One thing is for sure – as a student in York you have the widest menu selection when it comes to choosing great places to eat. Renowned for its history – Vikings, Romans, beautiful Minster, walkable city walls, the world-famous Shambles – York has it all. And it has a growing reputation as a great place for nightlife, food-life, and more.
Students in York city centre accommodation don’t have to stray far from home to experience an international smorgasbord of first-rate eating places.
Try ranking them as a top ten? It’s impossible. It all depends on budgets, tastes – and whether you want a full gourmet blow-out or a quick wrap and latte. So instead, just for starters and in no particular order, here is a taster – ten top tips to tuck in to.
Stumble out of bed after a night on the town (or a heavy studying session, of course). A coffee to re-boot for the day ahead?
1. Gatehouse Coffee – Walmgate Bar
Stumble out of bed after a night on the town (or a heavy overnight studying session, of course). Fancy a coffee to re-boot for the day ahead?
Yes. You are actually taking your life-affirming coffee inside a piece of history. Gatehouse Coffee is located in one of York’s famous bars or barbicans – the gateways into the mediaeval city. Excellent friendly service from skilled baristas and a great choice of light bites, paninis, and a wide choice of cakes. Get there early if you want to savour the scones. Free wifi and a great ambience make it a favourite go-to destination for students.
2. The Press Kitchen, 59 – 63 Walmgate
Quick breakfast, takeaway coffee, light lunch or more formal evening meal – The Press Kitchen is open from 11am to 11pm every weekday and from 9.30am at weekends. This friendly eating house specialises in modern British cuisine with a continental touch and varies its menus to reflect the seasons.
The Press Kitchen has made a real name for itself since it launched in 2018. With six different dining areas and a sunny courtyard, you will be spoilt for choice.
Also Read: Things To Do In York
3. Betty’s Tea Rooms, York
OK. Since the 1930s the well-to-do have been taking afternoon tea at Betty’s in York, so there is no way we couldn’t include it here.
Pick your time, off-peak, or prepare to queue. If you want to step back in time and budget is not an issue, the food is excellent, the service traditionally quaint and the ambience is reminiscent of a regal ocean liner.
Just once in your time in York give Betty’s Tea Rooms a go, especially if you can convince a parent or generous benefactor to pick up the bill.
4. Goji, Goodramgate
Vegetarian café, deli and takeaway, but not just vegetarian – much of the what’s on offer is vegan. Food is made on the premises, from locally sourced natural ingredients, without additives, colourings and flavourings, and without using of microwaves.
If you are not tempted by the Goji hotdog (can’t see why you wouldn’t be) try one of the famous platters – Middle Eastern, Indian, salad or mezze – or simply feast on a slice of delicious homemade quiche.
5. Skosh, 98 Mickelgate
Here is a place that is making a real national name for itself. Skosh makes eating an experience to be savoured. Here’s how they describe their offering – ‘a diverse menu which showcases a precise yet playful style of cookery’.
They serve eclectic food in the form of snacks and small plates allowing you to graze as you go. So if grazing playful food is what you are into, Skosh is the place to be. It’s not cheap, and you will need to book, but honestly, it is fun, and the food is truly, genuinely delicious.
6. Shambles Kitchen, 28, The Shambles
This one will make your mouth water. ‘Lovingly made food, fast’ is how Shambles Kitchen describe their craft.
Look no further than the burrito menu and start drooling – smoked beef barbacoa (half smoked brisket braised in homemade Adobo broth with chipotles, anchos and gaujillos), Citrico Chicken, Smoked pork pibil or, for the vegetarian, Yucatan Jackfruit.
And you are perfectly placed for that compulsory selfie in the Shambles (still world famous whether or not it was the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley).
7. Yak & Yeti Gurkha Restaurant, Goodramgate
York’s first Nepalese restaurant blends quality authentic Nepalese food with typical Gurkha warmth and hospitality.
Try one of their set and inclusive vegetarian meals – the traditional all time classic Dal Bhat Tarkari for example – incredibly good value for money and full of rich flavours.
This is a family run little gem of a place playing its part in extending the cultural diversity of York’s eating experience.
8. The Rattle Owl, 104 Mickelgate
The Rattle Owl is another of the growing new wave of independent restaurants which have added to York’s impressive reputation as a food-lovers’ destination.
For those who like their history, it boasts Roman ruins in its cellar but there is nothing out of date about its menu. Start with a smoked eel tart with pear seaweed, lime, and oyster ice cream, if you dare.
Main course for vegetarians might include Rattle Owl ricotta and cashel blue agnolotti to which you can add braised lentils with last year’s wild garlic capers and walnuts. A far cry from a quick burger, and not cheap. But, for that special occasion, give it a try. You will not be disappointed.
9. The Blue Barbakan, 34 Fossgate
More of that international eclectic mix that is York’s dining scene. This Polish restaurant is warm and full of eastern European good cheer. Don’t be tempted too early by the dazzling array of deliciously rich cakes and deserts behind the serving counter – however hard they are to resist.
You may not have the room for them that you imagine after enjoying a hearty starter and a main course. Everything, without exception, is made on the premises.
10. The cake shop and tea house, 24 Fossgate
To finish, here’s one to challenge you. It is a small traditional tea shop in bustling Fossgate. Step inside and you step back in time, by a little over half a century. No prams or pushchairs allowed – as much to do with lack of space as anything else. But check this out – use your mobile phone or tablet and you will be politely asked to turn it off.
Yes, this is about taking tea and delicious homemade cakes in a pre-digital environment. The service is lovely, the food delicious – the experience one to savour, slowly and indulgently. Practise overcoming your FOMO, for just a brief while. You might get to like it!
Can’t give you a website link – unsurprisingly it doesn’t have one!