The Top 14 Watering Holes in York

Updated on April 16, 2023

The Habit in York

Want a taste of the good things All the greatest pubs in York, from traditional watering holes to hip new hangouts.

York’s mediaeval inns line its cobblestone streets, giving credence to the city’s oft-repeated boast that it has more pubs than there are days in the year. Several of the bars in this city have feuds that go back generations; happily, the fighting has decreased, and while some of the most renowned have changed little from their original appearance, others have been updated to reflect modern tastes. There are several great pubs in York, and they all have something special about them. That doesn’t mean you won’t feel at home; in fact, if you’re seeking a place that’s a touch more intimate than a bar or restaurant—say, one with a fireplace and a darts league—you’ve come to the right place: the definitive York pub guide.

1. The Phoenix Inn

The Phoenix Inn

The Phoenix Inn’s beer garden is a welcome destination after a day spent seeing the city’s principal attractions, and it can be reached by following the city walls. The pub’s 18th-century interior is illuminated by candles in the winter and decorated with flowers in the summer; on Sundays, the in-house jazz band plays jazz standards and unique compositions.

2. Eagle and Child

Eagle and Child

This traditional York watering hole, constructed in 1640 and designated as a Grade II* building because to its timber frame construction, is a popular destination for tourists. It’s a spacious bar with three stories, perfect for enjoying a brew or a glass of wine with friends. Also, there is an abundance of delicious, locally sourced, home-cooked food. The bar is steeped with history. The Rolling Stones frequented this club in the 1960s, and their lipstick autographs can still be seen on the wall of the upper floor bar.

3. The Kings Arms

The Kings Arms

The Kings Arms is a local favourite and a great place to people watch on a beautiful day. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the river while sitting on the patio or the warm brick interior. This establishment is well-known for being open despite frequent flooding; in fact, it is decorated with flood marks dating back to the 19th century. Although the pub’s no-phone and no-cursing policies may sound extreme, they really provide for a very family-friendly evening if you’re in the mood for it.

4. The Blue Bell

The Blue Bell

York’s tiniest bar, The Blue Bell, prohibits groups of any size, making it ideal for a quiet conversation with a good friend. Despite its little size, the bar offers a respectable selection of brews and the atmosphere is reminiscent of a home’s living room. It’s not hard to strike up a conversation with the people sitting next to you in a bar, but if you’d rather be alone, the window seats are the way to go.

5. York Tap

York Tap
In case you arrive at the station a bit early for your train, you may have one of the 32 excellent beers on tap at this tavern. You may forget you’re in one of Yorkshire’s busiest transportation hubs if you grab a seat at the circular bar inside The York Tap and bask in the glow of the chandelier overhead. There’s also the option of taking your break at the station’s plaza, where you may enjoy the scenery and people-watch. I can’t think of a better way to kill time.

6. Walmgate Ale house

Walmgate Ale house

This pub, housed in a historic structure from the 17th century, is a fantastic location to sample a wide variety of regional brews. While the bar snacks are plentiful, the Chopping Block, a well regarded Anglo-French restaurant, is located directly above it for those who are looking for something heartier.

7. The Lamb & Lion Inn

The Lamb & Lion Inn

Within the city walls, the Lamb and Lion has a great beer garden and picture-perfect views of the Minster. This Victorian inn has a nice assortment of local beers, and the front parlour is a great refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city centre just outside. All the Sunday roasts are perfect.

8. Brew York Tap Room and Beer Hall

Brew York Tap Room and Beer Hall

The graffiti-covered walls of Brew York Tap Bar and Beer Hall offer a taste of Berlin without leaving the heart of York. What I like best is all the many options available. There are seven cask beers, nine keg beers, and three ciders available in the Tap Room, and forty taps pouring a variety of beers from York and the surrounding region in the Beer Hall. We suggest Rest in the yard by the river and have a drink with a meal prepared in the on-site kitchen.

9. The Habit

The Building is full with interesting relics from its past lives as a stonemason’s home and a priest’s residence. Live music is performed often, and the walls are adorned with the works of talented local artists. This is also an excellent place to learn about modern cultural trends. Don’t forget to climb up to the roof terrace, where you can ogle the peregrine falcons atop adjoining York Minster.

10. House of the Trembling Madness

House of the Trembling Madness

Come on in if you’re looking for a drink that will transport you to another era. Take a trip back in time to the Middle Ages at the House of the Trembling Madness, the very first structure the Normans erected in York. I hope you like your meal. Pick get a bottle in the store on the first level and carry it with you.

11. Angel on the Green

Angel on the Green

Angel on the Green has utterly destroyed the concept of “pub meals,” serving anything from substantial brunches to platters of cured meats to seafood linguine. That alone would be incentive enough to visit, but bike enthusiasts will like the bike workshop in the back, and fans of jazz will enjoy the Sunday jazz jam sessions.

12. Rook and Gaskil

Rook and Gaskill

Although though the Rook and Gaskill is only a few metres beyond the city gates, it feels rather remote. There are nineteen different beers on tap at this bar, from a Barista stout to a Green Power Sour ale. Have a drink and pair it with one of their delicious burgers or pizzas.

13. Pivn


Located just outside of the bustle of Shambles Market, this tavern is a welcome haven from the crowds. Pivni offers a wide variety of draught staples in addition to a changing cast of cask and keg beers. There’s not a lot of square footage to look at from the street, but there are three levels of sitting upstairs.

14. The Hop

The Hop

The Hop, situated on Fossgate in the heart of the city, is home to a wide variety of nightlife options thanks to its several rooms and open layout. You may people-watch outside the window, take in a performance by a local band in the spacious courtyard, and then, since we know you’re hungry, head to the back of the restaurant and dig into a pie cooked in the wood-burning oven. Glorioso.

















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