Best Brunch In York: The Definitive Guide
York’s food scene is one of the city’s best features, and there is a massive emphasis on weekend brunch. Perhaps it’s the fun-loving energy surrounding the nightlife or the magnificent city center where restaurants are a focal point. It certainly might be the culinary institution that is the mighty English Breakfast. Either way, York’s restaurants seriously bring the flavors with their weekend brunches. Here are is the definitive guide for the best brunch in York.
PS: before you head into your chosen brunch spot, drop your bags off with one of our partners for luggage storage in York so that you don't have to drag them with you through the Shambles!
The Blue Barbakan
City Centre ꘡ Weekends 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Touted as the best brunch in York and perfectly located right in the city center on Fossgate near many of the best museums in York, this upscale restaurant reimagines traditional Polish cuisine. The Blue Barbakan is one of York’s best dining destinations for dinner, but their brunch menu is the crowning jewel of this culinary institution.
Their Full English Breakfast is as proper as they come, with free-range fried eggs, bacon, sausage, roasted tomato, sausage, beans, toasted brioche, and, of course, black pudding. It’s one of the most-ordered items on the menu, and it’s an ideal place to try this iconic dish if you’re visiting. One of the most interesting menu items is the Duck Rumor, which is a baked duck egg covered in melty Gruyere and spinach.
In terms of food quality, atmosphere, and service, The Blue Barbakan offers one of the best values of any fine dining restaurant in York. There is a relaxed vibe here that is perfect for a fun and social brunch, and the decor is elegant and fashionable enough for a brunch date when you’re trying to impress.
Double Dutch Pancake House
City Centre ꘡ Every Day 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
While Double Dutch Pancake House serves everything from elegant Spanish tapas to blueberry chocolate milkshakes, this restaurant is aptly named. Their menu of pancakes speaks to the chefs’ potentially unhealthy obsession with pancakes. There are several dozen sweet and savory concoctions, and all of their batters are made with an authentic Dutch recipe, including free-range organic milk and eggs from local producers.
Their savory creations include the Full Dutch, which comes with just about every classic breakfast meat and adds chorizo, and salami for good measure. The Amsterdammer combines bacon and thinly-sliced apples for unforgettable flavors. Their sweet concoctions include the Sweet Dutch, with a simple combination of apple and Stroop, a traditional Dutch syrup. The Chocolate Conference has pear, Nutella, and chopped hazelnuts; this one might be the local favorite. The Independence Day Pancakes gives a nod to American flavors with peanut butter and jelly topping these delicious pancakes.
If you somehow can’t find exactly what you want on these pancakes, you can design your own, with over 50 toppings and hundreds of possible combinations. There is also an excellent menu for gluten-free and vegan food. Double Dutch might serve the best gluten-free pancakes in the UK, let alone York.
City Centre ꘡ Every Day 9:00 AM - 11:45 AM
This popular British chain has set up one of its flagship locations near Merchant Adventurers’ Hall in the City Centre. The menu celebrates the best of British cuisine. What they do best is strike a balance between the classic elements of British recipes, and modernize them to fit their upscale restaurant. The sleek atmosphere and decor perfectly match their location near some of the best shopping in York. The hospitable staff and comfortable setting make this one of the best restaurants in York for a romantic brunch or dinner.
Their menu is headlined by the Classic Breakfast, with Cumberland sausage, smoked bacon, and eggs. It’s a simple, but comforting brunch, and it will help hearty travelers during the colder months. Their Vegan Garden Breakfast has scrambled turmeric tofu, harissa beans, tomatoes, and avocado. It’s not quite as indulgent as the Classic Breakfast, but it will help vegan travelers and foodies fill up for an afternoon out on the town.
Phill Ya Boots Cafe
Woodthorpe ꘡ Every Day 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
This friendly cafe is located in the cute neighborhood of Woodthorpe, which isn’t far from the city center. If you’re interested in third-wave or modern (hipster might be an accurate term) coffee, then Phill Ya Boots is one of York’s best options. These baristas also serve up some seriously delicious brunch dishes as well. The Avocado Toast on Sourdough is served with roasted tomato and a salty-peppery kick. Their Eggs Benedict is solid, and their American-Style Pancakes are stacked sky high and drizzled with specialty maple syrup. Their Full English Breakfast is served with all the classic ingredients, and the portions are beyond generous! The atmosphere is relaxed, and the prices are very reasonable, so this cafe is a wonderful destination for both groups and families.
Brew & Brownie
City Centre ꘡ Every Day 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Located near the Harriot Gate Bounce Storage Facility, this cafe is one of York’s most famous brunch spots. While they have one of the best selections of baked goods from the finest bakeries in York, their brunch menu has some of the most indulgent selections in all of York. Their Brew Breakfast is one of their go-to menu items, with some of York’s best black pudding, a classic part of any brunch dish. Foodies love the Eggs Royale, with two poached eggs, smoked salmon, Bakehouse sourdough, and their own hollandaise. Their Brew Breakfast Sandwich will fill even the hungriest tourist, with bacon, sausage, and their famous black pudding on toasted brioche. Brew & Brownie sources almost all of its ingredients from organic and local producers.
The Fossgate Social
City Centre ꘡ Weekends 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Located across the street from York tourist institution Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, this bar and restaurant serves some of the tastiest brunch bites in the city. Their brunch menu rotates constantly, but you can expect off-beat breakfast sandwiches and well-executed classics. If your brunch goes long into lunch, try a pint or two of the region’s best local craft beers. The Fossgate Social is the go-to spot for York beer aficionados, so it’s worth trying one from their well-curated menu. They also serve an excellent drink menu, including gin cocktails, that can turn into a weekend bottomless brunch if you're not careful.
City Centre ꘡ Every Day 9:00 AM - 11:45 AM
This York Inspired cocktail bar is famous for its weekend bottomless brunch. While their bottomless brunch menu includes classics like fried chicken and waffles, eggs benedict, and a crispy bacon sandwich, you'll want to try some of their specialty items like a bacon roti roll, mimosas, hot buttermilk pancakes, and a brunch burger. Certainly, try the bottomless prosecco if you're not driving.
Ippuku Tea House
City Centre ꘡ Every Day 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
It’s unlikely you’ll ever get sick of the classic English breakfast, but Ippuku Tea House is the perfect place for a new experience for Brunch in York. This City Centre cafe brings some of the best flavors of Japan right to downtown York. Their mapo tofu and gyoza are amazing late-night food options, and their ice cream and other desserts are all delicious. But this Japanese eatery doesn’t disappoint when it comes to brunch. Their Teriyaki Mayo is the Japanese version of a breakfast hash, combining fresh veggies with glazed chicken thigh or tofu. And their vegan Japanese mayo is one of the most decadent and delicious toppings you’ll ever taste. Their Tama Don is a Japanese omelet with sliced onions and a light Bonito stock sauce. It’s simple, elegant, and extremely satisfying.
This tiny restaurant offers one of the most unique dining experiences in York. Depending on how much time you have in the city, it’s one of the more interesting non-British brunch options. The modern interior and friendly staff make this a comfortable place to have a full meal or tea. Do not skip their tea and matcha menu. You can always grab a matcha latte on your way out to an afternoon of shopping or sightseeing.
City Centre ꘡ Every Day 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
This charming cafe is the ideal place to post up for a meal, coffee, and some of the tastiest freshly prepared dishes in York. Their small rotating menu offers up excellent examples of British dishes. Think simple bacon on brioche, jacket potatoes, and other favorites. They also have a Full English Breakfast if you’re looking to indulge, and their Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs on Toast for those looking for a lighter brunch. Come for the food, stay for the views. This Peter Lane cafe offers amazing vantage points for people watching. The busy, bustling streets of York’s city center will most certainly entertain.
City Centre ꘡ Every Day 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
If you’re in the area to see Holy Trinity Church, stop by this cafe for a simple British breakfast or a cup of York’s best coffee. The coffee here certainly beats picking up a cup at Starbucks near the York Train Station. Their sandwiches are delicious, with a variety of toppings coming on buttery, toasted brioche. Salmon, avocado, and bacon are hard to beat when they come on freshly-baked bread from a local bakery. The prices are hard to believe, especially given the trendy and upscale atmosphere of the cafe. It’s certainly worth stopping in for a cold brew or latte, and you might just find your favorite breakfast in York.
Gillygate ꘡ Every Day 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Gillygate is one of the most charming streets in York, located in the shadows of the ancient York city walls, and the pubs and cafes that line this stretch are no different. A highlight of the area has to be Osbornes, with its beautiful garden patio. Soak up the sunshine with some traditional British breakfast foods with their outdoor seating. While the fabulous breakfast sandwiches, french toast, and hearty egg dishes are delicious, the baked goods are the real heroes of this menu. Simple cheesecakes, banana bread, lemon pies, scones, and biscuits are all freshly baked, which would explain why this small eatery smells so good! This friendly cafe is the ideal setting for a quiet meal. It’s small, so you might want to take larger (and more raucous) groups to the more lively restaurants on the menu.
South Bank ꘡ 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM (Closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
Take a walk down Rowntree Park before or after stopping by this charming cafe in the South Bank neighborhood. The French Toast and pancakes are amazing, but the black pudding is the real highlight. Everything is made in-house and this freshly prepared Sunday brunch is the perfect sustenance for the nonstop walking around York’s most lush park.
City Centre ꘡ Every Day 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Being located smack-dab in the middle of York’s busiest and most bustling neighborhood, it’s easy and convenient to pop in here when you’re sightseeing or shopping in the City Center. There are a few non-traditional bunch items on this menu, like a tasty tuna melt, and their bacon-topped cheesy nachos. If you’re looking for classic brunch, try the eggs benedict, crab scrambled eggs, or avocado spread with bacon and an egg on a toasted bagel. The funky atmosphere pairs well with the hip menu.
York City Walls ꘡ 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
Located in the shadows of the legendary York City Walls, this traditional pub and cafe is an excellent option if you’re looking for an authentic English brunch after touring the walls. Their menu leans traditional British, and that couldn’t be a better thing. Their bacon roll is a sweet and savory delight. Their baked goods are exceptional, with a variety of fruit scones and a springy lemon pie. If brunch runs long, treat yourself to an indulgent Oreo Milkshake.
Fossgate / Lendal ꘡ Every Day 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
This hip independent coffee shop is known for its trendy decor and amazing coffee, but you can certainly grab an amazing brunch here. Spring’s Bacon Sandwich comes drenched in sweet chili chutney. Their Brioche French Toast is topped with a fruit compote, greek yogurt, and pistachio crumble. The menu is headlined by the Shakshuka Eggs, which is a North African take on Eggs in Hades, with two freshly poached eggs served in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce. It’s as incredible as it is interesting. You’ll love the friendly and passionate service as much as you’ll enjoy the food. Spring Espresso is definitely recommended for younger groups. You can find this cafe and coffee house near the Lendal Bounce luggage storage.
York has a number of amazing brunch spots to choose from. If you are looking for an authentic English breakfast, you can find some of the best examples of this classic in York. There are also amazing vegan and vegetarian brunch menu options throughout the restaurant scene. You can find international flavors from all over the globe, all at brunch in York. Want a bottomless brunch? York has it. Wherever you choose to find your new favorite brunch in York, let Bounce take care of the luggage so you can make the most of your trip!