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Cafés, coffee shops & tea gardens

Coffee Shop, Helmsley by Chris J ParkerCoffee Shop, Helmsley by Chris J Parker

There's nothing quite like a good cup of tea, the great restorative, with a nice piece of cake. Light bites and elegant afternoon teas are a speciality. Plus seek out our delightful tea gardens where you'll want to savour your brew as you soak up the views.

If latte or espressos are more your thing, head for the market towns where you'll find a range of eating places, from traditional tearooms to contemporary coffee shops.

Britain's Capital of CakeIn recognition of the myriad different types of cake in the area, the North York Moors is laying claim to the title of "Britain’s Capital of Cake"! Check out where you can enjoy these sweet treats.

Our local produce directory includes a growing list of tearooms while many of our farm shops and delis, as well as our bakeries have excellent on site cafés too, making the most of their own produce and sweet treats, so do check out those too.

The special places below have been recommended to us by the North York Moors Tourism Network, locals who have tried and tested these places many times over. 

Malton and area

Living up to Malton's Yorkshire's Food Capital label, there are plenty of suggestions here, starting with Leoni, for serious coffee lovers served up by Simon Robertson, an award winning barista (8th in the World Barista Championship no less) or Roost Coffee who hand-roast small batches of fairly sourced, high grade beans on site. Others worth hunting out are Malton Relish (try their £3 coffee and cake combo), The Deli of Malton and The Patisserie Malton whose handcrafted tantalising cakes and desserts, including legendary lemon tart, are also available with an 'eat in' option.

Not far away, feast on the jaw-dropping setting of Castle Howard, with its picturesque follies and parkland, before feasting of a different kind in their entrance courtyard which has a couple of great cafés.

Helmsley and area

The Black Swan Hotel's award-winning Tearoom serves a mind-boggling array of hand-picked estate teas (there's a menu of over twenty) alongside homemade cakes, pastries and, of course, traditional afternoon teas while Porters Coffee Shop is a very popular place year around, especially when the fire is lit on colder days. Their courtyard and rear seating area are dog friendly as is Crema Coffee House where you 'll find fruit scones served with Rachel’s homemade strawberry jam.

Mannion & Co Kitchen is the latest edition to Helmsley's cafe scene from where a fine view of Helmsley Castle can be enjoyed in their outdoor seating area, as with the nearby Castlegate Café,

The Vinehouse Café at Helmsley Walled Garden is a gem that ticks all the boxes – enjoy the fruits (and veg) of this beautiful walled garden, dating from the 1750s and renovated to include a Victorian glasshouse. They grow their own salad leaves, herbs, fruit and veg, and recycle the café waste in the garden.

A few miles away, the National Trust owned Nunnington Hall is a picturesque manor house complete with organic walled garden where you can enjoy their tea garden on the quiet banks of the river Rye, ideal for whiling away on a pleasant afternoon.

Pickering and area

For an authentic 1940s feel, Middleton Post Office Tea Parlour is a must, serving traditional afternoon teas on vintage china and Art Deco silverware, homemade cakes and bread from Roots and Fruits, the Sinnington bakery. It's also a former Yorkshire Life's Afternoon Tea of the Year award-winner.

Feast, owned by the White Swan Inn next door, sells dishes and treats lovingly prepared by the Inn's chefs, all served with great coffee. Its deli is packed with delicious locally sourced food, including Ginger Pig reared meat from nearby Levisham, quirky gifts and homeware.

Lavenders tea room and deli in Thornton le Dale has very popular outside courtyard seating overlooking the village beck and green.

Tea gardens and other special places

Only a few miles out of Helmsley, make a point of diverting off the Bilsdale road to find Hawnby, a delightful village with a great little tearoom, hot on local produce, pretty tea garden and a popular stop for cyclists. It keeps longer hours too, so somewhere to head for tea and a bit of lemon drizzle once you've walked off the hills.

Mountain bikers on the red route from Sutton Bank and Cleveland Way walkers will likely happen upon High Paradise Farm Tearoom on the edge of Boltby Forest (there's no access by car). It's open daily from March until the end of September (except Wednesdays), and then Sundays only until the end of December.

Rosedale Abbey... a walker's paradise, where cyclists like the challenge of that hill, and where you have a choice of three tearooms. Start with Graze on the Green perfect for a local sausage or bacon bap to fuel your walk, or Abbey Tearooms both in the centre of the village, then earn that next cake with a walk or bike ride to the Dale Head Farm tea garden up dale in a stunningly sited farmhouse with unbeatable views down Rosedale. 

Step off the steam train at Grosmont Station and take your pick from these three. The Geall Gallery and Artisan Café doubles up as a studio for Chris Geall's panoramic oil paintings alongside a very laid back café while Hazelwood Tea Rooms is very dog friendly with a popular tea garden where you can listen to the chugging of the trains. The Old School Coffee Shop has crafted a contemporary space with nods to the original Victorian classroom, think old school desks, as well as a mix of sofas and standard chairs. It's the little extras that make this a great find, free wi-fi and flask filling service for walkers, and complimentary dog biscuits for four legged friends in the outside canine corner. Terrific coffee and cake too.

Falling Foss Tea Garden, hidden in Sneaton Forest right next to the waterfall, features on one of our classic walks. Homemade food served in a magical location on wooden tables under canopies, it's a big hit with families, with tinkling streams for paddling and playing pooh-sticks.

A hidden gem known as the Runswick Bay Tea Garden 'pops up' once the high season takes effect. If you are lucky enough to find it you will be greeted with a warm welcome by  the owner, Anne. Her home baked, tasty treats get rave reviews. Take the short clifftop walk to Staithes to find Seadrift café, overlooking the harbour, home to excellent coffee and Staithes Coble, an apple, apricot, cinnamon and walnut cake. 

Pedal or walk the fairly flat five mile stretch of the Cinder Track from Scarborough to Cloughton to earn your cake at the old station tearoom with a delightful tea garden. Run by Steve and Barbara Hargeaves, the menu is charmingly traditional. 

Seaside bites

No visit to the North York Moors would be complete without a trip to Whitby for fish and chips where you're truly spoilt for choice. From the legendary Magpie Café to Quayside, the 2014 Fish & Chip shop of the year, Trencher's and locals' favourite Hadleys Fish Restaurant plus many more equally excellent options.

If you're looking for something different, Humble Pie ‘N’ Mash is a 16th Century shop where you can enjoy meat or vegetarian pies, prepared using natural ingredients, free range meat and organic pastry, all in front of an open fire.