The historic, Roman city of York is home to over 365 pubs and bars – that’s one for every day of the year, making it a perfect destination for the pub-friendly traveller. Whether it’s a modern, chic cocktail experience you’re after, or simply somewhere cosy to sup at some local ale, York has some fantastic pubs and bars and here are some of our favourites…
If you’re looking for a venue with variety, The Hop is a great place to start. This Victorian-esque pub feels like two venues in one – the first an authentic, old fashioned hostelry, with huge ceilings, tiled floors and a big mahogany bar, serving up the finest local and craft beers and prosecco on tap to happy punters. The second half of the venue is different; a short walk to the back reveals a stage and restaurant area, where you can watch the chef’s spinning their signature pizzas in the open kitchen and listen to live music. Whichever side of The Hop you choose, you’re bound to have a great night.
Photo credit: The Hop
If you like New York style cocktail bars, you’ll love the Fossgate Social. With modern interiors, exposed brickwork, bare wood floorboards and industrial lighting, it’s one of the city’s more ‘hipster’ establishments. With a classic cocktail list offering firm favourites and a whiskey shelf jam-packed with some of the best single-malt and boutique spirits, Fossgate Social has something for everyone. If you’re a fan of American beer, then this bar has some of the best Boston lager and American pale ale in York, and they even serve it in classic 16 oz. beer glasses. If you’re lucky enough to visit in the day time, then you can try Fossgate Social’s legendary coffee and taste some their delicious pastries and cakes whilst you’re at it.
Photo credit: Fossgate Social
Sotano is THE place to visit in York if you like your cocktails, and since opening in 2012, this vintage-style speakeasy joint has gained a deserved reputation as one of the city’s best bars. With its classic, low-light, subterranean interior, you’ll feel like Sotano is one of the best kept secrets in York. The drinks list features a whole range of classic favourites, from Martinis to Negronis and much, much more. The bartenders clearly know their trade and watching them put your drinks together is worth the price alone, but be prepared, this bar fills up quickly and it may take a while to get your order. Whatever your reason for visiting York, take a trip to Sotano for a vintage cocktail experience.
Photo credit: Sotano
Pivni isn’t just any craft beer pub – with more than 70 different beers, lagers and ales available Pivni without a doubt offers the largest selection of world beers in York. They’ve even won awards for their beer – just check out the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and see what they have to say. With cosy, 16th century interiors, this pub is a great place to stop and spend some time savouring something you’ve never tried before whilst soaking in a bit of local atmosphere. The layout of the building is unusual, with a downstairs bar and two further rooms upstairs, but the drinks selection will quickly make up for it. If you’re a beer lover, then you’ll not want to miss your chance to visit.
Photo credit: Pivni
Stein Bier Keller
As the name might suggest, Stein Bier Keller offers York’s premier Bavarian beer hall experience. Since opening in 2014, the German-owned and run Stein Bier Keller has quickly become one of the city’s go-to spots for a post-work or evening pint. Visitors can expect all the usual beer hall classics – long communal wooden tables, huge steins filled with foaming Bavarian lager as well as the obligatory sausage and sauerkraut food offering. With nine beers available on tap at any given time, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to what to drink – it’s not all about draught either, there’s fridges full of all kinds of special brews to sample.
Photo credit: Stein Bier Keller
The Duke of York
One of the city’s favourite pubs, the Duke of York is a great place to stop off if you’re a fan of your craft beer. Offering a large selection of brews, the bar staff will even offer you tasters of everything on tap, served in miniature beer mugs. It’s not all about the beer though, the Duke of York has a fantastic wine list which would impress any wine-buff, and offers some great cocktails and homemade snacks too. Be forewarned, this pub quickly fills up on Friday nights and weekends, so make sure to pop in early if you want a table.
Photo credit: The Duke of York
Evil Eye Bar & Restaurant
The Evil Eye Bar & Restaurant is certainly one of York’s most unusually themed drinking establishments. A quick trip down to Stonegate will bring you to this bar come time capsule, where some fantastically inventive cocktails are served against a backdrop of 1990s nostalgia. The walls of the Evil Eye Bar & Restaurant are plastered with posters from famous grunge acts, like Nirvana, Offspring and other 90s classics and the soundtrack follows suit. If you’re looking for a unique drinking experience in York then this is certainly it, you can even relax in the Moroccan-style hang-out room upstairs, where you can sit back and admire the décor with your favourite cocktail.
Photo credit: Evil Eye Bar & Restaurant
The Guy Fawkes Inn
Within a short walk from York’s stunning medieval cathedral, the Guy Fawkes Inn offers weary travellers the opportunity to enjoy an authentic old-fashioned pub experience. With everything you’d expect from a pub that’s Grade-II listed, including big exposed wooden beams, brass and leather interiors and even gas lamps, this is the perfect pub for a Sunday afternoon or winter’s evening. Serving up a whole menu of classic pub dishes, including the eponymous Yorkshire Pudding, as well as a bar full of local ales, it’s easy to see why the Guy Fawkes Inn has such a great reputation. If you’re looking for a real piece of York history, then this is the pub for you.
Photo credit: Guy Fawkes Inn