The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace

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22 reviews
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£25 and under
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The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace sits within the Grade II-listed Principal York Hotel which dates back to 1878. Adjacent to York station and just a short stroll from the historic York city centre, the restaurant sources the very best seasonal ingredients, with an emphasis on local Yorkshire produce.
Restaurant favourites include rump of Nidderdale lamb with heritage carrots, mint sauce, Yorkshire ale cottage pie and their signature burger. Finish your meal with a sweet treat – a modern take on the Yorkshire Parkin is the restaurant’s signature dessert.
On Sundays, the Refectory Kitchen & Terrace serves up a traditional roast with meat from R&J Family Butchers. The chefs also create weekly specials, so you’ll find something new every week. The modern, light-flooded dining room was created in partnership with leading London restaurateur Des McDonald, with further seating available on the outdoor terrace in warmer weather.
What 22 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.7based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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23 reviews
Dined on 10 April 2019

Restaurant has no record of our OpenTable booking and said they hadn’t used OpenTable for 18 months. Told me they were full and it was my problem for using OpenTable and that I should have used a different reservation system if I wanted to eat there! Restaurant server and manager handled the situation really badly. It’s a hotel restaurant and we were staying at the hotel (2 rooms; party of 5) but at no point during checkin did anyone ask whether we wanted a table for dinner or mention that if we use OpenTable it wouldn’t be honored. Eventually—but I had to make a fuss—the hotel manager set up a table for us in the bar and we had a nice but decidedly average and overpriced meal. The servers in the bar were really good—they should teach the restaurant staff how to handle guests! All in all, don’t waste your time or money. York has better options. One day, hopefully, The Refectory will improve. Until then, stay away.

OpenTable Diner
3 reviews
Dined on 5 April 2019

The Refectory told me they don’t recognise any bookings make through OpenTable. We have to then wait over an hour for an available table. On top of that , the restaurant isn’t really worth the money. Loads of much nice places to spend your cash in York. It’s a fancy website with high prices. Don’t bother.

OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 10 February 2019

Not enough gravy by far. Main point was £50 parking ( 5 x guests). All complaining about that and bitter about it. Because of this there is no way we will come again. To be fair, we had the same problem last time we dined with you and completely forgot. If I had remembered, we would not have booked. Kind regards. Paul Blandford.

1 review
Dined on 14 December 2018

Work Christmas meal, lovely food. Not too noisy and good ambience

1 review
Dined on 1 December 2018

Really nice relaxing place.
Plenty of room in dining area.

1 review
Dined on 11 March 2018

Good food in a nice environment. Slightly expensive for the quality, but this applies only to the starters as the main dishes were excellent and would happily have paid much more for them . The only issue I have was the discretionary service charge, which i always find slightly presumptuous, despite it being a more than fair reflection of the service on offer.

7 reviews
Dined on 10 December 2017

This is a beautiful looking restaurant but it was chilly with little atmosphere. most of the staff were very polite and friendly. Apart from the starter of white onion soup which was delicious, the food was mediocre and we didn't think it was value for money.
It was a shame as we were really impressed with the look of the place.

New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 18 November 2017

We booked on Friday for a Saturday evening at 7.30. At around 2.30 on the Saturday afternoon, the restaurant called to say that they were in fact full at 7.30 that evening so they couldn’t honour the booking. We were offered a table at 6pm instead - much too early unless you’re under 17 or over 70. This is really disappointing and does make a bit of a mockery of the Opentable system - not to mention the challenge of trying to find a Saturday night table with only a few hours’ notice. On the bright side, we ended up at Khao San Road on Walmgate and the food there was delightful. So my advice is: give The Refectory a miss and get yourself some great Thai food instead.

13 reviews
Dined on 26 August 2017

While extremely convenient in relation to York Station, we had some issues with our dinner here. While the food was entirely adequate (if a little underseasoned), the service was incredibly slow. The manager comped all our drinks to make up for it, and dinner was alright, though we were incredibly hungry by the time we got our mains, so it was difficult to enjoy the meal. The food was also a bit expensive for what we were getting.

I'd be interested to give them another chance, but this visit was very disappointing.

5 reviews
Dined on 1 July 2017

It started badly and ended badly but the middle bit was fairly enjoyable ! Firstly the restaurant had no record of our booking with Open table who had sent us a confirmation e mail then sent another message after the event to say there was a problem with the booking? However, the manager made a table available so we could sit down and have a bite to eat but it was a York race day evening and busy in town so we were lucky to get away with it ! George was our waiter and he was very chatty and professional and the food arrived promptly and was what we ordered. as this was a new restaurant to us we ordered olives and bread with some water whilst we studied the menu. We then ordered two starters, two mains and a bottle of wine and the food was of a good standard but in my opinion not excellent and the surroundings pleasant but not special . The bill was spectacular for two people at £94.00, no desserts, no coffees and to be honest spoil the evening as it didn't feel like this type of spend. I don't know why hotels in York do this as local foodies we could consider their facilities more frequently when deciding where to go and eat but consistently there costs are prohibitive and in my opinion ultimately loose local business. We have regularly eaten in town centre restaurants for around sixty pounds and the food and service have been excellent so why would we pay ninety pounds at a half empty hotel ?

OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 16 April 2017

really enjoyed our Easter lunch, very good value for money and great being so close to the station and a place to relax before going on a journey.

OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 18 February 2017

We enjoyed our visit. Situated next to the station, it was very handy to meet up with friends. Staff were very friendly and helpful, although we were surprised that they had to return to the kitchen so many times to find the answers to basic questions. Food was enjoyable - especially my lemon posset - it wasn't a lemon colour, but the flavour was WOW!!

I question why we had to book in advance, as only four or five tables out of so many were occupied. As vegetarians, my wife and I found the menu quite limited.

19 reviews
Dined on 18 December 2016

The roast was excellent and good value. Service was a bit bizarre - restaurant opened late (we booked for 12), told there were no tables available despite reservation (we were seated at 12.30, but there were still tables at 2), told there wasn't melon for starter and then told a few minutes later that there was, mains came when we were still having starters, extra drinks added to the bill despite not having had them. Maybe they went on a Christmas meltdown. Overall though it was good and would recommend.

3 reviews
Dined on 16 December 2016

The meal here was just a complete shambles. The food was OK except my crab starter which was really quite awful and my wife's curried monkfish which was so small it would have only just passed as a starter. The menu stated that the monkfish was served with cous cous (not the most expensive of ingredients) when my wife asked the waiter when her cous cous would be arriving we were told it was already on the plate! There was probably less than a dessert spoonful hiding under the monkfish and all this for £21 price tag. We also ordered a roast which came without any roast potatoes, parsnips or broccoli as stated on the menu and we had to wait whilst these were prepared separately. I must say the management handled it well offering free pudding and to remove the monkfish from the bill. Although I would rather of had a really nice meal, sadly not.

45 reviews
Dined on 3 April 2016

Sunday lunch at the Refectory Kitchen was confusing and incredibly tranquil. Confusion over our orders, probably due to the number of different salmon dishes. Tranquil because we were among only three tables used in the lunch service.
Our friends were pleased with their roast beef and Yorkshire puddings. The black pudding sausage roll was interesting and I'd have that again. The custard tart was over cooked but the rhubarb excellent.
Set in the Royal York Hotel (and you need to know that for parking), this is a forgotten gem in the centre of York. Worth a visit.

51 reviews
Dined on 26 March 2016

Very good food and service all at a very reasonable price.

OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 24 March 2016

I had the lamb and my partner had venison. The food was lovely I can only fault it as I could of done with a bigger portion of meet but that is purely down to greed. Lovely dining area, really enjoyed my visit

OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 9 March 2016

Ambience dreadful. Not many people in restaurant but given small table crammed next to others. Main courses poor. lamb served with cold red cabbage. Sea bass over cooked and dry. Needed to pay an extra £7.00 for sides of veg was not appropriate
We are York locals and would not recommend eating there again. Pity because the refurbished bars etc are a real improvement but there are better places to go in York for dinner at this price.

1 review
Dined on 13 February 2016

I wanted a special eating experience for my son's 24th birthday and was not disappointed. The service was brilliant, the food was served quickly and was delicious. My husband and I had the set menu and my son had the a la carte. Everything was cooked to perfection and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. We were able to eat at five to get to a concert at the Barbican for seven.

23 reviews
Dined on 31 December 2015

We were staying in York for 4 days over New Years and had our dinner here on 31st. We had the set menu which included 3 courses, bread, tea/coffee with chocolate truffle and a glass of Champagne, which I was pleased to see served in a Coupe rather Flute Glass! The food was excellent and very good size portions, I couldn't finish my main as I had to make room for dessert! Overall it's a really lovely hotel and nice big modern restaurant. The only slight disappointment was the entertainment included in the price - rather than the singer sitting in the main room with the diners, she was in the bar next door so we didn't hear/see her until our post-dinner drink after 9pm. Would have been better to have had her perform during the dinner and create some ambience for diners in the run up to midnight on New Years. Will definitely return to the restaurant/hotel whenever we go back to York.

OpenTable Diner
19 reviews
Dined on 20 November 2015

First visit to the new Refectory and not our last. Cottage pie was stunning and cocktails best I've had in York!

6 reviews
Dined on 20 November 2015

Plans for a quick bite before getting the train home were quickly changed when we walked into The Refectory. A beautifully lit warm restaurant, modern approach with a proper hearty style menu. I opted for the York lamb whilst the wife loved her Whitby cod. Desserts were our favourites as we were recommended the Parkin and the York curd tart, both new to us and delicious. You can tell the staff are very new, and slightly nervous but really friendly and know their stuff. We ended up getting a much later train back!


The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace is rated 3.7 stars by 22 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting bookings at the moment.