York’s reputation as a world-beating foodie destination continues to grow.

One of Britain’s leading food critics has reviewed a city restaurant and was so impressed he declared: “As far as I am concerned, York is the capital of the food universe.”


Giles Coren, restaurant reviewer from The Times, gave his verdict on Roots York in the Saturday paper. And to say it was glowing would be to undersell it.

The critic started with his verdict on his first dish from the Roots menu, the Lincolnshire Poacher Custard:

  • It was so, so good. Angels sang. Birds fell stone-dead from trees. It was the best thing I had eaten all year.

And it got better from there.

Smart, modern and brilliant

Inside Roots York. Photograph: Restaurant website
The ‘lamb and fermented turnip bao’ was “the best thing I ate. One of the best things I have ever eaten…

“This was student booze food by way of Taiwan and Yorkshire foraging. Incredible.”

And so it went on. Chef at the family owned restaurant on Marygate, Tommy Banks, replied to Giles on Twitter to say: “I am so relieved that you enjoyed it. Your review made me laugh out loud.

“I am certainly stealing some of your lines!”

Giles gave his scores for the meal (£40 before booze) as: cooking 9; service 10; location 10; total 9.67.

His full critique of Roots York, on Marygate, can be read on The Times website (paywall).

But here’s how he finished:

  • This is a great restaurant.

    It is bright and comfortable and pretty with enthusiastic young staff who giggle with delight when replying to the daftest questions because they are just so full of the joys of what they are doing.

    The cooking is smart, modern, unpretentious and brilliant. There is nothing in London to touch this.

    As far as I am concerned, York is the capital of the food universe.