York Hot Spots


With its cosy cafes and quirky bars, the city of York has a lot to offer. For those new to the city, Sophie Crump gives a run-down of the best restaurants for every occasion

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By Sophie Crump

For when the family visit: Bettys Cafe and Tearoom
Photo: Steve Harris
Photo: Steve Harris
You honestly can't live in York without visiting the famous Betty's establishment. With a beautiful interior based on the inside of the early 20th century cruise ship and famous across the UK, afternoon tea at Betty's is a must-do in the city. Our top tip is to avoid weekends, as with no reservations the queue often stretches outside right around the corner. For lunch on the go: The Shambles Kitchen Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetA great quick takeaway lunch spot which provides fresh ingredients and flavours on a simple menu, you can feel the love for good ingredients at the Shambles Kitchen. Super friendly staff, and a small bar and sofa to perch on, The Shambles Kitchen do what they do to perfection. At around the same price as your chain sandwich, this place is a must for delicious wraps and pulled pork sandwiches or healthy smoothies. For vegans and vegetarians: Bicis Y Mas Not just a trustworthy spot to fix your bicycles, Bicis Y Mas is a great little vegan and vegetarian cafe. This place is actually located in the bike shop Bicis Y Mas on Walmgate as you head into the centre of town. With a hipster feel to the shop, this is a great little spot for a delicious and filling veggy lunch with friends, as you admire their beautiful old-school bikes and accessories. For the hungover brunch: brewandbrownie Brew and Brownie Brew and Brownie have capitalised on the popularity of brunch. Known for their delicious light and fluffy pancakes, the whole menu will have you drooling, as will the selection of cakes. Brew and Brownie is the Instagrammer's dream, with teapots and flowers a-plenty. Again, no reservations allowed and the restaurant is quite small, so it's best to go on weekdays. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetFor the awkward first date: Evil Eye Lounge Potent cocktails and a dungeon-like interior set the scene for this notorious drinks spot. Break the ice of a new romance with the great selection of classic and inventive cocktails, guaranteed to pack a punch. With drinks entitled the Drunk Monk and Murder in a Hurricane, and also serving an authentic Asian menu, for locals and students alike Evil Eye is definitely worth a visit - to restore your faith that not all drinks have to taste like vodka lemonade. For a house meal: Lucia Wine Bar and Grill With a large restaurant, Lucia is perfect for big group bookings if you fancy a break from pasta and sauce with your flat. With great cocktails and a wide ranging menu, Lucia has food to satisfy even the fussiest of appetites. Located just off Swinegate, and including a nice outside terrace area with heaters and blankets, it's hard to go wrong. Also look out for deals on their website, including cocktails for as little as PS3.