drinks, music and street food from locals aces, such as Tasca Frango and Yuzu.

Spring Espresso

All your flat white, drip-cup and cold brew needs covered on Fossgate and by Lendal Bridge.

The Block

Roman-style pizza slices. Crispy, springy focaccia-like bases topped with interesting combinations, such as roast squash, chilli, thyme and goat’s cheese.

Aly's Bakery

Gillygate creators of gorgeous, deep-filled cheesecakes in various flavours. Its rich Basque-style cheesecake is a firm fan fave.


OK, not strictly York. But fans of the former Le Cochon Aveugle may want to know that the Overingtons, chef Joshua and sommelier Victoria, are continuing their pursuit of culinary fireworks in nearby Hovingham.

York Food & Drink Festival

Annual 10-day, city-wide celebration of York’s tastiest attractions and the Yorkshire produce that underpins that work.

Bluebird Bakery

Real bread evangelist and purveyor of tasty baked items at its tiny Shambles Market shop. Bluebird also runs Rise, a bakery-café and arts venue in suburb, Acomb.

Fat Hippo

Northern burger slingers of distinction whose expansion from their Newcastle HQ now includes a York outlet. Its American cheeseburger is a modern classic.

Bishopthorpe Road

As per the Pig & Pastry and Angel on the Green entries, head beyond the city walls, along Bishy Road, and you will discover a thriving network of compelling indie businesses. Highlights include Stanley & Ramona, a compact corner café serving A1 coffee and top baked goods; Good Food Shop, a deli serving cut-above salad boxes and sandwiches on Haxby Bakehouse bread; and chilled shop-bar, 2 Many Wines (3 Bishopthorpe Road), a lovely place to lose a few hours. Just around the corner, York food lovers cannot get enough of the stellar croissants and pastries at Flori.

York pub scene

Manchester has the indie breweries. Leeds has the cool craft beer bars. But York has fantastic pubs in abundance. Pubs which, despite their often historic, characterful architecture, take a modern approach to beer covering all bases in cask ale and cutting-edge craft beer.

On York station itself, York Tap is a gem, as is its sister bar, Pivni, just off Shambles Market. Between York Tap and the nearby Maltings, a civilised “pub for grown-ups” as it bills itself, you could while away a few happy, hoppy hours without really setting foot in the city-centre. But you are advised to press on to Turning Point Brew Co.’s café-bar styled The Falcon or further into town to the Blue Bell, a remarkable two-roomed Edwardian pub. Note: the Bell is a small place that cannot accommodate larger groups. It also takes a dim view of (full list of rules on its website), swearing, noise and general rowdiness.

From there, you can cross the road to Ossett Brewery’s The Hop for a pint of its classic hoppy pale, White Rat, wander further down Walmgate-Fossgate to Brew York’s brewery-tap [see Yuzu entry] or, get out of the tourist scrum which York can become on its busiest days, and head beyond the city walls to that beer-lovers paradise, Rook and Gaskill. The Rook’s cask and keg taps and can ranges offers a veritable Who’s Who of modern British beer.

On your way back through town, it is mandatory to visit, arguably, the greatest of York’s ale hubs, The House of Trembling Madness. The Stonegate original is both a very well-stocked bottle shop – its range will mesmerise even the biggest beer geek - and, upstairs, a cosy bar whose décor (taxidermy and other oddities of a piece with this medieval building), is as diverting as the beer choice. A second, swankier and larger Trembling Madness – a self-styled “craft beer mansion” over five-storeys of a handsome Georgian building – can be found a short walk away, at 14 Lendal.

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