10 of the best hotels in York city centre
York is truly a magical place, that deserves to be done right. So why not take a look at the creme de la creme of the best hotels in York city centre, handpicked for those who wish to escape.
Discover the finest restaurants in York, alongside upcoming events, exclusive offers, foodie news and reviews.
Looking for the best restaurants in York? The heart, soul, and capital of Yorkshire. The beautiful city of York has its fair share of sights and sounds. From the 13th century gothic cathedral to the iconic shambles that literally takes you back in time. But what about the food? With an abundance of tourists hitting the city every day the opportunity for the big city chains to take over might have everyone thinking the real gourmets may pack up and leave? But not in this city.
Home to a multitude of independent eateries, spanning every cuisine you could wish for, York really is the beating heart of the Yorkshire food scene. Here’s our pick of the best restaurants in York.
When to go: A weekend treat or midweek feast, the choice is yours.
What to have: Steak and seafood cooked over open flames
Located within one of Yorkshire’s finest boutique hotels, No.1 GuestHouse, The Pearly Cow is dedicated to respecting the herds, breeds, crops, and catches that define the local wildlife. Utilising only the finest, most natural produce from the land and the sea.
Breakfast can be light, hearty, or indulgent, with bloody marys and your choice of spices, and oysters to get the day started. Star ingredients are used in classic dishes, sharing platters, and divine desserts for lunch and dinner. Children also have a special Pearly Calves menu. With Quatre Vin wines, afternoon tea is afternoon sea—a very modern take on this traditional treat. If you’re more of a traditional foodie, Guesthouse also offers a classic sparkling afternoon tea in their Marmalade Lounge. Additionally, Sunday roasts provide a lovely way to end the week.
1 Clifton, York YO30 6AA – 01904 946299
When to go: Perfect for celebrations, special occasions or a culinary adventure.
What to have: The 8-course tasting menu is an unforgettable experience that changes with the seasons.
Legacy’s menu is heavily focused on making the most of the beautiful produce from local surroundings. Head Chef, Ahmed Abdalla and the team create dishes that are dedicated to showcasing classic Yorkshire produce from across the region and assembling them with refined, modern elegance. Abdalla is inspired by the imagination of Yorkshire and its cutting-edge spirit. You may not recognise the dishes on appearance alone but you’re sure to be blown away by the flavours.
The restaurant’s stunning interior pays homage to the pioneering spirit of the inspiring engineers and architects of the city’s past.
The Grand, Station Rise, York YO1 6GD – 01904 380038
When to go: When you’re craving a mouthwatering pizza
What to have: The ‘Burrata’ stone-baked pizza with a whole burrata, prosciutto, basil leaf pesto and toasted pine nuts for something flavoursome and refreshing.
The Old Liquor Store is found on the notorious Bishy Road in York, located in a Grade II listed Terry’s chocolate factory. Serving brunch and Sunday lunch alongside beloved small plates with an Italian touch.
With dishes boasting exciting Italian flavours and ingredients, their weekly rotating menu and stone-baked pizzetta makes for a perfect meal out in the city. The Old Liquor Store also operates as a bar, deli and cafe for those wanting to grab a quick coffee or lunch throughout the week.
Bishopthorpe Rd, York YO23 1FT – 01904 950147
When to go: When you want a touch of elegance, without breaking the bank.
What to have: The ‘Vale of York’ pork belly, served with black pudding bon bons, celeriac, confit potato and Yorkshire cider jus, is a true taste of Yorkshire, and lets the local ingredients shine.
Located within the sumptuous settings of the 5 Star Grand York Hotel, The Rise uses locally sourced, fresh and seasonal produce to prepare modern British dishes with a Yorkshire twist. Guests can watch their food being prepared through the open kitchen, which creates a captivating experience. The interiors for the restaurant are inspired by the local heritage of York, mixing industrial touches with soft decadent furnishings, to create an elegant, memorable and unique dining experience. Hand-picked wines, local beers and ales, and signature cocktails round off the meal perfectly.
For something a little more immersive, guests can book the Chefs Table. Seated in the cookery school kitchen, watch their head tutor prepare and serve a 3-course menu, whilst imparting tips, tricks and knowledge on all things cookery.
The Grand, Station Rise, YO1 6GD – 01904 380038
When to go: With your ‘I’ll eat anything’ friends, as a group. Order one of everything on the menu.
What to have: The ‘Hen’s Egg’ – dale end cheddar, mushroom & PX sherry. Trust us.
Opened by chef-owner Neil Bentinck in 2016, Skosh quickly gained a reputation for being one of the Best Restaurants in York and has earned somewhat of a cult following amongst those in the know. Winner of a Michelin Bib Gourmand, the restaurant is an intimate affair, and the menu, which has flavours spanning the globe, is uncomplicated but refined. The food itself is playful and eclectic – served as snacks and small plates – and changes often. Go with an open mind and an empty stomach, and you won’t leave disappointed.
98 Micklegate, YO1 6JX – 01904 634 849
When to go: Head down for a lazy brunch, take a book, order a large coffee, and while away a few hours.
What to have: The partisan breakfast (meat, veggie and vegan available) cooked and served in a skillet, is comfort food at its best. For something a little lighter, try their Persian eggs with Medjoul dates and warming spices.
A York Mickelgate gem, Partisan’s creative, eclectic menu is one of pure joy. Owners Florencia Clifford & Hugo Hildyard opened the doors in 2012, and the cafe has been a firm favourite amongst locals and visitors since. Repurposed wooden furniture and local artists on the walls attract a young and trendy crowd, and the selection of brunch dishes, cakes, wines and beers keep people coming back time and time again.
Thursday – Saturday Partisan opens its doors in the evenings, offering fresh and seasonal dishes served by flickering candlelight. Guests can also purchase interior pieces and art, either via the café or through the online shop.
112 Mickelgate, YO1 6JX – 01904 629866
When to go: When the sun is shining, to take full advantage of the outdoor terrace.
What to have: With a sister restaurant in Whitby – The Star Inn at the Harbour – it would be rude not to try the battered Whitby cod fillet, with proper chips, crushed minted peas, and house tartare sauce.
A hop skip and a jump away from York train station, Whitby-born, Michelin-starred chef Andrew Pern heads up the kitchen both here, and at third sister restaurant The Star Inn at Harome. At The Star Inn The City – which is located in the old Engine House right by the sprawling York museum gardens – chefs create brasserie style, seasonal dishes, with daily specials, and the catch of the day for those wanting to look off-menu. After dinner, guests can retire to the fairy-lit terrace for a digestif and enchanting views over the River Ouse.
Lendal Engine House, Museum Street, YO1 7DR – 01904 619208
When to go: When your carnivorous side needs a feed.
What to have: Try their treacle cured beef fillet, with smoked garlic dauphinoise, charred tenderstem broccoli, burnt onion and yeast compote.
Dark wood, exposed brick and red leather booths ensure that The Whippet Inn oozes classic style. Open since 2014, owner Martin Bridge touts the restaurant as an unpretentious steak and alehouse, and their ever-changing range of cuts and breeds of beef serves to back up that claim and keep them high on the list of Best Restaurants in York. Come for lunch, dinner, or a Sunday Roast cooked using Yorkshire’s finest ingredients, they have menus to suit any time of day.
For those looking to wet their whistle, there’s also Gin Club. Every Sunday from 3 pm, The Whippet Inn choose 3 or more specially selected gin & mixers to serve at a reduced price – a great opportunity to try some more unusual and lesser-known gins.
15 North Street, YO1 6JD – 01904 500 660
When to go: When you’re done with shopping and are in desperate need of carbs.
What to have: Four words. Batter. Fried. Pasta. Fritter.
Serving up exceptional Neapolitan pizza for just under a year, Cresci’s menu includes a good range of alluring and classic toppings, with that unmistakeable chewy, blistered Neapolitan base. The interior is intimate and laid back, with an open plan kitchen giving views of the pizza oven. There are always vegetarian and vegan options available, as well as regularly changing specials.
20 Piccadilly, York YO1 9NU – 07477 816067
When to go: When you fancy something quick, casual and can’t decide so visit more than one.
What to have: The buttermilk fried chicken burgers from Clucking Oinks are unbeatable. Wash one down with an ice-cold can of craft beer from resident bar Piccadilly Tap.
Consisting of 23 upcycled shipping containers, Spark:York brings a new project to York’s food and drink scene. Co-founders Sam Leach and Tom McKenzie had the vision to bring a new lease of life to a derelict site, a place of community, entrepreneurialism, and independent vendors. The containers house workspaces, retail outlets, and cultural hubs, but we know you want to hear about the food.
Spark: York provides a space for new dining start-ups to grow. Whether it’s adventurous Asian fusion restaurant Shori, or small-batch organic bakery Lotte the Baker, every trader is bringing mouth-watering dishes to York. The venue has a great selection of wines, beers and spirits, and the outdoor terrace seating gives it a real New York feel.
17-21 Piccadilly, YO1 9PB
When to go: For brunch and go early, they’ll be a queue but its so worth the wait.
What to have: The American style pancake stacks are what dreams are made of. We love the banana, caramel sauce and candied hazelnut version. (Or for those to die for hashbrown bites).
A family run business, Robinsons utilises reclaimed wooden chairs and tables from local salvage yards to give the café a real farm café vibe. Produce is sourced from butchers and greengrocers on the same road, thus giving the shortest field to fork journey possible. Owners Will Pearce and Rebecca Toppin – who have both worked in Michelin-starred kitchens – work together to create a high-quality all-day menu. Right at the top of our team’s favourite Best Restaurants in York.
7 Bishopthorpe Road, YO23 1NA
When to go: When you fancy modern and surprising twists on flavours.
What to have: Try the kitchen menu, 5 courses of new and exciting dishes (and some classics), with an optional wine pairing.
Housed in a former coach house, Arras is a relaxed, modern fine-dining destination. With its early origins in Sydney, by 2011 owners and husband and wife team Adam and Lovaine Humphry headed back over to the UK to bring Arras to York. The pair have an incredible passion for food, having worked for well-known restaurants in Australia, France and Yorkshire. The restaurant itself uses quality ingredients and inventive techniques to create seasonal British dishes with nods to flavours across the globe. Make sure you get ready (and save room) for the presentation of their amazing petits-fours!
In early 2020, Little Arras was born, an industrially decorated bakery just a stone’s throw from the original restaurant. Here, the team’s focus is on exceptional slow-fermented sourdough, pastries and cakes, and great coffee from Square Mile to boot.
The Old Coach House, Peaseholme Green, YO1 7PW – 01904 633 737
When to go: When you want good quality, classic ingredients, cooked to perfection.
What to have: The east coast cod, with Jerusalem artichokes, truffle and hazelnut pesto and coastal herbs is light, fresh and decadent all at once.
Open for over 30 years, Melton’s is somewhat of a York institution. With walls adorned with brightly coloured paintings, well-worn furnishings, and warm, friendly staff, it feels a bit like a home from home. Chef proprietor Michael Hjort trained with fine dining stalwarts Roux Restaurants and uses his skills alongside Head Chef Calvin Miller, to create modern British dishes which celebrate the best of seasonal produce. H
e also assists in the organisation of the York Food festival – a must-visit for any foodie in the area – and has a strong focus on sustainability, both at Melton’s and the festival.
7 Scarcroft Road, YO23 1ND – 01904 634 341
When to go: With your mum and gran. Drink tea out of china cups and put the world to rights.
What to have: Bettys are famous for their afternoon tea in York – a selection of classic sandwiches, miniature cakes, and a pot of tea. There is also a pink champagne or prosecco version, for those who want something a little stronger.
No trip to York is complete without a trip to Bettys. Famous worldwide, the café and tearoom have been open here since 1936. The windows are choc-full of picture-perfect scones, sandwiches, cakes and biscuits – think the Willy Wonka of patisserie! Their St Helens square location serves everything from brunch, to afternoon tea and dinner, or you can head over to Stonegate, where a smaller but equally decadent Bettys stocks a huge range of teas, coffees, cakes and gifts. Above the little shop, is a wooden beamed café, the perfect place to warm your cockles in front of the crackling fire.
6-8 St Helen’s Square, York, YO1 8QP – 01904 659 142
When to go: At least three times a year, to experience each ‘season’. The Sunday lunches here are also unparalleled.
What to have: There are only tasting menus available, but look out for the iconic lamb bao buns.
Housed in a stunning historic Tudor building, just across from the river Ouse, stands Roots. Overseen by Michelin-Starred head chef Tommy Banks – who also owns the Black Swan at Oldstead, Roots brings their unique farm to fork philosophy to York, with a focus on sustainability, and preservation. The tasting menus on offer rotate around three seasons – the hunger gap, time of abundance, and preserving – which enables the use of root ingredients at their best and throughout the year. 2021 saw Roots awarded their first Michelin Star.
Cocktails served utilise foraged or home-grown ingredients, and wines are sourced from smaller more sustainable producers. Take home a copy of Banks’ cookbook, also named Roots, and have a go at some of the recipes at home.
68 Marygate, YO30 7BH
When to go: When you don’t want to choose just one dish, order a selection between friends and try a bit of everything.
What to have: The paella is truly authentic. It takes 40 minutes to prepare, so in the meantime, dip your toe into the world of Sherry with a flight of three glasses.
With not one, but two restaurants in the city, this is the perfect place for a vibrant Spanish fiesta. Ideal for a spontaneous lunch, glass or two of sherry (their selection is huge), or a full sharing dinner with friends, Ambiente has cemented itself as one of the Best Restaurants in York. Both sites have a pared-back, industrial feel, with affable, knowledgeable staff. They have one of the best vegetarian and vegan offerings and have just added their take on Spanish brunch to the list – served every day from 10 am-12 pm. Churros for breakfast? Yes, please…
14 Goodramgate, YO1 6LQ – 01904 689 784
31 Fossgate, YO1 9TA – 01904 638 252
When to go: For a good catch up with an old friend. Grab a glass of wine and share a few dishes.
What to have: The grazing board for two, for a selection of favourite nibbles.
Wander over the Station Road bridge, and before too long you might just stumble upon Mannion & Co. Part café, part deli, the site was originally a greengrocer, opened by the family over 30 years ago. Now, however, Owners Lucy (daughter of the previous owners) and Andrew Burton delight those who visit with a cleverly designed menu of charcuterie, brunch dishes, sandwiches, cakes and pastries.
In the evening, small tapas-style plates dominate, with flavours from across the globe, and fresh, local produce. The wine list is small but thoughtfully curated, and the décor warm and inviting. A perfect place to visit to escape the tourist crowds.
1 Blake Street, YO1 8JQ – 01904 631 030
When to go: When you want warm hospitality and intense flavour bombs.
What to have: Try the homemade Merguez sausage, or the beef tanjia – slow-cooked spiced ox cheeks with saffron & preserved lemon, with cumin gouda mash.
Stepping into Los Moros you’d be mistaken for thinking you’d walked into a souk. Fairy lights twinkle, the bright orange walls cast a warm glow on diners, the smell of spices transports you and rich woven tapestries adorn the walls. Opened in 2015, Los Moros originated as a stall in the Shambles market, which is still open to this day. The stall gained a reputation for delectable modern north African food, and in 2018, Los Moros opened the doors of its restaurant.
With colourful flavours drawing on the culinary heritage of North Africa, owner Tarek Abdeladim is known for making fresh, flavourful food to entice the senses. The restaurant makes its own preserved lemons, merguez sausages, hummus and falafel, and believes in using all local and carefully chosen produce.
15-17 Grape Lane, YO1 7HU – 01904 636 834
When to go: For a special occasion. The Ivy is a place for celebration, champagne and cherished ones.
What to have: You can’t go wrong with much here, but look out for the tuna carpaccio with citrus ponzu dressing, and the apple tart fine, flambeed tableside.
Sumptuous, bright, and tasteful décor ensure The Ivy is easily recognisable wherever you are. Offering a relaxed but refined all-day dining experience, The Ivy mixes an eclectic modern British and international menu with old school slick service, and does so wonderfully. Menus are seasonal, and the sheer selection available ensures there will be something for even the pickiest of eaters. A separate vegetarian and vegan menu is also available. Cocktails are well-curated and unusual – try the blood orange margarita, just don’t blame us if it all gets a little hazy after a few…
When to go: Dinner & rooms here aren’t cheap, but extremely worth it. So save up, and head over for a birthday, anniversary or just a special treat.
What to have: There is only one tasting menu, but we would recommend going all out with a stay overnight, and breakfast in the morning, for the full experience.
The Michelin Starred Black Swan at Oldstead is headed up by chef Tommy Banks of Roots. With Black Swan having gained the star in 2012 under chef Adam Jackson (now of The Feversham Arms in Helmsley), Banks took over in 2013 as Head Chef, retaining the Star and making him the youngest chef to hold one. To add to the accolades, Banks won Great British Menu in both 2016 & 2017, with the restaurant also being awarded ‘Best Restaurant in the World in 2018”.
The Black Swan is a family-run venue, with a strong focus on growing, foraging and preserving ingredients to be used throughout the year. There are also nine beautifully designed rooms to stay in, with breakfast offered back at the restaurant in the morning.
Oldstead, YO61 4BL – 01347 868 387
When to go: After working up an appetite tackling one of the local walks. Try the Stavely Circle walk, or the Marton-cum-Grafton 8, for panoramic views of the surrounding area.
What to have: Try the aged steak & ale pie, with hand-cut chips, seasonal greens and proper gravy, for a real taste of Yorkshire.
This characterful old 16th-century pub serves an eclectic range of local beers and ales, and is packed full of original features – think wooden beams and heavy flagstones. Head up the spiral staircase to the snug, or settle down in one of the five rooms inside. To the rear is a sprawling and well-kept beer garden, with barbeques being held here in the warmer months. The pub sits in Marton-cum-Grafton, a picturesque area of Yorkshire, surrounded by excellent walking routes, so is the perfect place to refuel after a ramble.
Marton-cum-Grafton, Boroughbridge, YO51 9QY – 01423 322 519
When to go: When you’re done exploring the picturesque villages surrounding the area.
What to have: The braised beef shin with champ mash will warm even the coldest of hearts. Top tip: order the roasted baby carrot & preserved lemon starter as a side to share, it’s a match made in heaven.
Nestled in Stillington, a quaint village between York & Helmsley stands the Bay Tree. Regarded as a hidden gem by all who cross its threshold, The Bay Tree has that perfect mix of charming staff, imaginative and experienced chefs, well-kept beers, and a warm, inviting interior. Owners Becky & Daniel are lauded by the regulars as welcoming and charismatic, with a passion for local produce, and dogs (the bar is dog friendly).
With their house gin distilled just a stone’s throw from the restaurant, a sun trap of a beer garden, and a menu with strong Yorkshire influences, it’s easy to see why the Bay Tree is one of the Best Restaurants in York.
Main Street, Stillington, YO61 1JU – 01347 811 394
York is truly a magical place, that deserves to be done right. So why not take a look at the creme de la creme of the best hotels in York city centre, handpicked for those who wish to escape.
Tucked away on the leafy streets of York, No.1 GuestHouse is a leisurely 10-minute stroll from the bustling city centre. If you’re staying at this Yorkshire boutique hotel, you’re in luck.
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Discover the creme de la creme of the best hotels in York city centre, handpicked for those who wish to escape to this northern gem.
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