Yorkshire born and bred, Ritchie enjoys writing about his corner of the UK.
If you're looking for a delicious Italian meal, York has no shortage of amazing restaurants to choose from. Here are 11 of our favourites.
#1 Bella Italia
Address: 89 Low Petergate, York, YO1 2HY
Phone: 01904 949 898
Bella Italia is a popular York favourite, serving up classic Italian dishes with a modern twist. Having been in the restaurant business for over 25 years, they know a thing or two when it comes to making everything from your classic Italian juicy pizzas to handmade pasta.
They also do some delicious ‘small plates’—perfect for sharing and accompanying cocktails (the truffle gnocchi is next level!). The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere with friendly and fast service. Situated in a great central location within walking distance from the centre, York Minster and the famous shamble are just a stone's throw away.
#2 Little Italy
Address: 12 Goodramgate, York YO1 7LQ
Phone: 01904 623539
Little Italy is situated just on the outskirts of the centre of the city, but still very much within walking distance. It will only take you around 10 minutes to walk from the centre to little Italy. This lovely little restaurant has been a family-run business since 1992, which combines a restaurant with a deli. This place is great if you’re just popping in for some Italian groceries, meeting a friend for a quick catch-up or want that full restaurant experience.
All the pasta is homemade in the restaurant, freshly cooked to order with a good selection to choose from. The antipasti is particularly good too; they use all of the ingredients from the deli including Italian cured meats and cheeses.
This is one of my favourite places to eat in town, as the food is excellent, the atmosphere is charming and you can go home with a goodie bag from the deli once you've finished in the restaurant to relive it all again another day!
Address: 1 Clifford St, York YO1 9RD
Phone: 01904 624474
Prezzo is a popular chain restaurant that serves up classic Italian dishes like pasta carbonara and pizza Margherita. There's something for everyone on the menu, and the food is always cooked fresh to order with a large pizza oven in the kitchens. They tend to focus on pizzas or pasta here, with a wide range of options for both.
The restaurants have a relaxed atmosphere and are perfect for casual dining with friends or family and a great place to take the kids, where you know the food will be consistently good and fast. There are Prezzo restaurants all over the country, so you're never too far from a delicious ‘safe bet’ Italian meal.
Address: 2 Lendal, York, YO1 8AA
Phone: 01904 801717
Zizzi is another popular chain that offers classic Italian dishes with a modern twist. There's something for everyone on the menu, from pizzas and pasta to salads and desserts. Zizzi’s on the whole seems to have a little more to offer in terms of menu choice than Prezzo, with the choices being a little more exciting. They have a great selection of pizzas that are cooked fresh, in a long thin shape, as opposed to the usual circular shape with some great topping options. I have yet to try the new ‘rustica posh eggs ‘n bacon’ pizza—that sounds delicious!
The restaurants have a relaxed atmosphere and are perfect for casual dining. There are Zizzi restaurants all over the country, much like Prezzo, so you're never too far from a delicious Italian meal. The York restaurant is central and easy to get to on foot.
Address: 1 Fawcett St, York YO10 4AH
Phone: 01904 466528
This is another fantastic option for an Italian restaurant if you are staying in York and particularly good if you are heading to the barbican for a show, as it's just across the way. Toto’s is a family-run business and focuses on excelling at pizzas and pasta, the classic Italian dishes.
The staff are friendly and welcoming and have such a lovely Italian feeling like you've been transported from York to Italy. The food is SO good and another one of my firm favourites in town. The pizzas are those lovely fresh thin crispy pizzas with tons of toppings and the pasta is all made in-house too.
This is a great restaurant for anyone that loves pizza or pasta (well that's everyone then, surely!) and a great option for fussy eaters and kids too, along with the rest of the family.
The restaurant is situated just down from Clifton’s Tower and around a 10-15 minute walk from the centre of York.
#6 ASK Italian
Address: The Grand Assembly Rooms, Blake Street, York, YO1 8QG
Phone: 01904 637254
ASK Italian is in a most beautiful grand building with a lovely tall ceiling and a large central space. It's like you’re dining in a stately home.
ASK is part of a chain and does very traditional Italian food. It's a great lovely atmosphere if you're going out with a large group of friends, but not so great if you want that small intimate experience.
Nevertheless, the food is good and very classic Italian food, with a good mix of pizzas and pasta. The puddings here are lovely with a wide range of gelato and sorbet or the classic Italian tiramisu.
#7 Frankie & Benny's
Address: Clifton Moor Gate, York YO30 4XY
Phone: 01904 691261
Frankie & Benny's is another popular chain restaurant and is situated on the outskirts of york. This is a great option if you are planning on heading to the cinema after a bite to eat, as it's right next door.
Frankie and Benny’s is an American Italian restaurant, so the dishes combine those two elements—from pizzas to burgers, hot dogs and BBQ pulled ribs. This is a great option if you are looking for a restaurant to take the kids to, as it’s got a fun atmosphere with American Italian decor. The food is good if you like this kind of thing, as it's about the overall experience with loud music and a bustling atmosphere.
#8 La Piazza
Address: 45 Goodramgate, York YO1 7LS
Phone: 01904 642641
La Piazza is an intimate Italian restaurant located in the heart of town. The restaurant has been serving up traditional Italian cuisine since 1997, and it's always been a favourite with locals and visitors alike. If you're looking for a romantic Italian meal, La Piazza is a perfect choice.
You may be familiar with this restaurant if you have done a ghost tour around York, as it is home to the famous ghost story of Marmaduke Buckle who lived here between 1697 to 1715, and whose name can still be seen carved into one of the beams.
This grade 1 listed building dating back to the late 15th century is a great setting for a lovely Italian restaurant, steeped in history with fantastic food owned by a lovely couple that has been running it for 25 years. There are rumours that it will be going up for sale, so hopefully, the legacy will continue in being a fantastic Italian restaurant.
If you’re looking for a restaurant with the full experience then this is the place for you.
#9 Mamma Mia
Address: 20 Gillygate, York YO31 7EQ
Phone: 01904 622020
Established in 1987, Mamma Mia has a long-standing reputation for excellent authentic Italian food. Based in the heart of town, this easy-to-get restaurant is situated just around the corner from the York Minster. It is surrounded by lots of great bars to head to for cocktails afterwards too.
Specialising in classic Italian cuisines such as pizzas and pasta, with an extensive (and delicious) pasta menu. They also have some lovely fish dishes, chicken and veal dishes, all beautifully presented. There is something for the whole family to enjoy here!
I find this restaurant to be very consistently good, with a great atmosphere, great food and great presentation. This is such a great option to choose if you are looking for a warm and friendly feeling type of restaurant. This is one of my favourites to visit whilst in town—but make sure you book to avoid disappointment, as it’s got such a great reputation it can get booked up quickly.
Address: East, 13 Swinegate, York YO1 8AJ
Phone: 01904 731599
Lucia is an intimate Italian restaurant located in the heart of town. The restaurant has been serving up traditional Italian cuisine since 1997, and it's always been a favourite with locals and visitors alike. If you're looking for a romantic Italian meal, Lucca is a perfect choice. The restaurant is located just a short walk from York's main attractions, surrounded by lovely cocktail bars post-dinner or lunch.
This is one of my favourite places to go with friends for the fantastic array of cocktails and for a romantic couples evening, as the restaurant is nestled in the cobbled streets with patio heaters so you can sit out pretty much all year round.
Not only does Lucias have a fantastic array of cocktails (you have to try the ‘Turkish delight’ gin cocktail! ) It also has some great food. Depending on how hungry you are they have some lovely sharing boards or small starter plates which you can enjoy with a few cocktails. Alternatively, you have the full shebang with starter, main, and dessert. They have your classic pizzas, but then also some lovely risottos and pasta dishes. The food here is excellent!
There are currently three Lucia restaurants—in York, Beverley and Harrogate—all with similar chilled alfresco dining vibes.
Address: City Centre, 10-12 Blossom St, York YO24 1AE
Phone: 01904 622695
Delrio is located on the other side of town, pretty near to the train station and the principal hotel. You can still get to this still very easily even if you are walking from the centre of the town, heading over the bridge you can see some more of York's sights along the way (takes about 15 minutes to walk from the centre).
The Bottom Line
York has no shortage of amazing Italian restaurants, from small independent eateries to large chains. So there you have it, 11 of the best Italian restaurants in town. Whether you're looking for a romantic meal for two or a casual dinner with family and friends, there's something here for everyone.
Overall there are some great Italian places to eat in York, with a mixture of family-run authentic Italian restaurants and some delicious Italian chain restaurants, where there is great food to be had at all the suggestions.
Personally, I tend to enjoy going to those independently run little gems that you find, rather than chains. However for the more fussy eater or if you are going with children, then sometimes going to a larger chain restaurant is more convenient. Overall, I hope this has helped make your mind up in choosing a lovely Italian restaurant to visit whilst in this city.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Ritchie Hughie