One thing that the historic city of York and I have in common is that we have both been bitten by the brunch bug. From something that meant a big, late weekend breakfast at home to perhaps the epitome of millennial dining, brunch has come a long way and has now established itself in the northern city that I call home. Between my boyfriend and a few close friends, there’s usually someone that I can rely upon to try out a new menu or location with. There seems to be a new restaurant or brunch menu being offered every week, but I’ve narrowed the selection down to my five favourites so far. Now is the perfect time to try out the morning offerings in York, as many of the businesses mentioned have been featuring local Sand Hutton asparagus in their menus.
Located in a gorgeous building on Micklegate, Partisan is a restaurant and patisserie that takes influence from neighbouring country’s cuisines and former French colonies. As a result, there’s a wide range of dishes on offer from sweet French toast to Persian eggs and Shakshuka. Every day the team creates a new range of fresh salads, and the front counter is stuffed with an array of gorgeous tastes, with many dietary preferences catered for. There’s a full range of tea and coffees on offer, including Roost coffee for their V60 brews, and artisan alcoholic drinks for later on in the day. Oat milk and cream alternatives are offered in both drinks and cooking for a dairy free option. Expect to see the interior look a little different every time that you visit as Partisan doubles as an art space and antique dealer, so all furniture and artwork is for sale. Fresh flowers are delivered from a local grower daily, so look out for extras being sold close to the entrance.
Taking it’s name from the ethos of using local ingredients, the centrally located Source is the place to be if you want to dine in a sustainable, conscious restaurant. I reviewed Source shortly after it’s opening, but since then Katie and the team have launched a breakfast menu. As always, look for big flavours with a global inspiration: the heuvos rancheros and sweet potato bubble and squeak both go down a treat.
Located just next door to Partisan, Gulp and Graze puts a lot of emphasis on the brunch section of their menu and you’ll be able to find most Instagram favourites on there, alongside a good selection of juices, smoothies and hot drinks. With it’s glass covered courtyard that flows seamlessly from the interior, Gulp and Graze is one of the prettier locations to be in -with succulents on the table adding the finishing touch to any food snaps. The importance of aesthetics is also reflected in the food here, with plates imaginatively dressed with garnishes that are both tasty and eye catching. I’ll be coming back here with my reusable cup for when I want a delicious smoothie on the go!
Yorkshire’s flagship healthy eating restaurant Filmore and Union could hardly be not mentioned here. There’s pretty much everything you could want here: flavoursome juices and smoothies; loaded pancakes; or their famous poached pesto eggs. Try their selection of “superfood” lattes; turmeric is my favourite but the latest edition is charcoal. If a bulletproof coffee is more your drink, then you’ll be pleased to know that an MCT coffee is another new addition to the menu. But don’t worry if this is sounding a little too out-there for you; there’s plenty of other hot and cold drinks to offer. If you like good coffee, then you’ll want to try their own blend of York Coffee Emporium coffee, served exclusively at Filmore and Union but also available to buy as beans.
If you’re looking for a hearty, flavoursome food, Mannion is the place to be. Their menu changes frequently, but you can be sure to find some form of eggs on sourdough toast, or for something lighter, their cheese scones with homemade tomato chutney and herby cream cheese is heavenly. If you’re so inclined, Mannion pride themselves on their charcuterie boards, but there’s plenty of veggie fare too. There’s often a queue, but with sharing tables and outside seating, the wait is rarely long and well worth it.
Whilst these cafes and restaurants made the cut for my brunch guide, there’s a lot of other choice, and establishments that also offer great options for coffees, cake or lunch. Despite this, the market for brunches and healthy food options is far from saturated, so I’m really excited to discover new places as they open.