Anyone familiar with ‘On Ilkley Moor Bar t’at’ might assume that Ilkley Moor is the town’s biggest draw for visitors. However, the town’s pubs and restaurants give the scenery a good run for its money. There are plenty of fantastic places to eat in Ilkley, and we can promise you you’ll be safe from exposure inside them all!
Here are six tried-and-tested places to eat in Ilkley. From Spanish to British Fusion, a visit to Ilkley guarantees you a delicious feed.
Food Type: Italian
Address: 31-33 Brook Street, Ilkley, LS29 8AE
Ilkley does class, and Ilkley does it well. Piccolino epitomises that class.
The Italian restaurant opens directly onto Brook Street. The floor-to-ceiling windows are illuminated with golden lighting at night, curating a warm, welcoming, yet elegant appeal.
Don’t just stay downstairs, though; book a table for the upstairs terrace. The terrace has a retractable roof and heaters above every table, so don’t fret about the weather impacting your dining experience. The service is attentive, and the terrace has its own fully-stocked bar. While quieter than the downstairs area, you still get all the benefits of inside dining.
I’d recommend uncorking a bottle of Merlot and indulging in a traditional Italian pizza.
The Box Tree
Food Type: French Fusion
Address: 35-37 Church Street, Ilkley, LS29 9DR
France meets Yorkshire at the decadent, stone-built Box Tree restaurant. From the stained glass windows to the manicured front garden, The Box Tree prioritises presentation before you even step over the threshold.
Inside, you can expect country details with added luxuries like hanging portraits, white tablecloths, and high-back padded dining chairs. The Box Tree serves tasting experiences, so arrive prepared for a Michelin-listed set menu.
I’d recommend The Box Tree tasting menu at £90 per person, with an optional £48 wine package. Expect eight courses that blend French techniques with fresh, Yorkshire-sourced produce.
Food Type: Spanish Tapas
Address: 3-5 Cunliffe Road, Ilkley, LS29 9DZ
For another European meets Yorkshire twist, head to La Casita. Here, just off of The Grove shopping street, you’ll find Spanish tapas dishes cooked with fresh Yorkshire produce.
Sample chorizo cooked in honey and red wine, or perhaps creamy roasted mushrooms with garlic croutons. La Casita’s menu is entirely Spanish, with English translations for dish descriptions. You can try small dishes from the appetiser, meat, fish, vegetarian, charcuterie sections.
The atmosphere is modern and quite simplistic. The colour scheme is neutral, with neatly spaced square tables and framed photographs along the walls. Think educated, Spanish detective-style or perhaps a refined European Hollywood ambiance.
Food Type: British Fusion
Address: 60 The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9PA
Seasonality, sleekness, and sophistication are all areas in which Host specialises. The restaurant surpasses the confines of British cuisine, and you can expect elements of international inspiration – hence the fusion label.
The atmosphere is cool and collected, with a classy teal colour scheme and a marble-topped bar. I’d advise approaching the menu with a tapas attitude and ordering a few dishes per person. In terms of places to eat in Ilkley, Host is great for social yet upscale dining.
The Sunday Roast is a popular weekly occasion but, if you’re visiting mid-week, sample the Tandoori marinaded cauliflower!
The Cow & Calf
Food Type: Contemporary British
Address: Hangingstone Road, Ilkley, LS29 8BT
Do you want a more British pub experience? The Cow & Calf takes a typically Ilkley twist on rustic pub dining, injecting more than a little class into the standard experience. Just over the road from the Cow and Calf rocks, the pub sits on the edge of the moors overlooking Ilkley below.
In warm weather, the alfresco seating provides stunning country views. However, for the rest of the year, we’d recommend grabbing an armchair by the open fires inside. The Cow & Calf has a sanctuary feel – toasty inside but battered by high wind and drizzle outside.
Yorkshire ambiance is rife here. I’d recommend the £13.95 Fish and Chips, with a locally brewed beer from the taps.
The Olive Branch
Food Type: Turkish
Address: 1 Crescent Terrace, Ilkley, LS29 8DE
The Olive Branch is one of my favourite places to eat in Ilkley.
The interior oozes rustic, contemporary class. There are wood features throughout the dining area, and soft blue lighting illuminates the stone-brick bar. Better still, the service is incredible. A waitress recommended I sample a traditional Turkish coffee and took her time to introduce me to the differences in the taste and its creation. The Olive Branch is a great place to embark on an enjoyable exploration of Turkish cuisine.
The restaurant’s a la carte menu is varied, with a mixture of cold, hot, savoury, and sweet dishes. However, I’d recommend trying a platter. The £15.90 Mixed Meze is particularly delicious, with halloumi cheese, falafel, and olives to try.