Editor’s Picks: Favourite Places in York


Charis Horsley catches up with the Nouse editors about their favourite places to spend time in the city.

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Image by Mike B

By Charis Horsley

Whether it’s a day visit out to a coffee shop or a great night out, York holds a plethora of hidden gems to discover. Aside from the degree, many of you may have chosen York for its historical city, well known for its charm and beauty. To help you start to get to know York, our editors have shared their own personal favourites and recommendations:

We all enjoy a proper cup of coffee and piece of cake every now and then, so when there’s a Costa or Starbucks in almost every city now, why not try York’s abundance of independent cafes.

Katy tells of exactly this:
“I love a trip to Kings Manor library to study. It’s a very aesthetically pleasing building to work in! Combined with a trip beforehand to Brew & Brownie’s bakeshop to pick up a drink and a snack makes for a great study trip!”
Katy, MUSE Editor

Hannah also praises Brew and Brownie for an excellent study spot, commenting that,
“York has the BEST cafes going. I would always recommend Brew and Brownie for a nice study spot with amazing coffee, or the Vanilla Cafe for a great view of the minister”
Hannah, Deputy Editor

With Brew and Brownie residing at the far end of town, it is seated directly opposite Museum Gardens, a location Alanah enjoys:
“I love visiting York Minster gardens, especially in summer. Grab a drink and cake from Brew and Brownie (the lotus biscuit rocky road is preferable) and then head to the gardens. After you've soaked up the sun, exit onto the river walk for some beautiful views of the Ouse and city.”
Alanah, News Editor

For another pretty setting outside, Meg recommends the Treasurer's House:
“One of my favourite places has to be the Treasurer’s House, the garden is beautiful and very peaceful. There’s also a cafe and you can tour the inside of the house.”
Meg, Travel Editor

For a further glimpse at York’s history, a favourite of mine is Gatehouse Coffee, a gem of a cafe hidden away inside the city-wall gate with a terrace view over York.

For something providing a bit more than Coffee, why not try Drift-In or York’s Cat Cafe:
 “My favourite place to visit in York is the cafe Drift-In. It is a perfect place to get a great coffee with friends or on your own. Sometimes I even like to study there for a change of scenery. Not to mention, it's dog-friendly so for those of you missing pets at home Drift-In provides your daily dose of canine serotonin.”
Emily, Arts Editor

For day-time activities other than grabbing a Coffee, York’s art gallery provides many free exhibitions and is a great place to fuel your more culture-loving side.  Equally the Minster is well worth a look inside at some point (entry is free for students).

If you fancy a classic trip to the cinema, Lawrence our Film & TV editor suggests places to watch the latest films:
“The Vue at Clifton Moor, although it's a bit out of the way, the tickets are cheap, and the seats are crazy good. Every screen has recliners, allowing you to watch a film in the most comfortable way possible.”
Lawrence, Film & TV Editor

Breaking into the later hours of the day, Dora suggests a location providing a little bit of both.
“The Fossgate Social. It’s got great cozy cafe vibes during the day which can be good for meet ups and studying, and it does AMAZING brownies! Also not too pricy. Then at night their house cocktails are great and reasonably priced and the music is always good. Also lots of comfy booths on the two floors, and Fossgate is one of York’s most popular streets.”
Dora, Deputy Arts Editor

Echoing Dora’s opinion, Ethan also recommends:
“The Fossgate Social. Friendly bar staff, great tap options and very reasonable cocktails.”
Ethan, Science Editor

Gracie also suggests something which does a bit of everything,
“SPARK, I love going out with friends there, it has amazing food, great vibes and we are now friends with the security guy cos he takes all our photos for us at the end of the night!”
Gracie, Editor

Let's take a look at York’s night-life. Everyone has a slightly different preference when it comes to night-time activities. Freshers for many will be an obscene amount of clubbing the night away yet for many a few drinks at the pub will hit the sweet spot. And what’s more, York is said to have a pub for every day of the year, so you won’t be short of new pubs to visit.

For cocktails we have a variety of recommendations:
"If you're looking for the best spot for drinks or a get together, Dusk is the go to place with great 2-4-1 cocktail deals.”
Hannah, Deputy Editor

I would second this opinion, Dusk is a fantastic all-rounder bar, the cocktails are strong yet tasty, with a creative list of names. I aim to have made my way through the menu by the end of my time at York. With dim lighting and an array of fairy-lights it is a perfect date setting. Its location also makes it a good place for pres to clubbing.

Moving onto a night out, York has a handful of clubs. Many enjoy a bar crawl, hitting the the sweet spots which Jack points out:
“Salvos, Stone Roses, Lowther, Flares, the list goes on…”
Jack, Sport Editor
Lowther in particular provides strong drinks at reasonable prices, making it the perfect place to precede clubbing.

My favourite club has to be Ziggy's (a controversial opinion for some), the R&B trumps Flares anyday.

If clubbing isn’t quite your scene, the many pubs will be. Some personal favourites of mine: the phoenix on a Wednesday night feels rather like stepping into the 1930s. Their Jazz night is small and intimate, with all sorts of interesting characters. The Fulford Arms is amazing for small gigs, with local and touring bands in the cosy space of their pub.

List of places mentioned and their socials:
Brew and brownie  @brewandbrownie
The Vanilla Cafe  @thevanillacafe
The Treasurer's House
Gatehouse Coffee @gatehousecoffee
Drift-In @driftinyork
Cat cafe
Art gallery @yorkartgallery
The Vue
Fossgate social @fossgatesocial
SPARK @sparkyork
Dusk @duskyork
The Phoenix @thephoenixinnyork
The Fulford Arms @thefulfordarms
Lowther @thelowther