Restaurants in York City Centre- Roots Review

Restaurants in York City Centre- Roots Review

York- one of the finest places to visit in the north of England and my old university stomping ground. There is so much to do in and around the city, so plan ahead and make the most of your weekend in York by checking out these lodges in Yorkshire. Going back up north for a visit for a mini break in York gives me the opportunity of trying the new restaurants that have popped up since I was last there- this time it was Roots. Roots York is the latest venture from talented chef Tommy Banks (of the family run and Michelin starred) restaurant The Black Swan)who has put Yorkshire food well and truly on the map. This is a great addition to the quality restaurants in York city centre.

restaurants in York city centre

The menu:

Roots is a sharing plates restaurant and the menu changes around three seasons; The Preservation Season, The Time of Abundance, and on our visit The Hunger Gap. Dishes range from £5 – £22 but we opt for the ‘feast menu’ at £55 which is a selection of the chefs favourites from the menu- this was a great choice. The pictures featured show portions for 2 sharing.


Yorkshire food- Roots York

Sour bread and seed crackers with Lincolnshire Poacher custard and cultured butter.

We begin with a stunning basket of breads which included slices of sour dough and crisp seed crackers. Served with a cultured butter and a delightful Lincolnshire Poacher custard, dredging a wedge of bread through this custard was such a pleasure.

Smoked Eel Doughnuts:

York roots
Smoked eel doughnuts.

Eel has become a favourite with us. Served inside a little doughnut with a apple jelly this worked perfectly. A great start.


Yorkshire food

Kale dressed in sheep’s yoghurt, pickled walnuts and cured egg yolk.

Dressed in sheep’s yogurt, pickled walnuts and cured egg yolk, this kale dish is very well balanced. Packed with flavour, it certainly had us coming back for more.


Roots York
Venison tartare, Oldstead pepper, fermented mushroom and buckwheat.

Tartare, heavy with pepper flavours and a funky fermented mushroom ketchup. Topped with a crispy buckwheat cracker. Tasty stuff.


Roots York Yorkshire food
Sour crown prince falafel, sprouts and chestnuts.

Crispy falafel are next up. Filled with a sour crown squash and served with chestnuts. The falafel are topped with sprouts and some home cured charcuterie. This is a lovely dish that disappears in no time at all.


restaurants in York city centre
Crapaudine beetroot cooked slowly in beef fat.

We had been looking forward to this one! Beetroot cooked slowly in beef fat topped with light and airy goats cheese. A stunning looking plate of food and a rich but sweet flavour. It certainly hits the spot.


restaurants in York city centre
Halibut, broccoli, smoked bacon and mussel sauce.

An outstanding menu so it’s hard to pick a favourite dish but under force, this would be the one. Perfectly cooked halibut with a silky broccoli puree arrived topped crispy with pieces of smoked bacon. Finished with a beautiful mussel sauce, a serious plate scraper.

Salt Beef:

Roots York
Salt beef, mustard, gherkins and Old Winchester.

Generously topped with Old Winchester cheese, enter the salt beef. On the side is a medley of mustard and gherkin gels and purees which is very rich but extremely moreish at the same time.


A bonus cabbage dish.

Not on the menu but a surprise from the chef, a slowly braised cabbage rich in butter. This is topped with crispy onions and miso flavours. Once again the plate is quickly devoured by all.


Meadowsweet toast, rhubarb and honey.

Moving on to the sweet offerings. Firstly a meadowsweet toast which is crunchy and delicious. Accompanied by a smooth honey sweet ice cream and poached rhubarb, this is a brilliant combination of textures and flavours.

Carrot and chicory tiramisu.

Finally we have a refreshing carrot and chicory root tiramisu which sits very well alongside the rhubarb. A great ending to a great meal.

Fabulous restaurants in York city centre:

Roots is a fantastic place to eat with friends and we loved doing just that. It has a cosy upstairs bar to have a drink before you begin your meal and the small plates menu allows for sociable sharing and certainly prompts discussion. I would say one of the best (or the best) restaurants in York city centre.

The cooking is inventive and imaginative and extremely skilful throughout and the feast menu is extremely generous. Yorkshire food at it best. I can’t wait to visit again.

We love sharing small plates- for our 5 favourite small plates restaurants click here.

Making a break of it?

If you are having a break in York these links may be of use:

For the best things to do when in York click here.

The best places for brunch here.

For our other U.K restaurant reviews please click here.

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