There’s plenty to do on an evening in York and here are some of the best venues for a traditional pint or live music. The Market Cat is a terrific addition to York’s drinking scene – bringing with it the best views of any pub in the city. A three-storey bar on Jubbergate, its first floor looks over the stalls on Shambles Market, while the top floor has an epic vista across the rooftops to York Minster.
For many years discerning city drinkers have gathered at the House of Trembling Madness, found in a beam-lined building on Stonegate. In 2018 the local team behind that bar opened an altogether grander sister venue on Lendal. Extending over five floors in a Georgian mansion, the new Trembling Madness is all about the beer – and the food that goes with the beer. Brew York serve their own ales its Walmgate HQ. Open every day except Monday, its beer hall also serves a selection of 40 beers alongside the street food-style Born To Lose Burger Kitchen.
What makes York such a pleasurable night out is its range of independent pubs and bars. Cave du Cochon is the wine bar sister of acclaimed York restaurant Le Cochon Aveugle. With more than 60 wines from small vineyards, and 10 cheeses, it is like a little corner of France relocated to Walmgate. Pavement Vaults, a “progressive beer, smoke and barbecue canteen”, is run by local heroes the Pivovar Group, who own two more of the city’s best pubs, Pivni on Patrick Pool and the York Tap at the railway station.
You can tell that Keystones is aimed at the younger crowd. When this handsome pub, next to Monk Bar, reopened it came complete with retro gaming stations and plentiful USB points. The Gillygate, on the street of the same name, has four bars, including a whisky snug, and a fine beer garden. It also stages comedy and variety nights in its ‘shed’ behind the main building.
Tanner’s Moat, York YO1 6HU
The multi-award winning The Maltings on Tanner’s Moat is a must, for its unmatched selection of beers and home-cooked food served from the Dragon’s Pantry. At any one time, customers can choose from seven real ales or four ciders in a traditional English pub setting. Visit website
Evil Eye Lounge
42 Stonegate, York YO1 8AS
Evil Eye Lounge is a devilishly well-liked hotspot which serves bottled beers and cocktails. In 2018 it was one of two York venues to be included in a list of Britain’s 50 best cocktail bars. It also boasts the Guinness World Record for being the bar with the most varieties of gin available – more than 1,000! Visit website
Stein Bier Keller
5 Toft Green, York YO1 6JE
At Stein Bier Keller you can have the true Bavarian experience in the heart of the city, with the Barvarian decor you’ll feel like you’re in Germany itself. You can try over 60 world beers and why not try one of their famous steins of beer, if you can manage it? There is a range of other drinks including spirits and cocktails. With live Oompah bands, frauleins and frankfurters, you’re guaranteed a good night! Visit website
13 Swinegate, Court East, York YO1 8AJ
Lucia is an award-winning, must-visit Italian restaurant, hidden away in the heart of York city centre. The cosy restaurants and heated courtyards are open all day, every day for delicious al fresco dining (Vegetarian and gluten-free-friendly). Alternatively you can come and sample scrumptious world-class cocktails in the bars (open until late), the choice is yours. No need to book – just walk in. Visit website
Ye Olde Starre Inn
40 Stonegate, York YO1 8AS
Advertising its presence via a sign stretching across Stonegate is Ye Olde Starre Inn. It was here that the Royalist landlord refused to serve a pub full of Roundheads during the Civil War. But they let bygones be bygones there now. Instead their efforts go into serving fine drinks and top-notch pub grub. Visit website
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