York has everything a city needs for a great night out. With proud residents, youthful students and a throng of visitors, York attracts a wonderfully diverse mix of people, and there are a vast array of venues showing every preference a good time.
From historic pubs pouring local ale to modern bars mixing vibrant cocktails, plus plenty in between, you’re sure to find a night out that’s right for you. To help, here are ten eclectic ideas for where to go when out in York.
This basement wine bar is a great place to start the night, and you might just end it here too such is the temptation to never leave. The relaxed atmosphere and friendly service is complemented by well chosen drinks and comforting bistro food to line those stomachs. When not cosying up downstairs in the winter, you can soak up the summer sun in the picturesque outdoor seating area besides the river. You’d be a plonker not to visit Plonkers.
For the beer aficionados, this brewery taproom on Walmgate will keep you going all night long. With a huge choice of their own fresh brews to sup through, plus a few guest ales, Brew York is a craft beer lover’s must visit. The large beer hall is handsomely designed into a simple space for all to enjoy, and the understated style and quality substance creates an effortlessly cool atmosphere.
Nestled amongst other independents on Fossgate is a little bar with a big reputation. The Fossgate Social is a chilled stop off for daytime coffee, and an equally excellent hangout for evening booze. Serving craft beer and cocktails under low lights, good music and relaxed chatter, the setting is hip yet inclusive, and manages to fit in two floors and a courtyard in its cute space. A super social.
The Kings Arms
When out in the historic city of York, it’d be remiss not to check out one of the many ancient pubs. Take your pick from the oldest or the most haunted or fall into a favourite medieval building. We’ve gone with The Kings Arms for a bit of everything. A 17th century site that tells the story of its past by flood markings on the wall. This is because of a fabulous riverside location where nearby brewer Sam Smiths serves great value pints. Their no phone policy splits opinion, but go with it for an organic step back in time.
So good they named it twice, Bora Bora follows the relaxation and fun of the island from which it takes its moniker. You’ll be whisked away to the tropical beauty of the South Pacific by their extensive classic fresh cocktails, which are priced remarkably at a happy hour fiver. Lively and social, Bora Bora is very very nice nice.
House of the Trembling Madness
A unique York favourite that has a formidable drinks selection in a fascinating setting. The original bar on Stonegate is a centuries old building full of character which has been enhanced by quirky decor. The relaxed yet buzzy atmosphere is helped by a huge array of great craft beers. Now with an equally smart second venue on Lendal, where the downstairs bottle shop is an experience in itself. You won’t go wrong on a mini pub crawl from one Madness to the other.
A continental style cafe bar on Goodramgate that serves great beers in a friendly environment. As well as local cask ales, Vahe Bar specialise in quality Belgian kegs for something a little different. The setting matches the service too, with stunning views overlooking York Minster.
There are a handful of great places to go for live music in York, but if you’ve not got your gig tickets elsewhere then The Stone Roses Bar will bring the entertainment. This unusual influence for a bar extends beyond the Manchester band, as local musicians, Britpop legends and tribute acts take the stage, and DJs play favourite indie tunes that prompt good time singalongs.
Jalou is a visual standout thanks to its glorious setting. Transforming a stunning church into a modern bar, the atmosphere is elevated by the surroundings. With exciting cocktails and live DJs to help you on your way, Jalou makes for a lively night out. Head here later for the vibes or early for the offers, as their happy hours get an affordable evening off to a winning start.
Add a bit of glamour to your night by visiting the glitzy Vudu Lounge. This decadent bar and club provides a VIP experience that promises classy fun. There’s swanky champagne, masterful cocktails and Grey Goose vodka; there’s party music, nightly DJs and vibrant dance floors. Open until 4am, this is a treat of a place to end a big night out.
Images: Fossgate Social, Plonkers, Brew York, Bora Bora, Vudu Lounge