Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in York
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best York restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 103 restaurants in York and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing York restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured York Restaurants
1. Skosh British, Modern restaurant in York 98 Micklegate - YO1
“Every time I know that I am going to Skosh I am excited days beforehand as I know that I’m in for a flavour sensation!” – Neil Bentinck’s city-centre four-year-old invites some comparison with local rival Roots (the only York restaurant to generate more reports than here) and the tapas-style dishes his kitchen produces feature “stunning food combinations, brilliantly conceived and executed, with flavours that linger long after the meal ends”. “It’s a small place, and not fancy” but fans feel “it’s lovely like this” thanks to its “modern and fun” approach and “chilled vibe”.
2. 31 Castlegate Restaurant British, Modern restaurant in York 31 Castlegate - YO1
A “consistently good” indie that has been open since 2005 and occupies the former house of Georgian architect G.T. Andrews, in the shadow of the Clifford’s Tower; its continental cuisine continues to elicit solid ratings, and “their 2-for-1 special offers (once they have your email address) are superb value”.
3. Roots British, Modern restaurant in York 68 Marygate - YO30
“A magnificent addition to York's burgeoning food scene” – “Tommy Banks does amazing things with the most simple of ingredients” (“how can anyone make a humble brassica such as kale so bloody tasty that we were all fighting over it?!”), at his family’s “converted pub, close to York city-centre”, which – in one short year – became the survey’s most-mentioned destination in this increasingly foodie town. “The intense flavours and imaginative combination of sometimes-unlikely ingredients are a delight” and “the wine to match is excellent, and very well thought out”. “Young, friendly, helpful and enthusiastic service” contributes to a highly impressive debut. “Get in quick, before the prices match those at his Black Swan in Oldstead!”. Top Menu Tip – “his best-known dish is the epic crapaudine beetroot, the beetroot cooked in beef fat”.
4. Le Cochon Aveugle French restaurant in York 37 Walmgate - YO1
“Part of York’s culinary renaissance, in the heart of the town, on Walmgate” – Josh & Victoria Overington’s “intimate”, “small” venture again put in one of the strongest performances in this culinarily up-and-coming town. “Josh has his eye on the ball and continues to excel” with his “properly impressive” tasting menu: “full of invention with truly gorgeous flavours” using “hyper-seasonal ingredients”; and “at a decent price, too”. “The knowledge of the front of house team compliments all that is done in the kitchen, they know exactly what they are serving you; and the choice of wines is extraordinary – if you decide to take the wine flight then rest assured you will have an elevated dining experience”. Top Menu Tip – “The boudin noir macron is a thing of joy”.
5. Bettys British, Modern restaurant in York 6-8 St Helen’s Square - Y01
“A must-visit experience” – brave the queues which “move surprisingly fast” at this iconic tearoom, which turns out “great breakfast and brunch”, but really “stands head and shoulders above others when it comes to afternoon tea”. The latter features “traditionally clad waitresses and a range of old favourites (you “cannot beat a fat rascal”) in surroundings that seem dated but somehow are just what you want”.
6. Melton’s British, Modern restaurant in York 7 Scarcroft Rd - YO23
“Very reliable” through three decades, Michael & Lucy Hjort’s modern British venue near the city walls has a “fantastic menu” – including a “lovely selection of experimental hors d’oeuvres”. “More flashy and fashionable restaurants come and go in York, but Melton’s consistency, excellent locally sourced food and fabulous wine list make it a favourite.” Local lad Michael trained under the Roux brothers before heading home. He also owns the Walmgate Ale House and is the long-time artistic director of the York Food Festival.
7. Mannion & Co Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in York 1 Blake St - YO1
“Breakfast never disappoints” at this artisanal deli and café in a former greengrocer’s where you’ll find “consistently good” snacks and brunch fare spanning sarnies and quirkier options (“like in New Zealand”). “Be prepared to table share” and don't miss the walled garden out back. The “charming” four-year-old Hemlsley spin-off is also a hit.
8. The Pig & Pastry Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in York 35 Bishopthorpe Road - YO23
“Like walking into Central Perk (the coffee shop from Friends)” – this “quirky local café” in “glam Bishy Road” has “friendly staff who are happy to have a banter” along with “fabulous breakfasts” and “great plates of tasty food”. “Loved it – if I lived in York I’d be there every week!”.
9. Rattle Owl International restaurant in York 104 Micklegate - YO16
Clarrie O’Callaghan’s “under-the-radar” venue in a “lovely historic space” on Micklegate is a showcase for Tom Heywood’s “inventive, brilliantly executed cooking” – some reporters even feel it “outshines the more vaunted Skoosh a couple of doors down” (although that’s a minority view). “My most memorable meal of the year – perhaps because it was a surprise and understated”. Top Tip: “the lunch deal is spectacular value at £15 for three small plates – go with a friend and taste all six!”
10. Arras British, Modern restaurant in York The Old Coach House, Peasholme Green - YO1
“The food is exceptional and the choice is not so large that you are left bewildered” at Adam & Lovaine Humphrey’s “little” 18-seater, where you choose either a conventional two-course or three-course meal, or go for a five-course taster selection. “The excellent short menu is happily low on cheffy tricks but very long on accomplished and flavoursome cooking, and with well-suited wine matches”. The end of the meal is a highlight: an “outstanding cheese board” and “an amazingly generous selection of treats (ice cream cones, Turkish delight, jellies, donuts, chocolates…)”. “The ambience can be a little underwhelming” but it’s enlivened by the “lovely” service.
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