Owl About Us

The Rattle Owl is an independent 42 seat casual dining restaurant housed in a restored listed building.

We have created a seasonal menu that draws from Yorkshire’s produce. While the daytime and evening menu differ in price and content, they are closely related and underpinned by quality and value, using the best local produce and crucially ensuring most of it is used.

Our wine list has been developed to complement our menu, introducing mostly organic and smaller producer wines. We also have Owlet Food & Wine – our microshop which stocks organic wine and local beers as well as great food to take away.

We are based on one of York’s most interesting and beautiful streets. It has taken two years to renovate our 17th century building and to bring the site of the former Blakehead Bookshop and Cafe back to life. In the course of the renovations we found the remains of a Roman building in our basement. Who knew? Let’s just say we now have one of York’s most interesting wine cellars. We own the building and are proud to be using all of it – too many places in York and beyond stand empty and their upper floors underused – come on Landlords! We care about our community and being a part of bringing the street back to life.

So, what we are trying to be is ‘sensibly sustainable’. Not too worthy, just trying to do what we can and should. What that means to us is that we care about our suppliers, use up everything we can, shop local where possible - many things in the restaurant came from the great shops on Micklegate, are made from reclaimed materials, and some furniture from the Blakehead. We work with local businesses for our flowers, photography, design work etc. We recycle through St Nicks and our energy is from Ecotricity. Critically we are also a living wage employer and all staff get a share in any profits. We are child friendly - you can never be too young to appreciate good food. And our building is wheelchair accessible. Finally our charity of choice is York’s Independent Domestic Abuse Services and we will match anything raised.

And the origin of The Rattle Owl name? Well, when, unknowingly, the same random toy is bought on the same day in cities 217 miles apart there really can be no other.