Looking for somewhere to get sensational small plates and tasty tapas in York?
Although there’s a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the origins of tapas, many believe the concept began in the 13th Century. Whereabouts in Spain tapas dining began, also remains a mystery as many regions claim to be the birthplace. Regardless of when and how tapas dining was introduced, it remains a popular concept and in recent years, small-plate dining establishments have been popping up all over the country at an astonishing rate. Although traditionally associated with Spanish cuisine, it is by no means restricted to it.
The concept was adopted by other cuisines too, meaning small plate dining is available at Thai, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Indian and even good old British restaurants throughout the UK. It has seen a surge in popularity of late, with diners looking to sample a number of dishes at leisure alongside a healthy dose of conversation. Preferring to nibble our way through a menu rather than be faced with one heavy meal, it is certainly one of our favourite ways to eat at The Yorkshire Press too.
York is home to a diverse array of excellent eateries so, unsurprisingly, you’ll find plenty of small plate and tapas restaurants in York. We’ve researched an endless stream of online reviews in order to help you narrow down your choices when looking for tapas in York. So, if you’re after an evening of socialising over small plates or you want to book a romantic night of nibbles for two, on our list you will find the best places to get small plates and tapas in York…
Where To Get Terrific Tapas in York…
19 Grape Lane, York YO1 7HU
Phranakhon is a tapas and wine bar on Grape Lane offering casual dining in a trendy setting. By combining European indulgence and Thai cuisine, they have created a unique and contemporary Thai dining experience. Cooked using high-quality ingredients, their traditional and innovative Thai tapas make this restaurant one of the most popular places for small plates and tapas in York.
The tapas menu at Phranakhon is extensive, to say the least, with traditional Thai stir-fries, aromatic curries and street food favourites all on offer alongside a plethora of their own unique creations. Those who can handle the heat may wish to indulge in the Gaeng Lueang Kung Yai, which is a spicy yellow coconut curry with jumbo prawns. For meat lovers, there’s an endless array of flavoursome beef, pork and chicken dishes and those following a plant-based diet will be spoilt for choice with battered aubergine, breaded tofu, tempura veggies and much, much more!
14 Goodramgate, York YO1 7LQ
Open daily from 11:30 am until 9:30 pm, Ambiente Tapas on Goodramgate serves traditional Spanish tapas, inspired by seasonality and the frequent foodie trips to Spain that their culinary team regularly embark on. Ambiente Tapas have three venues in York plus one in Leeds and another in Hull, a clear indicator of just how good their offering is. The menu at Ambiente Tapas Goodramgate is again rather extensive and they proudly cater to most dietary requirements.
The menu here is very reasonably priced with nibbles starting at £3.75 and hot tapas at just £4.50. All the favourites are on there and they’re packed with authentic flavours. Evoke memories of Spanish getaways by sharing small plates of tapas favourites such as Empanadas, Croquetas de Jamón, Albóndigas con Tomate and Patatas Bravas. They also do some utterly superb paellas which are made fresh to order – perfect for sharing with friends alongside a jug of Sangria or a few of their special Spanish sherries. A superb family-friendly restaurant in York!
5 Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma Gate, York YO1 8BL
Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate is the smallest street in the UK with the longest name and quite rightly, one of York’s most popular tourist attractions. It is also home to one of the best places to get tapas in York; a characterful Meditteranean tapas bar named Trio Mezze. Just a short stroll away from Shambles and York Minster, it’s in an ideal location for those in need of an evening of indulgence after a day of sightseeing.
Although the menu at this independent and family-run restaurant isn’t quite as extensive as those served by others on our list, it features an excellent variety of tapas dishes inspired by some of the most popular dishes and flavours associated with Mediterranean cuisines. Small plates at Trio Mezze are priced at either £4.95 or £5.95 and include Turkish delights like Roasted aubergine with tahini, Italian favourites like Arancini Balls and authentic Spanish tapas dishes including Patatas Bravas. Those who prefer one main course rather than a selection of small plates are catered for with a short menu of large plates and lunch dishes.
1 Little Stonegate, York YO1 8AX
Another independent restaurant serving tapas in York is the fabulous Sotano. The atmospheric underground hideaway on Little Stonegate is both lively and laid-back with cosy interiors, charming terrace space and a superb menu of cocktails that will undoubtedly help wash down their delightful array of tapas dishes. On the tapas menu, you’ll find wonderful tapas inspired by the many travels of their talented culinary team.
Prices for tapas on the perfectly composed menu at Sotano range from £2.95 to £9.95. Choose two or three dishes per person and prepare yourself for an evening of sumptuous Spanish-inspired small plates packed with flavour and prepared using high-quality ingredients. Pescatarians can tuck into sensational seafood tapas like Gambas Pil Pil and Calamares fritos, meat lovers can feast upon Chicken & chorizo skewers, Galician steak and Iberica pork whilst vegetarians tantalise their tastebuds with Spanish omelette, Padron peppers and Button mushrooms sauteed in garlic.
Pairings Wine Bar
28 Castlegate, York YO1 9RP
Stylish, sophisticated and ever-so-cosy, Pairings Wine Bar is one of the best-loved eateries in the city, boasting a reputation for excellent customer service. This independent wine bar and deli offers relaxed table service, sensational small plates and superb sharing boards comprising some locally sourced charcuterie, cheese and fish. Although the food here is great, it’s a more contemporary take on tapas dining, enhanced by the owners’ enviable expertise in wine pairing.
For the full Pairings experience, order one of their pairing flights, comprising a selection of charcuterie, cheese, and cured fish served alongside a range of bread, crackers, and chutneys then served with three or perfectly paired wines.
If you’d rather stick with the small plates concept then there you won’t be disappointed with the menu. From homemade mackerel pate and hummus served with crudities and sourdough to award-winning pork pie and a decadent pork rillette, there’s plenty on there to pair with one of their expertly put-together wine flights.
98 Micklegate, York YO1 6JX
Skosh is widely considered to be one of the very best places to eat in York. Housed in a Grade II listed building in one of York’s most historic areas, it opened back in 2016. The bespoke dining room with an open kitchen offers diners a unique experience and has won multiple awards since opening. The Michelin-recommended independent restaurant serves contemporary British cuisine in the form of small plates and snacks. You can choose multiple dishes to be served at the same time for sharing or have them brought to you one by one for a more traditional dining experience.
The diverse and eclectic menu at Skosh changes regularly but it’s always packed with exciting and creative meat, fish and veg small plates. Prices vary considerably so expect to pay anything from £4 to £25 per plate. This is a must-visit restaurant for foodies. Chef-proprietor Neil Bentinck has created something truly magnificent and, if you manage to get a table, the reasons for Skosh’s superb reputation will become evident as soon as you taste his food.