There’s no shortage of nightlife activities when visiting and staying in York, England. The best-preserved medieval town in Europe certainly knows how to entertain its guests well. Between restaurants that serve food until midnight to pubs and bars that remain open into the wee hours of the morning, you’ll definitely have options to consider. What’s more, the York best pubs also happen to be some of the best in the country so definitely stop by one of these during your visit. All of them have unique stories to tell.
York Best Pubs: Top 5
The Black Swan
The Black Swan is one of the dozens of pubs built during the Elizabethan era. Sitting at what was once an old water meadow, it features a classic Tudor design that’s not only iconic but also charming for many visitors. The menu is classic pub grub with items such as Welsh rabbit and Yorkshire pudding in the mix while the drinks feature an array of local brews on tap. What’s more, the inn to which the pub resides is rumored to be haunted. Though such claim isn’t necessarily a unique one in York, it definitely adds to the mystery and intrigue.
Address: 23 Peasholme Green, York YO1 7PR
The Drawing Board
If ever you’re looking for a pub that encourages its guests to contribute to its design, don’t hesitate to stop by the Drawing Board. The walls are covered in chalk doodles that are mostly quirky and fun. This unique artistic feature is what makes the Drawing Board one of the York best pubs. Additionally, it has a wide selection of cocktails that feature even hard to find spirits and liqueurs. Don’t make a mistake of stopping by here on weekends though because it’s only opening mid-week, from Sundays through Thursdays.
Address: 10 New Street, York YO1 8RA
The Blue Bell
One of the York best pubs for drinking is the Blue Bell, located along the alley of Fossgate. It only has a handful of craft beers rotating on tap and offers no cooked food, but it remains a favorite among locals. It has the atmosphere of a classic pub with a friendly bar man and a space in the back quiet enough to read a book or paper on a Sunday afternoon. In order to preserve the local vibe, the pub puts up signs prohibiting large groups and even tourists. Don’t be alarmed though because the pub is just as friendly to tourists as they are to the locals who frequent their establishment. Just leave your boisterous self outside.
Address: 53 Fossgate, York YO1 9TF
The Guy Fawkes Inn
There are only a few English folks more famous than Guy Fawkes, the revolutionary fighter known for the failed Gunpowder Plot in 1605. His memory is celebrated annually during the 5th of November and is synonymous with big bonfires and plenty of beer. Fawkes, who was born and educated in York, is very much synonymous to the city so when a pub was built next to the house he was born, it naturally became a very popular destination. What makes it one of the York best pubs though is its location. The Guy Fawkes Inn sits across the street from the massive York Minster. Great views coupled with a historical association closely related to the city make it a hard place to miss.
Address: 25 High Petergate, York YO1 7HP
House of the Trembling Madness
Just the name itself ought to be compelling enough to land the House of Trembling Madness a spot on the best pubs in York list, but of course, that really isn’t why this 800-year old establishment landed on my list. It’s more because of the historic nature of the pub as well as the eyebrow arching décor made up of stuffed animal heads. You’ll see a kangaroo; a wild boar and a badger just to name a few. The climb up the second floor is somewhat dizzying because of the narrow staircase but once you get into the space, you’ll find comfortable community seating and a fireplace. A few bar seats are available for those that only want drinks. The food menu is limited to a handful of pies and typical bar snacks, but the servings are huge enough for two people to share. Another thing to note is that the pub has two areas dedicated for drinks. The basement bar has more of the craft cocktails and liqueurs while the second level focuses more on beers and well drinks.
Address: 48 Stonegate, York YO1 8AS