When Spark first appeared on Piccadilly in a giant bunch of shipping containers, it was nothing like York had seen before. Now four years on and it remains a unique presence in the city, and one which is doing much good.
Deserving of the attention it initially gained and has positively received since, Spark unites independents and gives them a home together in their cute and cool units. As an evolving collective of street food, good drink, small businesses, specialist traders and unique events, Spark is a buzzing destination to visit day and night. Here are the great places making it so…
Holy Mountain Slow Ride
Holy Mountain Kitchen have been popping up with projects of delicious food in Leeds, and have recently opened a new concept Slow Ride in York. Fronted by chef Harry George Johns, Slow Ride showcase the best Yorkshire produce in American inspired cooking from New York to Mexico. The result is a menu of organic burgers, bodega sandwiches and daily changing specials that are both bold and beautiful.
Tiro is a partnership between food loving friends Carmelo and Nick. Following their passion, the duo set up Tiro to create traditional Sicilian street food with a modern twist. Maestro Giuseppe has made Tiro a trio, who are serving the tastiest focaccia, calamari and arancini.
York’s smallest bar is a wonderfully charming visit. Bohemian is aptly named, full of unconventional character, art and music. Pull up one of three stools at the literal piano bar and enjoy a drink from their somehow impressive choice of draughts, cocktails, gins & wines.
The biggest bar in Spark, Piccadilly Tap on the first floor terrace provides fine service and great drinks in a relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere. Ten keg lines plus a range of spirits and natural wines keep the mood flowing, the ethos positive and the vibes high.
Scandinavian delights come to York thanks to Melk and owner Georgia’s inspiration. Handsomely designed into a stylish space which functions fabulously as a cosy cafe serving a selection of freshly baked treats. Indulge in their cakes, cookies and waffles, or luxuriate in a dreamy hot chocolate.
Brew York Beer Box
Brew York have made a name for themselves in the city and beyond as a brewer of fantastic beers. You can sample these at their large tap room on Walmgate, or enjoy them in Spark from the Brew York Beer Box. As well as a fine selection of ales, a master mixologist can create you a craft cocktail here too.
Clucking Oinks proclaim ‘I believe I can fry’ and after a taste of their buttermilk chicken they can certainly ‘come fry with me’. In strips or in burgers, with fries and with dips, this long-standing Spark original have lasted the test of time for delicious reasons.
Rad Pizza Shop
Serving pizza that is both traditional and progressive, Rad create hand-stretched, wood-fired, sourdough pizza with a twist. Sourcing the best local and seasonal ingredients, these local lads create cracking pizzas all of their own; inspired in Naples, made in Yorkshire.
Sasa Greek Street Food
A family business who are serving York traditional food of their home, Sasa are a welcome addition to Spark. Martin Tsatsas’ Greek roots are cooked out into Souvlakis, Soutzoukakis and Baklavas, served with a dollop of comfort and a dash of style.
The Vega Galindo family are treating York to the glorious flavours of Colombia at Tricolor. Traditional home cooking done with much love and great skill that will have you returning for their comforting dishes of colourful Latin American goodness.
Dog’s Nose Taco and Burrito Bar
York’s first and only vegan taco and burrito bar, Dog’s Nose may have a unique concept but it is one that is widely loved. Fresh, full of flavour, friendly and fun, this is an ethical delight that will leave your mouth watering and your conscience clear.
Every weekend there are vintage treasures to explore at Spark thanks to Garba Sutra. Christina Alexandra brings on down a great selection of retro clothing, specialising in vintage sportswear for all ages. Dig through and you’ll be sure to find your favourite new old outfit.
This flexible Studio space is a perfect fit for Spark, providing eclectic activities and positive energy in an inviting environment. Encouraging self care, wellness and fitness. From beauty treatments to health classes, Ossie is a warm and welcoming visit that leaves everyone feeling better after.
Power & Peace Therapies
Heather Walsh a clinical reflexologist who provides holistic therapy as Power & Peace. These deeply relaxing practices, from reflexology to wellbeing support, promise to restore balance and revive mind and body. Alongside this, Kat Griffin offers further soul soothing through healing, mediation and more as All The Aces.
The General Store
A purely positive project that is giving for the good of the city, The General Store is an independent food bank and zero-waste supermarket in Spark. Head down on a Thursday or Saturday morning to help them support lower-income families and individuals across York with food supplies. They also offer an art bank to encourage creativity for all.
Grow it York
You’ll not miss the glowing pink container of Grow It York and you’ll be glad you didn’t. Bringing urban farming to Spark, this collective grow micro herbs and greens on their aeroponic vertical farm. Their ingredients are already used by the food traders within Spark, highlighting the community spirit of everyone here.
Images: Ossie Studio, Brew York Beer Box, Rad Pizza Shop