York | Eating and drinking | Eating out

Eating out

Whether you’re after a quick bite to eat, something sweet, a family-friendly restaurant or sophisticated meal for two, you’ll find it in York. Its cosy tea rooms, colourful cafes and contemporary restaurants cover cuisines from near and far, and cater to all sorts of diets. 

Betty's Tea Room

Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms

From Switzerland to York via the Yorkshire Dales, Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms on St Helen’s Square is world-famous. It serves an exquisite mix of Alpine-inspired cakes, pastries and breakfast, speciality teas and coffees, traditional afternoon teas, and classic Yorkshire dishes made from the finest local ingredients. Complete will all the ceremony and splendour of a 1930s dining room, those Fat Rascals are worth the 30-minute wait.

El Piano

El Piano

El Piano proves there’s more to York’s food scene than pork pies. Its based, gluten-free dishes has been winning over locals - vegan, vegetarian and meat-eaters - since 1997, making it one of the most successful York restaurants ever. Hearty and flavourful, the menu is Spanish, Mediterranean and Indian-inspired. Take-away is available but dining in at this bright and cheery spot is highly recommended. It’s great value, too.

Chain restaurants

The chain restaurants in York city centre are top quality and reasonably priced. For Italian, check out Jamie’s Italian, Prezzo or Pizza Express. The stunning interior of ASK makes for a special dining experience. Other familiar restaurants include Bill’s, Wagamama, Cote Brasserie, Turtle Bay and Giraffe. Loch Fyne caters to the fish and seafood fans. 

Independent York restaurants

If you’re looking for something out the ordinary, go to Fossgate in search of the Blue Bicycle bistro or lively Italian Il Paradiso del Cibo. The Rattle Owl on Mickelgate is a causal dining restaurant that offers seasonal brunch, lunch and dinner menus. The wine list focuses on biodynamic wines, alongside craft beers. It also has a compact wine shop on site. Star Inn The City, a recent addition to York’s restaurant scene, is proving to be popular. Located in the Museum Gardens and next to the River Ouse, it’s open all day for top quality Yorkshire cooking in an swanky modern setting.

Fine dining

For fine dining, try Melton’s on Scarcroft Road. The Chef Proprietor of this modern British restaurant trained with Roux Restaurants, and the restaurant itself has two ‘AA’ rosettes and a rating of five in the Good Food Guide. The Walmgate Ale House and Bistro, which used to be called Melton’s Too, is the more informal relation of Melton’s.

Cafes and tea rooms

If the queues at Betty’s are off-putting, walk a couple of minutes down Stonegate and you’ll find Little Betty’s. Cosy rather than lavish, it has similar menu and a quirky interior. Tea, scones and sandwiches don’t get more historic than The Earl Grey Team Rooms on the Shambles.  For something more contemporary, go to The Attic at Harlequin where award-winning baristas serve serious coffee. The Perky Peacock on Gillygate and Spring Espresso are also popular with coffee aficionados. Pop into The Hairy Fig , a deli and cafe, to sample a fine selection of artisan food and drink from York, Yorkshire and Europe. 

Local food

Drakes Fisheries on Low Petergate is the best place to go for fish and chips. You can eat in or take away, and if you visit in spring, you’ll be able to order a deep-fried Creme Egg! Whackers on Gillygate also serves us great fish and chips. Takeaway is available although it’s more popular as restaurant and good for larger groups. York Sausage Shop (sometimes known as Ye Olde Pie and Sausage Shoppe) sells classic pork pies, boozy bangers and more, all made on site from local ingredients. For a quick bite to eat, grab a roast meat sandwich from York Hogroast or The York Roast Co. Or follow the lead of the locals and get a freshly baked pie or pasty from Thomas The Baker. 

Out and about in York

Looking for a hotel in York?

Look no further than Premier Inn. We've got plenty of hotels in York to choose from. Premier Inn Blossom Street North and Premier Inn Blossom Street South are both in the city centre and a five-minute walk from York train station. Our York North hotel is about a mile from the city centre, with easy access to the A19, A64 and the businesses in and around Clifton. To be within striking distance of the York Designer Outlet, or to get to the A1(M) quickly, Premier Inn York South West is the ideal place to stay. Premier Inn York North West puts you 3-4 miles from the train station and city centre, and is close to handy road connections.