Best Restaurants in Ilkley
We've got you covered with our insider's guide to the top places to eat in Ilkley
Despite its small size, Ilkley is punching well above its weight when it comes to places to eat. Situated just half an hour outside Leeds, this pretty Yorkshire town has recently been voted ‘best place to live’.
Ilkley became popular as a spa town in the 19th century, and the whole town sits just below the stunning, rugged Ilkley Moor. By walking on the moor up to the famous Cow and Calf rocks, you’ll be able to look across the valley into the Yorkshire Dales National Park. After hiking up the hill, you’re likely to have worked up quite an appetite, so head back into the centre to find a treasure trove of different eateries.
The shopping in Ilkley is famed for being of particularly good quality, and Ilkley restaurants are no different. Once you’d had your fill, you’ll also find beautifully kept flower beds and parks in Ilkley, theatres, cinema, sports and leisure… there certainly is no shortage of activities.
We hope you’ll find this tried and tested list of Ilkley restaurants helpful as you plan your visit!
When to go: Dinner date
What to have: Finger-licking chicken
Host is one of the town’s quirkier choices for dinner. This Ilkley restaurant is Michelin Guide recommended and lets you choose from a range of intriguing small plates, wood-fired cooking and Host’s unique take on old classics.
Host offers relaxed dining, alongside a selection of quality wines, craft beers and classy cocktails. Great for a laidback evening. Don’t forget to check out their pop-up barbecues outside the restaurant for smokey meats and finger-licking dishes. This is the place to eat in Ilkley if you want something a little different, we recommend their fried chicken burger.
60 The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9PA – 01943605337
The Box Tree
When to go: For a celebratory meal
What to have: Go for their tasting menu for a night to remember
Well known and multi-award-winning, this renowned Ilkley restaurant has been part of the town’s fine dining scene since 1962. Housed in one of the oldest buildings in Ilkley, The Box Tree is cosy, atmospheric and luxurious. Whether you’re looking for a restaurant worthy of your celebration or just after an indulgent treat, The Box Tree is the place to eat.
Only the very best ingredients are selected to make it into their luxurious dishes, so you can expect quality produce and exquisite presentation. Dishes at The Box Tree are updated regularly to allow for the best each season can offer, as well as displaying the creativity and passion of the chef. So sit back and relax, knowing The Box Tree will take the very best care of you as you enjoy an evening to remember.
35-37 Church Street, Ilkley, LS29 9DR – 01943 608 484
When to go: A mid-week treat
What to have: We love the meatballs
Evening comes around, and you don’t fancy eating the same old things yet again? Then La Casita is the place for you! Having recently moved premises, the tapas restaurant is modern, inviting and cosy – truly a fantastic option for pick-me-up lunches, drinks with a difference, or dinners that transport you straight to sunnier climates.
La Casita sources ingredients from Spain, adding true authenticity to their tapas dishes, as well as from Yorkshire, the home of quality, delicious produce. The marriage between the two means every item on the menu is authentic and extremely tempting. Get your Spanish flare on; you’ll be returning again and again to try every dish!
3 – 5 Cunliffe Road, Ilkley, LS29 9DZ – 01943 601539
Friends of Ham
When to go: Post-work drinks with friends
What to have: Go the whole hog and order a full charcuterie board
Friends of Ham is THE place to be, the consistently full tables are proof of that. This is the place to go if you enjoy mouth-wateringly delicious meats, cheeses and produce; all selected to create a truly tasty experience. Charcuterie boards, toasted sandwiches, fine produce… all served to a high standard, alongside a wine and drinks list which ensures you’ll enjoy your tipple of choice.
Friends of Ham arrived in Ilkley in 2015, serving up amazing continental flare. Since then it has been the hub of the town as people come together to enjoy simple, high quality food and drink. Although there’s no shortage of Ilkley restaurants, Friends of Ham is a firm favourite. So next time it’s your turn to suggest your jaunt, Friends of Ham is certain to get top marks!
8 Wells Road, Ilkley, LS29 9JD – 01943 604344
When to go: Perfect for a romantic date
What to have: Whatever the chef recommends
Ilkley’s hidden treasure, Emporio Italia, is romantic, authentic and locals can’t get enough. This cosy hideaway serves up an ever-changing menu of high-quality Italian dishes. The enthusiastic and knowledgeable owners fell in love with the amazing flavours Italy offers, so they bought a slice home to Ilkley.
Dining at Emporio Italia lets you escape into an Italian village for an evening, to enjoy the fresh, natural ingredients and the centuries of passion behind Italian food. Expect to be blown away by the flavour packed into each and every dish. Sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy this truly fantastic dining experience at a fine Ilkley restaurant.
7 Railway Rd, Ilkley LS29 8HQ – 01943 608797
When to go: Take your family out for a treat
What to have: Swiss breakfast or French fancies!
Bettys is one of Ilkley’s most treasured places to eat. A true Yorkshire success, Bettys has been serving delicate sweet treats, teas and speciality dishes since 1919. It’s gained quite the reputation over the past 100 years, due largely to the impeccably high standard of everything in both the cafe tea-rooms and shop. It’s clear that Bettys is a place of high quality long before you’ve got through the door. The window displays, smartly dressed staff and well-kept premises speak of traditional good-taste and luxuries.
Expect to be amazed by everything you try at this Ilkley restaurant, from the artfully decorated patisserie, delicate macarons and masterful chocolates, to the afternoon tea, full English breakfast and Swiss-inspired dishes. Your tastebuds will do a little dance!
32 The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9EE – 01943 608029