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Top 5 Places To Study in York

Isabelle Hall shares her top 5 places to study around York, serving vegan-friendly food and coffee.

There are only so many library hours I can hack. Sometimes being around a slightly busy environment can help you switch on more than a silent library desk. These are my top 5 places to study around York (which serve vegan-friendly food/coffee).

1. Bison Coffee House

Photo Credit: Joe Walker (Bison Coffee House)

Located on Heslington Road (halfway between Uni of York and the town centre) Bison serves a range of bagels and drinks to take away or sit in. Behind the deli counter is a cosy old school coffee shop, with lit candles on each table and plants hanging in every window. Bison is the quietest on this list, but perfect for concentration and focus. Being out of the house and sitting at a desk can prevent you (and/or your mind) from wandering away from your work. Perfect bagels, amazing coffee and friendly staff there is literally nothing to fault.

Bison's Vegan Options;

- Plant milk for hot drinks: Oat

- Vegan Cheese, Avocado, Tomato and Rocket Bagel £3.80

- Falafel, Hummus, Tomato and Rocket Bagel £3.80

- Vegan Chicken, Avocado, Rocket and Vegan Mayo Bagel £3.80

- Vegan Club (with Vegan Chicken, Vegan Cheese, Vegan Mayo, Rocket and Tomato) Bagel £3.80

- Vegan Cheese and Tomato Toastie £3.40

- Vegan Somosas £1.60

Instagram: @bisonyork

 2. Fossgate Social

Photo Credit: Isabelle Hall

Located unsurprisingly on Fossgate, this coffee shop has a bustling but humble vibe. The garden area is dreamy, perfect in the summer with their homemade ice tea. The inside, is woodwork but bright, an upstairs area that feels like a relaxed library with plush sofas. You're in just the right place if you're a coffee snob - I recommend their oat flat white. Open 9 am until midnight Fossgate Social is definitely a library alternative go to for me if its past 6 pm.

Fossgate Social's Vegan Options;

- Plant milk for hot drinks: Oat, Soya & Almond

- Full Veggie Breakfast (ask for Vegan version) £8.40

- American Style Pancakes with Apple, Cinnamon and Dairy-Free Vanilla Custard £5

- Soup of the Day £4

- Smashed Avocado, Lime, Chilli & Coriander Open Sourdough Sandwich £7.50

Instagram: @fossgatesocial


3. Coffee Culture

Photo Credit: Isabelle Hall

Not far from the Minster, Coffee Culture is slap bang in the middle of town. Which is surprising due to the nature of the shop; with the majority of seating on the second and third floor the seating in the narrow building is snug and quiet - an amazing bay window on the second floor is the perfect spot to work under natural sunlight. Staff are interesting people of York and create a relaxed space to work in town. One thing to be aware of is there is no wifi here! I usually come with downloaded PDFs or reading to do, but this is not the place for online based work!

Coffee Culture's Vegan options;

- Plant milk for hot drinks: Oat or Soya

- Veggie Breakfast (ask for Vegan version) £7.50

- Hummus, Sundried Tomato, Olives Spinach and Rocket Ciabatta Sandwich (ask for without goats cheese) £4.95

- Avocado Smash, Toasted Sourdough, Tomato, Fresh Mint, Dried Chilli and Rocket (ask for without goats cheese) £5.95

- Veggie Sausage Butty (ask for Vegan spread) £4.50

- Toasted Sourdough (ask what spreads they have) £2.95

Instagram: @coffeeculture41

 4. Waterstone's Coffee Shop

Photo Credit: Isabelle Hall

This is the perfect place to work - always warm and a little busy and located on the second floor of the bookshop tucked around the corner. Plenty of tables you won't ever have to wait to take a seat but don't be alarmed they're not crammed in! In terms of Vegan food there is very little, so if you want to eat while you work this may not be the ideal spot. If you just need a hot drink to aid you I'd recommend Waterstones.

Waterstone's Vegan options;

- Plant milk for hot drinks: Oat or Soya

- Leek and Potato Soup £3.90

Instagram: @cafewyork

5. Filmore & Union


Photo Credit:  Isabelle Hall

A more sleek and modern setting, Filmore & Union is on Low Petergate right in the centre of town. This is definitely your best option if you're looking to study AND eat. Cream and beige walls create a light environment, wooden tables with minimal cafe clutter let you spread your books/papers out as needed. This is the more expensive of the coffee shops I like to work in, so I usually save it as a treat for finishing work for a big deadline or after a super productive day where I actually managed to put my phone down and put words on paper.

Filmore & Union's Vegan options;

- Plant milk for hot drinks: Oat, Soya, Almond and Coconut

- Vegan English Breakfast £9

- Smashed Avocado on Rye Toast, Tumeric Tomatoes, Mushroom, Spinach and Asparagus £9

- Soup £6.50

- Jackfruit Pie with Winter Vegetables and Brown Miso topped with Sweet Potato and Toasted Almonds £11

- 'Veatballs' on Courgetti with Almond 'Parmesan' £9.50

- Sweet Potato and Lentil Burger with Sweet Potato Wedges £12

- Bagel with Homemade Hummus, Spinach, Roasted Courgette, Aubergine, Butternut Squash and Caramelised Onions £8.50

- Vegan Smoked Cashew Pate with Lemon Flatbreads and Kumquat Marmalade (£ set menu)

- Vegan Sides: Sweet Potato Wedges, Tamari and Chilli Broccoli, Green Herb Quinoa Salad and Cajun Potatoes (£4 each)

- Vegan Peanut butter Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce (£ set menu)

- Baked Grapefruit with Soya Vanilla Yoghurt and Coconut Sugar (£ set menu)

- Vegan Chocolate Orange Brownie with Apricots, Pistachio and Hemp Protein £4.25

- Vegan Matcha and Blueberry Muffin £4.25

Instagram: @filmoreandunion


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