Top ten places for food in York

In honour of the York Food and Drink Festival which takes place from the 23rd September – 2nd October this year, I thought I’d give a quick round up of my top ten places to go for food in York. The Food and Drink Festival is well worth a visit. Parliament Street is taken over by a fantastic food market, and a range of tastings, demonstrations and workshops take place throughout the week. I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to make it this year, so I’ve reminisced about some of my favourite places to go for food in York for the purpose of this quick guide.

Cafes, Cakes and Afternoon Tea

There are no shortage of fabulous cafes in York, but some just bring something a little special to the table…


Bettys is the place to go in York, as the queues clearly show! I’d recommend breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea in either of the beautiful Bettys tea rooms in York. If you’ve not got time to queue and it’s looking busy, I’d recommend picking up a cake in the shop and eating it elsewhere.

York Cocoa House

If you like chocolate, then York Cocoa House is the place to go. It serves an extensive menu of hot chocolates, and a very tasty selection of cakes. I’d recommend a chocolate brownie, or a slice of the salted caramel chocolate truffle cake (although beware as it is incredibly rich!).

Brew and Brownie

If brunch and pancake stacks are more your thing than afternoon tea, I’d recommend heading to Brew and Brownie. The pancake stacks are delicious and very filling, and there is also a tasty looking selection of homemade cakes on the counter.

Rowntree Park Reading Cafe

If you enjoy your cake with a view, or really enjoy books, then the reading cafe is the best place to head. From the terrace you can see lovely views of Rowntree Park, whilst inside doubles up as a library. A wonderful place to come on a sunny day!

Asian Cuisine

If you like Asian food but are looking to try something a little different to a traditional curry or Chinese, here are two restaurants you really ought to try.

Yak and Yeti

Yak and Yeti is a Nepalese Gurkha Restaurant that serves some amazing food. Whether you prefer stir fry or curry, something spicy or something mild, there will be something for you. I’d recommend getting the momos to start!

Khao San Road

I avoided Thai restaurants for a very long time in fear of the food being far too spicy for my palette. I went to Khao San Road and felt stupid for having done so. If you like spicy food it’s on the menu but if you are not so keen then there are also some mild options.

The Best of the Rest

There are a very large number of restaurants in York, and it was never going to be possible for me to narrow down all of my favourites into one list. However, here are the best of those that I haven’t so far mentioned…


I have been to Rustique time and time again, and it has never failed to disappoint. If you enjoy French food, you need to come here. If you don’t, it’s worth trying anyway. The set course menu is very good value meaning that you can dine well without breaking the bank.

Guy Fawkes Inn

The Guy Fawkes Inn is the birthplace of Guy Fawkes, and is now a charming candlelit pub. The A La Carte menu is a little on the pricey side for a pub, but it is very good food. The steak pie is the best pie I have ever had – you need to try it!

31 Castlegate

31 Castlegate is another place that offers good value dining with an affordable set menu. If you are a local, it is worth signing up to their mailing list for special offers and a treat in your birthday month.


Lucia Wine Bar and Grill

Lucia’s has an Italian inspired menu with plenty of choice. If you don’t fancy a main meal, why not try a selection of the Petit Lucia’s small plates? Perfect for sharing or for lunch. Lucia’s has an outside area where you can eat at any time of year, as outdoor heaters and blankets will keep you warm.

Anywhere I’ve missed? Where is your favourite place to eat in York?


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