Goji Vegetarian Cafe and Restaurant: Home Cooked Vegetarian
Goji's reminded me of my first vegetarian meals - in the homes of students and alternative types in my home town of Leamington Spa. These houses would all smell of curried lentils and joss sticks, and while the aromas in Goji are much fresher, the ambiance is the same. If scruffy carpets and wobbly tables don't put you off, you can enjoy a friendly, homely environment with some excellent vegetarian food at the very heart of York. My food ranged from average (the samosas) to unbelievably tasty (the lentil dahl), and I would definitely go back.
J. Bakers Bistro Moderne (closed).: Absolutely top class.
Update October 2014.
As readers of my other pages will know I do like to keep my contributions up to date when I can. Whilst answering a fourum question about York today and checking the hyperlink I came upon the hugely regrettable information that this fine restaurant has now closed which is nothing short of tragic considering the quality of it. I believe the formerly Michelin starred chef is now writing recipes for a firm that deliver high end produce by courier! What a sinful waste.
I shall leave this tip here more for my own benefit and as a memory of a truly dining experience.
Ordinarily, I would be slightly put off by a place calling itself a "Bistro Moderne", it's not really my thing. However, in the case of Jeff Baker's excellent venue in central York, I am happy to report that I was completely wrong, it was quite superb.
I was being taken out for a birthday treat and my usual dining companion had suggested a couple of venues in York, both of which looked excellent. I had, purely coincidentally, been reading a supplement in the Sunday Times of London which was a Harden's guide to the best 100 restaurants in the UK. For those of you that are not familiar with Harden's, they are effectively a restaurant guide written by customers rather than reviewers and mystery diners. A bit like VT for restaurants in printed form, I suppose. I was somewhat concerned about suggesting this as my friend normally has unerring taste in matters of dining but my suggestion was deemed appropriate (it was my birthday, after all!) and I am so glad because, not only did it show me I wasn't a complete idiot in these matters but we had an absolutely stunning meal into the bargain. I am, however, getting ahead of myself.
The exterior is fairly unassuming, and on entering it was simply furnished. None of your gentlemen's dining club decor here, although a fairly full dining room on an early weekday in a terribly inclement November was a good sign.
A young lady (later discovered to be the maitre(ss?) d') greeted us in a friendly way but with no pretension at all. I like this as, to be honest, I do not want to be sneered at by staff who effectively I am paying. Seated and served (in my case) an absolute beauty of a martini by an excellent barman, it was time to peruse the menu. In fairness, this was a fairly redundant exercise as we had both more or less previously decided on the "grazing menu". This is a simply wonderful idea, which seems to be becoming more popular. It is effectively non-Spanish tapas, that is a succession of smallish dishes allowing chef to present the best of what is on offer that day, and I thoroughly endorse it as a concept. In this case it was a seven course meal served at £37:50 which sounds expensive but I thought was excellent value for what it was.
Now, somewhere, I have written down all the dishes we had, but Heaven knows where the list is. I shall, with the aid of the images try to tell you most of what we had, although some of the dishes are so firmly fixed in my mind it will not be a problem. There is little point using the website as Chef changes the menus regularly, depending on what is in season.
There is a huge emphasis on local i.e. Yorkshire produce, which I enjoy. Nothing particularly altrusitic, I just think that fresh local stuff tastes better.
I am no wine expert although my companion is, and at the suggestion of the maitre(ss?) d' previously mentioned, we had a half bottle of a white to start followed by a bottle of red. Don't ask me what they were, I am a Philistine regarding vinicultrue, but they were both perfectly suited to the food, and we were not directed towards the most expensive vintages, which I thought was a nice touch.
Early on in the piece we had Whitby crab, which I love, served on a slate slab with, I thought slightly oddly, a few drops of curry oil. It worked wonderfully.
Another highlight, and there were many, was a ham hock terrine affair served with a small portion of pease pudding and home-made oatmeal biscuit.
The "main" course, if that is the right term, was the most perfectly cooked well-hung steak served with three (count them) proper chips and a quail egg in filo pastry. It sounds like an odd combination but, like everything, worked perfectly.
The sweets were imaginative and flavoursome (was that really a beetroot ice-cream?) and the cheeseboard was peerless, accompanied slightly unusually by a fruit bread, an idea I am definitely going to "borrow".
Fully sated, we both agreed it was one of the best dining experiences and set about trying to find something that was wrong with the place as we were both gushing to each other about how good it had been. Finally, I hit on it. The ceiling. Yes, you read that right. The ceiling, whilst spotless, is boring. That's it I'm afraid, the only fault we could find in the place.
As for the chef, Jeff Baker states in the website that "we aim to bring to the heart of Yorshire, simple yet stylish food in modest surroundings". He and his very professional team have achieved that in spades. Jeff Baker? Unless you are a restaurant critic, you may not heard of him. That is because he spends his time in his kitchen and not swanning about on TV and opening supermarkets like so many of his profession. Right at the end of service (we were almost last to leave and not rushed at all) I asked the waitress to pass on our compliments to him. She apologised, saying that he had gone across the road to the pub for a pint with some of the brigade. That to me typified the place. Proper local food cooked well and interestingly by an obviously down to earth bloke in an unfussy setting with excellent front of house staff. I really cannot recommend this place highly enough.
Favorite Dish: Very difficult to choose from such a wonderful menu but probably the steak with chips and quails egg as described.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
- Luxury Travel
Yates's: Good Value Family Lunch
We dropped in here one lunchtime because the restaurant we wanted to eat at, the Whippet Inn, didn't allow children, but failed to mention it on their website. Yates's is pretty down to earth, but there are good value offers, the location is nice, especially the outside tables, and the food is tasty. Best of all it's very family friendly.
Wagamama York: Japanese Fast Food
It's a well established franchise now, and while it doesn't carry the same cache and excitement it did when it started, it is still serving up fresh, fast, tasty Japanese food with plenty of options to suit every taste, including vegetarians. If you've not been to Wagamama before, you can expect to sit on wooden benches and eat with chopsticks (although Western cutlery is provided too). Although you can see the kitchen, it's not a canteen and someone will come and serve you.
Ambiente Tapas and Sherry bar: Food and Sherry treat!
Second visit here (reside in York) and wont be the last. Wonderful food and drink selection and very helpful staff to explain and give simple advice. 4 of us ordered 2 sharing platters to start, ample and very tasty selection, followed by 10 dishes between us, was just the right size.
We slipped up in not having the sherry flights but did try the sherry cocktail, was delicious! You can get beers and wines as well (Estrella on draught).
If there is anything you need or want, including advice for the less adventurous, just ask, they were so helpful and polite all night.
Add to the food 2 bottles of wine, 3 pints of draught, sherry cocktail, 4 sherry desserts and water,bill was less than £135 all in. Given the location that's half decent for York.
Favorite Dish: We all had our favourites having ordered 10 dishes, but the Morcilla (black pudding scotch eggs)was my personal one. Others loved the Seafood saganaki (a fish stew), Vieras con chorizo y noodles (scallops, chorizo and spiced noodles) but was hard to pick an individual favourite, we loved it all (especially the beetroot crisps!!!!).
Just try as much as you can!
Cote Brasserie: Dining in York
Booked a table on line for a special meal with my daughter whilst on a 2 night break in York.
The food and wine was very good with plenty of choice. We were made very welcome and our waitress served us with a happy smiling face all evening. I can recommend the Cote Brasserie for a lovely meal.
Favorite Dish: I had Moules mariniere for a starter which was delicious and reminded me of our last holiday in France.
Their Kir Royal makes a good aperitif too!Related to:
- Food and Dining
Jorvik Spice: Top Curry House
The waitress at Carlton B&B reccomended this curry house it is as good as we get back home in Bradford. Great service, delicious food and good value for money. Just outside city centre but well worth the 10 mins walk there. The waiters had Bradford accents so it was just like being at home.
Favorite Dish: Lamb Tikka Massala.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
El Piano: Fantastic vegan food with a Spanish atmosphere
When Colin (Britannia2) organized our VT meeting, he proposed the El Piano for our venue for dinner, and I was very happy about it because it looked like a fantastic vegan restaurant - and so it was! The food really belonged to some of the tastiest I have eaten in a restaurant so far, and I equally enjoyed the colourful interior and the friendly atmosphere.
As the name of the restaurant suggests, it has a Spanish theme to it, and there are indeed two more El Piano restaurants, one in Granada and one in Malaga. The one in York is the first one outside of Spain.
As I said, the interior is very colourful and has a Spanish/South American theme to it which I liked very much. Both times I was there (I revisited alone a few days after our meeting), staff were very friendly and polite. There are some main dishes you can order, but there is also a great kind of "meal deal" - called "Mains for one", which gives you the chance to taste three different dishes for £12,95. You can choose from twelve different dishes. Apart from this, there are also sharing trays, starters and desserts/cakes.
I chose the "Mains for one" both times I was there, and both times I was absolutely full afterwards, the food was tasty and it was so much that I just wasn't able to cram a dessert in - what a pity! :-) Each of the dishes comes in a small wooden tray.
Everything is purely vegan and the menu even shows how many percent of the food contained in a dish was grown in the area.
For a drink, I had a Fentiman's as recommended by my fellow VTers, I had the ginger beer which was very good (and really tasted of ginger, as opposed to that Schweppes stuff!) There are several shakes, smoothies, hot and cold drinks, beers and wines.
Favorite Dish: Dishes I chose were:
* Tinas "a bolivian delight, quite simply carrots & spring onions, a sprinkle of salt and sugar, rolled with rice flour and lightly fried"
* Falafels "a lightly fried lebanese favourite, just chick peas rolled together with garlic & parsley"
* Tortilla Española "egg-free spanish omelette, the same taste without the cholesterol"
* Corn Fritters "fiesty little corn patties with a touch of chilli, onion & fresh coriander"
* Thai Thai "potatoes and mixed vegetables gently braised in coconut milk with lemon grass, lime leaves & a tiny kick..."
* Dhal "an el piano stalwart, this dish has not left our menu since we opened in 1998 - curried lentils, ginger, coconut & fresh coriander"
My favourite were the tinas which I ordered twice. The falafel was not that good because I thought it too dry, but the other three were all very, very good as well.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Spurriergate Centre - restaurant: More than just a restaurant!
The Spurriergate Centre is located in a former church (St Michael's Spurriergate). The main part of it is a restaurant where you can have very affordable, but tasty and homemade food. There are many tables and a counter where you can order, everything is done by volunteers and the food is really fresh and just like if it was done at home! I had a bowl of a very nice chick pea salad for just £4! You can order several different dishes, and different sizes, too, to suit your appetite and budget. Local and fair-trade ingredients are used wherever possible.
The volunteers were very friendly and I also liked that the crowd of customers was so mixed: Many elderly people, but also young families, locals, tourists, students... It seems that everyone can enjoy this place. There is also a children's play area.
It seems that at lunchtime it gets really crowded!
However, the Spurriergate Centre is not only a restaurant, it is a community project that offers much more. There is a small shop (see separate shopping tip), but the main aim is to provide a space where people can meet each other and don't need to spend a lot of money. The team is also there for people who need someone to talk, as there is a listening and counseling service.
My feeling is that the Spurriergate Centre is a real institution in York, and it was a great and very different place to have lunch. I enjoyed the atmosphere very much and it just felt so comfortable and friendly! The architecture and historical look of the former church add another very special touch to this.
Favorite Dish: I had the salad with chick peas and apricots, and for a quick and small lunch it was just was just what I needed!Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Goji: Vegetarian restaurant in Goodramgate
Goji is a vegetarian restaurant in the town centre and I decided to have lunch there on my second day in York. It is a small venue in Goodramgate and the interior looked very pretty and nice. As a meal, I chose a vegan wrap ("spicy mixed bean and spinach"). The wrap tasted nice, but I must say that unfortunately it was not filling at all, in fact it was very small! Thus, I had a piece of chocolate cake for desert. The cake was good.
Staff were friendly, but always seemed to be in a hurry and thus I somehow felt not too comfortable. I personally prefer the El Piano very much to this restaurant, but I still think it is nice to go here for a snack or so.
My wrap, cake and a bottle of water came to about £10,00.Related to:
- Food and Dining
El Piano: Pure Vegan!
This is probably the first restaurant that is exclusively vegan and not a trace of dairy products and ingredients are used! Britannia2 (Colin) booked us in this restaurant for our evening meal of the 'Ettiewyn in Yorkshire' VT meet. Mirijam (Ettiewyn) is vegan and also gave us an opportunity to enjoy a vegan meal.
I loved restaurant's ambiance and surroundings and it was founded by family in Southern Spain during the 1990s hence it's Spanish and Moorish influences. They also have dining available outside in their back courtyard. They also offer a takeaway service.
Favorite Dish: I ordered 'The Mains for One' (12.95 gbp (July 2012) which consisted of three vegan dishes and rice. I chose the Tinas (A Bolivian delicacy), Chilli Sin Carne and Refried Beans which were accompanied by rice. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and to finish off I had a jug of organic coffee. I also order an organic ginger beer. It came to a cost of 18 gbp (including tip).Related to:
- Food and Dining
Stonegate Teddy Bears & Tea Rooms: A Quaint Little Tea Shop!
The shop and tea rooms are housed in a 15th Century medieval building. We had a quick browse around the shop earlier on in the day but we decided to return and have a coffee in its tea room.
It was nice to have a coffee there and look out onto Stonegate and admire its historic buildings. It's a perfect place to stop and have a drink whilst exploring.
The drinks cost 2.25 gbp (April 2012) each. It wasn't the perfect coffee I ever had but enjoyed having it in unique settings.
The shop stocks specialist teddy bears (including those from Charlie Bears).
Another friend and I returned in July 2012 where we had tea. We were sat on the 2nd floor and we notice that the menu has been changed. Again I enjoyed the quaint settings.
Favorite Dish: My friend and I had coffee there.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Creme Cone: Ice Cream Stop!
This Leeds company ice cream van is parked at the Castle Museum grounds and sells locally home made ice cream. After my visit at the Castle Museum I had a lovely chocolate ice cream (with a chocolate flake and chocolate sauce) in a waffle cone. It was delicious and you could tell the quality of ice cream. It cost me 2.50 gbp (July 2012)
Had a lovely chocolate home made ice cream in a waffle cone (with a chocolate flake and chocolate !
Favorite Dish: Ice cream!Related to:
- Food and Dining
El Piano: Vegan restaurant
This was my first ever visit to a vegan restaurant. El Piano is a Spanish themed restaurant with young and friendly staff who are eager to please.
Three dishes are £12.95 and there is a choice of about 12 dishes to choose from. Very nice mushroom flavoured rice is served too and this is shared between two people.
Naturally all the dishes centre on vegetables but the food is tasty and well thought up and prepared well.
The only downside was the coffee which was rather bland and served with soya milk.Related to:
- Food and Dining
THE SHAMBLES COFFEE LOUNGE: HISTORY IS MADE
It was in this unassuming coffee shop in the quaint historic street known as the Shambles, that history was made. The very first VT-lympics draw (or more accurately, penny toss) Davesut called the shots as the tension mounted. Hopefully contestants will be pleased with their selections, (Barney wasn’t too happy with Libya, but that’s the luck of the draw). Good luck to everybody who’s teams are in the Olympics, (especially Toonsarah, I hope your team win at least 100 gold medals).
Just as a footnote….the coffee was good aswell.
The Groves is in a quiet cul-de-sac just outside the gate at Bootham so it’s an easy short walk in...more
I was recently in York for a couple of days and a friend recommended the Cedar Court Grand, a...more
We stayed here just before Christmas last year and, for the price we paid, it was absolutely fine....more
Latest York Hotel Reviews
- Premier Inn York - City Centre
- Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
- Jorvik Hotel
- Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
- Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa
- Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
- Travelodge York Central
- 1 Review
- Save money, Book now!
- Booking.com Excellent choice, Low rates
- Great room rates
Explore the World
- West Onslow Beach Hotels
- Male Island
- Kuala Lumpur
- Gaviota State Park Hotels
- Hong Kong
- Ocho Rios Hotels
- Ausable Chasm Hotels
- Vienna Hotels
- Giant City State Park Hotels
- Riva del Garda
- Chancellorsville Hotels
- Barceloneta Hotels
- Montecatini Terme
- Lloret de Mar