The market town of Malton offers so much more than its size would suggest. With approximately 5000 residents, one might expect a quiet local village, a post office and a pub. Instead, Malton is a vibrant and thriving place, filled with dozens of incredible independent shops, bars, cafes and restaurants; so much so that Malton was declared Yorkshire’s Food Capital.

Only half-an-hour from York and on the edge of the North York Moors, the town is easily accessible and idyllically located. And there are many attractions to tempt you here and keep you returning, including Malton Monthly Food Market and Malton Food Lover’s Festival, plus the permanent food businesses that are the soul of this unique town. Here’s our guide to some of the best of them.

Talbot Yard

In a town full of foodie delights, Talbot Yard is right at the heart of it. This converted coaching yard is a charming setting for six artisan producers. With a butcher, a baker and a macaroon maker, it’s simultaneously like stepping back to a better time and striding forward to a brighter future.

Food 2 Remember supply superior locally sourced meats and fish, and also cater for vegetarians with delicious deli goodies. Bluebird Bakery create sourdough bread so fantastic that they’ve also got much-loved shops in York and Leeds, and the Malton original continues to serve up many moreish bakes. Florian Poirot is a French Master Patissier and UK Pastry Champion who creates the most magnificent macaroons, as well as champion chocolate and other sweet treats.

And that’s not all; there’s also a gelataria, a coffee roastery, and a gin distillery here. Groovy Moo is one of the most popular destinations in town for the good reason that is their fresh natural gelato which combines authentic Italian with traditional Yorkshire with exceptional results. Roost know their beans, as a fabulous family run coffee roastery who serve up their specialities at their lovely Espresso Bar. And Rare Bird Distillery are a ginspiration, creating Malton’s marvellous own gin from their 300 litre copper still called Florence, whilst also hosting gin schools here too. Together, these six food and drink experts make Talbot Yard a mouthwatering visit.

Brass Castle Brewery

Brass Castle are a microbrewery that have stayed true to their admirable ethics whilst gaining a reputation as one of the finest modern brewers. They are vegan and gluten-free, and their approach allows these qualities to enhance the flavour of their ales. As well as tasting them at local bars and pubs, you can sup on site at Brass Castle Tap House for the freshest craft beers.

Chapter One Bistro

Tasty home cooked food from fresh locally sourced ingredients in a friendly atmosphere at affordable prices – sometimes it seems obvious what makes a good restaurant. Chapter One Bistro does all of this wonderfully well, from breakfasts to burgers to bakes, and is an always enjoyable visit morning, lunchtime, or on a weekend evening. Begin your story at Chapter One.

Florio’s Italian

Florio’s is a Malton legend, having been serving the town for almost 40 years with classic Italian fare. Their open kitchen cooks up pastas and pizzas using fresh seasonal ingredients, which taste like only a chef who has this food in their heart can make it taste. It’s flavourful, family-friendly and full of fun, and you’ll leave glad that Florio’s came all that time ago from Sardinia to Malton with love.

The Patisserie Malton

A treat of a patisserie in a lovely location, you’ll want to watch the world go by from The Patisserie’s cosy cafe with coffee and cake, or perhaps elevate to afternoon tea. Or take away a sandwich or a snack to be enjoyed while exploring the town; either way, they’ll serve you something equally special and homely, and you’ll be glad you came to The Patisserie.

La Trattoria

As a contemporary Italian bistro, La Trattoria pleases a lot of palates on their extensive menu. Morning breakfasts and coffees lead into lunchtime sandwiches, small plates and specials, followed by evening pastas, pizzas, meat and fish. There is familiar comfort alongside Italian authenticity, all in a charming social setting. Add a fine Italian cocktail too to make your experience il meglio.

Stew & Oyster

Stew & Oyster opened in a characterful grade II listed Malton building in 2019, having established themselves as a favourite Leeds bar and restaurant. They have made the beautiful space airy and inviting, tempting for cool daytime relaxing or hot evening socials. Excellent coffees, beers and wines can be supped solo, or accompanied by a food menu which specialises, unusually but deliciously, with its name: sumptuous oysters and stews that are sure to leave you satisfied.

McMillan’s of Malton | The Library

This independent wine and spirits merchants are a family business with a huge passion and knowledge. The father-son McMillan duo specialise in whisky and gin but also stock a great range of beers and wines in their quirky listed building. McMillans have recently opened a tiny speakeasy here, a dimly lit evocative hideaway in which to snuggle up with a whisky or a wine, and let those worries wash away.

Images: Malton (Anete Lusina Photography), Florian Poirot, Rare Bird Distillery, Brass Castle Brewery, The Library