Visiting the York City Centre vegetarian hotspot: Goji Cafe


Grace Clift (she/her) gives us a run down on her experience at the vegetarian Goji Cafe in York

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Image by Image credit: Grace Clift

By Grace Clift

Goji Cafe is a vegetarian cafe and deli in central York, which has been selling cakes, sal-ads, soups and more for over 10 years. In the top 100 of 571 restaurants in York on TripAdvisor, I knew that I had to test out the food, and see if it lived up to expectations. We ordered two main meals and two drinks, and left the restaurant with lots to say. Keep reading to see if Goji Cafe is the next student hotspot for a meal out!

The first main meal we ordered was the Goji Hot Dog, described on the menu as a‘large tofu hotdog in a baguette with ketchup,gherkins, onions, whole grain mustard and salad garnish. It was £9.95, and came with a side salad. It tasted like a proper, American hot dog – not trying to be fancy or add too many extras.The baguette worked in place of the hot dog bun because it was soft, and the fillings were well thought out and traditional. It was worth it for the cost, and was a filling meal.

The second main meal we tried was the Salad Platter, which was three salads of your choosing from their daily options, with beetroot garnish. The salads we chose were the freshmint tabbouleh, middle eastern aubergine in a yoghurt and sumac dressing, and curried cauliflower, spinach, sweet potato and cashew salad. It was £11.95. The first thing I noticed was the strong display; each salad was connected on the plate by a beetroot garnish. However, the portion was quite small for the price,and wasn’t as filling as the hot dog.The salads were outstanding – the tabbouleh was light and refreshing, the aubergine perfectly soft, and the curry dressing not too thick. If you have a smaller appetite but want something with brilliant quality and variety, this is the perfect choice.

We tried two drinks at Goji Cafe; the Goji Tea and the Rooibos Gingerbread Tea. The Goji Tea was the winner of the two – including goji berries, strawberries, blackberries and apple, it was a refreshing, light tea that wasn’t too overpowering. At £3.10, it seemed worth it for the price,and was perfect when paired with a heavier meal, like the Goji Hot Dog. It tasted like a regular, well made tea, with a fruity aftertaste.The second drink we tried was the Rooibos Gingerbread Tea, which had rooibos, honeybush tea, orange and spices in it. It was £3.25 a pot, as were all of their ‘Wellness Tea’ selection, and it seemed like the quantity was worth it for the price. The citrus and the spices were particularly notable, and it wasn’t too strong or sweet. For a light, citrusy tea, this is a great option.

In terms of the cafe in general, the staff are friendly and there was quick service time. The physical environment itself feels independent and welcoming, with local art on the walls and a cosy upstairs room. There’s a small courtyard outside that would be a great place for a summer meal, and it was good value at around £13 a head. The food itself felt nutritionally dense and very summery, with strong variety for those with smaller or larger appetites. Favourites were the Goji Hot Dog and the Goji Tea, both of which were clearly made with consideration to how each flavour would complement the rest.This is a great place for students to bring parents or guardians for visits, to show them the independent and cosy feel of York’s food and drink scene. It’s also great for a meal out if you’re willing to spend that little bit more for great quality. Overall, the environment was friendly and the food was consistently high quality. I would recommend this restaurant wholeheartedly, not only for students but for any visitors of York.