The Best Places to Eat in York

The Best Places to Eat in York

One of the most beautiful cities in the UK, the ancient Roman settlement of York is renowned for its cobbled streets and stunning architecture. Making its historic pathways all the more appealing are a huge number of world-class eateries that tempt with heady aromas, from vibrant street food markets to cosy, traditional pubs to modern fine-dining bistros. To help you find your favourite, we’ve put together a list of all the best places to eat in York for laidback lunches and candle-lit dinners.

Eating Out

Leaving you spoilt for choice, eateries of all shapes and sizes await in York offering cuisine from every corner of the globe. From the heat of North Africa to the wilds of the North York Moors, here are just some of the culinary marvels that await.


The Arts and Crafts building facade of Roots restaurant in York

Set on the banks of the serpentine River Ouse in a quiet corner of York, Roots is one of Yorkshire's Michelin star restaurants. A not-so-secret secret, it sits within an attractive Arts and Crafts building and entices with a menu forged on seasonality and sustainability. Curated by the two Michelin-star chef Tommy Banks, its interiors provide a light-filled, modern-rustic space in which to relax, while its menus propose a selection of refined, contemporary dishes offering depth in simplicity. With a quality wine list to match, this restaurant is perfect for those looking for somewhere a little less ordinary.

Shambles Market

Markets stalls at the famous Shambles Market in York

One of the coolest places to eat in York, the Shambles Market offers a sensory explosion. Spread across a dedicated food court, a varied array of food stands serve up tantalising street food every day of the week, including everything from authentic, flavourful Thai food at Thai Season to nationally-acclaimed pulled pork sandwiches at the Shambles Kitchen. Also really popular is Los Moros, a fantastic street kitchen serving up Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. The perfect quirky spot for lunch, the market also opens its doors for pop-ups and special events in the evenings too, so it’s always worth keeping an eye on the line-up of events.

The Woodman Inn

A pint of beer; there are lots of great places to eat and drink in York

The Woodman Inn on Bishopthorpe Road (or Bishy Road as it’s known by locals) is a CAMRA-award-winning, dog-friendly pub situated just outside of York’s city centre. Inviting all the family, it promises cosy pub vibes with comfortable, traditional interiors and menus penned with regularly updated, hearty repasts. Popular throughout the year, it provides a warm welcome in the winter, while in summer, it opens its sun-kissed garden for alfresco meals in the sunshine. Winning over the younger generations, it also boasts a purpose-built adventure play area outside too.

Star Inn The City

The waterside restaurant and terrace of the Starr Inn The City restaurant in York

An award-winning brasserie set within the listed Lendal Engine House, the Star Inn The City takes pride of place next to the River Ouse. Making the most of its riverside setting with an outdoor terrace overlooking the water, its reputation as one of the best places to eat in the city is well-deserved. Steered by the vision of Michelin-star chef Andrew Pern, the restaurant uses only the finest, freshest local ingredients to create irresistible breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. And, for ultimate enjoyment, the menus are complemented by an extensive drinks list of wines, local ales and speciality cocktails too.

Spark York

The outdoor food court at Spark York in the nighttime, illuminated by multi-coloured lights

For a novel foodie experience in York, head over to Spark York. An outdoor hub promoting exciting local start-ups, this vibrant space is home to an eclectic assortment of food traders selling everything from refreshing bohemian cocktails to stacked burgers piled high with trimmings. Whether you fancy sampling foods from around the world or sticking to your tried and tested favourites, Spark offers a fun, laidback venue for you to escape to for a while and treat your tastebuds to the most memorable flavours that’ll have you heading back again and again.


A plate of delicious food served by Melton's restaurant in York

A husband-and-wife-run fine-dining restaurant in the picturesque suburbs of York, Melton’s has been a steadfast favourite of locals and visitors alike since Michael and Lucy Hjort first opened its doors in 1990. Holding two AA rosettes and regularly featured in established food guides, including the Michelin guide, the restaurant’s 30 years’ of experience has accumulated in widespread recognition. Somewhere that foodies naturally flock to, it beckons with a warm welcome, relaxed ambience and modern British meals that reflect the county’s ever-changing seasons.


A plate of seafood served by Skosh restaurant in York

The Bib Gourmand Skosh restaurant awaits for an exciting exploration of contemporary British cooking injected with international influences. Styled around an open-concept kitchen, you can take a pew in the relaxed dining area and watch the chefs at work as they create their gastronomical masterpieces. Taking meaning from the Japanese word for “small amount”, Skosh serves individual mains as well as snacks and small plates that are perfect for sharing. This restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday and booking ahead is advised to avoid disappointment.


The outdoor garden with tables and chairs at Arras restaurant in York

“Deliciously different”, Arras is a modern restaurant in York manned by a team of highly talented chefs. With unbridled enthusiasm for food and dedicated attention to detail, the team’s passion and expertise translates across every element, with both the restaurant’s vibrant atmosphere and incredible menu a product of their values and vision. Book ahead and take a seat in the dining room or enclosed outdoor terrace and treat yourself to gorgeous tastes and textures. You can also visit the restaurant’s bakery, Little Arras, which is found just a few streets away and turns out a range of fresh bakes every day.

Bow Room at Grays Court

Fine dining at the Bow Room at Grays Court, one of the best restaurants in York

Seated just behind the famous York Minster – one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe – the Bow Room at Grays Court enjoys a wonderfully central position within the town. Inside, it invites you to sip a pre-dinner aperitif in its atmospheric, wood-panelled bar, or settle down in the restaurant to satiate your appetite. Created using high-quality local ingredients from trusted suppliers and the restaurant’s own kitchen garden, the menu has something for all tastes. Choose from the lounge menu, served from 12pm to 9pm, or the set tasting menu, served in the evening.

Fish & Forest

Inside the light-filled interiors of the Fish & Forest restaurant in York

As the name suggests, Fish & Forest restaurant takes its inspiration from the sea and forests that fringe Yorkshire. Working with local businesses wherever possible, this award-winning restaurant in the middle of York uses responsibly-sourced, grown and foraged produce to craft its flavoursome dishes – resulting in a menu that’s a real celebration of the county. Reserve in advance to secure a coveted space in this small restaurant and look forward to perusing the menu of local game, day-boat fish and seasonal vegetables with a glass of something delicious in hand.

The Black Swan, Oldstead

The specials board, a window table, and chopped logs ready for the fireplace inside the Black Swan restaurant in Oldstead, York

Nestled between York’s ancient city walls and the windswept realms of the North York Moors, the Black Swan is undoubtedly one of the best places to eat in York with four AA rosettes, a Michelin star and a Michelin green star. Headed by renowned chef Tommy Banks, this quintessential country pub and its mouth-watering offerings combine to create the ultimate foodie destination. Grounded in tradition and infused with modern gastronomic creativity, its menus consist of produce both grown and foraged by the restaurant team and are a true seasonal celebration of Yorkshire’s natural larder.

Eating In

If you would like to take advantage of York’s seasonal local produce for a picnic en plein air or feast at home, here are some of the top places to visit in York to fill your hamper.

York Farm Shops

Fresh local produce at the Balloon Tree Farm Shop in York

Recognised as one of the greenest counties in the UK, Yorkshire’s fertile soils afford the perfect conditions for growing and nurturing. Coupled with an extensive coastline, it profits from an abundance of local produce and ingredients, all of which can be purchased seasonally in the array of farm shops peppered around the county. In particular, York has access to lots of great farm shops, many of which have been serving the local community for decades. Head to the Balloon Tree Farm Shop in Gate Helmsley, Tancred Farm Shop in Whixley, Pool Bridge Farm Shop and Lodge Cottage Farm Shop in Crockley Hill, and stock up on the highest quality local goods.

Henshelwoods Delicatessen

Outside Henshelwoods Delicatessen in York

First established in 1998, Henshelwoods Delicatessen is a little foodie haven located near the Shambles Market in York. With a fully loaded deli and hamper service, you can choose all your favourite titbits and treats for a heavenly smorgasbord of local delights. Pick from over 70 British and continental cheeses, charcuterie, pâté, preserves, chutneys, bakes, cakes and much, much more. If you aren’t salivating already, you soon will be.

Feeling inspired for a tour of Yorkshire’s foodie capital? Take a look at our luxury cottages in York here.


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