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The Black Bull Chef-Owner Shares Her Definitive Guide to the Best Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes in the Yorkshire Dales

Nina Matsunaga

Born in Dusseldorf, Germany, to Japanese parents, Chef-owner Nina Matsunaga’s food at the Yorkshire Dales’ destination restaurant, The Black Bull is characterised by these two distinct cultures, earning it a slew of awards, including two AA Rosettes.

In her twenties, Nina discovered a burgeoning street food scene in Manchester, which fascinated her. She also met her partner, James during the trip, which prompted Nina to move to the UK and set up street food and event catering business, The Moocher with James, which rapidly took off.

In 2014 the pair made the move to Sedbergh and opened their first eatery, The Three Hares, which quickly won a host of accolades, appearing in the Good Food Guide. These days you will find Nina firmly ensconced behind the stoves in the kitchen at the Black Bull, crafting seasonal menus full of the freshest, locally sourced ingredients.


Nina and James have a simple food ethos and that is to use only the best seasonal ingredients available from the counties of Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Northumberland, Durham, Derbyshire and Cheshire.

Since opening the doors of the Black Bull in July 2018, Nina has been listed in National Geographic Traveller’s top three gourmet getaways in the world and collected an Olive Chef Award for Innovation. Nina also features in The Good Food Guide, The Good Hotel Guide, The Good Pub Guide, Hardens, has earned the Inn’s second AA rosette and collected the award for Best Pub in Cumbria and Best Pub in the North West in the National Pub & Bar Awards 2022 as well as a place in the UK’s top 50 gastropub list two years running.

Nina has also been listed among the UK’s Top 40 female chefs for 2024 by Champagne Ayala and SquareMeal, so it’s fair to say she knows her onions and every ingredient between. And she’s scoured Yorkshire Dales National Park to bring us the definitive guide to its best food and drink spots.

the black bull inn

The Black Bull Inn, 44 Main St, Sedbergh LA10 5BL



Retreat Tearoom & Bistro

retreat tearoom

The Retreat use award winning coffee from dark woods, who have a great ethos behind their product and policies.

Retreat Tearoom & Bistro, Main St, Grassington, Skipton BD23 5AA


Two Dales Bakery
two dales tearoom

Lovely fresh sourdough, sweet and savoury pastries and some cracking toasties

Two Dales Bakery, Unit 1, Reeth Dales Centre
Silver Street
North Yorkshire
DL11 6SP


Rind restaurant

Brand new restaurant in collaboration with Courtyard Dairy. It's a beautiful space with a simple menu, focusing on wood-fired pizzas with British Cheese toppings, cheeseboards and wine. Watch out for their Raclette nights, too.

Rind, Crows Nest Barn, Austwick, Lancaster LA2 8AS


Hansom Restaurant & Wine Bar
Hansom restaurant

This is a new restaurant by Ruth Hansom, who has worked at some fantastic places in the past. It’s great to see a restaurant of this quality pop up at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. It's a produce focused menu, executed really well.

Hansom restaurant & wine bar, 7-9 N End, Bedale DL8 1AF


Tan Hill Inn
Tan Hill Inn

Tan Hill for great live music, or the Craven arms to find a cosy nook to enjoy a few cask ales after a long day walking.

Tan Hill, Reeth, Richmond, Swaledale, North Yorkshire Dales DL11 6ED


The Game Cock
the game cock pub

The Game Cock is my tip. It's a French take on British pub grub, with a focus on local ingredients.

The Game Cock, The Green, Austwick, Lancaster LA2 8BB

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