It is no exaggeration nor idle boast to declare that North Yorkshire possesses within its borders some of the best restaurants and options for eating out in the country.
Michelin star restaurants
Michelin Guide inspectors are frequent visitors to the area and have given three restaurants a coveted Michelin Star. These include The Black Swan at Oldstead, on the edge of the North York Moors, which is run by the Banks family, who have lived and farmed in the village for generations.
They have a field to fork ethos and, like many of the best restaurants in North Yorkshire and elsewhere, are inspired by the produce that can be found locally, including their own two-acre kitchen garden. The only menu available at The Black Swan is a £98 to £125-a-head tasting menu, which features such delights as raw Oldstead deer, scallop with razor clam and rhubarb and monkfish with fermented celeriac.
Not far away is the Star Inn at Harome which also lists a Michelin star among its numerous awards. Describing itself as a “rustic gourmet bolthole”, the Star serves modern Yorkshire food made primarily from locally-sourced seasonal ingredients, including local game, North Sea fish and fresh herbs from their own kitchen garden.
North Yorkshire’s third Michelin starred restaurant is The Yorke Arms in Ramsgill, in Nidderdale. The historic former 18th-century coaching house and shooting lodge’s kitchen is led by one of the country’s top female chefs, Frances Atkins. The restaurant offers either an eight-course tasting menu for £105 or a five-course option for £75. These highly-coveted restaurants are often fully booked unless you book months in advance. Fortunately, there are many more great options for eating out across the Dales, Moors and the North Yorkshire coast.
Michelin Guide inspectors are frequent visitors to the area and have given three restaurants a coveted Michelin Star
Fish and chips by the beach
Not every good eating out option is expensive in North Yorkshire. No trip to the seaside towns of Scarborough or Whitby would be complete without fish and chips, eaten on the beach ideally. The long queues outside Whitby’s famous Magpie Café, on Marine Parade, are testament to just how good their food is, but there are plenty of other places if you do not want to wait, including the Quayside, next door or Silver Street Fisheries, which is just around the corner. Whitby also has a number of excellent brasseries and bistros, including The Moon & Sixpence, on Marine Parade, which serves seafood, gumbo and Cajun dishes, as well as cocktails. It’s open at 9am and is a popular place to enjoy breakfast while watching the boats come in and out of the busy harbour.
Seafood also plays a big part in the dining experience down the coast in Scarborough. The Green Room Brasserie, in Victoria Road, offers a mix of European, Asian and French cuisine. Pan-seared hake with saffron-poached potato, bouillabaisse sauce and foraged sea vegetables is an example of one of its regular dishes. Another popular restaurant is Jeremy’s in Victoria Park Avenue, which is run by husband and wife team Jeremy and Anne Hollingsworth. Jeremy worked in restaurants around the world including spending six years under Marco Pierre White before returning to his home town to open his own establishment.
Fine dining Italian restaurant La Lanterna, in Queen Street, has been open for more than 40 years and is something of an institution, with one critic describing the eatery as ‘the English temple of Italian cuisine’. Chef-patron Giorgio Alessio is influenced by his native Piedmont in northern Italy, where the cooler climate calls for comfort food of game, risotto, pasta, hazelnuts, chocolate, and Lanterna’s speciality, truffles. For a more casual dining experience, the American diner-inspired restaurant, East Coast Kitchen, in Newborough Street, is worth a visit.
Burgers, ribs, chicken, wings and pulled pork, as well as pancakes with maple syrup and huge milkshakes, feature on the menu. If you are particularly hungry you can try one of the East Coast Kitchen’s eating challenges and go on to feature on the wall of fame if you’re successful, or wall of shame if you aren’t!
Not every good eating out option is expensive in North Yorkshire. No trip to the seaside towns of Scarborough or Whitby would be complete without fish and chips, eaten on the beach ideally
Traditional eats and Italian flavours
In the village of Cloughton, around four miles out of Scarborough, you will find the charming 250-year-old Blacksmith Arms Inn which forms part of the Duchy of Lancaster estate and serves decent pub favourites. The Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge high up on the North York Moors is one of the remotest pubs in Britain. If you’re visiting during the winter, it is advisable to check the weather forecast as staff and customers have been snowed in for more than a week in past years! The menu features a number of pub classics, including steaks, gammon and scampi, as well as a hearty Old Peculier casserole made with the Theakston’s famous ale.
For something a little different, Middleton Tea Parlour, in Middleton, just outside Pickering is worth investigating. Their afternoon tea, which is served in fine China crockery and includes dainty sandwiches and scones with jam and clotted cream, draws visitors from far and wide. Another ever popular eatery is Potter Hill Fisheries in Pickering. There’s every chance you will see the queue leading to the tiny takeaway before you actually see the shop.
In Helmsley, diminutive Italian restaurant Gepetto’s, in Bridge Street, gets busy and it is worth booking ahead if you are planning to dine. As well as a good selection of pizzas, the restaurant offers dishes inspired by the local produce, including rice balls with local black pudding.
Yorkshire’s food capital Malton has developed a reputation for good local produce and excellent eateries. What was once a sleepy market town, that was struggling economically, is now a popular destination for foodies, with marketeers even declaring it ‘Yorkshire’s food capital’. There’s a wide choice of excellent places to eat out including Stew and Oyster, in Old Maltongate, which you will not be surprised to read specialises in stew and oysters, but which also offers a good selection of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
Chapter One Bistro in the Market Place is usually busy with a mix of locals and visitors. The menu includes home-made burgers, sharing platters and gourmet sandwiches, with the courtyard outdoor seating area a popular place to enjoy afternoon tea which is available with a glass of fizz! There is no shortage of great places to eat as you move from the North York Moors to the Vale of York.
Northallerton is home to a number of excellent restaurants, including the quirky Potting Shed in the High Street, which has its very own potting sheds in the courtyard, and makes use of flower pots as serving bowls. The Village Inn, in Brompton, just outside Northallerton is another good option with its contemporary feel, location overlooking the village green and large menu of pub classics. In Thirsk, Racha Thai Bistro is tucked away in Bakers Alley, off the Market Place. Many of the names of the dishes will be indecipherable to non-Thai speakers, but the descriptions in English on the menu reveal the diner is in for a treat of authentic cuisine.
For lovers of Indian food, The Jaipur Spice, in Busby Stoop Road, is worth checking out, as is The Golden Fleece Hotel in the Market Place, which has numerous rooms to hole up in and enjoy food from the bistro-style menu.
For something a little different, Middleton Tea Parlour, in Middleton, just outside Pickering is worth investigating. Their afternoon tea draws visitors from far and wide