York's ultimate drinking guide


Nouse reveals the best drinking hot spots in town

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Image by Ed Halford

By Lucy Cooper and Ed Halford

Guy Fawkes Inn

This pub is a hidden gem located adjacent to York Minster. As well as claiming to be the birthplace of Guy Fawkes, it has a very secretive and vintage beer garden. It is an ideal space for some ‘Me’ time and has a broad selection of ales and lagers. It is by no means a cheap go-to, but its alcohol and food are some of the finest in York.

25 High Petergate, York YO1 7HP


Right by the river and close to the clubs, this is the perfect place for those last minute 2-4-1 pitchers before you start queuing for Salvos or Kuda. The best reason to consider Yates is that they make their Sex on the Beach and Pornstar Martini cocktails very alcoholic. Their £1 pints on a Wednesday are also difficult to resist. The beer garden is spacious enough for large gatherings, and the inside views of the river Ouse provide a picturesque destination for that awkward first date.

Church Ln, York YO1 9QT


If the river has not started to overflow and the sun is shining, then Lowther is the place to go! The pandemic saw Lowther start to expand its outdoor seating area, and if you fancy sitting right next to the river and soaking up the sun then you will love its takeaway pints. If you have a few too many, there are normally a few lifeguards facing York’s drinking hotspot. Be sure to grab a £1 Lowther NUS card, as this student card will give you 20 percent off all drinks. Be warned though, the queues can be long.

8 Cumberland St, York YO1 9SW

Evil Eye

If you are looking for the ultimate cocktail destination and cannot be bothered to book in advance, this is where you must go. Despite sounding like a bar from the James Bond franchise, there is an oddly rustic and boutique-like feeling to this place. The best time to explore their cocktail menu is Sunday to Thursday between 17:00 and 21:00, as this is when they run their cocktails and shots deals.

42 Stonegate, York YO1 8AS

Charles XII

Within walking distance of campus and close to the bus stops into town, this pub is a student favourite. You can down a Carlsberg for as little as £3.05 or a Carling for £3.55 if you are looking to ‘push the boat out’. Its beer towers are dream worthy and you can order two for one cocktails for only £7.99. Live premier league and champions league games are also televised here, as well as pub quizzes.

Main St, Heslington, York YO10 5EA

Stone Roses Bar

Imagine you have walked into a bar with classic tunes and triple vodka loaded drinks. Stones is not far from Kuda, but to call it a pit-stop bar would be an insult to what the place has to offer. If you are starting to get bored of the repetitive UK Top 40 in the clubs then you can start playing a few of your own ‘bangers’ by making use of the bar’s jukebox. A drink to tick off your bucket list is a ‘blue shit’, which is a comforting combination of vodka, more vodka and blue fizz.

4 King St, York YO1 9SP

Turtle Bay

This place offers the best bottomless brunch. It’s a dangerous place to find because bottomless brunch is offered every day, with the last sitting at 3pm. Sadly it is not open until 10am so it’s not a feasible hangover cure before those 9 am seminars. On most evenings, you will need to book in advance as it gets busy very quickly. The most appropriate time to visit is during their Happy Hours slot and this usually starts at 7pm.

11 Little Stonegate, York YO1 8AX

The Postern Gate, and The Punch Bowl

No drinking guide would be complete without reference to the two JD Wetherspoons in York. Credit to Tim Martin where it's due, both places offer affordable prices and drinks suited to those desperate times when you didn’t drink enough in ‘pres’ before clubbing. The cocktails can taste too watered down at times so making your way through shots could be your best bet. The Punch Bowl Spoons is closest to the station and more ideal as a drinking spot on route to Leeds, while the Postern Gate Spoons is closer to the centre of town and on the bus route.

90 Piccadilly, York YO1 9N, 5-9 Blossom St, York YO24 1AU

Golden Ball

Located away from the centre of York and in a quiet street, this is a pub which can be easily missed, and many students are oblivious to it. Its beer garden is very cosy and dog friendly. It’s a unique drinking spot due to its vast array of local beers on offer and is just the place you want to visit with friends after that painful Friday seminar.

2 Cromwell Rd, Bishophill, York YO1 6DU


No cocktail bar crawl is complete without a trip to Dusk. With each drink named after a famous person, you can rely on their 2 for £10 cocktail deal to do the job. With low lighting, and full to the brim with students, Dusk always has a bustling vibe, and the drinks are some of the most famed in York. You can’t make it through your degree without trying a Milkybar Kid (a white chocolate milky drink) although we’d recommend avoiding it on those heavier nights… Situated next door to Drawing Board, a bar which is open until 4am and whose cocktails are just £4, Dusk is a necessary pitstop for any night out.
8 New St, York, YO1 8RA