Whether you’re looking for somewhere to wet your whistle after a day out shopping, or fancy day drinking, York is the perfect city to enjoy either. The best bars in York cater for a range of occasions, creating dazzling cocktails and serving up refreshing beers that’ll certainly hit the spot after a day in the cobbled city.
York bars can take you all over the world, from New York City speakeasies to Parisian-style cafes and even underground dive bars – York has it all, and we’re here to give you the lowdown on the city’s very best. Without further ado…
Known for its cocktails, this York bar was a favourite of ours back in the uni days. We remember sinking a few Donkeyoties as part of its 2-4-1 deals, which are all night Monday to Thursday and until 10pm on weekends.
Found just off Coney Street, expect low ceilings and other quirks that come with the old-style buildings in York.
Alongside cocktails they also sell craft beers, wines and a range of food options, our favourite being their BBQ-sharing platters. During the day, you can enjoy Artisan coffee and a quiet place to pass the time.
As day turns to night the tunes get louder and the vibes get cooler, making it one of the more lively bars in York to party the night away. Find out more here. Dusk, 8 New St, York YO1 8RA.
Self-proclaimed ‘York’s second coolest bar’, Fossgate Social serves up artisan coffee, craft beer and a range of cocktails on York’s coolest street of the same name: Fossgate.
Independent and proud, the interior of the bar has a stripped-back industrial vibe that screams “New York City bar scene”, while its quaint, cosy bench seating feel provides the perfect place to enjoy one of its craft ales from great breweries, including the businesses very own Ice Cream Factory brewery.
We love the cosy beer garden at the back which feels like you’ve stepped into a secret garden. Have a chat with friends and make some new ones over cocktails created by the bar’s talented staff.
Whether it’s a first date or a catch-up with mates, this place has got The Yorkshireman’s seal of approval. Find out more here. Fossgate Social, 25 Fossgate, York, YO1 9TA.
Found amongst the labyrinth of cobbled streets in the shadow of the Minster, 1331 is a great spot for a date night with cocktails, with its quaint, snug feel and quality home-cooked meals. But don’t think that means it’s a snooze fest on the weekends. This snug bar turns into a lively late-night bar with beers, spirits wines and more.
Spread over two floors, it’s a great little spot day or night. We love the feel of the inside, but with the aesthetic of York’s “ye old” feel outside, the terrace is a fun little spot to sit and set the world to rights with friends and a bit of top-quality booze. Find out more here. 1331, 9, 13 Grape Ln, York YO1 7HU.
Serving artisan beer in a 16th-century, half-timbered townhouse in the heart of historic York, you can enjoy a beer at Pivni – just off the famous Little Shambles, not far from The York Ghost Merchant.
Over 13 years, the stunning three-story spot has carefully curated a selection of amazing premium cider, wine, spirits and beer from across the globe – so if you’re looking for a decent pint, we’re pretty positive you’ll find one here.
Along with 50+ bottles and cans of world beers, you can enjoy five rotating cask ale lines and 13 keg lines. Cosy up under wooden beams, crooked windows (which look straight out of Diagon Alley) and wind down over candlelight in one of the best bars in York. Find out more here. Pivni, 6 Patrick Pool York, YO1 8BB.
Enjoy tapas underground in this laid-back, intimate spot that sits off the famous Stonegate in the heart of York.
Serving up unrivalled Spanish wine, an ever-growing list of one-of-a-kind gins, classic cocktails and plenty of beers, guests can settle into the bar’s Mediterranean atmosphere, alongside an array of delicious small plates inspired by Spain.
Sotano translates to basement, which is, of course, pretty fitting for the underground bar. It opens until 1:30am, too, so you can party underground until the early hours of the morning knocking back wines, gins and ales. And that’s why we like it so much. Find out more here. Sotano, 1 Little Stonegate, York, YO1 8AX.
6. Cosy Club
Housed inside York’s first purpose-built cinema on the popular Fossgate, Cosy Club opened back in 2017 and is an architecturally enjoyable building that’s pleasing to the eyes before you even step inside.
As you step inside you can enjoy a decadent space that just screams class whilst sending you back in time. Order a classic cocktail from the bar and take in the velvet curtains, chandeliers dangling from the ceiling and the dim lights that give the place a classy ambience.
Even from the outside with its amphitheatre-style entrance, the Cosy Club makes its mark as one of the best bars in York to enjoy a few bevvies, whether out in York for day drinks, a quiet meal and drinks with family or on a night out with friends. Find out more here. Cosy Club, 19-22 Fossgate, York YO1 9TA.
7. Evil Eye
Apparently Johnny Depp’s favourite watering hole, Evil Eye, which is hidden on York’s oldest street, is one of York’s most popular cocktail bars.
The unassuming place lets the cocktails do the talking. From classics to Evil Eye specials, you won’t find a cocktail this place can’t make. The intimate bar of Stonegate has a cool dive bar feel that’s laid-back throughout the day for a chilled drink, before turning into a lively buzzing bar where more often than not, you’ll have to queue to get in due to its popularity.
From a classic French Martini, to an Old Fashioned and everything in between, Evil Eye cocktail bar is a must-visit on your next visit to York. Find out more here. Evil Eye, 42 Stonegate, York YO1 8AS
8. BoBo LoBo
When we think of Bobo Lobo, we think of stairs. If you’re planning on using the toilet here, prepare for a few flights of stairs before having the most rewarding wee of a lifetime – but of course, it’s all part of the fun.
Home to the best mojito in town, BoBo LoBo is another of York’s many, fantastic cocktail bars – boasting a Latin theme inside, a large conservatory space that becomes a dance floor on an evening, and a brilliant list of drinks.
If that’s not what takes your fancy, you can head up to the rooftop and enjoy a shisha experience on their terrace. It is a must for late-night revellers looking for great cocktails and other spirits to enjoy whilst they while away the night hours. The quirky cocktail bar is one of York’s busiest, and most definitely one of the best bars in York. Find out more here. Bobo Lobo, 5 Little Stonegate, York YO1 8AX.
Another brilliant independent restaurant & bar set in York city centre, Kennedy’s Bar & Restaurant offers up amazing cocktails and live DJs in a stylish backdrop just a stone’s throw from the Minster.
For over 20 years it has been a popular dwelling for locals, visitors to the city and after-work drinkers.
The food is great and the simple decor is relaxed and cosy – just two elements that have helped it become one of the longest-running independent bars in York. Find out more here. Kennedy’s Bar & Restaurant, 1 Little Stonegate, York YO1 8AX.
10. Revolution York
This contemporary, well-loved bar sits alongside the beautiful River Ouse just off York’s popular Coney Street. It’s known for its 2-4-1 cocktails and its huge party area that makes it a popular place to visit, especially if you’re looking for a decent place to day drink with mates in York.
Guests can enjoy their unique cocktails whilst taking in fantastic scenic views in their beautiful beer garden and terrace, while making use of the huge bar’s two floors – offering various vibes for punters to enjoy.
This one’s the place where you’ll want to dance all night. Find out more here. Revolution York, Coney St, York YO1 9NA.
We’ve all heard of the craft beer pioneers Brewdog, who were one of the first breweries to start the craft ale craze, but did you know they also have a string of their own bars across the UK?
Found near Micklegate Bar, Brewdog in York serves up all your favourite Brewdog beers in a relaxed bar environment. From Hazy Jane and Elvis Juice to the original Punk IPA, if you’re a craft ale fan – there’s plenty to try.
If that wasn’t all, the bar also serves up a fantastic menu of pizza, too, with tons of different toppings to choose from to accompany your pint. Find out more here. Brewdog, 130-134 Micklegate, York YO1 6JX.
12. The Botanist
A famed bar chain known for its secret garden-themed bars, The Botanist venues are decorated with antiques and trinkets that hang from the walls. But it’s not just the bar aesthetics that fit the secret garden theme. Its cocktails are crafted using unusual concoctions, too, with floral flavours and botanical twists to each and every drink.
The Botanist is also renowned for its genius hanging kebabs, too, which get a sweet revamp every February especially for Pancake Day.
It may be a chain, but it’s made its stamp on York as one of the best cocktail bars in York city centre to try on your next trip to York. Find out more here. The Botanist, 15-19 Stonegate, York YO1 8ZW.
Found on the popular Swinegate in York city centre, The Biltmore is located inside aa historic converted church, and takes inspiration from New York bars where urban chic is rife.
It’s enjoyed success in York for the last 10 years, and has long reigned as a great spot for after-work drinks during the week, before turning into the perfect party place on weekends.
Its central bar is a striking centrepiece, and its bar staff really know their way around a cocktail, so you can enjoy a little taste of something special on your next trip to York. Find out more here. 29 Swinegate, York YO1 8AZ.
14. 1906 Bar
An intimate bar and whisky lounge found inside The Grand, 1906 is that little something special for those looking for a more reserved place to enjoy a tipple (or two).
Enjoy a range of cocktails created by expert bartenders, including classic cocktails and an array of signature creations, alongside some of the best wines and champagnes in the city.
If that wasn’t enough already, the decor is truly stunning, with plush velvets, swish leathers and nods to art deco glamour. Find out more here. The 1906, The Grand, Station Rise, York YO1 6GD.
Another one of York’s top haunts, The Drawing Board has been through a few reincarnations over the years, but even still, it’s kept its rep as one of the best bars in York city centre.
A real day-to-night venue, The Drawing Board is a relaxed spot to grab a cuppa during the day and a bit of cake, but later on, in the evening, guests can get stuck into great craft beers, cocktails and party vibes. Find out more here. The Drawing Board, 10, 10a New St, York YO1 8RA.
There’s something special about Impossible Wonderbar and Tea Rooms – and it’s not just the decor.
Located in the old Terry’s chocolate orange building on St Helen’s Square, the cocktail bar and restaurant leans into the Grade II listed building’s heritage, adding delicious nods to Terry’s through both its drink and food menus.
Taking a different approach to sister bar Impossible MCR, Impossible York has transformed the iconic Terry’s building into a stunningly opulent cocktail bar, restaurant and tearoom – with a stage for performances bringing the building back to life. Find out more here. Impossible Wonderbar & Tearoom, 3 St. Helen’s Square, York YO1 8QN.
17. Sora Sky Bar
Situating itself on top of one of the city’s most gorgeous hotels, Sora Sky Bar is one of the most stylish bars in York – not only offering up stunning views of the Minster that you can’t find elsewhere, but great cocktails and even better food.
The menu is made up of beautiful Pan-Asian sharing plates, while drinks-wise, guests can expect plenty of classics and old favourites making up the menu.
We’d recommend visiting this place for the views alone! Find out more here. Sora, 2 Rougier St, York YO90 1UU.
Located on Little Stonegate, Manahatta is a New York-inspired cocktail bar that is set across three floors.
A popular Yorkshire chain, the spot is well-loved for its bottomless brunch offering throughout the day, but transforms into a fun and lively bar in the evening that’s perfect for groups of friends.
Find out more here. Manahatta, 3 Little Stonegate, York YO1 8AX.
19. Dyls Cafe & Bar
Found riverside on Skeldergate Bridge, Dyls is found within the old bridge motor house by the river, and serves up the best craft beer and cocktails that the city has to offer.
It’s one of York’s newer cocktail bars, but has made a name for itself despite that. Guests can climb up to the hexagonal tower room and enjoy the views out over York city centre – a pretty unique offering inside a slice of York history.
Find out more here. Dyls Café & Bar, Skeldergate Bridge, York, YO1 9WJ