In between York and Leeds is a town that stands alone as an aspirational piece of Yorkshire. Harrogate is a handsome and affluent spa town, and as the home of Harrogate Spa Water, Yorkshire Tea and Betty’s Tea Rooms, it is famous far beyond its locality.
With attractions and beauty spots such as Valley Gardens, Turkish Baths, Royal Hall and RHS Harlow Carr, its reputation is well earned. In amongst these popular visits are an array of exceptional independents, making for wonderful shopping, unique culture, and most of all, delicious food and drink.
One place that exemplifies this is the stunning Italian restaurant Stuzzi. Serving authentic small plates in a vibrant setting, Stuzzi has made Kings Road a new Harrogate hub, and their success means that Leeds is now lucky enough to have a Stuzzi of its own in the Grand Arcade.
So, who better to take us on a tour of Harrogate’s bars and pubs, cafes and restaurants than Stuzzi? With plenty more besides – try The Disappearing Chin, Hales, The Orchid, Starling and Major Tom’s to name another few – here are nine of the best…
Little Ale House
Our go to place to drink in Harrogate; loads of real ale, no music and a chilled out atmosphere – plus the best lager in the world. It’s friendly and cosy, there are dogs running around, it’s brilliant on a sunny summer’s evening and equally as good in the winter with the log burners on full pelt. An absolute jewel.
Three’s a Crowd
A little more upmarket, Three’s a Crowd is a gastro pub that has earned itself a Michelin accolade. The food is eclectic and always well cooked and tasty. It gets very busy and is a place you can get dressed up for, so best book.
The Drum and Monkey
The Drum and Monkey has been around for nearly 5 decades and is a bit of a Harrogate institution, serving fresh seafood in a colonial environment. The food is still excellent, and the wine list is great too. It’s one of the original Harrogate restaurants and is still going strong.
Cold Bath Road
Great local hub next to town. District is a nice little bar with one of the best cigar shops in the country next door. There’s Manna Bakery doing all in house bread and cakes, Vanilli’s home make real Italian style gelato, Oliver’s fish & chips, La Feria Andalusian chicken, as well as vintage clothes stores and cafes dotted all the way up the street. Well worth a visit.
Cold Bath Brewing Co.
Cold Bath Tap Room have gone from strength to strength, set up by 3 guys that all live on nearby Cold Bath Road – although it’s actually situated on the ‘Cote de Kings Road’ between us and Brio. They brew their own beer in house in full view of the drinkers and their Cold Bath lager has become legendary locally. Definitely one of the most popular drinking establishments in town with a great heated patio in front.
Paradise Tap and Taco
Also on the Kings Road riviera, local couple Ellie and Josh smash out great tacos at Paradise Tap and Taco. Alongside these are a selection of real ales and imported beers from their extended residency at the Cold Bath Clubhouse next door.
Baltzersens has stood the test of time. It’s a Scandinavian bakery and cafe set up by a Norwegian guy. Everything from the bakery is awesome and is served in the cafe. It’s perfect for breakfast and lunch, so check it out.
This little family run Japanese restaurant on Montpelllier is a massive hit with the locals, serving Japanese and Oriental food. The sushi is always really fresh and the food is cooked with care and attention.
Pizza Social serves Neapolitan style pizzas with slow proved sourdough and topped with proper tomato and cheese. Really the only place to get an authentic pizza in Harrogate, it’s only small but you can also get them served to you at North Bar next door. Locally brewed beer and great pizza al fresco, what’s not to like!
Images: Stuzzi, Little Ale House, Three’s A Crowd, Paradise Tap & Taco, Pizza Social