18 of the Best Pubs in York

York is full of pubs to enjoy, with real ales, tasty food, open fires and cosy atmospheres. Here are 18 of the best pubs in York.

From drinks on riverside terraces to pints in traditional pubs dating back centuries. York has many pubs to suit all tastes and personalities. Here are 18 of the best pubs in York.

1. The Drawing Board 

The Drawing Board pub in York

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This quirky and fun bar is a quiet and relaxing place during the day, with a splendid daytime menu. During the evening it is an atmospheric place to enjoy a beer from their selection of world beers or a cocktail made by their master bartenders. The unique aspect of this bar is that the clientele has been encouraged to sketch and doodle on its walls. If you get peckish try one of their handmade pizzas, you won't regret it. Find more information here.

2. Evil Eye Lounge

Evil Eye Bar & Restaurant in York

Another pub seeking to create an unusual interior is the Evil Eye Lounge, York’s cobbled streets seem a world away when you gaze at its paintings and carvings. With the colourful textiles reminiscent of South East Asia. The Bar offers an extensive range of drinks, try some of the staff’s creations if you're feeling adventurous. With a huge range to choose from, there's something to suit every palate.

3. The Eagle & Child

The Eagle & Child pub in York

The Eagle and Child is a Grade II listed timber-framed structure dating back to 1640. There are three floors in all with great views of York Minster from upstairs’ windows. The Pub has an excellent selection of guest beers and serves food throughout the day. They feature plenty of spaces perfect for groups and private hire options too. The Rolling Stones once hung out in this bar and you can find their signatures in lipstick still on the wall.

4. Guy Fawkes Inn

Guy Fawkes Inn

Close to York Minster, on the spot where Guy Fawkes was born, this Grade II-listed building was built in the 18th Century. It has retained the character of an old building with exposed, wooden beams, the original timber floors and authentic gas lamps. It offers a fine collection of cask ales and other draught beers, including local products. With great pub food, it’s a relaxing place to spend a few hours. Find more information here.

5. The Black Swan Inn

The Black Swan Inn in York

This former 16th Century Coach House is reputed to be haunted yet that does not seem to bother the diners in the two rooms at the front nor the drinkers in the rear bar. It is a very atmospheric place with dark wood, low ceilings and an open fire in the Winter. There are always good ales on tap and although it is a little more expensive than some others in the City, the Black Swann Inn is so worth a visit.

6. Ye Olde Starre Inne

Ye Olde Starre Inne

The oldest continuously licensed premises in York, the Inne has wood-panelled rooms and a copper-topped bar. Outside you will find more drinking rooms; beer “yards” not beer gardens. The choice of beers is excellent if you can find the place; down a small alleyway off Stonegate. Find more information here.

7. Pivni

Pivni is a popular pub in the heart of York

This pub offers beers from all over the world, 70 or so in all, but it does not forget local brews. Among Pivni’s awards, it is included in the 2014 CAMRA Good Beer Guide. It is a 16th Century building on two floors with a small downstairs bar and two larger rooms above. They also have a carefully curated selection of premium cider, wine and spirits from across the globe. Find more information here.

8. The Golden Ball

The Golden Ball

The Golden Ball is a typical cosy pub with a lovely outdoor seating space. There is regular live entertainment in the evening and plenty of choice on the drinks menu. It is slightly out of the centre but not too far a walk, it attracts locals more than visitors to York which is a nice change from a tourist hotspot.

9. The Phoenix Inn

The Phoenix Inn is one of the best pubs in York

The Phoenix Inn is close to the City Walls and another place that tourists rarely find. It exudes a pleasant atmosphere and sells competitively priced drinks. Live entertainment includes jazz three times a week and its proximity to the Barbican makes it ideal for a drink before or after a show. In the Winter they have a log fire to warm up beside and a suntrap beer garden to enjoy in the Summer.

10. The Hop

The Hop is one of the most popular York pubs

The Hop is a stunning venue, the front section of the Hop looks like a 19th Century bathhouse but carry on and it opens up into a large hall area with bare brick walls and benched seating. They serve plenty of award-winning real ales, craft beers, and artisan gin. They host live music throughout the week. If you get peckish they serve up delicious pizza too. 

11. The Blue Bell

The Blue Bell is the smallest pub in York

The Blue Bell is York's smallest and arguably prettiest pub. Its last renovation was a century ago, retaining its Edwardian charm. On entering you may think you have stepped back in time! This traditional pub has five permanent beers to choose from and guest ales that are carefully picked throughout the year. Cask ale, not your thing? They also have a wonderful wine list, and great rum or gin selections.

12. The Fossgate Social

The Fossgate Social

Fossgate is one of the trendiest places to eat and drink in York. The interior has exposed piping, bare brick and a bar built from timber that has been reclaimed. Drinks include craft beers like Brooklyn Lager served in American-style 16oz glasses and classic cocktails. By day, you can drop in for coffee and pastries.

13. The Habit

The Habit

You can find The Habit on Goodramgate, in the heart of York. They offer a vast range of craft ales, lagers and IPA’s and a selection of over 30 whiskeys and 30 gins. Every evening except Tuesdays they feature live music. A terrace roof space is used in the good weather; a chance to see wonderful views of the Minster.

14. The Fat Badger 

The Fat Badger

The Fat Badger features the best beer garden in York! This traditional pub serves real ales and quirky gins whilst boasting stunning views of the city. Fancy staying the night? They also have 12 ensuite bedrooms full of charm. 

15. Duke of York

The Duke of York

This two-floor pub is a weekend favourite because of its atmosphere and its rotating selection of craft beers. You can have a small taste from a mini jug before you buy. A good wine list and selection of spirits add to the pub’s appeal. Homemade snacks include pork scratchings, pickled eggs, hazelnut brittle and mixed olives. Find more information here.

16. The Postern Gate

The Postern Gate

This Wetherspoons pub is close to the medieval tower Fishergate Postern built around 1500. It sells a range of locally brewed beers from Yorkshire micro-breweries at prices that have established the Wetherspoons brand nationwide for food and drink.

17. The Cross Keys 

The Cross Keys pub in York

This pub is great for the cask ale and craft beer enthusiasts out there as they often rotate the different ales they showcase. This pub is in a great location and has fantastic beers as well as a range of gins and spirits and the prices are competitive. Just so you know, if you visit on a Sunday, they do a great roast dinner. Find more information here.

18. Valhalla 

Valhalla is a popular York pub

Think beer, ale, mead, great coffee and rock music all combined. Valhalla is a Free House where you will find unique and interesting choices. They feature 8 keg taps and 4 cask hand pulls, boasting sours to stouts, lagers to lambics and ciders to cask ales. While you're visiting here why not try mead? Then you'll feel like a true Viking! Find more information here.

Who doesn't love a good pub pitstop? Hopefully, you have found one you would love to try from our list of the best pubs in York. Let us know if you have visited any from this list in the comments.

* Photos are taken from respective pubs, Facebook, Instagram and website accounts.

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