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Freshers' Special Guide to York

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Bored of the old Charles-Rumours-Ziggys routine? Skip straight to the best of what York has to offer with the Nouse guide to eating, drinking and partying on the cheap.


A Bite To Eat

1. Mr £wich

Stall, The Shambles

From his tiny premises in the Shambles, the enigmatic Mr. Poundwich has been selling his memorably-priced and delicious wares for as long as anyone can remember. Valiantly taking the fight to the Credit Crunch, his sandwiches have never changed in price, making them the best deal in the city. Ideal for the student on a budget.

2. Declare


No one would dispute the fact that England does the best sandwiches in Europe, possibly the world. Declare takes such an art to a new level. Expect to choose from deli counter products such as marinated artichokes and freshly sliced salami, put it in thick, seedy brown bread, and enjoy. All at a reasonable price.

3. Betty's

6-8 St. Helen's Square, 46 Stonegate

Bettys main premises in York were designed by the same designer of the interior of the Queen Mary liner in 1936. The food, a mix of wholesome Yorkshire and uber-wholesome Swiss fayre, is absolutely delicious, if a little pricey, but its enormous selection of teas and coffees are world-beating quality for Starbucks prices. There is usually a queue for the main Bettys on Parliament street, but its second premises, Little Bettys, on Stonegate, is usually easier to get in to.

4. City Screen Cafe

13-17 Coney Street

The cafe at York's famous independent cinema is one of the most relaxing places in York. From its deep, comfortable leather armchairs and sofas under the sloping ceiling of the screen above, you can sip coffee and nibble home-made sandwiches watching the boats go up and down the river Ouse.

5. Copper Kettle

40 Huby Court

Situated just inside the city walls, this solid home-style British greasy spoon cafe is the best of its kind in the city. Full English Breakfasts and nice hot cups of tea are the standard hangover-cures, but their omelettes are well worth a try too.

6. Naught E Food

23 Blake Street

The Naught E Food Company is quite simply the best sandwich place in York. Their Mexican Chicken is to die for, as is their Crayfish and Rocket. Add to that daily home-made soups and made-to-order hot toasties, this place is seriously worth popping in to if you're looking for lunch in a hurry.

Brown's of Heslington


Not strictly in town, this is the closest gourmet sandwich place to campus.

Dining Out

7. The Garden of India

5 Fawcett Street

Every student's favourite Indian, the University's most visited local is still a solid choice. No set menu but generally reasonable prices and decent, standard Indian fare. Delivers to campus, too, so you can order in and have a few beers.

8. La Tasca

21 Back Swinegate

With a friendly, lively atmosphere. Tapas dishes include calamari, patatas bravas, chicken croquettes, and fried chorizo. You can even get a San Miguel as part of the deal.

Menu Rapido: Any 3 tapas from a fixed menu, plus a drink, for £7.95. Your food is free if it does not come within 15 minutes.
Available Monday to Friday until 5pm.

9. Biltmore Bar & Grill


Serving classical food in a stylish setting, start your meal with anything from a selection of cured meats to prawn cocktail salads, and follow it up with steak and chips, homemade lasagne, salmon fishcakes and more.

Winter set menu: Two courses for £9.95.
Available 12pm to 3pm, Tuesday to Friday.

10. Toto's

1 Fawcett Street

Situated between campus and the city centre, Toto's is famous for its good food and quick service. Try their pizzas and pastas.

Happy hour: All pizza and pasta dishes only £4.50. Available 5pm - 7pm, Monday to Friday.

11. Olive Tree

10 Tower Street

With a beautiful view of Clifford's Tower, the Olive Tree specialises in providing good food, fast. Think chorizo and crayfish risotto or chicken parfait on toast followed by lamb stews or salmon fillets with a good glass of wine to seal the deal.

Set Menu: Two courses for £11.65. Available 12pm - 2pm, and 5.30pm - 10pm, Sunday to Thursday.

Watering Hole

12. Evil Eye Lounge

42 Stonegate

Reputedly Jonny Depp's favourite bar in the world. A vast range of cocktails and spirits are complimented by an excellent Thai fusion food menu. Cool boudoir-style decor, including big beds to share, internet points, a liquor shop and cutting-edge music complete the picture. Their notorious Hellshot, which featured several different types of absinthe, was banned by York Council a few years ago.

13. Dusk

8 New Street

A long-time student favourite due to its 2-4-1 cocktails at night and good solid food for reasonable prices during the day. The tables are sticky, the drinks are cheap and tasty. Never a poor choice for the start of a big night

14. Bobo Lobo

5 Little Stonegate

Mojitos and capirinhas are the foundation of this Latin-American bar/nightclub, though during the day it doubles as a cafe specialising in enchiladas, chimichangas and burritos. A great alternative to the standard York night out.

15. The Victoria Hotel

1 Heslington Road

Situated half-way between campus and town, this friendly local pub works out as one of the cheapest for spirits and mixers- a double gin and tonic will leave you with change from £3. They also serve Old Rosie, an incredibly strong locally-brewed apple cider that will knock your head off.

16. The Blue Bell

53 Fossgate

Easy to miss, the Blue Bell is great for a quick drink. Its cosy, comfortable rooms and old-world feel are belied by a very modern kitchen; The Blue bell boasts an excellent tapas menu.

17. The Sea Horse

4 Fawcett Street

As conveniently-located as The Victoria, this Samuel Smith's pub is the place for beer-drinkers on a budget; a pint of Alpine Lager costs just £1.70. Comfortingly old-man-pub in decor, this is just the place for a few quiet pints.

18. The Maltings

Tanners' Moat (Lendal Bridge)

This cosy pub by the river oozes atmoshere. The real ale and malt whisky enthusiast's mecca, its selection is outstanding, as is it's authentic gammon-and-pineapple grub and occasional live music.

19. The Old Starre Inn

40 Stonegate

York's oldest licensed establishment, founded in 1644, Old Starre is perfect for those who like an air of history with their pint. A central location and one of the latest licenses of any bar in York - 2AM most nights - mean that you can drink and chat late into the night.

20. City Screen Basement

13-17 Coney Street

York City Screen's Basement bar is one of York's best venues for stand-up comedy and little, intimate music performances. With something on nearly every night, and a regular comedy night every Sunday, this is a guaranteed hit. Check their listings to find a night that grabs your attention.

21. Vudu Lounge

37-39 Swinegate

With a bar staff whose flaring abilities are matched only by their cocktail mixing skills, the somewhat pricy Vudu Lounge may not be the first port of call for the average student night out, but for an occasional indulgence Vudu is hard to beat.

22. Pivo

6 Patrick Pool

European-style beer hall with a wide selection of brews on offer, including delicious fruit beers. Each drink is served in a different glass.

23. Alley Cats

Coffee Yard

Situated in its very own Coffee Yard in an alleyway just off Stonegate, this quaint little place has a good selection of wines and also serves sanwiches.

The Essentials

23. The Health Services

What do you do when it's the weekend and you need a doctor? Or if you want to get yourself checked for something... down there? The NHS is fantastic in York, and the walk-in centre on Monkgate is open 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week. The GUM clinic is adjoined and open for drop-in (no appointment necessary) at various times throughout the week.


Collapsing or not, banks are useful things. York city centre has every bank you could possibly desire, even a Northern Rock. There is also a Natwest, an HSBC, a Barclays and Llyods TSB in Heslington village.

24. Post Offices

As well as the main post office in town (Lendal), there is also a dinkier and handier one in Heslington Village.


Once you realise that Costcutter is a rip off, you may want to venture elsewhere to shop for food and booze. There is a Sainsbury's on the other side of the barracks, and a large Aldi and Iceland further down Main St.


All nights can be found on Facebook.


Escape the monotony of York. Big, campus popular events with Electro, Techno, D'n'B, Hip Hop and anything else.

Popaganda, Up the Racket and TRASHED!

Popaganda. Every Saturday night: Cool pop, guilty pleasures, indie anthems, oh, and the odd cheesy chart smash. Up The Racket is Yorks longest running Indie, Electro, Rock 'n' Roll anything goes alternative disko. TRASHED! is a 360 degree whats-what of party songs, new and old.

25. Chinese Laundry

Our name was inspired by from the only venue we could find (The Willow: a chinese buffet restaraunt with a sound system). We try to mix the accessible with the underground..

Herbal Mafia

A collective of musically minded individuals providing quality music.


Purveyors of some of the finest music events on campus and in York. Whether you're into drum and bass, dubstep, breaks or just want something a little different, Breakz provides you with a night of pure musical indulgence.


Home of Drum'n'Bass in York. Catch us every last Friday of the month in the back room of The Junction.

Electric Boutique

We will be bringing you the dirtiest and filthiest names in the world of Electro.


The one and only Reddread playing a lovely selection of reggae and ABD sorting out the hip hop with various different djs appearing every month.


York based Hip Hop and Trip Hop night, taking place at The Junction on the first Friday of every month.

26. The Duchess and Fibbers

York's main live music venues.

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3 Comment

YorkAnon Posted on Tuesday 7 Jul 2020

Correction: Mr PSandwich


YorkAnon Posted on Tuesday 7 Jul 2020

And half the items in the list aren't numbered... editorial fail.


Chris Northwood Posted on Tuesday 7 Jul 2020

The items that aren't numbered are because they aren't on the map (e.g., Browns of Heslington, Costcutters, etc).


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