Yorkshire has more Michelin Starred restaurants than any other English county outside of the capital. The region is one of Britain’s great larders sourcing best local produce from its many rural farming landscapes. Foodie fans can take their pick of heritage market towns packed with old real ale coaching inn gems or beautiful towns and cities like York, Harrogate and Beverley offering a huge variety of world flavours. Yorkshire has long placed a strong emphasis on locally sourced, organic, Fairtrade and creative cuisine catering for a range of special diets.
1. Malton – Yorkshire’s Food Capital
A hidden gem foodie break, Malton in North Yorkshire is building up a reputation as the region’s food capital. The town nestles on the edge of the Howardian Hills, south of Pickering and close to magnificent Castle Howard. It has its own cookery school specialising in Yorkshire game, seafood and baking plus its own Brewery – Brass Castle, winner of Champion Beer at the York CAMRA Beer Festival. Several famous foodies are in residence or regularly visit the town’s annual food festival including James Martin, BBC Saturday Kitchen star who grew up in the town and who now runs the acclaimed Talbot Hotel restaurant. Michelin recommended dining experiences aren’t hard to find like the New Malton gastropub in Market Place and you’ll find exceptional world cuisine restaurants here like Tuis Thai on Yorkersgate.
2. York – Best Foodie City Break
York is a top UK foodie city break famed for its eclectic mix of dining experiences from the finest tea and cakes at one of the two Betty’s Tearooms in the city to York’s fantastic choice of gastro-inns, super stylish cafe bars and unique specialist dining experiences like York Cocoa House. The city caters superbly for specialist diets – head to award-winning El Piano for fabulous gluten free food and all dietary requirements catered for. Around the city centre discover a host of farm shops and specialist food shops particularly around the iconic Shambles where you’ll find everything from Sausage shops to the York Beer & Wine shop selling cheese and cider too! A great time to visit is during York’s great food festivals twice annually in June and September.
3. Bradford – A UK Curry Capital Award-winner
Bradford scooped The Curry Capital of Britain award in 2011, 2012 and 2013 – the city and nearby Shipley are famed for their best British Asian cuisine and award-winning restaurants which include Shipley’s Aagrah first opened in 1977. Flavours and dining themes range from cafe style classics like Karachi Restaurant on Neal Street – a favourite with Rick Stein and best for party award-winners like Omar Khan’s on Little Horton Lane, an award-winner established for over 30 years. Curry Quarters in Bradford city centre include the West End, Great Horton and the Leeds Road area all brimming with award-winners. Will Bradford take the Curry Capital crown in 2014?
4. Richmond – North Yorkshire Georgian Market Town Gem
Like your dining experience rich in local produce and in a historic rural market town full of landmark heritage buildings. Head to beautiful Georgian market town Richmond along the river Swale, on the northern edge of the Yorkshire Dales. A foodie’s dream, Richmond’s tightly packed centre features an enchanting Market Place hosting one of Yorkshire’s best Saturday markets and a monthly farmers’ market. Indoor market stalls are open daily in the Town’s Market Hall, and clustered around pretty Market Place you’ll find a wide choice of quaint tearooms and restaurants, the finest gastro inns and some unique dining experienes like The Scone Bar & Bistro. With its Norman castle, Georgian theatre and variety of Yorkshire’s finest inns and restaurants, Richmond is the foodie fan’s perfect weekend away.
5. Helmsley – Best of the Moorland Gastro Coaching Inns
If your picture of the perfect romantic escape is a charming 17th century coaching inn with cosy in-house rooms and AA Rosette or award-winning restaurant, great roaring fires and a choice of spectacular walks from your door – look to ancient market town Helmsley on the south western edge of the North York Moors National Park. Easily accessed off the A1 and A19, the market town is your perfect weekend escape with a selection of Yorkshire’s finest gastro inns clustered around the central square including the delectable Black Swan with The Gallery restaurant headed up by Austrailian born Chef Paul Peters. Luxury is the key to the Helmsley experience, with restaurants serving up Yorkshire’s best fresh local produce. Spa experiences, a host of character independent shops and book shops, the central castle ruins and the surrounding landscapes of the North York Moors all add a further boost to your foodie getaway in Helmsley.
6. Beverley – Bistro style Minster & Racing Gem
A super chic East Yorkshire Minster town with unique dining experiences to beat all, Beverley is famed for its central striking Minster church and world class race course. Hosting year round festivals and serving as the perfect gateway into David Hockney’s gentle Yorkshire Wolds, Beverley is positively brimming with stylish bistro dining experiences, fine cafes catering for specilist diets and award-winners likes Whites with top chef Kirk Ella. Contemporary and quirky dining experiences with a local produce edge aren’t hard to find! Head to the wonderful Farthing’s Steak Emporium or Rebels’ Smokehouse for Sandwiches and Pitt Burgers like they make them in the Deep South of the USA.
7. Grassington – Yorkshire Dales Larder
A Yorkshire Dales village with an emphasis on local produce, Grassington is a picture-postcard scene of fine Yorkshire real ale inns with roaring fires, hearty fresh food and best cask ales. Clustered around the main village square sit award-winning inns and delightful cafes and tearooms with alfresco seating in the summer months. Gluten free fish and chips are available in the local takeaway and Grassington also contains a selection of great specialist food and wine shops. Add to this a choice of beautiful surrounding walking and cycling opportunities in the Southern Dales and some internationally acclaimed festivals, and you have the perfect recipe for a foodie weekend escape.
8. Hebden Bridge – West is Best for Organic, Fair Trade & Local Produce
West Yorkshire Pennine town Hebden Bridge is a perfect foodie getaway for lovers of fine local produce, organic and Fair Trade foods and best world cuisine restaurants. Creative cuisine is always on the menu – head to Kitties Restaurant for imaginative European flavours or how about Turkish at The Olive Branch. Organic, Fair Trade and local produce are all strong themes in Hebden’s great cafes, tearooms, inns and restaurants. The town is also one of Yorkshire’s best for catering to special diets from Vegan to Gluten Free. Try organic/ vegan friendly hot chocolate – the best you’ve ever tasted plus a range of totally delicious locally sourced and/ or veggie and vegan friendly light bites, breakfasts and meals at the Organic House on Market Street. Real ale fans – head to the Stubbin’ Wharf inn on the canalside serving fine Yorkshire Timothy Taylors and Black Sheep ales, and the co-operative Free House Fox and Goose on Heptonstall Road with its top range of best local ales and guest beers.
9. Harrogate – Boutique Spa Town with the Best of the Tearooms & World Cuisine
Super stylish spa town Harrogate on the south eastern edge of Nidderdale is easily accessed off the A1 – perfect for that last minute weekend getaway. Set in a charming heritage spa town brimming with beautiful parks like Valley Gardens and classic Edwardian theatres, Harrogate is a favourite not just for best Yorkshire dining but boutique style shopping too around the famous Montpellier Quarter. No trip to Yorkshire is complete without a visit to the very first Betty’s Tearooms here in Harrogate. The spa town caters exceptionally well for its many leisure and business visitors, offering up a varied mix of world cuisine restaurants from Mexican to contemporary Italian. Sample the finest traditional, locally sourced English cuisine at the Willow Restaurant or world famous great steaks at Cattlemen’s Association – all on the edge of the Dales with a host of attractions in the town including galleries and heritage Pump Rooms which will easily fill up a foodie weekend break!
10. Ilkley – Sophisticated dining & a Michelin Star with a French Twist
Beautifully located alongside the river Wharfe and a gateway to the Dales and West Yorkshire, Ilkley is famed for its charming tearooms and cafes, great independent shopping scene and its plentiful choice of surrounding walks and cycle trails in the gentle Wharfe Valley and more challenging moorland. Restaurants, cafes and character real ale gems like Bar T’at are numerous – cake and tea shops are outstanding here and include a Yorkshire Betty’s Tearoom. Ilkley is also home to one of Yorkshire’s 5 Michelin Star restaurants – the Box Tree with a modern classic French menu and superb wine cellar.