Something of an institution, Betty’s is part of the York tourist trail. (Though locals find the prices overblown, and tend to seek out other cafés or tea rooms.) The usual long wait at the door is another off-putter.
Tip If you’re determined to go for the Betty’s experience, many find their smaller café round the corner in a historic building round the corner in Stonegate more atmospheric and intimate.
Once inside, you’ll be sure of high quality cakes, sandwiches or meals, all waiter-served.
What to try? How about a simple toasted fruit tea cake or Yorkshire curd tart? Upmarket fish and chips (around £17) or Yorkshire rarebit (cheese on toast, £7) are to be recommended. Fat rascals (around £4, large, dry fruit scones), though a speciality, are perhaps an acquired taste.
Full afternoon tea runs to £19 per person. You have been warned!
The ground floor is supplemented by a large basement. Some find the tables upstairs a bit close to one another, particularly when busy.
Tip If you’re set on afternoon tea, and don’t want to queue, you can reserve a table for this in the upstairs room from Fridays to Sundays.
Tip Betty’s shop (also online) includes some items which make attractive small gifts, such as specialist varieties of tea in tins (lightweight in air baggage too!).