From 20-29 September, the medieval city of York will be filled to the brim with foodie delights as the York Food and Drink Festival takes over Parliament Street and St Sampsons Square. Showcasing the very best local produce and street food created by some of the region’s finest chefs, the festival promises to be a 10-day gastronomic experience to remember. Add to that the 100th anniversary of the world-renowned Bettys Café Tea Rooms, a range of unique foodie experiences and new exciting restaurants, and it’s easy to see why visitors should savour the best that York has to offer with a foodie foray to East Yorkshire.
Festivals - York Food and Drink Festival
Food and drink takes over the city centre when the annual York Food and Drink Festival arrives in September. Primarily hosted in Parliament Street and the Shambles Market, the festival features producers, traders and street food vendors from across the city and beyond, offering everything from fresh meats and cheeses to delicious ready to eat snacks and meals. There are also a series of free training courses with local experts, giving visitors the opportunity to learn from the best and apply those techniques to their own home cooking.
York Beer and Cider Festival
Found just to the south of the city centre, York Racecourse plays host to this annual celebration of Yorkshire beers and ciders. Held in a large marquee in the centre of the course, over 500 beers and ciders will be available for tasting and purchase across the four-day event. Featuring the best British breweries (with a particular focus on local Yorkshire brews) and beers from across the world, there’s something for every palette on offer. And with live music, local takeaway food and a huge beer garden, it’s the ultimate way to kick back and relax this September.
Restaurants - Roots
A new venture from the family team behind The Black Swan at Oldstead (one of just five Michelin-starred restaurants in Yorkshire), Roots focuses on gourmet small plates using local ingredients available in the current season, offering a constantly fresh experience that’s like nothing else in Britain. Diners can choose dishes from the a la carte menu or opt for The Roots Feast (priced at £60 per person) and let the team wow them with their curated selections.
Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms
Visitors can celebrate the 100th anniversary of a British institution with a trip to Betty’s Café Tea Rooms for afternoon tea. With two locations in York (both handily located in the city centre), diners can opt for the Queen Mary ocean liner styled café on St Helen’s Square or the quieter, cosier café round the corner on Stonegate. Both offer a new Centenary Afternoon Tea with all the trimmings, including sandwiches, scones, cake selections and traditional English tea, while those looking for an extra special experience can opt for the Pink Champagne Afternoon Tea and enjoy a glass of Moutard Rose Prestige Champagne.
Shambles Food Court
Branching off from the historic York Shambles, this quirky marketplace can be found inside the larger Shambles Market and offers a wide variety of street food vendors. From authentic Sicilian pizza and pasta dishes to excitingly bold Indian flavours, there’s plenty of tastes to explore and enjoy under one roof. It’s the perfect place to refuel while shopping in the area, before venturing on to explore the city further.
Experiences - The National Fish and Chips Museum
Discover the origins of a Great British classic at this traditional takeaway and museum in the heart of the city. Cooked using a coal-powered fryer (first used in the 1920s), the National Fish and Chip Museum is the latest project from the award-winning team behind East Yorkshire’s own Papas Fish and Chips – once crowned the best fish and chips in the country by the BBC. Browse the museum exhibits to learn more about how fish and chips became Britain’s most popular takeaway, before sitting down to taste this traditional interpretation.
York's Chocolate Story
See how world-famous companies like Rowntree’s and Terry’s put York on the map for its confectionary with a tour around York’s Chocolate Story. With interactive displays and engaging tour guides, visitors will be able to step back in time and relive the chocolate boom that gave York the nickname of “chocolate city”. Of course, guests will also be able to try plenty of chocolate, made fresh in front of their eyes by the site’s master chocolatiers, before finding souvenirs aplenty in the on-site gift shop and café.