Here are the Top 5 restaurants in Yorkshire, as voted for by our panel of Top 100 judges, taking into account our own review scores and other guidebook scores, plus any rosettes, stars, plates, forks and all that stuff…
3 Book Now Leeds Modern British
New look, same, wild styling from the Michelin-starred, glam rock loving superstar. In 2018, chef-patron Michael O’Hare upped sticks from the Flannels department store attic where he made his name with Man Behind the Curtain and moved into the basement of the same building. His inaugural restaurant enjoyed a £1.1million bespoke fit-out along the way. Think custom designed kitchen, lavish natural materials and robot toilets. Just as the restaurant’s namesake The Wizard of Oz ordered, the interior fittings conspire to create a disorientating atmosphere. The tasting menu could include a miniature bun in a nuclear launch button shade of red, filled with XO-sauced veal pancreas or a lava-ish langoustine tartare, glowing with green parsley oil. Vinegar-packed Iberico pork, garlic and almond enjoys Pollock-esque presentation, while Emancipation – O’Hare’s Great British Menu winning fish dish – is a beacon of white cod surrounded by black. Black crockery, black dashi, and a summit of black vinegar powder. Wines are thrilling – yet the question remains: how do you continue subverting expectations when being subversive is your whole schtick? The new room might take you out of your comfort zone, but O’Hare remains within his, which will continue to please fans and newcomers alike.
4 Book Now Yorkshire Modern British
An astonishing arrival on the Northern culinary scene
This unassuming pub serves foraged and regional ingredients in thrilling configurations, catching the eye of national food critics and diners alike. The Moorcock team are Alisdair Brooke-Taylor (chef) and Aimee Turford (front of house). They worked together in Australia then at Belgium’s much-missed Michelin star, In De Wulf. Yet having only opened their joint venture in 2017, they’ve got a success on their hands. The setting is back-to-basic pub, with a bar in one room, restaurant space in the other. Bar snacks cost up to £7 – think jack by the hedge fritters (a kind of fast-growing wild garlic), house-made charcuterie, spiced pork scratchings and unpasturised organic cheeses. The menu proper could include crispy fish skin and tarts of foraged berries, wood-roasted goat, leeks with new season garlic and pickled plums, homemade black pudding, roasted beeswax ice cream and a cascades of herbs and leaves that go way beyond plate dressing. Wines are largely natural and from small producers, while traditional Belgian beers are another strength. A rising star that looks set to eclipse many of its neighbours.
8 Book Now Yorkshire Modern British
High-end cooking in a 300-year-old farmhouse. While there’s been a restaurant on this site for more than 50 years, owner-proprietor team Simon and Rena Gueller keep things firmly up to date at Ilkley’s picture-perfect Box Tree. Expect a contemporary take on classical French cooking at a restaurant which has seen famous chefs like Marco Pierre White behind the pass. The two restaurant rooms are famous for their art and antiques; this is an extremely plush Yorkshire stone farmhouse, dating back 300 years. Food – and wine – is the real draw though – and the restaurant was one of the first in the UK to be awarded a Michelin star, which has retained. Soufflés (mandarin, with milk chocolate sauce) are a signature while grand French and Italian-inspired dishes come laden with local ingredients; Yorkshire lamb cutlet with wild garlic gnocchi, chalk stream trout with a caper and parsley jus, or celery panna cota with Yorkshire fettle. Wines include buttery Soaves, Tokajis, hand-picked Spanish reds at this restaurant that exudes a sense of occasion.
12 Book Now Leeds Modern British
Inspired British cooking from Masterchef graduates. Home is the brainchild of Masterchef finalist Liz Cottam, and business partner Mark Owens, formerly head chef at Ilkley’s veteran Michelin star, The Box Tree (also in our Top 100). While Home has only been Home, so to speak, since 2017, this compact British restaurant is already a favourite of national food critics. Follow a trail of tea lights up several floors into a moody room, filled with simple creature comforts. Crisp white table clothes set the scene for five lunchtime or ten evening courses. A genuine Northern light.
17 Book Now Yorkshire European
As close to perfect as world-fusion British cooking gets. Going by name and appearances, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Skosh for a Scandi furniture shop: tables the colour of driftwood bob in a greyscale dining room, an Ikea-yellow wall the backdrop to the open kitchen. There’s a stainless steel bar overlooking chefs preparing British dishes with an adventurous and international flavour. Chef-patron Neil Bentenick’s menu could include tandoori-spiced Galician octopus or a dim sum-style roast pork bun with pak choi kimchi. A light, miso-glazed hake with Egyptian dukkah and cauliflower-rice risotto could be followed by heavyweight fried chicken, with a brown butter hollandaise mousse. There’s artistry at work too, in the shape of a ‘hen’s egg’ made with cheddar foam, a creamy yolk, bits of crispy cheddar, sauteed mushroom, and Pedro Ximenez sherry reduction tastes. The result: something brilliantly akin to Welsh Rarebit. Fun-packed puds could include cones and popsicles (fruit and tonka beans reworked into foams, ice creams, chocolates and jams) or bhapi doi (literally translated as ‘steamed yoghurt’) with cardamom meringue shards, strawberries, jelly and pistachio sponge. This balance of cheffy and accessible – as well as the wild palate of international influences – makes Skosh a must for food (and wine) lovers. It seems Bentenick’s imagination has been set free at Skosh folllowing Michelin-star gigs at Pipe and Glass and Northcote. Who knows where it will take him next.