The Best Fine Dining Restaurants in York, England

The Best Fine Dining Restaurants in York, England This content is copyright of Luxury Travel Blogger - Carmen Edelson and cannot be used without prior consent.

Welcome to the ancient city of York, where the cobbled streets are lined with mouth-watering eateries. From classic British fare to international cuisine, you’ll find something to satisfy your taste buds. On my recent trip, I was truly blown away with the fine dining scene in this charming city. To help you navigate through the culinary landscape, I’ve compiled a list of the best fine dining places to eat in York, England that are worth your time and money! Please note that I recommend making a reservation for all of these restaurants, most are small and get booked up quickly.

#1 Melton’s 

Our first stop on this fine dining adventure is Melton’s, a true gem in York’s culinary crown. Located just a little outside the historic city center (but still walking distance), this is certainly a local favorite that I kept hearing great things about. Owned by a husband & wife team since the 90’s, with a commitment to using locally sourced ingredients, Melton’s boasts a menu that changes with the seasons, ensuring the freshest flavors on your plate. I enjoyed their deal of 3 courses for 68 pounds which is a fantastic value considering the quality of the food. This also included delicious and creative canapés along with homemade breads before my starter so definitely come hungry. I left feeling very satisfied and absolutely charmed by the friendly service.

#2 Rustique

Rustique is a cozy French bistro right in the center of York’s bustling city streets. It exudes warmth and authenticity, prepare to be seduced by the tantalizing aromas of classics like steak frites and soul-soothing moules marinières. Rustique’s generous portions and prices make it the perfect spot for a romantic date night or a leisurely lunch with friends. While there is also seating upstairs, I enjoyed sitting on the main ground level with the cutest table in the corner surrounded by a gallery wall and stain glass window. Their set menu for lunch of 3 courses for 25 pounds is unbeatable. I chose their decadent French onion soup to start, steak frites for my main course (I recommend getting this with the peppercorn sauce for a nice kick), and a classic crème brûlée for dessert. From start to finish, this was a deliciously comforting meal.

#3 Fish and Forest

Photos courtesy of Fish and Forest

Fish and Forest is an unassuming seafood haven that will leave you in awe. Their menu changes weekly, sometimes daily depending on what they’ve caught, and is written on a chalk board that they bring over to your table to present. The waiter thoroughly goes through it with you and is prepared for any question, I loved the service here. While the surroundings are more casual than most of the restaurants on this list, the food is fine dining at its best: colorful, creative, beautifully presented, and expertly prepared. From briny oysters that transport you to the seaside, to hearty fish stews that warm the soul, this restaurant elevates seafood to an art form. One of the standout dishes for me was a sweet and savory Scottish crab and rhubarb tart appetizer. But rest assured, you cannot go wrong with anything on their small but mighty menu.

#4 The Rattle Owl

The Rattle Owl is located within a historic 17th-century building, a remarkable place offering an ever-changing menu that reflects the freshest ingredients and culinary inspiration of the day. While I can’t speak for their main menu, I can highly praise their Sunday roast offerings. This classic British meal can be found in most pubs throughout the country only on, you guessed it, Sunday’s. For their Sunday Lunch Menu, you can choose 2 courses for 28 pounds or 3 courses for 35 pounds. Sunday roasts tend to be on the heavier side so I went with 2 courses. Their roast sirloin of beef was tender with the most delectable sauce that you should pour not only over the beef, but the perfectly roasted potatoes and Yorkshire pudding (similar to a popover) as well.

#5 Roots 

Photo courtesy of Roots

Attention, plant-based food lovers! Roots is your culinary paradise, where vegetables reign supreme. This innovative vegetarian restaurant will challenge any preconceptions you may have about meatless dining, and even though I’m not a vegetarian, I enjoyed every minute of my dining experience at Roots. This is definitely the most well known and expensive fine dining restaurant on this list, with one Michelin star so it is absolutely worth a visit. Prepare to be dazzled by their creative and daring tasting menu, featuring dishes that celebrate the natural flavors and textures of plant-based ingredients. If it’s on the menu that week, don’t miss their heavenly beetroot and cashew cheese tart, one of their standout dishes that I am still thinking about!

Honorable Mention: ASK Italian

Photo courtesy of ASK Italian

Now, some of you might raise an eyebrow when I mention Ask Italian, a chain restaurant, in the realm of fine dining. But trust me, this is no ordinary chain. Nestled on Blake Street, which is as central as you can get in York, this Ask Italian is housed in the city’s Grand Assembly Rooms built in the 1730s. Back in the day, this is where high society would host balls and other grand events. While the food is tasty and reliable, I’d absolutely come here to soak up the history and extravagance. While you’re admiring this space, keep in mind that it was modeled on the design of an Egyptian hall by Roman architect, Vitruvius.

The Best Fine Dining Restaurants in York, England Luxury Travel Blogger - Carmen Edelson

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