What to Eat in York: 13 Treats You Should Not Miss

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What to eat in York

The ancient city of York in northern England is one of the UK's top tourist attractions. Briefly the capital of the Roman Empire, this is a city that has had an impact on history that's completely out of proportion with its relatively small size.

This rich history, along with the well-preserved medieval streets of the city, has made York one of the most visited cities by tourists in the UK. And often, an influx of tourists can have a negative effect on the traditional culture of the city. Restaurants looking to cater to the international tastes of the tourist trade don't necessarily represent the culinary traditions of the area they are in, so it can be difficult to eat truly local in a city like this.

However, the county of Yorkshire remains fiercely independent and has preserved its traditional culture better than many other regions of the UK. That remains true even in heavily touristed York. Look around, and you'll find plenty of restaurants serving modern British food along with local produce and more traditional dishes.

Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in York, and you'll be able to immerse yourself in both traditional food and modern British dishes. Whether you want to try the best street food in York from a street food stall or would prefer to enjoy fine dining with a tasting menu from one of the best restaurants in the city, you'll find lots to like here.

And although traditional British cuisine tends to focus heavily on meat dishes, that's not all there is here. You'll find plenty of vegetarian and vegan options available in the best vegetarian restaurants in York, so you can make sure you enjoy the city's food culture without violating your diet.

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where to try food in York

York Food: Yorkshire Pudding

Probably the most famous food ever to come out of Yorkshire, the Yorkshire pudding is an absolute must-try while you're in the county. But don't be fooled by the word pudding; Yorkshire pudding is not a dessert but is instead a quintessential part of a Yorkshire roast dinner.

Traditionally, the pudding is made by pouring batter into a hot roasting tin containing beef drippings. The pudding then bakes in the oven along with the roast, absorbing all those lovely flavors. Once it's cooked, it's served piping hot alongside the roast meat and vegetables.

You can find Yorkshire pudding on the menu of almost any pub or restaurant serving traditional British food in York. But if you want to try something a little bit different, head to The Old School House for their take on this classic dish. They serve their Yorkshire puddings with a variety of different fillings, including vegetarian options. Alternatively, the Star Inn is also a great place to try Yorkshire pudding. They are so confident in their pudding-making skills that they even offer the puddings by themselves - but why turn down a roast dinner when you have the option?

York Food: Cheese

Wensleydale may be the most famous cheese to come out of Yorkshire, but it's not the only one. The truth is, Britain produces more varieties of cheese than neighboring France, and the region around York is no slouch when it comes to this popular local produce.

There are a number of different cheeses produced in Yorkshire, but some of the most popular include:


A crumbly cheese that's often used in cookery, Wensleydale is made from cow's milk and has a mildly sweet flavor.

Blue Wensleydale:

A variety of Wensleydale cheese that's infused with blue veins for a more pungent flavor profile.


Another cow's milk cheese, Swaledale is a semi-soft cheese with a nutty flavor. It's one of the oldest recipes still in production in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Blue:

A variety of blue cheese that gets its name from the county it's produced in. This cheese is made from cow's milk and has a strong, tangy flavor.

You can find all of these cheeses and more at the Yorkshire Dales Cheese Company, which is located just outside of York. They offer various cheese-tasting experiences, so you can sample some of the region's best local produce.

Chutneys and sauces to try in York

York Food: Fish & Chips

No trip to York would be complete without sampling the local fish & chips. This quintessential British dish is a must-try while you're in town, and there are plenty of places to get it.

The most popular spot for fish & chips in York is probably The Golden Fleece, which has been serving up this classic dish since 1764. But if you're looking for something a little bit different, head to The Old School House. They offer a gourmet take on fish & chips that's served with mushy peas, tartar sauce, and a side of pickled onions.

York Food: Smoked Fish

Smoked fish is a popular delicacy in Yorkshire, and York is home to a number of different smoked fish producers. One of the most popular is The Smokehouse, which produces a variety of different smoked fish products.

The Smokehouse offers a wide range of smoked fish, from salmon and trout to eel and herring. They also offer various smoked fish products, including pates and pastes.

You can find The Smokehouse at the Shambles Market, which is one of the oldest markets in England and one of the top tourist attractions in York, so finding this can't-miss York food won't be a hardship at all.

York Food: Forced Rhubarb

Forced rhubarb is a type of rhubarb that's grown in the dark to produce a sweeter, more delicate flavor. It's a popular ingredient in desserts like rhubarb and custard, and you can find it on the menu of many pubs and restaurants in York. It's basically like regular rhubarb kicked up a notch.

If you want to try some forced rhubarb for yourself, head to The Fruiterer at Shambles Market. They sell a wide range of different fruits and vegetables, including forced rhubarb.

Yorkshire Food: Honey

Honey is a popular ingredient in many traditional Yorkshire dishes, and it's also used as a sweetener for tea. You can find honey for sale at many markets and shops in York, but one of the best places to get it is the Yorkshire Honey Company.

The Yorkshire Honey Company produces all the honey products you can think of, from raw honey to honeycomb. They also offer honey-based products, including candles and soaps.

Yorkshire Food: Chutney

Chutney is a type of condiment that's popular in Yorkshire, and it's often made with local fruits and vegetables. You can find chutney for sale at many markets and shops in York, but one of the best places to get it is The Grand Chutney Company.

The Grand Chutney Company produces a wide range of different chutneys, from sweet to savory. And aside from chutney they make other tasty sauces and relishes.

You'll also find chutney as an important ingredient in meals around the city, including some of York's most high-end fine dining restaurants. Chutney is a great way to sample the region's fresh local produce, and there's such a variety of chutneys available that it goes with just about anything.

Desserts in York

York Food: Yorkshire Curd Tart

Yorkshire curd tart is a type of tart that's made with local Yorkshire cheese, and it's a popular dish in the region. You can find it on the menu of many pubs and restaurants in York, but one of the best places to try it is The Blue Bell.

The Blue Bell serves a traditional Yorkshire curd tart that's made with local Wensleydale cheese. It's served with a side of fruit chutney, and it's a great way to sample the delicious local cheese of the region. This rich and decadent dessert is a sweet treat, despite the cheese used in making it, and it makes a fantastic snack for those with a sweet tooth. Track it down on the menu of an independent restaurant within the city walls, and you'll be getting a true taste of Yorkshire in this famous city.

York Food: Lobster and Crab

Lobster and crab are popular seafood items in York, and you can find them on the menus of many restaurants in the city. One of the best places to get lobster and crab is The Boathouse.

The Boathouse is located on the River Ouse, and it offers a fantastic view of the river. They serve a wide range of different seafood dishes, including lobster and crab. This popular seafood isn't just for fine dining, and this intimate restaurant with its cozy dining room just a stone's throw from the city centre is the perfect place to try what was traditionally a food of the poor before it became the luxury it is today.

York Food: Lamb

You'll find lamb on the menu of all the best restaurants in York. And all you need to do is travel a little way out of the city to see why. The Yorkshire Dales are prime sheep-farming country, so it's no surprise that lamb is one of the most popular things to eat in York.

There are a number of ways to cook lamb, but one of the most popular is roast lamb. You can find roast lamb pretty easily, but one of our favorite places to get it is The Red Lion.

The Red Lion serves a traditional English roast with all the trimmings. This includes roasted potatoes, carrots, Yorkshire pudding, and of course, roast lamb. It's a hearty meal that's perfect for a winter's day, and it'll definitely leave you feeling full.

York Food: Fat Rascal

The Fat Rascal is a type of scone made with local ingredients and a popular bakery item in Yorkshire. You can find Fat Rascals for sale at many markets and shops in York, but the Fat Rascal Bakery is one of the best places to get them.

The Fat Rascal Bakery produces a wide range of different Fat Rascals, from plain to iced. They also have different flavored scones, including chocolate and cranberry. If you're looking for a tasty treat, then make sure you track down a Fat Rascal in York.

Shambles Market in York

York Food: Parkin Cake

Parkin Cake is a type of cake that's made with local honey, oatmeal, and black treacle (uncrystallized syrup), and it's a popular dessert in Yorkshire. It's really a type of gingerbread cake that claims origins in the north of England, specifically Yorkshire.

The cake is dense, and a little goes a long way, but it's the perfect after-dinner treat or accompaniment to a cup of tea.

York Food: Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea is a popular tradition in York and involves a selection of treats meant to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner. It's often served between 4 pm and 6 pm, and one of the best places to have Afternoon Tea is at The Yorkshire Rose.

The Yorkshire Rose is a tea room that's located within the historic Shambles. They offer a wide range of different teas, as well as a selection of sandwiches, scones, and cakes. If you're looking for a traditional English experience, then make sure you track down The Yorkshire Rose for Afternoon Tea.


As you can see from this list, there is no shortage of delicious things to eat in York. From fish dishes and roast lamb to tasty desserts and the iconic Yorkshire pudding, you certainly won't go hungry in the city. Whether you want to sample exquisite food from a tasting menu at the best restaurants or prefer an unpretentious pub lunch washed down with plenty of craft beer, York can give you what you want.

Fortunately, given all the calories you'll be consuming, the best hikes in York are a great way to burn off excess calories and make sure you don't go home a little heavier than you want to. So there's really no excuse not to enjoy the very best food that York has to offer.

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