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The history of this ancient walled city can be traced through the Jorvik Viking Centre, York Minster (the second-largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe), its narrow ‘snickelways’ and the Shambles, a medieval street lined with shops, boutiques and tearooms. Chain cafés and restaurants may pander to the casual tourist, but good food is at York’s heart: every September, the UK’s biggest food festival takes over the market places and public squares, proudly displaying Yorkshire cheeses, locally produced meat, fruit and vegetables, seafood from the east coast, and beer. York is proud of the quality and quantity of its independent cafes, tearooms and restaurants – as the queues outside that famous Yorkshire institution, Betty’s Tea Rooms, testify. The general trend of restaurants in York is towards an informal style of eating, from the casual Mediterranean flavour of de’Clare Café to J Baker’s Bistro Moderne, and Melton’s, another enduring York institution.
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