York is a historic walled city in North Yorkshire, England, and is home to a number of historic landmarks, including York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, and Clifford's Tower, a Norman castle. The city is also the site of the University of York, one of Britain's leading research universities. With all this going on, it's no surprise that York is a popular tourist destination that receives over seven million visitors each year.
In England, there are many options for vegetarian food and most restaurants offer at least a few vegetarian dishes on their menus. Vegetarianism is becoming increasingly popular in England, and the restaurants of York offer the same selection you can expect elsewhere in the country.
York is home to many vegetarian restaurants, but also offers exclusively vegan places as well. You can get British classics made vegetarian or vegan along with plant-based cuisine from around the world. England is known for curry so you are guaranteed to find great Indian vegetarian and vegan dishes and the Asian vegetarian and vegan food options are seemingly endless. And, a vegan pizza is always a crowd-pleaser.
Before you head out to taste your way through the plant-based cuisine of York, stop by a Bounce luggage storage and let us take care of your bags. There are convenient locations throughout York and who wants to drag their suitcases with them over cobblestone streets anyway? Let these restaurants in York be your guide to find delicious vegetarian and vegan food, and throughout your travels, you might even discover a few gems of your own.
What it's like:
We start our list with one of the most well-rounded vegetarian restaurants in York. Although they have tons of vegan options, they do use some animal-derived products like dairy and eggs. The space is tiny with bright-colored walls and is open from 11 am to 4 pm every day but Monday. It's a great place to start your day with breakfast or brunch near York Minster and close to the iconic city walls.
The menu at Goji Cafe is comprised of everything from burgers and hot dogs to wraps, platters, and desserts. They offer vegan cheese to dress things up without adding dairy, and the vegan all-day brunch is definitely a satisfying meal.
Add a little fanciness to your tour of the restaurants in York and opt for the afternoon tea service. It's a time-honored English tradition and something you can't always get as a vegetarian or vegan. Luckily, Goji Cafe offers both options. You can go with the dairy afternoon tea, which includes a quiche slice, scones with clotted cream and preserves, a mini vegan cake selection, and of course, your choice of loose leaf tea. The vegan options are much the same, but with a cashew tart instead of quiche and coconut cream for your scone.
This place gets quite busy due to its prime location and varied menu. You're best to head here right when they open or after 1:30 pm once the lunch rush dies down a little. And, didn't we already mention that the space is small? Consider yourself warned!
36 Goodramgate, York YO1 7LF
What it's like:
If you're in the mood for some delicious plant-based eating, then head on over to Source Vegan Restaurant in York. This restaurant is all about healthy and tasty vegan food, so you're sure to find something to your liking. They have a wide range of dishes on offer, including starters, mains, sides, and desserts. And they even have a kids' menu.
Source focuses on minimum waste and whole-food vegan dishes, but they still offer plant-based "meat" on the menu so you don't have to give up all the traditional favorites. Source offers VFC (vegan fried chick'n), which is a take on the large fast-food chain KFC. The menu is full of breakfast choices like the full English and other brunch classics like French toast and omelets. Vegan crabcakes, faux gras, and some of the best crispy pan-fried gyozas you'll ever eat.
This is another of the popular vegan restaurants in York, and if it's possible, you should try to reserve a table online in advance. Also, this place is only open Friday through Monday, so if you show up mid-week, you'll be walking away hungry. But, on the days they are open, they operate non-stop from 10:30 am to 9 pm, so this is a good option for a later meal.
1 Castlegate St, York YO1 9RN
The Orchid Vegan Restaurant
What it's like:
As the name suggests, The Orchid is another of the vegan restaurants in York that serves great food with an Asian flair. Technically considered Asian fusion, you'll find everything from a vegan beef stir fry to General Tso's tofu to shredded vegan duck on their tasty menu. This is the ideal vegan restaurant to check out if you've been missing some of your favorite Asian dishes since you became a vegan. They do a vegan version of prawn crackers to start your meal off right. The flavors of the lemon vegan chicken and Singapore special fried rice will instantly take you back to your meat-eating days, but without the cruelty.
Keep things simple and order your usual favorite from an Asian restaurant. Everything on the menu at The Orchid is excellent, so you really can't go wrong. Also, if you like to plan ahead, you can make reservations through their website. But, this spot is across the River Ouse from the main tourist attractions so, in peak season, it's a little less busy than the central City Centre options.
16 George Hudson St, York YO1 6LP
Wawin Vegan Chinese
What it's like:
The perfect late-night stop on your way home from experiencing some of York's nightlife, Wawin Vegan Chinese is a little off the beaten path but worth the slight detour. If you're looking for some Chinese for dinner, this spot also makes a great takeaway choice and the basic premise of their menu is typical Chinese takeout made vegan. Expect crispy duck, fried dumplings, a huge assortment of fried rice, and an equal selection of chow mein. For anyone who is used to choosing the only vegetarian or vegan item on the menu out of desperation, Wawin is a breath of fresh air.
Honestly, the menu here is so long that it's going to be very difficult to narrow down a single choice. But, they've thought of that. Try the set menu for one or two people and they'll set you up with all the bestsellers. The deluxe set menu for two offers even more food for hungry travelers. The good food might have you stopping in more than once!
41 Heslington Rd, York YO10 5AR
What it's like:
Coconut Lagoon is your home away from home for south Indian food. The restaurant isn't 100% vegetarian, but they offer an extensive list of both vegetarian and vegan options. The restaurant is casual and decorated with large photos, wood floors, and padded chairs. You can make reservations online, and they are open every day except Monday from 5 pm to 10 pm. Although the menu contains meat, Coconut Lagoon is certainly vegetarian-friendly, and the vegetarian options are clearly marked to avoid any confusion. Check out the entire menu section devoted to "vegetarian delights" because it's sure to have just what you're looking for. Highlights include the palak paneer, daal thadka with lentils, and the chole bhatooray, which is a spicy take on the typical chana masala.
The veg biriyani is a great alternative to the usual steamed white rice. Spoil yourself and pair this with one of the saucy vegetarian delight curries and you'll have a hugely satisfying meal.
56 Clarence St, York YO31 7EW
What it's like:
Bella Italia is, to no one's shock, an Italian restaurant that although it serves meat has fantastic vegan and vegetarian options with the added bonus of a selection of gluten-free options too. Head to this spot in the City Centre for vegan meatballs, vegan pizza, and plant-based pasta. For any applicable menu item that you can get vegetarian or vegan, it will clearly say so on the menu.
The interior of Bella Italia is light and airy with pastel colors, brick walls, and comfortable seating. For anyone with a hefty appetite, this location near York Minster offers bottomless pizza and bottomless brunch options. And the good news is, both vegetarian and vegan pizzas are available as part of the bottomless pizza option.
If haven't already guessed, Bella Italia has some of the best vegan pizza around and it would be a shame not to sample at least one. If you have room for the bottomless meal, go for it. The combination of perfect crust and vegan cheese with a selection of fresh toppings can't be beat.
89 Low Petergate, York YO1 2HY
What it's like:
Anyone who needs to feast on fantastic vegan dishes less than five minutes from York Minster should add Döner Summer to their food itinerary. The vegan options are varied and this is a great place for both vegetarian and vegan food enthusiasts to get their junk food fix. Some of the best vegan dishes include the Philly BBQ burgers and any of the teller trays. You can literally choose anything on the menu at this cheeky entirely vegan fast-food joint.
The experience at Döner Summer is similar to that of an English pub, especially in terms of the menu offerings. There is interior seating and outdoor tables that you can enjoy if the weather is favorable.
You shouldn't expect organic produce, hummus bowls, or colorful salads here, but just go with it. Treat yourself to the decadent fried chicken or any of the burgers with either fries or tots and enjoy every sinful bite! Because hey, just because you're a vegetarian or vegan doesn't mean that you want to eat healthy all the time.
40 Gillygate, York YO31 7EQ
Depending on where you're from, vegetarian restaurants, and vegan restaurants can be even harder to come by, but that's definitely not the case in York. If you are willing to dine at a restaurant in York that serves meat, you'll get even more selection of cuisine styles and price points. Luckily, it's common in England, especially in highly touristed locations like York, to have more than one or two vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. At the very least, most places are vegetarian-friendly.
In York, you won't have to order something already basic and then remove the sour cream and cheese to make it vegan. The vegan options are plentiful and the number of 100% vegan restaurants in York seems to be increasing every year. Bring your appetite and leave your bags behind with Bounce so that you can avoid any interruption to your plant-based journey through the historic city of York. Just make sure you don't fill up on bread!