The Naked Deli review: The new healthy eating haven that’s opened in York

A new food outlet has opened its doors to diners in York, promising fresh and healthy meals that can be eaten ‘guilt-free’.

Chain The Naked Deli has branches all across Newcastle but opened its first store in Yorkshire earlier this month.

On the menu, you can find a variety of gluten and dairy-free options as well as vegetarian and vegan dishes.

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They offer a range of juices, superfood salads, sandwiches, naked bowls and wraps so we decided to head to their branch in Parliament Street, right next to M&S, to try their food.

The store gives off a very casual and relaxed atmosphere and the staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming.

The new store in Parliament Street, York
The new store in Parliament Street, York

My friend and I immediately decided that we would try one of their naked bowls. You can choose between a number of proteins such as chargrilled chicken, sweet and sticky Korean beef and Tamari Maple salmon.

For vegetarians or vegans there is the option to go for harissa and chickpea “meatballs” or gochujang tempeh.

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I opted for the sweet and sticky Korean beef with spinach and sweet potato saag and Tamari black rice with peas and corn.

My friend decided to try the salmon alongside crispy roast sweet potatoes and the tomato and basil puttanesca salad.

We also ordered a Cajun halloumi wrap to share and two of their ‘clean treats’ for dessert.

The 'clean treats': a pistachio brownie and a 'snickers' bar
The ‘clean treats’: a pistachio brownie and a ‘snickers’ bar

If you are in a rush but looking for a healthy dining option, this place is probably perfect for you as the food is put together really quickly.

Because we had time, we decided to grab a table downstairs which gave us a lovely view of York’s city centre.

It was a cold and rainy day when we visited The Naked Deli, so the sweet and sticky Korean beef had an incredibly comforting stew-like quality.

The meat was tender and juicy and each bite was bursting with flavour. It really complemented the crisp Tamari rice with peas and corn.

I’ve never had spinach and sweet potato saag before, so this was lovely to try. The potatoes were perfect little cubes of sweetness with earthy undertones and were great for mopping up any excess sauce.

When I attempted to try some of my friend’s salmon, it literally fell apart on my fork, that’s how tender it was.

The fish was cooked to perfection and retained all of it’s juiciness. The rich flavours of the sauce it was cooked in really gave it that extra “oomph”.

The sweet and sticky Korean beef with Tamari rice and spinach and sweet potato saag
The sweet and sticky Korean beef with Tamari rice and spinach and sweet potato saag

The roast sweet potatoes my friend chose as a side very wonderfully crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. I did not try the salad, but she said it was a nice, albeit slightly underwhelming, addition to the meal.

The portion sizes were very generous, so I was already quite full after my naked bowl. As I mentioned, we also ordered one of the wraps to share – it earned me a skeptical look from my friend when I suggested it.

She said it was not normally a menu item she would go for (which earned her a bewildered look from me), but she was in for a surprise.

As it turned out, the wrap was her absolute favourite part of the meal.

Packed with grilled halloumi, smashed avocado, cabbage, rice and hot sauce, this wrap was worth every penny.

There is just something about the buttery and nutty flavours of an avocado that complement the salty and chewy halloumi cheese.

The vegetables added some lovely texture together with a bit of warmth from the harissa sauce.

Half of the halloumi wrap
Half of the halloumi wrap

The two desserts – a brownie and a “snickers” bar – we got for £5 altogether were quite nice, although I think I prefer the more traditional and a lot less healthy versions of those treats.

The chocolate on the brownie was smooth and rich and I really enjoyed it but it’s generally not something you will want a whole lot of. I think it would be a great office treat that you can nibble on throughout the day.

Overall, I will definitely be returning to The Naked Deli.

Half of the halloumi wrap
So good, I have to show you twice!

I just love the concept of getting healthy food quickly and it will be a nice change from the cheese and onion sandwiches I usually gobble up while standing at the kitchen counter (don’t get me wrong, I will still be getting them, just maybe not as frequently).

The bill

  • Korean Beef – £7.45
  • Tamari Maple Salmon – £8.45
  • Cajun Halloumi Wrap – £6.45
  • Pistachio Brownie – £2.75
  • Naked Snickers – £2.75

Total: £27.35

The Naked Deli, 39 Parliament Street, York, YO1 8RU.

Open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 6pm and 9am to 5pm on Sundays.

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