Mr Viking turned thirty-something recently. Once upon a time we we’d have headed out for a boozy meal to celebrate, but the best we could hope for this year was having breakfast out with the kids. Bill’s is a relative newbie to the York eating scene so we decided to take the opportunity to check out its family-friendly credentials.
The concept Bill’s bills itself as a restaurant ‘from breakfast to bedtime and everything in between’. What started out as an independent greengrocer and café in Sussex is now a national chain where you’ll be served dishes with national and international flavours in cool, casual surroundings by friendly staff.
The lowdown Bill’s is open all day, so the menu you’ll pick from depends whether you’re up and out early with the kids or are enjoying a rare date night. We found plenty to like about the breakfast menu, with lots of meat and veggie options, and something to satisfy the dieter and the couldn’t-care-less-about-calories diner. There’s one menu for adults and another for children. We grown-ups opted for the Bill’s breakfast (one with meat and one without) while the kids, predictably, chose pancakes and porridge. We’d heard gripes about slow service so we were pleasantly surprised that the kids didn’t have to wait long to tuck into their food. The pancakes were a hit and the porridge was some of the best we’ve had (almost as good as the porridge at Rowntree Park Reading Café). As for the adults, we enjoyed our cooked breakfasts very much, although the jury is still out as to whether hummus should feature in any meal before midday. The juices and smoothies are fab, but the effect on your heart rate when you see them itemised on the bill might undo any benefit!
Why it’s family-friendly Small, quiet restaurants are not the friends of the noisy family. We like places that are relaxed, serve good, fresh food and have enough space for us to spread out a bit and not worry about our kids’ toys or limbs straying into other diners’ soup. Bill’s ticks these boxes: it’s big, bright and serves a wide enough range of food to satisfy the faddiest eater. The staff are clearly used to dealing with kids and are more than happy to help with buggies, highchairs and so on.
The verdict In a sea of pizza and burger restaurants, Bill’s stands out as a little bit different. The variety of food on offer is good if you’re trying to please a variety of tastes and the atmosphere is lovely. It might not be the cheapest option, but for a family meal out, Bill’s fits the bill.
Address: Bill’s, 12 Coney Street, York YO1 9NA Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 8am to 11pm; Sunday and bank holidays: 9am to 10:30pm
This review is taken from the Easter 2015 issue of the Little Vikings magazine.