Hello York! This week I am on the hunt for the best Christmas food and drink in our beautiful city of York from artisan food producers, to independent restaurants and Cafés. Christmas is one of the best times of the year to really make the most of our local and independent businesses with an array of exciting products and gifts on offer. I recently saw the popularity of ‘Small Business Saturday’ on twitter and it got me thinking of ways in which I could get York involved in something similar. Christmas is now just around the corner and the last few days of madness are spent double-buying presents you forgot you had, and consuming copious amounts of mulled wine and cider just to cope with the bedlam of Christmas shoppers running rampage down Parliament Street. This post is going to ease the madness of the last few days with E’s Glorious Guide to an Independent York Christmas. I am going to brave the madness to give you the perfect guide from the Best decked’ Halls in York, to the best bottle of crowd-pleasing wine to please even the most awkward of Christmas guests!
Move out the way Pumpkin Spiced Latte:
If you are looking for the latest release of the best festive coffee’s around, look no further than Fossgate Social on Fossgate. The smaller sister café/bar to the Micklegate Social, the café is a trendy hipster hotspot down the popular Fossgate. Selling a range of festive drinks such as Baileys and Orange Hot Chocs, and Almond and Orange green tea, this is the must-be spot for the coolest people in town. If you’re feeling peckish why not grab a slice of cake and make the most of the Christmas season before (heaven forbid!) the ‘New Year New Me’ diet…
The Fossgate Social, Fossgate, York.
The most debilitating of seasonal alcoholic beverages:
The Tipi at the Star Inn the City is a must-try over the festive season. With a warming fire pit and an array of fabulous Christmas cocktails, The Star creates the perfect balance between winter wonderland and city chic minus the traffic of Thor’s. The perfect hideaway to enjoy some of THE best cocktails in York including the infamous ‘Toasted Teacake’ cocktail infused with only the greatest gift on earth … Yorkshire Tea!
The Star Inn the City, York.
Pigs in the most luxurious of Blankets:
Over the festive season it’s time to shake up the butcher’s shop. We want to splash out on the tastiest cuts of meat, explore new products (venison sausages anyone?) and most of all, devour the BEST pigs in blankets around York. The Butchers Block at Burnholme is your one-stop-shop this Christmas. Their incredible pigs in blankets hit the spot, and with York reared free-range turkeys on the menu as well as making our lives so much easier with their Christmas boxes … there really is no other option.
The Butcher’s Block, Burnholme, York.
Say Nay’ to Brexit! (food with foreign cheer):
And the winner is… MOKOSH! Serving up the most beautiful Instagram worthy bowls of dumplings (pierogi) and other amazing winter warmers with eastern European influence, this pop-up is defo worth a visit over the holidays if you want to try some staple Slavic food. MOKOSH is a newly opened street food stall and is situated in the Shambles Market nearby to all the festivities of the Christmas market.
MOKOSH, Shambles Market, York.
The Best Decked’ Halls:
Sometimes overlooked due to the sheer number of tourists leading right round the block, Betty’s is a quintessential Yorkshire tearooms that goes the extra mile to truly ‘deck its halls’ at Christmas time. We have chosen Betty’s as the ‘best decked halls’ in York not only because of its fabulous array of festive products and Christmas scenes that line its windows, but because of the love and attention they put into dressing their tearoom both inside and out. It’s not truly Christmas in York until you have visited Betty’s. (Shh secret … Visit the hidden original Bettys on Stonegate for the best experience of the tea rooms, and half the que time!)
More Cheese Gromit?
Because it’s not truly Christmas until your mum brings out the Christmas cheese! For all things cheesy in York, grab your bags and head over to Love Cheese on Gilly Gate where you will be greeted with a smile. Love Cheese is an Independent cheese shop ran by Harry and Phoebe who sell a wide array of British, Yorkshire and Continental cheeses, perfect for the all- Important Christmas cheeseboard.
Love Cheese, Gillygate, York.
The ‘Christmas in a sandwich’ Kind of Thing:
The Yorky Pudding wrap has been and thankfully gone, so I have been scouting out the best seasonal sandwich to easy our way through pre-Christmas dinner cravings. Henshelwoods Deli on the edge of the Shambles Market does not beat around the bush. With a menu as long as the Shambles, Ali and Kirk Vincent can whip up any gourmet sandwich or salad your heart desires including their Christmas special: Turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce …. all for less than a supermarket sarnie! Go take a look!
Henshelwoods Deli, Shambles Market, York.
Santa Baby… I need a bottle of the best crowd-pleasing wine u got:
This Vidal New Zealand Syrah is a full-bodied red that is perfect for even the fussiest of guests. Recommended by Kelly at Parings Wine Bar where it is sold for £32 a bottle, this beautiful smooth and aromatic red is a special Christmas treat that is worth splashing out for. Why not settle into the tranquillity of Parings and share a bottle with an incredible selection of Charcuterie and Cheeses for a romantic Christmas date night that won’t be forgotten.
Parings Wine Bar, Castlegate, York.
The best chocolates in York (Tried and tested by said chocolate lover):
When looking for the best chocolates in York, it takes a keen eye and a love of chocolate… where luckily for you guys, I come in. Monk Bar chocolatiers on the Shambles is one of THE best in York when it comes to quality and taste. Hand-crafted truffles and bars of homemade chocolate take center stage in the bustling little shop. If you are looking to buy a chocolate lover the perfect gift this Christmas, they will not be disappointed with a box of handpicked chocolates from Monk Bar Chocolatiers.
Monk Bar Chocolatiers, The Shambles, York.
I shopped, I dropped, and now I need a sit down and some Skosh Fried Chicken:
After a long day’s shopping in the busy city center, nothing beats sitting down and digging into some Skosh Fried Chicken or one of the other exiting dishes on the ever-changing menu at Skosh. If you are lucky enough to get a table, make the most of it and devour your way through their incredible range of small plates, and finish off with their famous Chocolate Bauble. A meal cooked by Neil and the team at Skosh is enough to revitalise any weary shopper and leave you feeling merry all the way home (especially If you try their new Gin!).
Skosh, Micklegate, York.
I hope you enjoyed reading E’s Independent guide on a few of the many incredible places to visit and eat in York over the Christmas season. Tweet us @York_Talks and tell us your favourite foodie hotspots in York!
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