Tucked away on Skeldergate, just below the Ouse Bridge, Teajuanas is easy to miss in the midst of York’s bustling foodie scene. One of the newest additions to York’s dynamic ‘indie’ community, Teajuanas is a haven of handmade and homemade goodness worth every detour. There is a strong emphasis on buying local and every piece of furniture is handmade by the talented crew behind this unique and eclectic venture… Yes, even the wallpaper is DIY.
Opened in April 2017, Teajuanas’ daily operations are mostly run by Joe, a Yorkshire-born lad of Scottish-Italian-Bengali descent. A mixologist by training, Joe is passionate about food and drink,which becomes evident as soon as one steps through the door. Diversity and quality is Teajuanas’ motto and the team is proud of their unique offer. While the very British pork pies sit alongside generous portions of Spanish tortillas, on the wall, an extensive menu of Spanish pinxtos serves as lunch menu and at the bottom of your standard coffee board you will find the unusual but delicious Brazilian pingado. Cakes are made and delivered daily by Koko, a York-based Japanese baker who also happens to be a regular customer. Eclectic? Refreshing.
In a desire to support local independents in a city where the smaller guys often have to compete with tourist giants, Teajuanas sources their coffee beans from the York Coffee Emporium and teas from Hebden Tea Company. The two coffee blends they stock have been created especially for them and the beans are ground on site.
On our visit we tried a selection of six pinxtos, which were made to order. They arrived warm and crisp with simple yet elegant toppings. Our favourite was the ‘Piquillo Pepper Jam’, a sweet and spicy pepper stuffed with feta cheese and drizzled with balsamic oil. ‘Tocino Envuelto’ – a surprising combination of dates, Parma ham and cream cheese – was a very close match. Served with a side of salad and homemade red bean dip, they are the perfect light lunch and packed full of flavour.
In Northern Spain, Txikiteo (the act of making your way from bar to bar, having a drink and a few pinxtos at each) is wildly popular. At Teajuanas however, pinxtos are best enjoyed with tea, coffee or, as we did, a cup of their Brazilian Pingado. A single shot of espresso poured over warm milk and with a shot of sugar added to the mix, Pingado is most widely drunk in Brazil, and Teajuanas is currently the only place in York offering this unique drink. Though rich and creamy, the Pingado is surprisingly refreshing and, if you ask Joe, he will happily add a second shot of coffee for added punch. Delicious.
Teajuanas is as unpretentious as it is packed with high quality food and dedicated team members.
By Camille Boulais-Pretty, York correspondent