Yorkshire/North England

Lancashire hotpot, Yorkshire pudding and Cheshire cheese; the North of England has given us a wealth of culinary delights. In this part of the country you’ll find Britain’s curry capital and some of the freshest seafood in the country. When it comes to culinary options, it’s anything but grim up North.

Amanda

SquidBeak

Yorkshire food blogger Amanda, who helps run the blog SquidBeak, has the low down on the best places to find ethically produced eats in the North of England. Make cooking your next northern feast a breeze with one of our electric range cookers.

Discover what Yorkshire and North England has to offer

Map of Yorkshire

Where Should I Buy Everyday Essentials

Keelham Farm Shop

Keelham Farm Shop

Once a week I go to the Keelham Farm Shop in Thornton which stocks some of the best offerings Yorkshire has to offer: cheese, vegetables, eggs, pickles and conserves (I particularly love Peckish products – based in Huddersfield, their pea & mint pesto is sensational!). Keelham butcher their own meat – the lamb is a real treat. They make pies and pizzas too, you’ll struggle to find better. If peanut butter is your guilty secret, Proper Nutty (based in Dewsbury) is the king. Keelham is a family firm and the staff are well-trained and helpful, meaning you always get a warm welcome.

Brighouse and Denholme Rd, BD13 3SS

Pextenement Farm

Pextenement Farm

Pextenement Farm, which I can see from my window here on the hills, make a range of organic cheeses. Find it on the fabulous cheese stall in Todmorden Market, along with an extraordinary goat’s cheese made by Gillian Clough in just ten acres – she’s won a slew of awards for her smooth, creamy ‘Gat’ (which means ‘goat’ in Anglo Saxon).

Pextenement Farm, OL14 8RW

Blue Sky Baker

Blue Sky Baker

I buy my bread at Blue Sky Baker in Hebden Bridge – self-taught ex-builder Paul Heyhoe makes sourdough and whole wheat but his best-seller is the mighty Donker, a dark, nutty beauty (get there early, they fly off the shelf). His gingerbread and chocolate brownies are pretty good too.

Cheetham St, HX7 8EW

Where should I buy meat & poultry?

Stephen Maskill

Stephen Maskill

If I can’t get to Keelham, butcher Stephen Maskill in Hebden Bridge sells locally reared meat. The provenance of his beef and pork is chalked on a board in the shop, and his lamb comes from the family farm. His smoked bacon is an absolute must for the best bacon butty you’ll ever make. Similarly, in the Market Hall in Todmorden, Paul Stansfield’s meat is local, the provenance marked up – the pork from nearby Hole Bottom Farm is excellent and his chickens are free range.

9 Crown St,HX7 8EH

Porcus

Porcus

Porcus is a small farm business on the moors above Todmorden. Their traditional rare breed pigs are raised outdoors to the highest welfare standards, and you can tell – they produce a range of pork products using traditional methods. The artisan sausages are particularly good, full of flavour with a lovely texture, and their charcuterie is delicious too. You can buy their produce online – or if you’re in town, the Co-op in Hebden Bridge stocks it.

Height Top Barn, OL14 7JE

David Woodhead

David Woodhead

Butcher David Woodhead in Hebden Bridge sells free-range chickens (and their eggs!) – I always get my free-range Christmas turkey from him. The queue snakes around the square – but it’s worth it. The artisan sausages are particularly good, full of flavour with a lovely texture, and their charcuterie is delicious too. You can buy their produce online – or if you’re in town, the Co-op in Hebden Bridge stocks it.

12 St George's Square, HX7 8ET

Staal Smokehouse

Staal Smokehouse

Further afield in Malton, Yorkshire’s ‘foodie capital’, find a huge (over 100 stalls) and varied market the 2nd Saturday in the month. If I’m passing through, the Staal Smokehouse will always get my attention. Justin Staal gave up a perfectly good high-flying job that took him around the world to build a smokehouse with his wife at her family farm in East Yorkshire and now they smoke pretty much anything; fish, poultry – and oil.

The Cottage, Riston Grange, HU11 5SA

Where should I buy fresh fish?

At one time there were a dozen fish stalls at Halifax’s Borough Market – now there are only three or four, but the fish is beautifully fresh. It comes from the east and west coast – Whitby and Fleetwood – and now and again you’ll score wild Scottish salmon. Last Saturday I bought a chunk of pearly Whitby cod for dinner – I just roasted it in a pan with shallots and tiny tomatoes with a splash of wine…delicious.

Paul’s fish stall

Paul’s fish stall

A cheery chap called Paul has been running a weekly fish stall at Todmorden and Hebden Bridge markets since 1985. He makes an eye-watering early trip to Fleetwood on the west coast and brings back cod and haddock, but if he’s bought hake, it’s superb. It’s worth getting up early for this king of fish – and you must, it disappears pronto. As I’m standing in the queue, bleary with sleep at 8am on a Saturday morning, I just remind myself that Paul’s been up since 3am.

Brook St, OL14 5AJ

Where should I buy fresh veg?

Holts Greengrocers

Holts Greengrocers

Holts Greengrocers in Hebden Bridge is a long-established family business and the quality of their offer is always excellent. As much as they can, they source locally and organically, meaning you’ll often find soil on the spuds and odd-shaped carrots – just how it should be. Local growers bring their bounty here to sell. I particularly like the earthy, sweet beets and kohlrabi. And, whoever supplies chard in armfuls, thank you.

6 Bridge Gate, HX7 8EX

Valley Organics

Valley Organics

All the fresh produce at Valley Organics (a workers’ co-operative) is either certified organic or from local growers whose growing methods are approved. A nice added touch is that they also keep a range of foods to suit special diets - gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy free, vegan. You’ll find many products from local producers - honey, preserves, hummus, mushrooms, green veg and salads, cheeses, soaps. In season, choose from a wide selection of UK grown apples. If you can’t get to the shop, their electric van will deliver organic veg and fruit boxes, that’s almost zero air miles!

31 Market St, HX7 6EU

Incredible Edible

Incredible Edible

In Todmorden, we have the extraordinary Incredible Edible. Run by an army of volunteers, it’s a concept which is gaining national appeal. The idea is that veg and leaves are grown in public spaces, and they’re free to pick and use, so you’ll find lettuce in a tub by the market, herbs along the canal towpath and at the Health Centre, the Apothecary Garden, full of medicinal plants. You’ll also find them at the railway station, in the car park and on the westbound platform. I never have to buy mint, sage and parsley. Such a great idea!

Todmorden

Where are the best farmers markets?

Hebden Bridge Farmers Market

Hebden Bridge Farmers Market

Hebden Bridge hosts a very popular, regular farmer’s market (1st, 2nd and 3rd Sunday of each month) where you’ll find a fabulous range of goods, including fruit, vegetables, preserves, cheese and meat – all locally produced. My favourite stall is one run by The Bakehouse, Calderdale’s co-operative bakery; their range of produce is wide – and it’s all delicious. The slow fermented white loaf uses organic stoneground flour and the Mytholmroyd Maslin, a sensational sourdough, is a naturally leavened loaf using a mix of organic white, spelt & rye flours. I can’t leave without buying bagels, cinnamon twists, cardamom buns and oh, go on then, just a slice of focaccia while I’m wandering around. Bakehouse champion the Real Bread Campaign – it’s the real deal.

On the east coast above Whitby, Saltburn (2nd Saturday in the month) hosts a small but perfectly formed market – find fish, a brilliant herb stand, and the cake stall to end all cake stalls. Resist if you can; you’re a better man than me.

Hebden Bridge, HX7 8AQ

Where are the best restaurants & cafés?

Gimbals

Gimbals

Gimbals in Sowerby Bridge has been keeping eaters happy for over 20 years, but they’ve never rested on their laurels. They move with the times but are never vogue – it’s just great food, beautifully presented – and the warmth of the welcome is legendary. Simon & Janet Baker champion local produce with tireless integrity; fish comes from the east coast, meat from the butcher down the road and much else is foraged! Fruit, leaves, herbs all come from the family gardens in season. My favourite dish? It’s a tough one, but I never tire of tempura Scarborough Woof with tartar sauce, pea shoot, red onion and samphire relish. Yum.

76 Wharf St, HX6 2AF

Prashad

Prashad

Bobby and Minal Patel serve up fabulous food from their native Gujerat – if you’ve never tasted this aromatic, subtle cuisine you’ve a treat in store. To call it curry is to do it a disservice! Vegetarian dishes spiced with cardamom, cumin and Minal’s homemade garam masala are delicately presented in their light, airy restaurant – and you can match the food with flavoured beers (I particularly like the coconut). The Patel’s source their ingredients from Tomlinson’s Farm Shop just along the way in Pudsey and Bradford Market; herbs come from Alison Dodd’s extraordinary, award-winning Herbs Unlimited in Thirsk – there simply isn’t a variety they haven’t grown. My favourite dish is the Masala Dosa (crispy pancake with potato and coconut curry) – a whisper-thin, greaseless pancake filled with divinely aromatic curry and served with Kopru – a mustard seed – curry leaf and coconut dip.

137 Whitehall Rd E, BD11 1AT

The White Rabbit

The White Rabbit

The White Rabbit in Todmorden is a marvel. A ‘hidden gem’. As the name might suggest, it’s rather magical, in an Alice in Wonderland kind of way. A fine dining restaurant, Robyn and Dave Gledhill source locally and carefully, using Porcus Rare Breed pork and Dexter beef from Melling's farm. Organic Pextenement cheese comes from a mile away and milk is delivered daily by farmer Davey Day. Fish comes from Fleetwood via Paul’s fish van, and they use many foraged items from their garden, family farm & local area, including cornflowers, wild garlic, nasturtiums, elderberry and rosehip.

1 White Hart Fold, OL14 7BD

Where are the best breweries?

The Little Valley Brewery

The Little Valley Brewery

Founded in 2005, The Little Valley Brewery make a full range of beers including Ginger Pale Ale, made with hand peeled fresh ginger, Vanilla Porter, which uses fresh vanilla pods, and Withens Pale Ale. All Little Valley's beers are brewed with 100% organic agricultural ingredients and the brewery is approved by both the Soil Association and the Vegan Society. The Ginger Pale Ale also has accreditation from the Fairtrade Foundation.

Turkey Lodge Farm, HX7 5TT

Bridestones Brewing

Bridestones Brewing

Bridestones Brewing, a craft brewery is situated on the family’s farm in Blackshawhead in the shadows of the local bouldering outcrop ‘The Bridestones’ from which the brewery takes its name. Their brewery tap is the New Delight Inn, a handsome, remote old stone pub on the moors two miles from the brewery. Sitting by the fire with a pint of Pennine Gold in the winter as the weather withers outside is one of the pure joys in life.

Smithy Farm, HX7 7JB

Vocation

Vocation

A new kid on the block is the uber-cool microbrewery Vocation. They specialise in modern beers with bold and distinctive flavours using American hops and fruity flavours including peach, grapefruit and mango. Their beers have distinctive names too: Heart & Soul, Divide & Conquer, Bread & Butter and Pride & Joy. Check out Vocation & Co, their stripped-back, scandi-inspired bar and kitchen in the centre of Hebden Bridge.

10 New Road, HX7 8AD

Masons Yorkshire Gin

Masons Yorkshire Gin

Gin is having a moment! Masons Yorkshire Gin is based in Bedale; husband and wife team Karl & Catherine Mason wanted to create a drink that celebrated their Yorkshire roots. With that in mind, they use Harrogate spring water and their Yorkshire Tea gin, with a Fever Tree tonic and twist of lime, making for an experience you don’t want to be without.

Aiskew, Bedale DL8 1BZ

World Top Brewery

World Top Brewery

Beer producer Tom Mellor at Wold Top Brewery has branched into distilling whisky. Locally and sustainably produced, all the barley and spring water he uses is grown and sourced on the family farm – and the same ingredients that go into the Great Taste Award-winning beers. For the first time, single malt whisky is being produced in the heart of the Yorkshire Wolds, an area considered to be the country’s capital of one of whisky’s primary ingredients - malting barley. A large proportion of all malting barley produced in England is done so in the Wolds, making the village of Hunmanby an ideal location from which to launch Spirit of Yorkshire.

Hunmanby Grange, YO25 3HS

Where are the best independent coffee shops?

Dark Woods Roasters

Dark Woods Roasters

Corinne Kielty’s hunt for a decent cuppa drove her to relinquish her book-keeping career and take a barista course at Dark Woods Roasters in Slaithwaite in the Holme Valley. It was only a matter of time before she secured a tiny corner of the magnificent Victorian Borough Market in Halifax, and Top Door Espresso was born. She uses Dark Woods, of course, and her flat white is a thing of great beauty, particularly with a salted caramel brownie from the Leeds-based Tarte & Berry sisters.

Chuck a brick in quirky Hebden Bridge and you’ll hit a café, but a ten-minute walk out of town will bring you to the train station and a rather fine little waiting room caff run by two lovely women who know their way around a hissing Gaggia machine. Cakes are homemade and they run up a mean sausage butty too. An hour can easily go by with the paper and a wistful hankering for a Brief Encounter.

Dark Woods Coffee, HD7 6LS

Elder

Elder

Elder at the magnificently renovated Piece Hall in Halifax serves up an excellent flat white using beans from Casa Espresso in Bradford; they hand roast small batches of high-quality Arabica from ethical & sustainable coffee green importers. While you’re in Elder, treat yourself to brunch; chef Justin Thomas’s baked eggs are fabulous.

Halifax, HX1 1RE

This region is known for…

Here we have some of the finest ingredients in the land, making it no coincidence that we’ve got more Michelin stars than anywhere in the UK (outside London). The Wakefield ‘Rhubarb Triangle’ is known the world over, and of course, our Yorkshire puddings (eaten savoury or sweet) need no introduction.

Yorkshire Curd Tart

Yorkshire Curd Tart

Yorkshire Curd Tart was a happy by-product of the cheese-making process. From a time when most smallholders would keep a cow and produce a few small cheeses, inevitably there would be some leftover curds and in true Yorkshire style, ‘waste not, want not’. For the uninitiated, it’s a short pastry case filled with cheese curd, currants and egg, with a tiny pinch of cinnamon. Best eaten cold with a slick of double cream.

In Sheffield, Henderson’s Relish (Hendos) has grown a well-deserved reputation for adding spice to an otherwise dull dish. Think of it as a South Yorkshire Worcestershire sauce. But better.

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