Part of the borough of Harrogate and famed for its distinctive cathedral, Ripon is England’s third smallest city and it is absolutely bursting with character. Surrounded by beautiful Yorkshire countryside and home to some excellent visitor attractions, this attractive northern city is well worth a visit. Learn about Ripon’s fascinating past by exploring its historic cathedral, visit the excellent Prison and Police Museum to uncover the secrets of Victorian law and order, before browsing the many independent shops and perusing the city’s bustling market square.
A day’s sightseeing is always best rounded off with a good meal and a drink or two. So, before you head over to this historic little city, you may wish to know more about the dining options available in Ripon. We’ve put together a list of some of the best restaurants in Ripon, to help you decide where to eat next time you’re there.
The Water Rat
24 Bondgate Green, Ripon HG4 1QW
A homely and inviting pub, situated by the river in Ripon, The Water Rat’s menu of homecooked food is popular with both locals and tourists. Since taking over as landlord in 2007, Rick Jones has focused on sourcing the best local produce and this has most certainly contributed to the popularity of The Water Rat. This place is ideally located, offering splendid views of the local area which can be enjoyed either from the outdoor dining area or from the airy indoor restauirant with its floor-to-ceiling windows.
On the menu, you’ll find all the traditional British classics as well as a few more creative additions. Reasonably priced with dishes to suit all tastes, The Water Rat is perfect for family celebrations or even just a casual meal after a tour of the town. Starters and sharing boards are priced from £4.95 and include dishes such as Ham Hock & Pea Terrine, Baked Camembert and Smoked Salmon which comes with a celariac remoulade. For a main course, expect to pay anything between £10.95 for things like Fish & Chips and £16.95 for their Grand Reserve Ribeye Steak. Good homecooked grub in the most picturesque of locations!
1 Duck Hill, Ripon HG4 1BL
Manchega Tapas Y Vino is a family-run restaurant serving a fusion of authentic Spanish and South American food. Situated just off the market square and fifty metres from Ripon Cathedral, it’s in the ideal spot for weary tourists or groups of friends embarking on a night on the tiles. Here, you’ll find a wonderful range of delicious tapas dishes, each of which matches pefectly with Manchega’s homebaked bread which is priced at just £1.50.
On the menu, expect flavoursome dishes designed for sharing with friends. Prices start at £3.50 for nibbles like Roasted Almonds with Crunchy Corn and Fried Legumes, and go up to £6.00 for tapas favourites such as Gambas Fritas and Mussels Marinados.
Hot Lava Grill Bar & Italian Restaurant
2A Kirkgate, Ripon HG4 1PA
Hot Lava is one of Ripon’s most popular restaurants and a real favourite within the local community. Named after the hot lava rocks they use on their grill to give a strong and distinctive flavour, the restaurant serves authentic Italian food, grilled meats and traditional pizzas.
Starters will set you back between £4.50 and £7.20 and the menu includes traditional dishes like Caprese Salad, Calamari and Fungi Milanese. There are also a selection of sharing platters for the more indecisive diners who would prefer a taste of everything. For your main course, you’ll be spoiled for choice! Pizzas, pastas and salads are all available alongside their menu of traditional meat dishes such as Pan-Cooked Fillet Steak, Pork Loin with Red Wine and, Chicken with lemon and parsley in a creamy garlic sauce. Buon appetito!
The Black A Moor
Boroughbridge Rd, Bridge Hewick, Ripon HG4 5AA
Located just a stone’s throw from Ripon is The Black A Moor Inn – a family-run pub and restaurant with bed and breakfast facilities. It boasts roaring open fires, comfortable seating and a menu of traditional homecooked grub. As they are passionate about using fresh local produce, their menu changes regularly but it’s always served alongside a range of real Yorkshire ales.
On their A La Carte menu, you’ll be delighted with the range of carefully thought out options which currently include Minted Lamb Shanks, Waterford Farm Sirloin of Beef and the Catch of the Day served with an olive tapenade, crushed Jersey Royals, tomato, courgette & garlic butter sauce. They also offer a wonderful menu of classic dishes like 8oz Gammon Steak, Ale Battered Haddock and beef or chicken burgers. Their pizzas are also pretty popular – we particularly like the sound of the Breakfast Pizza, topped with black pudding, sausage, bacon, tomato and mushroom. Nom nom!
33 Kirkgate, Ripon HG4 1PD
Owned and run by Franco Fantoni and his family, Prima is an Italian restaurant and pizzeria situated just two minutes away from Ripon’s market place. The family have been serving traditional Italian dishes here since 1985, making them one of Ripon’s most popular restaurants.
Starters are priced from £4.60 and include all the simple Italian favourites perfect for kickstarting what is bound to be delicious dining experience. Their selection of anti pasti is extensive and varied with seafood salads, breaded brie, BBQ ribs and and chargrilled tiger rawns on offer. Mains cost from just £8.95 for a traditional Margherita pizza up to £23.50 for the Fillet Steak, which comes with a choice of six different sauces.
Prima has a long and impressive menu comprising pizzas, pastas, salads and meat dishes so it’s the perfect place for large groups and family get-togethers. With such a great local reputation too, it’s definitely one worth considering!
As with all our articles of this nature, we’ll be adding to this list over time. If your favourite hasn’t made our list yet or you wish to discuss advertising options with us, please get in touch.