York, Yorkshire
Food,  UK

Where To Eat In York

Discover where to eat in York – from pad thai to perogi, Karis’ guide to some of York’s tastiest food has you covered!

I did a lot of Googling before heading up to York for a few days and got some very useful recommendations from Emma and other friends. As my first proper ‘trip’ since you-know-what, I wanted to make sure I had some memorable food.

So, to save you spending time on Google, I’ve done the leg work for you and here are the best places to stop for sustenance while you’re in York.

Nana Noodle Bar

What got me to Nana wasn’t a recommendation, it was the smell. I was wandering around the Shambles market (which, was quite disappointing overall), and I smelled Pad Thai. You know in cartoons when a character smells something and they float after it? That was me (except I was pushing a pram, keeping a 10-month old amused while his mum, my travelling companion, took a phone call).

NaNa's Noodle Bar in the Shambles Market in York

When I found the source of the smell it was Nana, a food truck that’s about 3×4 metres; but as they say: good things come in small packages.

If we’ve ever met, I’ll probably moan at you about the lack of decent South-East Asian food in Bristol, so if I manage to catch anything good while I’m travelling, I’ll always choose it over other cuisines.

It’s located in a busy food court, so be prepared to keep an eye out for a table or prepare in advance and find a nice spot to sit down elsewhere.

Luckily, we managed to nab a table (out of the rain) and proceeded to shove our faces almost into the bowls we were given. For the price, it was a good portion and the taste matched the smell, which meant it scratched the itch.

Where to find it:

Within the Shambles Market.

The Blue Barbakan

I have this whole blog post in mind that I’ve been thinking about for ages—dumplings of the world—because dumplings are probably one of my most favourite food items and most cultures have some form (hello ravioli, hello gyoza etc.). In this case, we’re here for pierogi, the Polish version.

The Blue Barbakan was recommended to me by a friend who had been in York only a week earlier and they raved about it.

The menu has plenty of choice and while Eastern European food tends to be quite meat and fish heavy, there was something for the vegetarians too.

Importantly, there were four types of pierogi to choose from and plenty of warming options like lamb shank and stuffed cabbage.

I had a big plate of cheese and potato pierogi (the filling I wrote about in my potato post, of course) and savoured every bite – a slightly chewy skin and a wonderfully seasoned filling made me very happy.

My companion had the lamb shank (and for someone who had been vegetarian until having a baby a year ago, she really went to town on it. The kid also had pierogi and as you can see, he was just as excited as I was).

Then there are desserts. The salted caramel tart with roasted almonds caught my eye as soon as we walked in, so I didn’t even need to look at the other options.

In the end, we were too full to eat dessert there, but I did take a slice home and had it for breakfast the next day and it was lush.

It’s a cosy restaurant and staff were very welcoming and helpful.

Where to find it:

34 Fossgate, York, YO1 9TA – The Fossgate also has plenty of other places to eat and shop, including the rather amusingly named ‘Hairy Fig’.

Looking for somewhere to stay in York? We recommend the National Trust owned Middlethorpe Hall and Spa.

Check out Emma’s review to find out why…

Jimmy’s

On our first night, by the time we got settled it was a bit late and we wanted to get some food before going on a ‘ghost tour’. Every place we stopped was full, so we felt like we were wandering around aimlessly (and hungry), until we reached Jimmy’s.

I think it’s pretty easy to get Americana right, but it’s also pretty easy to get it wrong (and I’ve been to too many of those).

Not only was the food well-priced, it was tasty and the staff were very accommodating. Also, the playlist was pretty decent too; I enjoyed bopping along to the classics while waiting for my food.

I had a Philly cheesesteak topped with a massive buttermilk fried pickle and fries of course (one day I’ll have one in Philly, but until then I’ll settle for second best) and my dining companion had a burger, which she managed to eat without dropping any filling on the sleeping child in her lap.

I’m disappointed we had to head out really quickly or I’d have tried the desserts.

Where to find it:

52 Low Petergate, YORK YO1 7HZ – it’s very close to York Minster and it looks like the ghost tour we went on wasn’t the only one that started nearby.

Cocoa Joe’s

First up, this didn’t come up in any of my searches and no one recommended it. We only ended up trying it because we noticed it when we went to Brew and Brownie (which isn’t too bad either). My travelling companion was keen for a daily dose of hot chocolate and this was by far the best place we stopped at for this particular requirement.

It’s quite an unassuming shop front and it made me think of those coffee shops you see in movies, with names like ‘Java Joe’s’, so I immediately wrote it off. I am thankful my friend really wanted to try it or I may never have experienced the chocolate joy that is Cocoa Joe’s.

Imagine, if you will, a list of hot chocolates that’s longer than three types (dark, milk and white) and staff who know what they are talking about. It was like having a sommelier of chocolate help me find the perfect match.

On sitting down, one of the team popped over and the first question wasn’t “what can I get you?”, it was “so, what are you in the mood for today? Something rich, something different?”. I’ve never been asked that before when it comes to hot chocolate, so things were already off to a great start.

Where to eat york - cocoa joe's

We’d had hot chocolates the day before (at a place I won’t name) and we weren’t very impressed. My friend wanted something that wasn’t as sweet as milk chocolate but wasn’t as bitter as a dark chocolate, to which the response was “well, we have these three that you might like, I’ll get some tasters for you”. Win.

Now, I’m a white chocolate person (yes, yes, I know, not really chocolate…), and I wanted hot chocolate that didn’t just taste like hot, sweet vanilla milk, which is possible, don’t judge me. They had three types and they brought me over some tasters. I went with the intense Colombian, which they described as “like rum and raisin”, and it was definitely the best white hot chocolate I’ve ever had – it wasn’t cloyingly sweet and it really did taste like rum and raisin.

All of their drinking chocolate is ‘eating’ chocolate, so it might be dangerous to buy any of their take-home packs (I overheard them talking about not being able to buy it themselves because it never actually makes it into hot milk), but if you have more willpower than us, you might like to take some home with you.

Where to find it:

11 Museum St, York YO1 7DT – it’s just across from the entrance to the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens.

Where To Eat In York

We ate at quite a few places, but these were the ones that stood out for me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on your favourites!

Karis is an Aussie living in Bristol. During the working week, she works in communications, and in her spare time she’s scouring the Internet for cool places to visit and great travel deals, as well as talking about food on her podcast, At the Sauce. She loves good food and history, so her travel itineraries usually reflect this. Places she loves include Vietnam, Japan, France and Spain. Places she can’t wait to get to include Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Poland and Georgia.

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