Whether you’re just out shopping with some friends or enjoying a day out with the family, we all love a good drink or two. Even if you’re fancying anything from a cold draught beer to a fancy cocktail, there are some amazing places dotted around the city of York you may never have thought to try out.

We all love a good hidden gem, and we all love finding somewhere new to brag about to all your friends and family. And there’s no doubt that York is full of amazing surprises. You’ll quickly discover that you don’t always need to visit a popular chain bar or restaurant to enjoy a good drink, because sometimes the smaller the better. So while we’re quickly entering the colder, final few months of the year, now is the perfect time to find a small cosy bar to visit and warm up in, in between shopping.

Drakes – Now what may look like an ordinary fish and chips takeaway on Low Petergate, is actually a vibrant and welcoming restaurant that makes the ideal place for a quick drink or an evening spent drinking the night away. With an extensive food and alcohol menu, people of all ages can enjoy a high quality evening here once the drinks are flowing. And with their newly constructed conservatory towards the back of the restaurant, you’ll feel all nice and cosy for the next few hours.

Sotano – Hidden away on Little Stonegate is Sotano, otherwise translated to ‘basement’ in Spanish, a small tapas bar and restaurant serving an array of classic dishes and cocktails. There’s nothing better than having a drink surrounded by delicious food for when you get the nibbles, and Sotano has the perfect pairings to your cravings. With trans-atlantic craft beer, Spanish wines, bespoke cocktails and new and old creations.

Trio Patisserie – On the famous Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate is Trio Patisserie, known for their appetising menu including open sandwiches, pastries and desserts, all thanks to the incredibly welcoming family running the business. And surprisingly, Trio Patisserie has an alcohol license for those wanting a quick tipple while enjoying a light lunch or treating yourself to some desserts.

Dyls – Known for this iconic location, family-run business Dyls is a contemporary cafe and bar which overlooks the River Ouse and Clifford’s Tower in the heart of the city. Situated in the Old Motor House, you can find four individual rooms for indoor seating in addition to their heated and fully covered terrace. Although they’re centred on food, you can always pop in for a drink and appreciate the views of York.

SOPHiE – Only opening last year during the pandemic, SOPHiE on Lendal Bridge may come with some surprises. Not only do they run as a coffee shop, they have a fully licensed bar serving up some delicious cocktails and have even collaborated with York Gin. You’ll be in for even more of a surprise when you discover their outdoor seating set up that overlooks the River Ouse and is the perfect place to watch the world go by.

1331 Bar – This concealed bar on Grape Lane is a true British bar and grill that regularly holds fun events like weekly quiz nights and live music. So if you love a good deal and fancy a few cocktails, pay 1331 a visit and treat yourself to some 2-4-1 cocktails all day from Tuesdays to Sundays. Perfect for a cosy evening in or to meet a few friends in their heated and covered outside seating area, it’s an ideal bar for everyone.


Images: SOPHiE, Drakes Fisheries, Sotano