Wondering where to find the best restaurants in Harrogate?
This North Yorkshire town is known for its pretty gardens, Georgian architecture, and Turkish spa. In a nutshell, all the wonderful things to do in Harrogate revolve around unwinding and slowing the pace.
This is why eating out in Harrogate is integral to the experience.
Scroll down for our guide to nice places to eat in Harrogate to suit all dietary preferences and budgets.
Map of the Best Restaurants in Harrogate
Best Restaurants in Harrogate
Despite its modest size, one of the most beautiful towns in North Yorkshire packs in a lot of variety when it comes to the types of food available.
You’ll find a mix of traditional pubs where you can tuck into hefty British staples washed down with an ale. During the day, there are tea rooms and cafés where you can re-energise in between activities. Upscale bistros are perfect for a special occasion or a romantic UK getaway. Meanwhile, a widespread provision of “early bird” or “theatre” menus and fish and chip shops will appease travellers on a tighter budget.
Reservations aren’t necessary at restaurants in Harrogate. Although, if you have your heart set on a specific restaurant, it’s worth reserving a table. Especially on weekend evenings.
Here are 12 of the best restaurants in Harrogate for all occasions.
1. The Ivy Harrogate Brasserie
For upscale eating out in Harrogate, look no further than the Ivy Brasserie.
Characterised by its gleaming Art Deco bar with stemware hanging above the bartenders, amber banquettes, and eye-catching works of art, the luxurious setting is perfect for a romantic date. On the other hand, the covered patio with botanics is an equally appealing dining environment.
There are menus for breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, lunch, and supper. Predominantly British with a dash of continental Europe, plates reflect the seasons and cater to vegetarian and vegan diets. As a general guideline, expect to find a mix of steak, souffle, crispy duck salad, and aromatic curries.
Festive menus are rolled out in the weeks before Christmas and the glamorous cocktails are always worthy of a look-in. Note that the Ivy operates a relaxed smart-casual dress code – which basically just means avoiding sporty clothes.
2. Bettys Café Tea Rooms
When seeking nice places to eat in Harrogate, this longtime tea room always comes out number one for good reason. Swiss baker Fritz Bützer opened the inaugural Bettys Café Tea Rooms in 1919. Over the course of the past century, subsequent cafés have appeared in York, Ilkley, Northallerton, and Beckwithshaw.
As the tea room is only open during the day, it’s one of the best restaurants in Harrogate for breakfast, lunch, or afternoon tea. Menus change to reflect the season with a mix of morning pastries, light lunches, and traditional tea. Their speciality tea cakes and fat rascals (fruit scones) are a legend, with all Yorkshire residents sampling one in their lifetime as a rite of passage.
Interiors are faithful to the early 20th century while the ambience and service are unparalleled. However, it’s important to note that the Bettys queue is just as famous as the teacakes. You can reserve a table for the “bookable” afternoon tea. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait your turn.
Farmhouse is one of the best brunch restaurants in Harrogate. All-day breakfast is served until 17:00 pm, with a myriad of dishes ranging from hearty to healthy. Plates incorporate British staples alongside global-inspired cuisine.
Naturally, a full English breakfast is one solid option, with plant-based equivalents for vegans and vegetarians. Other protein-heavy choices include eggs on toast, huevos rancheros, and shakshuka. For those with a sweet tooth, the offering covers pancake stacks and French toast while granola and acai bowls cater to lighter tastes.
While the breakfast offering is the driving force at Farmhouse, there are plenty of other mains for lunch or an early dinner. Over on the drinks menu, you can browse a mix of wine, cocktails, smoothies, and hot beverages.
4. William & Victoria
William & Victoria is another of the city’s long-standing eateries. While the ground floor is modelled on a bistro/wine bar set-up, the first floor has more of a traditional restaurant vibe. Dishes are based on simple British cooking, with the likes of fishcakes followed by slow-cooked red meat, roasted chicken, and pan-seared fillets of fish. Lamb is especially well done at the restaurant.
Although William & Victoria has an upscale aesthetic, the restaurant offers economically priced prix fixe lunch and early bird menus. Visit early to benefit from a budget-friendly two or three-course meal. Alternatively, the evening lends itself to a romantic evening lingering over your order while getting acquainted with the robust wine menu.
Furthermore, William & Victoria is one of the best restaurants in Harrogate for a Sunday roast. High-quality meat is cooked to perfection and served with oversized Yorkshire puddings and mountains of vegetables.
5. Old Bell Tavern
The Old Bell Tavern plucks the best elements of a traditional English pub and rolls in a modern touch. Houses in a heritage townhouse, the property was previously used as a private residence as well as the site of an earlier pub, the Blue Bell. The salon underwent a renovation in 2017 but nods to its past remain through the decor.
The menu features all the classic pub grub. Take your pick from homemade pie with mash, gammon steak, curry, burgers, and some of the best fish and chips in Harrogate.
There are great options for vegetarians, a couple of vegan dishes, and warming puddings. Roast dinners are served on Sundays – it’s wise to book a table if you’re travelling in a larger group. Otherwise, bookings are generally not required at the Old Bell.
6. Mykonos Bar & Grill
After a rejuvenating experience at the Turkish Baths, Mykonos Bar & Grill stands out as one of the best places to eat in Harrogate. The Mediterranean cuisine is light and flavoursome after a treatment.
Mezes reflect the traditional Greek dining experience with options encompassing seafood, meat, vegetarian, and vegan preferences. Main courses are equally diverse, with a variety of souvlaki, grilled meats, and moussakas to choose from. Plus, there is a separate menu for children at this family-friendly eatery.
Naturally, baklava leads the dessert menu but you can also find shamali (semolina) cake and thick Greek yoghurt with honey. Prices are extremely reasonable, particularly considering the quality and portion sizes.
As well as a spacious interior, Mykonos Bar & Grill has a lovely terrace perfect for al fresco dining during the warmer months.
7. The Drum & Monkey
Independently owned by a resident family, the Drum & Monkey is Harrogate’s premier seafood and shellfish destination. Ingredients are sourced as locally as possible, with availability subject to the freshest catches off the Yorkshire coast.
The à la carte menu typically includes the signature fish pie alongside smoked, grilled, pan-fried, and roasted catches. Meanwhile, the shellfish offering spans hot and cold oysters, lobsters, and shareable platters. In the instance that you’re dining with a non-fish eater, there are a couple of token meat and vegetarian dishes.
Elegant interiors coupled with beautifully presented meals make the Drum & Monkey one of the best places to eat in Harrogate for a special occasion or date. As one of the oldest restaurants in town, the service is exemplary and booking is advisable due to its popularity.
8. The Fat Badger
The Fat Badger is an alternative pub which sits alongside the Old Bell as one of the residents’ go-to joints for drinking and eating out in Harrogate. A cosy salon treads the line between contemporary and old-fashioned but the patio overlooking the green is perfect for a sunny afternoon or mild evening.
The bar stocks ales, fine wine, and exciting cocktails while top-notch food is a take on fusion British gastronomy. Menus change to reflect the seasons, plus you’ll find daily specials. Typical items include tempura king prawns, seabass, confit duck leg, and chateaubriand. In addition to some of the best fish and chips in Harrogate, the Fat Badger whips up fish “butties” (sandwiches) and mussels in white wine and garlic. Furthermore, they serve roasts at a budget-friendly £15 (around $18) on Sundays.
As an aside, the Fat Badger offers lodging in central Harrogate.
Sasso is one of the best restaurants in Harrogate for Italian cuisine, but not as you know it. Firstly, there’s not a single pizza in sight and the pasta offering is slim. However, you will find a diverse spread of antipasti, primi, secondi, and cortini.
Sasso is named for the head chef’s home of Sasso Marconi, a small town just outside Bologna – the food capital of Italy. The entire region of Emilia Romagna has a rich culinary tradition and elements are trickled into Sasso. In fact, the primi pasta selection includes one tortellini and one tagliatelle dish, made from eggs imported from the area.
Navigate towards the Parmigiana Sasso crafted with sliced aubergine, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan. Marinated king scallops served atop black truffle are a delicacy to try while the Barbary duck with figs in a Marsala sauce is a sensation. Just make sure you hold back for the tiramisu.
10. Olivers Fish Shop & Restaurant
Although you will find the UK’s favourite dish available in most of the pubs in town, for the ultimate best fish and chips in Harrogate you’ll need to go to a local “chippy”.
There are actually a handful of excellent chip shops in the centre where you can grab a portion of haddock and chunky chips wrapped in newspaper. But, if you’d prefer to sit in at a restaurant – this meal is best served greasy which doesn’t always gel with a hotel room – then Olivers Fish Shop gets the vote.
The archetypal deep-fried white fish is dished up with chips and you can choose to add mushy peas, curry sauce, or gravy on the side. Whitby scampi is an alternative option, or you can tap on an entre to split.
Forever cheap and cheerful, you’ll appreciate a fish and chips after a stroll around the parks and gardens of Harrogate. Definitely avoid this stodgy meal prior to a session at the bathhouse!
11. La Feria
La Feria brings the spirit of Andalusia to North Yorkshire with a mouthwatering spread of tapas sourced from artisan producers. Items on the menu span meat, seafood, and vegetarian plates. And, being tapas, you have full reign to try as many creations as you feel like.
Don’t miss the pepitos de cerdo (pork loin marinated in garlic and lemon juice) or the pulpo a la Gallega (octopus dressed with paprika on a bed of potatoes). Alongside the tapas, the kitchen team at La Feria take great pride in their free-range rotisserie chicken infused with Andalus-inspired seasoning. These are available as a half or whole portion.
Rember to save a little space for dessert at La Feria. A fragrant orange and lemon sponge cake is the signature pudding. Although, with churros and a Spanish cheeseboard also on the menu, you might want to follow the tapas model and split a couple of dishes.
La Feria is one of the best places to eat in Harrogate as part of a group and is a fine choice for couples and families.
12. Vanilli’s Artisan Ice Cream
While it’s not strictly speaking a restaurant, Vanilli’s Artisan Ice Cream is still responsible for some of the best food Harrogate when you need a pick-me-up.
For handmade ice cream, deluxe hot chocolate, and the creamiest milkshakes, make a pitstop at this vibrant parlour. Vanilli’s is conveniently located nearby to the Valley Gardens with ice cream taking into account all tastes across fruit, chocolate, and beyond.
Ice cream is produced in small batches which means that flavours fluctuate with popular mixes flying out of the door.