Where to eat in York
I am not sure how I never knew York had such an iconic chocolate history, If I had known this and also that there is chocolate around every corner I would have visited a lot more often as a child as I grew up in Cheshire which is about 75 miles away.
One of the things you have to do apart from popping in all the little chocolate shops is to do the chocolate story tour. I don’t know what I was expecting but I wasn’t expecting to get to try things as you go around and it really made the tour.
I’m not a big dark chocolate fan so when our first tester was the original dark chocolate recipe I didn’t think I was going to be impressed so picked up a sample tub with only a few in, OMG why am I so stupid I should have gone for the tub that was nearly over flowing as it was delicious in fact I had to buy some in the shop on the way out just to make sure.
It’s then explained how chocolate originated in Mexico and you then get to sample a cold chocolate drink with a hint of chilli, I wasn’t so keen on this as it did just taste like water with a hint of chocolate but you can tell there is chilli in as it warmed my belly up.
You even get to make your own lolly, try some handmade chocolates and if your still hungry you can have cake or shakes in the café.
I visited York in September when the annual food festival was taking place. See my article for more details.
There are so many stall here offering locally produced products that I wish I had brought a wheelie suitcase with me so I could transport some of it home.
What I liked about this festival is that some of the stall holders were willing to let you taste things and then didn’t pressurise you into buying the products which actually made me want to buy them so great ploy lol. I loved the Rhubarb Liquor
Demonstrations from a local cookery school will make your mouth water and you even get to have a try of what they cook yumyum.
As part of the food festival you can take part in a food trail which was actually quite a lot of fun when doing with my travel blogging companion but when she went home it lost its appeal so definitely something to do with friends rather than as a solo traveller.
There are so many places to have afternoon tea and as you walk around York you will see sign after sign, you definitely won’t go hungry in this city. See my 5 top places to have afternoon tea for more information.
I have a slight confession to make and I hope you don’t think any less of me but I actually had to have two afternoon teas in one day. It’s such a hard life but I managed it. The two places I was invited to, sounded absolutely amazing and I couldn’t turn either one down, it’s all in the name of research so went to both.
Afternoon tea seems to be the most popular activity to do in York. I had never heard of the famous Bettys before but as I am travelling around York everyone I met kept asking if I had been to Bettys so it’s very well-known. You can tell this as you approach the tearoom in St Helens Square as the queue is normally out the door and around the corner. However there is a smaller tearoom on Stonegate which is the one I visited and there were less queues.
So what’s making Bettys so special? There’s many factors such as the traditional recipes they use, the elegant décor and the exceptional choice of savoury delights and sweet treats.
Royal York Hotel
The afternoon tea at the Royal York Hotel was slightly different to the one at Bettys. We had a few canapes to start with before the finger sandwiches, cakes and scones which were all delicious.
Lunch / Dinner
Eating in York is an easy affair with so many places to choose from, it can make it a hard decision so here are a few places I tried and would recommend.
49-51 Low Petergate, York, YO1 7HT
Opening times : Mon – Fri 8am – 11pm Sat 9am – 11pm Sun 9am – 10.30pm. Booking is advisable as after 7pm it was getting very full you can ring on 01904 639 994
I didn’t really want to do chain restaurants whilst visiting York as there are so many independent restaurants to support. But I was really hungry and was tempted by the special offer of two courses for £10.95 and three courses for £12.95. When I looked at the menu the chocolate mousse swayed it for me as it’s one of my absolute favourites and also I’m writing an article on the best chocolate mousse around the world.
I haven’t been to many French restaurants so not sure if this was good but it was definitely tasty and I am going to try more French cuisine now.
The food was delicious I ordered pork rillettes I didn’t even know what it was but was a bit surprised when I came out and it was like a pate. I wasn’t actually so keen on this as I didn’t really like the texture.
Next I went for chicken and chips with a garlic butter and this was yummy. The chicken was a little on the small size but I sometimes struggle with three courses so this made sure I could finish my chocolate mousse which was heavenly.
I will actually be visiting these restaurants again just for the mousse. It was light and had just the right amount of chocolatey taste. It was just the right size as any bigger and it might have started to become sickly, I didn’t quite lick the pot clean but would have done if I had been in the comfort of my own home.
I washed it all down with a nice house red and complimentary filtered water and had all this including the tip for less than £20 which was definitely good value of money for the quality of the food.
12 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LQ
Opening times: Mon – Thurs 5pm – 10pm (closed Wednesday) Friday 12pm – 2pm / 5pm – 10pm Sat 12pm – 3pm / 5pm – 10pm Sun 12pm – 3pm / 4.30pm – 9pm
This little Italian restaurant above a deli smelt great as we walked past. After a day of touring we arrived at 9.50pm when they close at 10pm they managed to seat us and we had a lovely meal. I had Pollo Farcito £15.95 which was chicken roulade with roasted rosello ham and provolone cheese. It was a little bit pricy for budget travellers but worth it if you have a little bit extra to spend.
27-29 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LS
Opening times: Mon – Fri 12.00-14.30 / 17.30-23.00 Sat-Sun 12.00-23.00
I saw this restaurant on my way back to my guesthouse and I was actually going to get a sandwich and take it back with me. As I walked past they opened the door the blast of garlic hit me so looked at the menu and they had a special menu for the time of day. So in I popped and I am glad that I did as it was delicious.
A Pizzeria and Ristorante offering freshly prepared Italian food. I got a pasta dish, side salad, bread and glass of wine for £10.95. The wine was great and the food was so tasty. The restaurant wasn’t that busy when I visited at 6.30pm on a Wednesday evening but it started to fill up as I was leaving. There are great options on the menu that it did take me a while to choose what to have as it all sounded so good. The pizzas also looked amazing.
I received complimentary afternoon tea at Bettys and The Royal York Hotel but all opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way. Thank you to Visit York for organising the afternoon tea at the Royal York Hotel