For the discerning student or inhabitant of York who likes a chill cafe, or cosy independent restaurant, but doesn’t know where to look, City Secrets is your guide. This is our April guide featuring some of York’s best independent restaurants and cafes that are a must try.
Yak and Yeti Gurkha Restaurant, Goodramgate
Pro: Great, relaxed and cosy atmosphere with authentic, fresh food which is somewhat less traditional than food served in chain restaurants. Big portions, food full of flavor.
Con: Is there a con? If I was going to be picky, desert menu could be bigger.
Diet: Vegetarian options plentiful, some vegan but limited.
Seating: Either at dinning tables or traditional, Nepalese style with low tables and sitting cross legged (worth a try, but would recommend getting up half way through for a leg stretch.)
A lovely place to eat in York if you are looking for something different, the service was brilliant, as well as the sheer range of options on the menu. The set menu offers are a good way of trying a range of different dishes. It has a lovely, homely feel to it – definitely one of the best restaurants in York.
Spring Espresso, Fossgate
Pro: The award winning coffee is to die for, a great range of breakfast and brunch options served all day. A nice, relaxed environment for doing a bit of work in, or catching up with a friend. There’s also one on Lendal, as well as Fossgate. Tap water served immediately on entry.
Con: £2.60 for an inch of coffee? (I had a flat white) Bit pricey, but nonetheless the coffee doesn’t disappoint in flavor, some of the best in York.
Diet: Apart from “marmite toast” there doesn’t seem to be many vegan options. There are more vegetarian options.
Seating: To be expected, some stalls poised in the window for coffee sipping and people watching, with eating tables on the main floor.
A great environment for any occasion, the coffee is heavenly, the sandwiches pretty hearty and deliciously filling. Would recommend for at least a one time visit whilst in York, as a student, how could you not?
Double Dutch Pancake House, Church Street
Pro: Huge variety of pancake options, deserts, side dishes, milkshakes and hot drinks. Lovely setting and typical “Dutch” style decor. Truly relaxing, quaint environment. The smell of pancakes as you walk in is mouth watering.
Con: Is there one? Nope.
Diet: Great for vegan options, even do a vegan bacon and maple syrup style pancake, gluten free pancake options, numerable vegetarian savory pancakes.
Seating: Downstairs, right next to the hobs so could be a little warm, however, upstairs is lovely and cosy with lots of old dutch style furnishings and big windows. Stairs very steep.
A great place for a sweet or savory treat, doesn’t leave you feeling like a sack of potatoes after. Very good experience if you’re looking for something a little quieter and less filling than Brew & Brownie.
Il paradiso, Walmgate
Mon-Thurs: 1-2:30pm / 6-10pm
Pro: Authentic, delicious and well priced Italian food. Great atmosphere, feels like you are in a small, independent restaurant off the piazza navona in Rome. Friendly, well mannered and receptive staff. Just lovely, a slice of the Mediterranean in York. A must try.
Con: It get’s very busy here so you have to book, also they do not take cards so be prepared to bring cash.
Diet: Traditional, homemade Italian food that doesn’t really allow for vegan options, but you could always ring up and ask beforehand and ask, they’d probably be accommodating.
Seating: Limited, very close together like you would expect from a real Italian restaurant. Booking in advance recommended.
A hidden Italian gem in York, the food is fresh, home-cooked and could easily be straight from Italy. The setting and staff make you feel like you are miles away from York in Italy somewhere. A great experience all round, would highly recommend.