Home to York Minster, one of the largest medieval churches in England, York is a city full of history. This cathedral city of Roman origin offers a wealth of opportunities for sightseeing and exploring.

On both sides of the River Ouse you can find old city walls covering a distance of over two miles with views of the whole city. Within York, there is much to see and do and over the years the modern world has crept in to influence the food and culture of the area.

When it comes to veganism, York has been slowly adjusting and now there are lots of options to choose from when dining with a conscience. If you’re on the lookout for some of the best vegan restaurants in York, you’ve come to the right place.

People eating around the table
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+/Kateryna Hliznitsova

The 8 Exceptional Vegan Restaurants In York: Food Worth Waiting For!

1. Wawin Vegan Chinese

Authentic Chinese food with a vegan twist in a chain restaurant taking the north by storm.

Wawin is a small chain of Chinese restaurants offering a traditional Chinese menu, 100% vegan of course! So it’s no doubt Wawin Vegan Chinese is known as one of the best vegan restaurants in York for the excellent choices of plant-based Chinese food.

You can choose to dine in or have your favorite dishes to go. This place offers some fantastic vegan food that will even impress meat-eaters. Located just round the corner from York cemetery, there’s plenty of parking, particularly at Q-Park Barbican.

There is a modern feel to this small establishment that mainly operates as a takeaway but you also have the option to sit at a few high stools inside if you wish. The welcoming and knowledgeable staff are happy to recommend some of the most popular dishes if you can’t decide on which ones to pick.

It might be confusing at first seeing the menu with loads of items named as ‘duck’, ‘chicken’, ‘ham’, ‘lamb’, ‘tiger prawn’ or ‘fish’ but rest assured that all the choices are 100% mock meats. You’ll also have tofu and mushrooms as protein options. So go ahead and choose your favourite Chinese food without any worries.

This all-vegan Chinese restaurant offers an exclusively vegan menu including all the classics you could want from – Salt and Pepper Prawns to Sweet and Sour Chicken, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The range of dishes offered includes lettuce wraps, soup, fried rice, chow mein, udon noodles, authentic Northern East and Szechuan dishes, as well as Western-style!

We can’t recommend their incredible duck pancakes and special fried rice enough. Another stand out dish has to be the Vegan Special Singapore Udon which is prepared with vegan ham, vegan chicken and vegan tiger prawns.

The choice is astounding here, so even the pickiest of eaters can find something to enjoy. Plenty of dishes are marked gluten-free on the menu so the whole family can truly enjoy a meal to go.

Address: 41 Heslington Rd, York YO10 5AR

Opening Times: Mon-Sun 16:00-23:45

Fried rice with chopsticks
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+/Benoit Deschasaux

2. Döner Summer

Vegan street food served in a beautiful courtyard space.

Döner Summer has got to be one of the best vegan restaurants in York for the exceptional global pub grub on offer, as well as the trendy setup. This chilled-out street food joint is a great place for some incredible purely vegan fare.

Serving a range of pub-style dishes that are rather indulgent in an extravagant courtyard setting, this is a fun pick for an afternoon meal. In the colder months, you can keep warm in a cosy indoor setting with ample seating and colourful, quirky decor.

The food on offer ranges from burgers, teller trays, kebabs, and fried ‘chicken’ to a range of sauces, fries and tots. Some of the most popular dishes with the locals have been the unique Korean BBQ Chicken or delicious Honey Butter Chicken. You’ll discover the tater tots are something to behold, and you can enjoy a range of beers and softs as you socialise with friends in this cool space.

Dönner Summer often has giveaways on social media such as bottomless brunch deals and you can keep up with the latest info there including when the courtyard shuts for winter. Döner Summer has to be considered one of the best vegan restaurants in Leeds. 

Address: 40 Gillygate, York YO31 7EQ

Opening Times: Tues-Sun 12:00-17:00

person holding a burger and chips on the table
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+/Yunus Tug

3. The Orchid Vegan Restaurant

Asian-inspired modern evening dining suitable for all tastes.

Situated near the River Ouse, this modern restaurant infused with Asian influence serves thoughtful food in a relaxed setting. You can find parking close by at the NCP Tanner Row for ease, and the sleek look of The Orchid with its dark wood, mood lighting and warm decor all contribute to an elegant dining experience.

Enjoy the sounds of relaxing music as friendly staff show you to your table and assist you in selecting from the delicious dishes on offer. The chefs at Orchid are eager to show you a modern vegan dining experience where the food is just as tasty and attractive as it would be with animal products.

The menu comprises soups, sushi, curries, rice and noodles and more as well as some delicious desserts. Customers are often impressed by how realistic the mock meats are and some local favourites have included Salt and Pepper Vegan King Prawn. The Orchid’s one of the most loved vegan restaurants in York for their award-winning battered vegan king prawn in special salt and pepper sauce.

Another popular dish has been General Tso’s Tofu, a medium spicy stir fry of tofu and broccoli in a brown spicy sauce with chillies. Enjoy selecting from a variety of dishes even those with intolerances can enjoy such as gluten-free vegan sushi.

The Vegan Salmon Maki Sushi Rolls include maki sushi rolls with vegan salmon, cucumber, and Japanese Daikon pickled radish rolled with sushi rice as well as nori and served with sushi soy sauce.

Address: 16 George Hudson St, York YO1 6LP

Opening Times: Sun-Mon, Wed-Fri 18:00-21:30, Sat 18:00-22:00

Display of different types of vegan sushi
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+/Maryam Sicard

4. Source

Relaxed family-friendly restaurant serving a range of dishes for all dietary needs.

Offering options for everyone including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, Source is one of the go-to vegan restaurants in York for the family-friendly atmosphere.

With over 25 years of industry experience, the owners of this family-run restaurant have worked to create a relaxed setting for good food. Found on the other side of the River Ouse, parking is not hard to find nearby so you can enjoy dining here with ease. The sleek wooden touch to the place creates a cosy environment to sit in and there are even some on-street seating options. 

The attentive staff will serve you with kindness as you choose from the eclectic menu offering brunch to evening dinner. You’ll also find a range of dishes including burgers, superfood salads, sourdough open sandwiches, nachos and some delicious smoothies.

A favourite among the locals is the VFC, that’s vegan fried chicken bites with aubergine, pickle, fresh onion salad and a mango chutney mayo. There are plenty of gluten-free options as well and locals have recommended options over the years such as a delicious Poke Bowl, that’s a Hawaiian-inspired bowl with vegan sashimi and wakame salad, sliced mango, edamame beans and avocado served with sticky coconut rice and finished with sriracha mayo.

Source is a great restaurant for bringing the little ones along and there is a kids’ menu offering smaller portions of the VFC and banana blossom fish and chips amongst other options. The food is praised highly by locals who love dining in this relaxed atmosphere.

Address: 1 Castlegate, York YO1 9RN

Opening Times: Thurs-Mon 10:30-21:00

Poke bowl with avocado and tofu
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+/Maryam Sicard

5. Ambiente Tapas Fossgate

A plant-based signature menu served in a Spanish Tapas with an open kitchen.

Situated by the River Foss, Ambiente Tapas is a great choice for lovers of Spanish cuisine. A local favourite since 2014, this dog-friendly restaurant has a modern minimalistic-meets-industrial-chic look and feel to the place alongside a warm welcome.

Thanks to the big open kitchen, you’ll get to watch the chefs preparing your food locate. Ambiente Tapas Fossgate has also incorporated unique art and decor that adds to the restaurant’s charm, as well as the very friendly and knowledgeable staff who are happy to accommodate most dietary requirements.

The exclusively plant-based signature menu is what makes Ambiente Tapas Fossgate stand out as one of the best vegan restaurants in York. The beautiful dishes include popular favourites like the Brocheta de Pollo y Chorizo Vegano, which consists of chicken prepared with herbs and seasonings, as well as chorizo-style pieces served on a skewer with sliced beef tomato dressed with olive oil and sherry vinegar.

Another delicious option is their gluten-free Albóndigas Veganas. These meatless meatballs are cooked in a smokey pimenton and tomato stew that’s sure to be a delight for your tastebuds. If your kids are adventurous, they’re sure to enjoy alongside you, if not, it’s time to call the babysitter!

Address: 31 Fossgate, York YO1 9TA

Opening Times: Mon-Sun 11:30-22:00

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

6. Goji Vegetarian Cafe & Deli

Cute café serving vegan afternoon tea and dishes made with local fresh produce.

Offering mostly plant-based dishes, Goji Vegetarian Cafe and Deli is a special spot a stone’s throw from York minster. With plenty of parking around in the city centre, this is a great choice for a stop-off in town.

This cute little café offers a cosy dining space and a small courtyard with a homely atmosphere. Serving vegan and vegetarian food for over 10 years, this café and deli partner with local suppliers to source organic produce that’s prepared for your plate fresh in-house. 

The staff are always happy to recommend fresh nutritious dishes that are popular favourites here. You’ll find a temping selection of mouth-watering dishes to choose from and one of the stand out dishes has to be their Vegan Mushroom Burger, a large portabello mushroom topped with smoked tofu, almond pesto, salad, mayo, ketchup and sweet potato wedges.

If you’re gluten intolerant, you’ll be glad to hear there are options such as the South Indian Curried Pie, a fragrant vegetable pie topped with sweet potato mash and served with Indian vegetable slaw and lime pickle.

Whether you’re on a day out or passing through, you mustn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy a rare treat of Vegan Afternoon Tea. Previous visits have seen customers enjoying berry scones, coconut cream, rosebud preserve jam, berries, a mini vegan cake selection, artisan bread sandwiches, vegan cashew tart and a choice of loose-leaf tea.

Such a spread really shouldn’t be missed and children will love the huge slices of cake on offer. And that’s what earns Goji Vegetarian Cafe and Deli is title of one of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in York!

Address: 36 Goodramgate, York YO1 7LF

Opening Times: Sun, Tues-Fri 11:00-16:00, Sat 11:00-16:30

Mini dessert display
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

7. 31 Castlegate Restaurant

Fine dining set in a historic building offering a set three-course vegan menu.

As one of the best vegan restaurants in York, this fine dining experience offers an unforgettable moment in a a building with a vintage vibe. Just along the river, you’ll find 31 Castlegate Restaurant, a former house of G.T. Andrews, a Georgian architect and this building can be traced back to 1825/26.

The incredible décor and structural features of this English Heritage Monument are striking to look at as you dine comfortably in spacious seating on wood floors with warm lighting.

You’ll be served contemporary modern European cuisine in this fine dining setting where everything is cooked fresh each day from some of the finest local produce.

As attentive staff serve you in this beautiful atmosphere you can enjoy a vegan set menu of two or three courses consisting of delicious dishes presented exquisitely.

Some favourites include the Saffron Arancine starter, Saffron Risotto and Vegetable Panko Breaded Balls with vegan cheese served with roasted red pepper puree and vinaigrette dressed rocket. That restaurant has received high praise from regulars for dishes such as a Vegan Wellington with butternut squash, beetroot and spinach served with roasted red pepper and honey puree, chanteney carrots, wild mushrooms and a vegan Demi glacé.

We also recommend making room for some of the fabulous dessert options such as Vegan Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie served with vegan ice cream. There are many menus items to select from and staff here will be happy to assist with most dietary requirements. Kids can also enjoy a three-course set menu that includes delicious classics such as Spaghetti Carbonara.

Address: 31 Castlegate, York YO1 9RN

Opening Times: Mon-Thurs 12:00-22:00, Fri 09:00-22:00, Sat-Sun 09:00-22:30

Risotto on wooden table
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+/Jonathan Borba

8. Ippuku Tea House

Authentic Japanese food and drink with a mostly vegan and gluten-free menu.

Located within the city centre, Ippuku Tea House offers an unexpected dining experience of modern yet authentic Japanese-style food.

This homely shop with a café area has been offering high-quality Japanese produce in York since 2017 and serving its customers delicious traditional food and drink. With Japanese art on the walls, wood decor and foliage there is a quaint style to the place that has limited seating inside and a small courtyard at the back. Tea lovers love to come here where the staff know their tea and they can enjoy some tasty treats! 

There’s a great atmosphere at Ippuku and a lovely selection of authentic Japanese food that is mostly vegan and gluten-free on the menu. Some of the famous choices include their Donburi or The Teishoku set which is served with steamed rice, miso soup, pickles and a vegetable side.

One of the standout dishes has to be the Teriyaki Mayo Tofu, this is a sweet sake soy glaze, with pan-fried tofu, fresh spring onions, tomatoes and vegan mayo. Another favourite is their Japanese-Style Curry and Rice, a popular dish amongst Japanese households. The sweet sauce is made with apples and tomatoes and served with onions, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms garnished with pickled ginger.

Ippuku is also known for its delicious matcha lattes, especially the fun Iced Matcha Latte, made using ice, cold milk of your choice, sugar syrup, and topped with whipped cream. 

Address: 15 Blake St, York YO1 8QJ

Opening Times: Wed-Thurs 12:00-17:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-21:00, Sun-Mon 12:00-17:00