For a small city, York boasts a large number of restaurants, cafés and snack bars to cater for its many visitors. Some are parts of large chains, some small and one-off, some ethnic. Most cafés serve meals, too, and these are covered in the York Café Guide. Add the many pubs serving food to this mix of places to choose from, and you have something for almost every taste and budget. This short guide includes just a small number of places, then. Some may be out of the way, but all places for eating out are tips from the local author.
Not all pubs serve meals, but those with restaurants may offer not just snacks but standard fare such as roasts, various combinations with chips, or dishes such as lasagne. Many establishments may serve lunches, but not evening meals. Some have special themed evenings, such as curry evenings. Check out our York Pub Guide for some ideas.
The Star Inn the City One of the best regarded local restaurants is a relative newcomer to the city. The riverside The Star Inn the City now offers in York what customers of its original award-winning namesake in the North Yorkshire village of Harome have long enjoyed. Imaginative, fresh and seasonal dishes. Speciality: Fresh caught fish from Yorkshire ports. Melton’s Outside the city walls, over the river, a modest shop front hides a longstanding local favourite.
Rustique is a small, French restaurant with a solid fan base of both visitors and locals. Their original restaurant is near to Cliffords Tower, but they now have a second venue in Lendal, near Museum Gardens.
For more informal dining, with thoughtful, freshly prepared and seasonal ingredients, Café No 8 Bistro is five minutes from the Minster.
Tucked away off Stonegate is vegan El piano, which even non-vegans reckon on. And if that doesn’t appeal, then there are a number of small establishments in the nearby Swinegate backstreets.
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Fans of regional food will find restaurants too numerous to mention here, save for Il Paradiso del Cibo (Italian), Rustique (French) or Barbakan (Polish, East European), which all deserve a special mention.
Apart from the easy option of fish and chips, during the day the Spurriergate Centre has both meals and snacks in an informal atmosphere very centrally.
Vegetarians will find they are well catered for at El Piano and Goji. Very highly praised is the newish small informal bistro kid on the veggie block Bicis y mas in Walmgate (daytime and early evenings Thurs-Sat). Vegetarian options are also available at City Screen.