In the last decade, the standard of restaurants in York has elevated exponentially. The city centre has always been a popular eating destination for the many visitors attracted here, and the arrival of new openings through those years have made it a place of culinary excellence. From traditional classics to modern innovation, from local produce to worldwide influences, here are five restaurants expertly bringing fine dining to York city centre.

Skosh – It wasn’t long after Skosh opened on Mickelgate in 2016 that the nation was alerted to York’s culinary rise. Having refurbished their Grade II listed building with an understated style and elegance, owner Neil Bentinck continued this approach with the refined quality of Skosh’s food. This is innovative cuisine rooted in traditional skills, mixing unique Asian influences with the best local ingredients for a playful menu of precise small plates that is a joy to behold. Whether grazing informally or experiencing the full taster menu, Skosh delivers inclusive and unforgettable fine dining for the modern era. 

Roots – Continuing the momentum of this new interest in York’s thriving food scene, Roots’ arrival on Marygate in 2018 was met with excited anticipation. Having already earned the highest reputation thanks to its older sibling The Black Swan Oldstead and its Michelin starred chef Tommy Banks, Roots excelled as expected, and has now gained a Michelin star of its own. They serve just one tasting menu which evolves with the seasons to showcase their stunning farm to table delights. Elevating the freshest homegrown produce into incredible modern dishes, all enjoyed in a relaxed and handsome dining room, Roots is a special visit not to miss.  

The Rattle Owl – Rattling around and spinning 360 degrees, The Rattle Owl restaurant provides a much calmer yet equally memorable experience. Owner Clarrie O’Callaghan brought this 17th century Micklegate space to 21st century life, and chef Tom Heywood complements it with food that takes from old York and brings to new York. The taster menu is sensational stuff, made from an abundance of local ingredients, but like you’ve never tasted them before. 

Rustique – Rustique has been treating York to the finest French bistro cooking since 2004. As it approaches its second full decade on Castlegate, the standard has never dropped, and the prices remain more than reasonable for the high quality served up. As the name says, this is rustic fare, with classic favourites like onion soup and steak and chips exquisitely done and full of flavour. Add top service and an upbeat atmosphere and you’re in very safe hands at Rustique. 

Le Cochon Aveugle – Le Cochon Aveugle is a restaurant inspired by traditional French cooking techniques and presenting them in magnificent modern dishes. Such is the deliciousness of every creation, owners Josh and Victoria Overington serve it all on an evolving blind tasting menu which you’ll be delighted to devour. Since opening on Walmgate in 2014, Le Cochon Aveugle has become a proud York favourite, and their cosy wine bar next door Cave du Cochon ensures the vino will be pretty spectacular too. 


Images: The Rattle Owl, Skosh, Roots, Le Cochon Aveugle