York is full of hidden foody gems; little deli’s, café’s, shops and bakeries that often go unnoticed amongst the supermarket giants and chain restaurants. The One&Other directory will help you find some of York’s best independent and local food retailers, offer insider’s tips, and introduce you to some of the people who champion good food and local produce in the city we live in.
At the top of the Shambles lies Via Vecchia. Whilst its red painted sign gives little clue as to what lies within, this tiny artisan bakery is a thing of legend, open only until every beautiful handmade loaf has been sold. And this doesn’t take long; venture down after lunch and you will almost definitely find its doors closed.
The man behind the bread is Alistair, who opened the shop in 1992, beginning almost a decade of dedicated bread making after experimenting with some pizza dough given to him by a friend, and chef at Ristaurante Bari (further up the Shambles).
There is a beautiful simplicity to the shop, one can always be sure to find something new to try, and take away a loaf of bread that will be both delicious, and entirely authentic. No preservatives, no nasties, just wonderful fresh ingredients. From olive-studded focaccia, to fresh cinnamon and raisin bagels, and little miniature roll versions of some of their breads, their morning counter is always brimming with a whole array of tempting rustic loaves.
My favourite has always been the roasted red onion; dark, sweet, and delicious alone or cut into strips to dip into some humous. If you work in the city centre, pop in one morning on your way to the office, or if not, get up early on Saturday and make a pilgrimage – your efforts will be more than rewarded with this incredible bread.