Sometimes you just want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city – and where better than a tucked away cafe garden?
York isn’t short of places to grab a tasty bite to eat or a relaxed drink with a loved one, and in this guide we’ve put together five places that feature a beautifully hidden cafe garden for those long summer days.
From the casual to the fancy, light bites to sit-down meals, from daytime into evening – this guide has it all.
Are we missing your favourite? Let us know by dropping us a line at [email protected].
When it comes to hidden gardens in York, Goddards might just take the cake. There are five acres of garden rooms to explore with lawn, ponds, herbaceous borders, trees, orchards and a small vegetable garden – this is an oasis right in the heart of York.
And to top it off it also has a kiosk for hot and cold drinks and light snacks. Though it’s takeaway only, the gardens aren’t short of places to sit, whether that’s on the terrace or on benches around the garden. The selection of light bites changes daily, but you can expect treats such as home-made scones, cakes and bakes, soup, sausage rolls, sandwiches, tea, coffee, and soft drinks.
- 27 Tadcaster Rd, Dringhouses, York YO24 1GG
Tucked away down Gillygate is Doner Summer, who serve up fantastic ‘vegan junk food’ and creative cocktails. Once you emerge into the haven of outdoor seating, it might just take your breath away! With leafy greenery, twinkling lights, and a view of the York city walls, this is the perfect place to spend a summer evening with friends.
The whole menu is vegan, and you can choose from burgers, teller trays, kebabs and more. The portions are always huge, and the food is as visually pleasing at it is tasty with bold, bright colours and big, delicious flavours. Cocktails include the fruity ‘Peachy Keen’ or the more sophisticated ‘Grapefruit Negroni’.
- 40 Gillygate, York YO31 7EQ
- 01904 849090
Forest at Galtres Lodge
This forest-themed restaurant on Low Petergate is a great place to relax with friends or family and enjoy some yummy food or drinks at breakfast, lunch and dinner. And if you head through the restaurant you will come out into their ‘secret garden’…
The cosy courtyard is decorated with glimmering lights, greenery and blankets – like your very own fairytale grotto! The tables also have heaters so you can enjoy the secret garden at any time of the year. If you’re looking for extra brownie points, this could be the ideal place for a romantic outing.
- 54 Low Petergate, York, YO1 7HZ
- 01904 622478
Another gorgeous garden hidden down Gillygate is the family-run cafe Osbornes. The tempting cake display in the window may catch your eye first, and once you head inside you’ll be greeted by the very friendly team.
In the cafe garden you will find sunny and shady areas to suit your mood, and it’s a lovely tranquil space to sit back and relax with an iced drink or a spot of lunch. The generous servings range from breakfasts, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Or why not get a slice of that cake you were eyeing up in the window…
- 68 Gillygate, York YO31 7EQ
- 01904 627939
Grays Court Hotel
If you’re looking for something a little fancy – then the garden at Grays Court Hotel is a must-visit. With stunning views of both the Minster and the city walls, this really is an idyllic hideaway in the heart of York.
The garden food menu has a ‘Seafood and Champagne’ concept, and guests can expect delicious delicacies like oysters, mussels, Whitby crab, lobster, and more. Treat yourself to a bit of luxury in a beautiful location.
- Chapter House St, York YO1 7JH
- 01904 612613
Earl Grey Tea Rooms
The Shambles is one of York’s busiest streets – but you can escape the crowds by heading inside the Earl Grey Tea Rooms. It has seating inside as well as a lovely gift shop, and a large courtyard garden for al fresco dining!
The tea rooms serves hot and cold food, from breakfasts, lunches and delicious tea and cake. There are sunny and shady spots, so sit back and relax in this peaceful haven right in the centre of York.
- 13-14 Shambles, York YO1 7LZ
- 01904 654353
Nestled behind Goodramgate is York’s hidden medieval hall, Bedern Hall. They hold various events throughout the year, including craft workshops, family activity and Christmas fun. They’re also a popular wedding venue!
Bedern Hall also has a courtyard cafe and garden terrace, that visitors can enjoy as part of their visit to the hall or it can also be accessed separately if you’re simply looking for a quiet spot. They serve a variety of sandwiches, panini, platters, sweet treats, afternoon tea, tea and coffee, wines and local beers.
- Bartle Garth, St Andrewgate, York YO1 7AL
- 01904 646030
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