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Where to eat in York – a food and dining guide

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York is known as the home of Britain’s chocolate, so there is no end to themed cafés and local chocolate shops, along with a multitude of wine bars, real ale pubs and fine dining restaurants. Throughout York you will find a variety of places to eat that cover most cuisines, whether you’re looking for local produce cafes, a vegetarian option or uptown restaurants along the river, you will be spoilt for choice.

Elaine Aldous

My Destination local expert on


Chocolate – dessert anyone?


Although you can’t make a full meal out of sweets, you can’t visit York and not try the delicious array of chocolates the city has to offer. The York Cocoa House offers visitors a chance to taste different chocolates whilst learning exciting facts about how flavours are created and which beans they are made from. Guppy’s Chocolates produce truffles with a single filling, made from some of the finest quality chocolate in the world and their shop contains a variety of truffles, decorations and standard chocolate bars.


York Cocoa House, 3 Blake Street, York, YO1 8QJ. Tel: +44 1904 67578.• Guppy’s Chocolates, 5 Audax Close, York, YO30 4RA. Tel: +44 1904 690399.


Fine dining


If you’re looking for more than a light snack, York boasts a variety of award winning diners along the riverside and charming restaurants both in and around the city center. With well-known restaurants such as Zizzi, Strada and All Bar One you can stay with familiar sophistication, but don’t miss out on places like Dyl’s Café Bar or Rustique. These both offer a quirky atmosphere and friendly service with outstanding food. However, if you’re looking for that real ‘something for everyone’, overlooking the River Ouse is The Living Room. With seven years of success and boasting over 100 cocktails and reasonably priced dishes you can enjoy a meal amongst the relaxed atmosphere of this airy piano bar.


Dyl’s Café Bar, The Motor House, Skeldergate Bridge, York.• Rustique, 28 Castlegate, York, YO1 9RP. Tel: +44 1904 612744.• The Living Room, Mechant Exchange, 1 Bridge Street, York, YO1 6DD. Tel: +44 1904 461000.


Keep it local!


York is well known throughout the country for its local produce of cheeses, vegetables and meats that are used in most restaurants and available to purchase in delis or open air markets throughout the city. York Open Market, at 2 Newgate, is open daily with over 100 stalls selling local produce at top quality. The Hairy Fig is an award winning deli and café, crammed from floor to ceiling with local produce that includes ham, cheeses and chocolates. Henshelwoods Delicatessen promises excellent quality goods sold by knowledgeable, friendly staff. Choose from a range of 70 cheeses, 12 different types of olives and homemade jams, as well as take-away sandwiches or made-to-order hampers of goodies. If you’re looking for a sit-down meal with locally sourced ingredients, The Royal Oak is a seventeenth century inn that maintains a high standard of service and cooking, they also have six cask ales including Timmy Taylor and Yorkshire Terrier.


The Hairy Fig, 39 Fossgate, York, YO1 9FT. Tel: +44 01904 677074.• Henshelwoods Delicatessen, 10 Newgate, York, YO1 7LA. Tel: +44 1904 673877.• Royal Oak, 18 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LG. Tel: +44 1904 628869.


Traditional English pubs


Want to add a twist to your dining experience? The Golden Fleece is York’s most haunted pub and has received numerous reports of ghostly sightings and eerie experiences amongst its guests. Friendly staff served home cooked food and local ales, but also host Séance and candlelit ghost suppers for an added experience. The Punch Bowl, which is not the JD Wetherspoons pub, provides generous British hospitality within a characteristic, traditional pub and is known for its delicious pub food and local cask ales. For a local pub with a tourist attraction edge, the Kings Arms is the perfect place to be in the summer, but famous for being flooded during the winter. Inside the pub they have a flood level marker, showing the highest waters that have submerged the pub, a very popular photographic feature with tourists.


The Golden Fleece, 16 Pavement, York, YO1 9UP. Tel: +44 190625171.• The Punch Bowl, 7 Stonegate, City Center, YO1 8AN. Tel: +44 1904 655147.• The Kings Arms, 3 King’s Staith, City Center, YO1 9SN. Tel: +44 1904 659435.