9 Most Romantic Restaurants in York for Valentine’s Day 2023

Charming buildings, a spectacular cathedral, Roman walls, riverside walks, impressive museums; York provides the perfect setting for a romantic Valentine’s evening with your date. And with some of the finest chefs putting down roots in this loved-up city, the prolifically romantic food scene here just keeps on growing.

But this impressive medley of stellar restaurants and global cuisines makes choosing a Valentine’s Day restaurant in York an almost impossible chore. This is made worse by the fact that the stakes are ridiculously high on the most romantic day of the year and the pressure to book the perfect romantic restaurant in York is on. Whether it’s a candlelit dinner, a fine-dining Michelin starred eatery, or a casual but intimate spot, we’ve compiled a list of the most romantic restaurants in York for Valentine’s Day 2023!

Take your pick from our list of York romantic restaurants and be sure to check out our guide to the most romantic restaurants in Edinburgh, too!

9 Best York Romantic Restaurants 2023


Established in 2004, Rustique on Castelgate specialises in rustic French cooking in an eclectic setting and is one of the most romantic restaurants in York, ideal for a French Valentine’s Day dinner with your one true. Housed within a red stone building with ornate stained glass windows, this York romantic restaurant will transport you back to another time and another place. Inside, the lighting is soft, there’s a mix of wooden furniture, and a bustling atmosphere – the perfect setting for your French-inspired Valentine’s dining experience.

The food contributes to the romanticism of this York restaurant, with an emphasis on indulgence and hearty portions. This romantic restaurant in York has an extensive a la carte menu as well as a popular set menu which offers two courses for £14.95 or three for £17.95. To kick off your romantic meal, take your pick from a good range of starters, including the likes of classic French onion soup with cheese croutons, snails cooked with garlic and parsley butter, king scallops served with black pudding and celeriac puree, and whole baked Camembert with thyme, butter and white wine. Moving onto the mains, choose from classic French dishes such as slow roast duck leg served served on Dauphinoise potatoes, green beans and a red currant sauce, slow cooked pork belly with apple-scented mashed potatoes with a mustard cream sauce, and chicken breast stuffed with brie and sun blasted tomato, wrapped in air-dried ham and served on new potatoes. Finally, be sure to leave a little room for desert: creme brulee, tarte au citron, tarte tatin, pot au chocolat, or traditional sticky toffee pudding. One thing is for sure, if you head to this Valentine’s day restaurant in York, you won’t be leaving hungry!

Find out more here.

The Whippet Inn

Having opened in 2014 on one of the city’s less-trodden streets, this romantic restaurant in York offers flair and character in unimaginable amounts. Set within a beautiful Grade II listed building, this York romantic restaurant offers unpretentious food, sophisticated decor and unrivalled service. This Valentine’s Day restaurant in York has become synonymous with its finest quality beef, offering an extensive range of ever-changing cuts and breeds.

Despite being so passionate about their beef, that’s certainly not the only option on the menu at this York Valentine’s restaurant. Start your romantic dinner in York with blackberry soused mackerel with crispy fried mussels and charred cucumber, breaded, fried ham hock terrine with fennel, apple and prune chutney, or fillet of beef carpaccio with surf ‘n’ turf, crayfish tails and caviar. Moving onto the main, choose from delights like pumpkin and heritage squash risotto with smoked cheddar, chargrilled spatchcock poussin in Vadouvan spice with crushed sweet potato, and Za’atar spiced cauliflower steak with Israeli cous cous, almonds and pomegranate. Alternatively, if it is beef you’ve come to The Whippet Inn for, don’t worry, there is an extensive list of beef cuts to select from; ribeye, fillet, T-bone, Chateaubriand, and prime rib on the bone, all served with your choice of sauce. Make sure you don’t skip desert either, with treats like yoghurt panna cotta with red wine poached pears, dark chocolate delice with sea salt and coffee jelly, and warm banoffee bread and butter pudding on the menu. So, if you’re looking for a hearty meal in sultry surroundings for your Valentine’s Day dinner, be sure to book this romantic restaurant in York.

Find out more here.


An authentic Sardinian cellar restaurant located on Blossom Street, Delrio’s is more than deserving of a position on this list of the most romantic restaurants in York for Valentine’s Day. Despite the inconspicuous exterior, inside this York romantic restaurant has a vibrant and friendly atmosphere. The unique setting, beneath the heart of the historic city, you’ll find a labyrinth of of tiny rooms lit by candlelight which look truly magical, especially on the most romantic day of the year.

The food menu is large and diverse, featuring an extensive range of classic Sardinian dishes with a particular emphasis on seafood. To start, choose from warming dishes like baked Buffalo mozarella wrapped in prosciutto crudo, sauteed field mushrooms with garlic and cream, oven-baked aubergine stuffed with courgette, peppers, onion, cheese and topped with breadcrumbs, or homemade soup of the day. Moving onto the main event, take you pick from traditional Sardinian delights like char-grilled lamb cutlets with rosemary, butter-filled chicken breast with lemon, and homemade meatballs made from local steak mince and cooked in a wild mushroom and Napoli sauce. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more familiar, the menu features a huge list of pizza, pasta and risotto dishes; think linguine tossed with seafood, traditional Sardinian short pasta tossed with spiced sausage and Napoli sauce, and classic Penne Arrabiata. So, with something to suit every taste, you can’t go wrong booking this romantic restaurant in York for the 14th of Feb this year.

Find out more here.


Set in a quiet area of the city, down by the River Ouse, Roots is the follow-up restaurant to the renowned Black Swan in Oldstead and is one of the best romantic restaurants in York, perfect for a fancy Valentine’s date night. From the ‘Great British Menu’ winner Tommy Banks and family, you can be guaranteed a Michelin-level meal at this York romantic restaurant. Housed within a former pub, the interior of the restaurant has been transformed into a modern yet minimalist space. Pull out a chair and take a seat in the spacious dining room, where the Scandi-inspired decor blends seamlessly with original period features.

The food at this romantic restaurant in York is a tasting menu affair, largely supplied by the family farm in Oldstead, as well as trusted local producers. The menu changes on a regular basis to keep in line with the seasonal produce, ensuring all ingredients are as fresh and as sustainable as possible. The sample tasting menu includes delights like cured Oldstead charcuterie, dehydrated raw deer with artichoke and yeast, raw mackerel with carrot and sea Buckthorn, barbecued Charlotte potato dressed with leek and Old Winchester, roasted scallop with fermented turnip and kale, and glazed aged beef. So, if you’re looking to really splash out this Valentine’s Day, this York romantic restaurant will certainly hit the spot.

Find out more here.

The Ivy

Best known for its eclectic interior, which makes it one of the most romantic restaurants in York, this branch of Richard Caring’s Ivy chain sits in St Helen’s Square, next door to the city’s famous Mansion House. With the bar and interiors designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, this York romantic restaurant has a quintessentially British feel, complete with floor-length windows, a marble top bar, moody pendant lighting and stylish leather banquettes.

The menu features British classics with a modern twist, created using locally sourced ingredients. Start with the truffled wild mushrooms served with a fried quail’s egg, the twice-baked cheese souffle, the crispy duck salad, the steak tartare or any of the other marvelous-sounding dishes on offer. Next, move onto the blackened cod fillet baked in a banana leaf with a soy marinade, the lobster linguine with vine cherry tomatoes, parsley and spring onion, the chicken Milanese, or the aromatic duck curry. The menu also features some more classic dishes, such as fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, fish cakes, hamburger and chips, minute steak roast chicken and so many more. It’s worth leaving room for desert, whether it’s the creme brulee, the chocolate bombe, the coconut panna cotta, or the pyramid of profiteroles. For somewhere you know you can rely on for a delicious Valentine’s Day meal, be sure to book this romantic restaurant in York.

Find out more here.

Pairings Wine Bar

If you’re a wine fan, or trying to impress one this Valentine’s Day, Pairings Wine Bar is the ideal romantic restaurant in York for a tipple or two. An independent wine bar and deli situated on historic Castlegate, this York romantic restaurant has a staggering list of drinks and a great food menu. The food here has been carefully sourced to showcase some of Yorkshire’s best meats, cheeses and condiments, as well as those from across the UK and into Europe.

Take your pick from the selection of small plates, boards and platters on offer. Think chargrilled artichokes marinated in sunflower oil, parsley, chilli and garlic; award winning local Voakes pork pie served with your choice of chutney; homemade smoked mackerel pate served with toasted Haxby Bakehouse sourdough; and pork rillette poached in duck fat and shredded with wholegrain mustard and capers. If you want to take the romance up a notch, why not opt for a sharing board or platter? Choose from The Deli Platter, The Mediterranean Board, The Ultimate Cheese Board, The Yorkshire Board, The Fish Board, The Veggie Board, The Vegan Board, or (although hopefully not on Valentine’s Day) The Solo Platter.

Find out more here.


Run by chef Michael Hjort and wife Lucy for the past 27 years, Melton’s is an intimate, romantic restaurant in York that serves up high-end European cuisine with a smile. The interior of this York romantic restaurant is cosy and welcoming, with murals of ingredients and happy diners on the walls. All their dishes use the best of Yorkshire produce, showcasing their passion for sourcing locally and cooking fresh.

To start, try the aged beef tartare, the mushroom tartlet, or the Orkney scallop. Moving onto the main course, select from authentic dishes like venison loin with parsnip, quince, black pudding and preserved blueberry; east coast cod with celeriac, Maitake, whey sauce and coastal herbs; or the Jerusalem artichoke with truffle and hazelnut pesto, buckwheat gnocchi and braised leeks. Alternatively, if you can’t make your mind up, opt for the five-course tasting menu instead. Whatever you decide on, be sure to leave room for desert: prune and brandy souffle with malt ice cream and honeycomb, Yorkshire rhubarb with spiced pain perdu, almond, mascarpone, yoghurt and blood orange, and dark chocolate delice with hogweed ice cream, burnt citrus and salted caramel. For a guaranteed sophisticated Valentine’s Day meal, you can rely on Melton’s – one of the most romantic restaurants in York.

Find out more here.

Star Inn the City

The Star Inn the City is the riverside restaurant that you must visit on Valentine’s Day. Nestled on the banks of the River Ouse, led by Andrew Pern of the Michelin-starred Star Inn at Harome, this York romantic restaurant focuses on locally-sourced ingredients. It’s won multiple awards and features in various good eating guides, including the Michelin Guide, so there’s no doubt that this romantic restaurant in York will impress your date for the night.

Start with the pressed ham knuckle & flat parsley terrine, the York Gin cured organic Scottish salmon with celeriac and grain mustard ‘slaw’, the pan seared Scottish sea scallop, or the salt-aged Yorkshire beef tartare. For main, take your pick from modern dishes like the Brew York braised ox cheek, thyme roasted breasts of Rievaulx shot partridge, pan roasted loin of North Sea cod, cider braised Escrick pork belly, or rosemary roasted breast of Nidderdale chicken. Pair that with one of their delightful sides: salted skinny fries, proper chips, truffled fries, lemon buttered mixed seasonal greens, or battered onion rings. To finish off your romantic dinner in York, treat yourself to the baked white chocolate and vanilla custard, ginger Parkin cheesecake, or date and fig sticky toffee pudding. For a romantic riverside dining experience, head to the Star Inn the City on the 14th February.

Find out more here.

The Rattle Owl

Rattle Owl is a charming neighbourhood restaurant lovingly resorted with glass ceilings and the remains of a Roman road in the cellar. Housed within a 17th-century building on Mickelgate Bar, The Rattle Owl is one of the most romantic restaurants in York with a nod to the city’s heritage. Head chef at this York romantic restaurant, Tom Heywood, plates up aesthetically pleasing, seasonal dishes of classic British cuisine.

This romantic restaurant in York has a number of food options – a four- or eight-course tasting menu. We’d recommend the eight-courser just so you can sample more of their delicious menu. Peruse the list and you’ll find fancy dishes like crab with fennel, naked oats and bisque, wild bass with tomato gazpacho, pickled mussels and Tagete, rib of beef with turnip, dill and oyster, and chicken dopiaza with Senshyu onions, yoghurt and butter sauce. Pair this with a tipple off their extensive drinks menu.

Find out more here.

The Bow Room Restaurant

Nestled down a medieval cobbled side street off York Minster, The Bow Room Restaurant is found within the renowned Grays Court Hotel. The warm, decadent decor of this luxury hotel extends to the restaurant, where chef Adam Jackson delights taste buds with his nine-course tasting menu – made with ingredients source from the hotel’s kitchen garden by Head Gardener Jules Fern. This York romantic restaurant has Michelin Plate status as well as 3 AA Rosettes, so you can be sure to have a blow-out Valentine’s Day meal at The Bow Room.

Another tasting menu affair, this fine-dining romantic restaurant in York offers ten courses of pure foodie delight. With plenty of fancy words on their menu, you’re sure to impress your Valentine’s Day date. Think lamb with wild garlic and sorrel, sea trout with cucumber and lemon, duck with brioche and choucroute, and venison with Jerusalem artichoke and elderberry. For desert, you can expect treats like fig with orange and fig leaf, Baron Bigod with truffle and honey, and a pistachio, blackberry and lemon verbena.

Find out more here.

That rounds up our pick of the most romantic restaurants in York for Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re looking for a fancy fine-dining treat or a cosy but casual dinner option, we’ve included York romantic restaurants to suit every taste and budget. Be sure to check out our guide to the most romantic hotels in Liverpool for couples, too!


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