I. Eating and Drinking

Cafés, Bistos, Bars and Restaurants

The list below is loosely organized according to the type of fare offered, with the more extravagant/formal options later in the list. Ask and Pizza Express are reliable and convenient pizzerias immediately adjacent to the conference venue, while Gillygate and Petergate house some recommended restaurants and cafes and are within a short walk. For light bites a number of sandwich shops can also be found between Lendal Bridge and Gillygate. If exploring further afield in search of food, Walmgate (which leads onto Fossgate) is a good starting point with a number of good restaurants – some will require advanced booking. Swinegate is another area with a concentration of bars and bistros serving food, and for spicier, more international options, George Hudson St., off Micklegate offers a range of eastern flavours.

Restaurant Chains and International Options

Gourmet Burger Kitchen, 7 Lendal, 01904 639537
The name speaks for itself.

Ask, Assembly Rooms , Blake Street. 01904 637254
Pizzas, pastas and salads are served in the beautiful setting of the assembly rooms.

Pizza Express, River House, 17 Museum St, 01904 672904
Usual high standard; unusually striking and pleasant surroundings. Very close to conference venue. There is also a Pizza Express in the very centre of the city, next to the Roman Baths (worth a visit – you can look, but cannot bathe…)

The Viceroy of India, Monkgate 01904 622370
Good value Indian food, situated close to the River Ouse.

Akbar's, 6 - 8 George Hudson Street, 01904 679888.
Part of a small chain of good quality Indian restaurants.

Saffron Desi, 105-107 Micklegate, 01904 659999.
Quite a smart Indian restaurant, round the corner from Akbar’s.

Indochine 9 King St, 633999.
Dim-sum/“tapas” style menu drawn from countries across East Asia.

Red Chilli, 21-25 George Hudson Street, 01904 733668.
Challenging but delicious and authentic (?) Sichuan food. A cut above the standard Anglo-Cantonese fare.

Little Italy, 12 Goodramgate, York, 01904 623539
A family-run Italian restaurant that serves homemade pizzas, pastas and meat dishes. Good value for money, especially at lunchtime.

Mama Mia 20 Gillygate 01904 622020Address:
Reputedly excellent Italian food.

Bars Serving Food and Drink

Oscar’s Wine Bar, Little Stonegate 01904 652002
Popular bar and bistro serving good value food – very generous portions! Outside heated patio area usually available.

Evil Eye Lounge 42 Stonegate,
Cocktail bar, off-licence, internet café and Thai restaurant in one. Popular with the trendy young folk of York.

Ha Ha, New Street, 01904 655868.
Café-bar serving tasty food (and cocktails!).

Café, Grill, Bistro

Biltmore Bar & Grill Swinegate 01904 610075‎
Atmospheric bar serving good food. Nice steak.

Plunkets, High Petergate
This atmospheric restaurant serves food with a Mexican/American influence, including tasty fajitas, steaks and fish dishes. Reasonable vegetarian choice, booking not normally

Meltons Too, 25, Walmgate, York, 01904 629222
Sister to the nationally-renowned Meltons restaurant (see below). Café-Bar and Bistro. Open all day. Popular but not usually necessary to book.

Cafe Concerto, High Petergate, York, 01904 610478
Bisto-style homemade food is served in the shadow of York Minster. Great for coffee and cake as well as main meals.

Café No 8 8 Gillygate 01904 653074‎
Varied and original menu including brunch. Consistently good reviews.

More formal

Masons, 13 Fossgate, 01904 611919.
Concentrates on dishes derived from the Mediterranean region including North Africa, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece and France.

Melton’s Restaurant, 6 Scarcroft Rd, 01904 634341 http://www.meltonsrestaurant.co.uk
Top class food – one of the best restaurants in York. Booking essential.

Vanilla Black, 26 Swinegate, 01904 676750
Innovative vegetarian cooking to a very high standard. Booking essential.

J Baker’s. 7 Fossgate, 01904 622688
A contemporary modern bistro. Michelin Star chef.

Middlethorpe Hall, Bishopthorpe Road, 01904 641241
Fine dining in panelled rooms. AA 3 Rosettes. William III country house, close to the city, set in 20 acres of its own gardens and parkland. Luxury hotel for the weekend.


York has hundreds of pubs, many of which are ancient and many of them serve food. Here’s a selected sample. A more comprehensive list can be found at www.beerintheevening.com. Note that some pubs on Micklegate can get a bit rowdy, particularly at the weekend.

The Minster Inn, 24 Marygate
Traditional pub.

The Maltings, Tanners Moat.
Conveniently located traditional English pub near to the station and conference venue.

Three-Legged Mare, 15 High Petergate.
York Brewery's outlet for its own beer. Also try the Last Drop Inn on Colliergate.

Black Swan, Peasholme Green.
York's oldest (sixteenth-century) pub has some superb flagstones and wood panelling. If you’ve had dinner in Fossgate/Walmgate then turn right at the town end of Fossgate and carry on round the corner. The pub is on the right.

Blue Bell, Fossgate.
A small no-frills traditional pub – real ales, no mobile phones, non-tourist clientele – also not ideal for large groups!

King's Arms, King's Staithe.
Close to the Ouse Bridge, and popular with tourists on Summer afternoons (as long as the river is not in flood).

Golden Slipper and The Royal Oak, Goodramgate.
Next to each other, both serve pub food, with the Royal Oak a preferred choice.

II. Places of Interest

York is a historic riverside city and home to several major tourist attractions, museums and galleries. A walk round the city walls is highly recommended (and free). The world famous York Minster (http://www.yorkminster.org/), built between the 1220s and the 1470s is within yards of the Museum Gardens, and should probably be on any new visitors itinerary – sightseers are expected to pay an entrance fee (between £4 and £9.50 depending on which parts of the building you visit).

The narrow, bending, cobbled streets around the Shambles (http://www.insideyork.co.uk/shambles) are particularly picturesque, lined with medieval buildings still used as busy shops. According to the website, the Shambles is Europe’s most visited street!

If you are in need of refreshment, Betty's Tea Rooms (http://www.bettys.co.uk/) is not just a café, more a Yorkshire institution, and should be experienced at least once in your life. No bookings; join the queue (which moves reasonably quickly).

A good way to have an entertaining and vaguely educational tour of the city is to take a “ghost tour” one evening (these normally start at around 7.30 to 8.00 at various points in the city see e.g., http://www.ghosthunt.co.uk/).

Other sights well worth seeing include Clifford’s Tower (http://www.cliffordstower.com/) and the nearby Castle Museum which presents a quirky and fascinating take on social history, including accurate reconstructions of historic streetscapes. Entry to the Yorkshire Museum (which focuses on local archaeology http://www.yorkshiremuseum.org.uk/Page/About.aspx) is free to conference delegates. For those wishing to travel further back in time, the Jorvik Viking Centre (http://www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk/) unearths York’s Viking roots with the aid of animatronics and memorable recreations of the smells of history! York has long held a central place in Britain’s rail network, and a visit to the National Railway Museum (http://www.nrm.org.uk/) will not disappoint train enthusiasts and is free. NB - you do not have to be a train-spotter to enjoy the NRM.

For more information on these and other activities, visit: http://www.visityork.org/