This tiny bar truly is another of York’s hidden gems. Right in the city centre, The Nook offers a fantastic menu before 8pm and £4-8 cocktails all night. The bohemian interior makes it the most relaxed cocktail bar in town, with a sofa, candlelit tables and colourful wall murals. On Fridays there is an open mic night, where you can experience anything from abstract poetry to interesting rock covers. The Nook is always a delight.
Must try: Tom Collins
Revolution is a bar that was made for groups. With large booths and tables with barstools Revs is probably the only place in York that you can bump into multiple sports socials in one place. There is an extensive cocktail menu, and you can buy a Revs card for £4 which gives you 25% off food, 2-4-1 cocktails and a shot stick (6 shots of their flavoured vodka) for £6 on all but Saturday nights. If you are part of a society, you can ask for a society card which gets you all of this for free. Revs is always lively, fun and loud!
Must try: Pornstar Martini
Lucia’s is a sweet Italian Courtyard restaurant which transforms into a glittering bar upstairs once night falls. Very well priced, Lucia’s has a great selection of cocktails, including delicious mocktails and gigantic frozen cocktails which are a real hit and a fab alternative to ice cream on a warm day!
Must try: Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri
Dusk is a cocktail bar with a twist. It’s cosy inside and has lots of outdoor seating in the summer, but Dusk’s cocktail menu is unique. All of the cocktails are named after celebrities and the ingredients are concealed. So, you have to order a cocktail almost blindly, using your instinct which is half of the fun!
Must try: Graham Norton
Turtle Bay is a popular spot in York. It features a fantastic Jamaican inspired menu which is great value for money and always plays reggae throughout the day, turning up the volume after 10pm. Turtle Bay is also a popular pre-drinks destination, with their happy hour featuring 2-4-1 cocktails from 10-12pm. There’s always such a great atmosphere in Turtle Bay.
Must Try: Caribbean Pimms
Bora Bora has a really energetic atmosphere and can get very busy as a night goes on. It is great value for money, with all of their cocktails except those containing champagne priced at under £5. This bar is a fantastic place to drink with your friends at the weekend as they offer a wide range of pitcher versions of their cocktails.
Must try: Red Devil
Evil Eye is definitely an experience worth having. At weekends there is always a queue, but it is definitely worth the wait and paying a slightly more expensive rate for really special cocktails. Their food menu is also worth a try, taking on an Asian street food theme, as well as a really fun cocktail menu with a shots snakes and ladders feature! It is also rumoured to be Johnny Depp’s favourite bar, so it’s definitely worth a visit for a bit of star spotting and to take in the décor, a fusion of Brazil, Haiti and Morocco.
Must Try: Green Fairy
House of Trembling Madness
For a break from cocktails, or if they’re not really your thing, The House of Trembling Madness is full of character and quirkiness. Stocking every beer and lager you can imagine from across Europe in their shop, pints of rare Belgian beers and delicious ciders can be found in the very cosy bar/restaurant upstairs. With stuffed animal heads on the walls, old wooden beams and tiny tables, a night in the House of Trembling Madness is the perfect thing on a cold night.
Must Try: Their Pie. Or Platters. I know I’m supposed to recommend an alcoholic beverage but trust me on this- the food is amazing, especially accompanied by a pint.
For more on York’s vibrant pub scene, check out our 2016 Pub Guide.