FOOD & DRINK
Owner of Three Tuns Pub, Jason Hawkins, is one of a rare breed of landlords who essentially grew up in the industry and made an increasingly successful career out of it. Jason has experience working in almost the full spectrum of pub jobs, from barman to area manager, and is now a director of a company which works to help boost smaller local pubs. Jason’s vast experience working in the industry has made him somewhat of an expert on excellent customer service; he puts an emphasis on creating a space where everyone feels welcome, and liable to get advice about either their ales or tourist-related recommendations from one of his ten members of staff.
The Three Tuns offers an ever-changing variety of award winning cask ales, all of which can be ordered in one of their taster trays of three one-third pints. The menu is made up of homemade British pub classics and daily specials, with many of their ingredients sourced from local suppliers.
12 Coppergate, York YO1 9NR
The Blue Boar
Also owned by Jason, The Blue Boar is very similar to its sister pub, in its extensive range of cask ales, and its eclectic menu of homemade hearty dishes of pub classics, as well as its recognisably warm atmosphere which can only be properly achieved in a traditional public house. The Blue Boar is also not dissimilar to its sister pub when it comes to going above and beyond for all customers, holding live acoustic sessions on the first and last Saturday of every month as well as free drinks over the festive period for the member of any group who is the designated driver. Genius!
5 Castlegate, York YO1 9RN
As the name might suggest, The Nook is a hidden gem tucked away on the charming slip street of Castlegate. Although quaint in size, The Nook’s offerings of food, drink, and cool décor are larger than life. During the day, The Nook works as a successful combination of café, bar, and street food kitchen serving home-made cakes, locally roasted coffee, and craft beers alongside an eclectic menu of their own distinctive street food dishes.
The menu boats a range of street food dishes, some of which have been inspired by native cuisine such as their famous Bao buns, and others inspired by staff and customer favourites, such as their grilled cheese toasties, and homemade burgers. In the evening, The Nook transforms seamlessly into a cosy venue for live events; on Friday’s, the Nook hold their weekly open mic sessions, and the Nook regularly plays host to live sessions featuring some of Yorkshire’s endless local talent. And that’s not the only local talent they showcase, many of the produce sold and incorporated into their menu is sourced from local wholesalers such as Malton’s Bluebird Bakery; The Nook is undoubtedly one for the people.
3A Castlegate, York YO1 9RN
Pairings Wine Bar
Established by sisters Kelly and Kate, Pairings was brought to life after the pair discovered their shared passion for wining and dining. Pairings is a slightly more indulgent type of bar; Head Somellier Kelly is Pairings’ wine matchmaker, and after just a brief description of what you like in a wine, Kelly will be able to pick the perfect bottle to suit your tastes. Somehow Kelly and Kate have been able to seamlessly create the perfect space for both casual events, and special occasions. The contemporary décor of detailed feature wallpaper and blue suede furnishings makes for a fresh daytime spot, but with the subtle additions of mood lighting and flickering candles, the space is transformed into what can only be described as a dream date-night location.
28 Castlegate, York YO1 9RP
Tower Vue Cafe
After living in France for eighteen years, owners of Tower Vue Café Terrance and Becky scoured the country in search of the perfect location to house their new venture into catering. In 2015, the pair were set on what was formerly Dickinson’s Café on Tower Street, and transformed it into their very own café later that year, renaming it as Tower Vue Café to reflect their French inspiration, and of course for the café’s astonishing views on-looking Clifford’s Tower.
With an unfailing menu of classic home-made breakfasts, lunches and cakes, as well as a prime location right next to the Jorvik Centre, the city walls, and the Castle Museum, it’s no wonder that Tower Vue Café has gone from strength to strength over the years. And it’s certainly no wonder that York’s hungry punters return to this charming spot time and time again.
14 Tower St, York YO1 9SA
Castle Tea Rooms
Supplying York with quintessential British tea room hospitality, Castle Tea Rooms is one of those trusty spots, cherished by many for its friendly atmosphere and having the knack for serving up something for whatever you might fancy. Owner Vickie, Chef Sammy, and the rest of their team have curated a menu of lunch dishes perfect for the whole family; nourishing and filling. And of course, no traditional tea room be complete without cake; and you need not fear, Castle Tea Rooms is well equipped to tempt you with an all manner of irresistible cakes.
11A Castlegate, York YO1 9RN
Established in 2005, 31 Castlegate café and restaurant occupies a prime spot on the corner, at the bottom of Castlegate on-looking the nearby Clifford’s Tower. The restaurant is housed in the former home of Georgian architect G.T Andrews, and the building dates back to around 1825; As a Grade II listed building, and registered as an English Heritage monument, you wouldn’t be surprised to find period features throughout the restaurant which makes the charm of this place sky-high. Owner, Nick Julius, has created a seamless combination of café and fine dining restaurant in this space, and with vast culinary experience he has devised an adventurous and fresh menu of homemade dishes.
31 Castlegate, York YO1 9RN
SHOPPING & LIFESTYLE
According to McGee Gallery
Sitting rather unassumingly on Tower Street is contemporary art gallery, According to McGee. Owners and husband and wife team, Greg and Alice McGee, have for the past 16 years showcased some of the most exciting contemporary artists in the UK. The pair work hard to create ever-changing exhibitions which celebrate both established and emerging artists of all kinds. Their current exhibition ‘Smash! Visual Art ReGrooved’ is an attempt made by the McGees to shatter the expectations of different types of art; the exhibition heavily features the iconic art of Horace Panter and his collaborations with LA artists Nan Coffey & Louis Cannizzaro.
8 Tower St, York YO1 9SA
Angela Bare Boutique
Established in 2014 by Angela herself, her eponymous shop showcases an eclectic range of alternative brands of clothing, shoes, lingerie, and accessories. Angela is always on the look-out for new brands to stock in her boutique of eccentric and stand-out pieces, and goes above and beyond to give her customers a truly unique shopping experience, with the help of her five other enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable members of staff. The success of her York store has led to the opening of another store in Bridglington, which has received as much love as in York.
6 Clifford Street, York YO1 9RD
York Cocoa Works
As a chocolate fanatic herself, owner Sophie would often make chocolate cakes and fudge for her friends and family as a child. With age, her fondness for chocolate became somewhat of an obsession, and she soon set out to learn everything she possibly could about chocolate, and what it takes to make the stuff. In 2009, Sophie opened her very own business venture ‘Little Pretty Things’ after being inspired by the experiences and stories of many other chocolate makers in York; Sophie would make chocolates in her home, and teach lessons in other people’s kitchens. In 2011, Sophie went on to open York Cocoa House on Blake Street; a chocolate-focused café, which ran workshops, and tastings. Very quickly York Cocoa House soared, winning multiple awards including the Press Assosciation Growth Accelorator which meant they were able to work with none other than Deborah Meaden!
After 6 hugely successful years, York Cocoa House closed its doors so as Sophie and the team were able to focus on establishing their new project, York Cocoa Works, York’s very own chocolate factory. With a more modern café on site, customers can watch the chocolate being made before their own eyes whilst enjoying yet even more sweetness from the café’s cakes, hot drinks, and of course, chocolates.
10 Castlegate, York YO1 9RN
Duttons for Buttons
At the bottom of Coppergate, you’ll find Duttons for Buttons, tucked away in one of York’s medieval buildings, dating all the way back to 1422. The shop is spread out across three floors, selling all things haberdashery, such as lace, buttons, ribbon, thread, needles, and just about anything else haberdashery-related that you can think of. As one of York’s true specialist independents, whatever query you may present, or whatever type of button you may be after, manager Tanya go above and beyond to provide you with a solution!
32 Coppergate, York YO1 9NR