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Fun, family-friendly places to eat in York with kids – Our pick of the best

fun places to eat in York

Wondering where to eat in York with kids? From traditional tea rooms to the latest street food, there’s something for every appetite in York and lots of fun places to eat that you won’t find anywhere else. Yes, you’ll find all the usual chains, but why not give an independent business a try? York’s brimming with amazing family-run places to eat that also happen to be family-friendly and fun, and these are some of our favourites. There’s something for even the pickiest of eaters, we promise.

Here’s our guide to the best family-friendly cafes, restaurants, street food and more in York

    Family-friendly places to eat in York with kids

    Donuts galore at Doe York

    Doe Bakehouse York

    Doe Bakehouse does amazing donuts, good coffee and more from their colourful cafe on York’s Church Street. It attracts queues of people in search of novelty baked goods, but it’s worth the wait. In the mood for something savoury? Don’t worry – you’ll find lunchtime and snack options that go beyond the donut dough. As well as the popular city-centre shop, there’s a branch in Layerthorpe with free parking and plenty of seating too. Doe is one of our top spots for a coffee and cake stop, and it’s a family-run independent business too. Doe, 12a Church Street, York, YO1 8BE.

    Eat while you swing at Plush Cafe

    Plush Cafe York

    Plush Cafe is York’s most instagrammable cafe where you can sit on a swing while tucking into teddy toast! A pun-packed menu is just one of the quirky aspects of this family-run venture, nestled in a cosy, higgledly-piggledy building in the heart of York. There are different themed rooms, with something for every mood, and there’s a children’s menu too. Plush Cafe, 6 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AS

    Tuck into street food at Spark:York

    Spark:York is a place that looks and feels like no other venue in York. It’s a vibrant, relaxed place to eat and drink where children are welcome. Order delicious food from around the world, served by small businesses that are passionate about what they do. Can’t all agree on what to eat? You can order from a variety of places at the same time, so everyone’s happy! We usually end up with a mixture of Greek, Asian and pizza! Spark:York, 17 – 21 Piccadilly, York, YO1 9PB

    A classic York experience at Bettys

    Bettys York

    Bettys is a jewel in the city’s crown. It’s the ultimate destination for afternoon tea in York, but it’s also a lovely place for a meal. It’s surprisingly family-friendly, with a children’s menu, space to store your buggy and lovely staff who’ll make sure that everyone’s happy. It’s smart but not stuffy, so don’t let the breakable china and silver teapots put you off visiting with your children. Don’t miss the cinnamon toast and fat rascals! Bettys, 6-8 St. Helen’s Square, York YO1 8QP

    Pancake stacks at Brew & Brownie

    Brew and Brownie York

    Brew & Brownie offers a great brew and a really good brownie, but it’s famous for its pancakes. Later on in the day, lovely cakes and sandwiches are the order of the day. If it’s busy (it’s popular, so prepare to wait/queue), try their sister cafe – the Bakehouse – just a few doors down. It’s a good option for takeaway too – get something to go and enjoy it in the Museum Gardens, just across the road. Brew & Brownie, 5 Museum St, York YO1 7DT

    Brilliant brunches at Partisan

    Partisan York

    Partisan is a beautiful, independent family-run cafe on Micklegate serving delicious locally-sourced food and good coffee. The interiors are warm, inviting and homely, and the staff are friendly too. It’s housed in a quirky building so it can be a bit of an obstacle course with a buggy, but it’s worth the effort. Partisan, 112 Micklegate, York YO1 6JX

    Cracking crepes at Krep Truck

    Krep York

    Krep is one of our go-to places to eat with kids in York. Forget the formality (and associated stresses) of a sit-down meal: these authentic crepes and galettes are served from a charming hut in the vibrant Shambles Market using the best local ingredients. Shambles Food Court, York, YO1 7LX

    Sicilian treats at Trinacria


    For traditional Sicilian food in York, look no further than Trinacria. Situated just outside the city on the ever-popular Bishopthorpe Road, Trinacria has become a local institution since it opened. It’s easy to see why: the food is fantastic, the ice creams are out of this world and the service is incredibly friendly. Locals flock here so it can be hard to get a table at peak times, but if you decide to stay and queue, it’ll be worth the wait. There’s no kids’ menu but they’ll happily do small portions of adult meals. It’s less than five minutes from here to Rowntree Park and the river, so it’s a useful place to know. Trinacria,  27 Bishopthorpe Rd, York YO23 1NA

    The best breakfasts at The Pig & Pastry

    Expect amazing eggs, epic waffles, fab pastries, homemade granola and great coffee in this lovely neighbourhood café on award-winning Bishy Road. There’s a focus on local produce, and you’ll find plenty of vegan and veggie options too. Friendly staff, a warm atmosphere and delicious, comforting food whatever time of day make this a popular choice, so expect to queue at peak times (it’s well worth the wait). The Pig & Pastry, 35 Bishopthorpe Rd, York YO23 1NA

    Relax and read at Hungate Reading Cafe

    Explore Hungate 1

    Explore Hungate is another brilliant reading room (cafe/library) from Explore York. It’s spacious with easy access for buggies and wheelchairs, and plenty of indoor space. There’s an outdoor seating area too, if the weather’s good or you just fancy sitting outside. Children will love the lovely little children’s area with books and comfy, colourful places to sit. No promises, but you might just get to enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee in peace…If you’d like something to eat, there are cakes and tasty breakfast and lunch options too. Just a stone’s throw from York city centre, it’s a great place to escape the crowds or meet friends. Hungate Reading Cafe, Bellerby Court, Hungate, York YO1 7AF

    Worth the wait at Robinsons Cafe

    Robinsons Cafe York

    Robinsons is a popular neighbourhood cafe on Bishopthorpe Road where you can expect delicious locally sourced food, beautifully cooked. There’s a relaxed and warm atmosphere where children are very welcome. Toddlers tuck into croissants and scrambled eggs, while older children are often found piling into the pancake stacks. No bookings, so expect to queue at peak periods. Robinsons, 7 Bishopthorpe Rd, York YO23 1NA

    Hot chocolate and chocolate fondue at York’s Chocolate Story

    Yorks Chocolate Story Cafe

    York’s Chocolate Story is York’s top chocolate attraction, with an engaging guided tour that takes you through the history of chocolate in York right through to the present day. As well as watching a chocolatier at work, you’ll be able to make your own chocolate creation to take home. Whether you’re visiting the attraction or not, the cafe at York’s Chocolate Story is worth a visit for the hot chocolate alone. Customise your own with a variety of flavours, from dark to caramel, mint to chilli, or even alcoholic. Cream and marshmallows are optional but recommended for the full hot choc experience. Hungry? The chocolate fondues are a fun pick-me-up that will fuel your family through the rest of the day. Pick four ‘toppings’ for your pot – from strawberries to brownies, flapjacks to shortbread – and then wait for them to be delivered to you, slathered in warm, melted chocolate. Top marks if you make it to the bottom of the tub, and if you can leave the shop without picking up something sweet to take home for when the sugar rush subsides…York’s Chocolate Story, King’s Square, York YO1 7LD

    Chocolate indulgences at York Cocoa Works

    York Cocoa Works review

    York Cocoa Works is the place in the only place in York that creates chocolate from scratch, in the grand tradition of York’s world-famous chocolate makers of the past. You can take a little tour of their manufactory, join a workshop or just pop into the cafe for a pick-me-up. As you’d expect, the menu is chocolate-focused and best if you’re in the mood for something sweet rather than savoury. Warm up with a hot chocolate, enjoy a slice of cake or cool down with an ice cream on a hot day. York Cocoa Works, 10 Castlegate, York YO1 9RG

    Award-winning lunches at The Balloon Tree

    The Balloon Tree York

    The Balloon Tree is an award-winning farm shop and cafe just outside York that warmly welcomes families. The café serves home-cooked breakfasts and lunches as well as a tempting array of cakes, but children love it most for the play area and pick-your-own. A166, Gate Helmsley, York, YO41 1NB

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