Classic Cocktail Bars In York

Apr 11, 2018

The ancient city of York famously has a pub for every day of the year. But a proper ale isn’t the only beverage on offer in this Ye Olde Roman City; there is plenty for a more modern visitor too.

From bitter Old Fashioned to moreish Martinis, these are (in our humble opinion) the best places for classic cocktails in York.

Evil Eye

A cocktail bar meets gin shop, with sprinklings of South America, Africa, and South East Asia. York’s famous Evil Eye lounge is one of the city’s go-to drinking dens.

As such, you can always expect it to be heaving, but that is a testament to just how popular the joint is.

An extensive cocktail menu is on offer in the bar out back, whilst the front-of-house gin shop stocks a reported 1000 varieties to sample.

The place to be, pure and simple.

42 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AS. (evileyelounge)

The Botanist

Tucked away on the cobbled paths of Stonegate, the York branch of this northern bastion is just as good as its siblings across the county and beyond.

Fantastic food and pub snacks, an extensive wine and ale menu and fancy cocktails created by the in-house “botanists” make this vintage drinking den a standout performer in York’s packed bar scene.

The crazy colourful concoctions arrive in watering cans, flower pots and all manner of vestibules. All frills and spills this is not, however, with a tasty menu backing up the more eccentric glassware.

15-19 Stonegate, York YO1 8ZW (thebotanist)

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Another bar set just off the historic Stonegate area. Banyan Bar & Grill is a contemporary restaurant-bar serving up good grub and an even better range of cocktails.

A plush setting contributes to an upmarket feel, though a weekday is probably your best bet to avoid the Saturday crowds.

An extensive cocktail menu features all the classics, with a little Banyan twist added for good measure. We recommend the Pistachio Espresso Martini, with homemade Pistachio syrup.

3 Little Stonegate, York YO1 8AX. (banyanyork)

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Lendal Cellars

Who doesn’t like drinking underground when the opportunity arises? This atmospheric bar is located in the former 18th century Lord Mayor’s wine cellar.

Exposed brickwork and a cavernous feel make this a watering hole with a difference. You can bag yourself a 2-4-1 on all cocktails from 5PM – every day.

If that isn’t enough reason to head underground then we don’t know what is.

26 Lendal, York, YO1 8AA (lendalcellars)

Pitcher & Piano

We don’t usually plumb for chains in these kinds of features, but Pitcher & Piano’s idyllic riverside setting and relaxed Prohibition-style interiors mean we just had to include their York branch.

Light, airy, ever-popular. Whether it’s reclining on the vast leather sofas or enjoying the Yorkshire sun out on the balcony, this modern bar is a must for any night out in the city.

Ebor Hall, Coney St, York YO1 9QL. (pitcherandpiano)


Little Stonegate is the beating heart of York’s buzzing nightlife. Here’s another stylish venue from the area to throw into the mix.

Kennedy’s, a traditional bar and grill, dishes out upmarket pub grub and a whole range of stupendous spirits and drinking options.

With near 20 years in the business, there has been plenty of time for Kennedy’s to refine their cocktail menu to the best of the best – make sure you check it out.

1 Little Stonegate, York YO1 8AX.(kennedys)

The Biltmore Bar & Grill

An elegant, jazzy affair awaits at York’s Biltmore. Traditional grill food and a chic drinks menu go hand-in-hand with the colourful, New York style decor.

A solid evening crowd and good live DJs on a weekend make Biltmore a leading candidate to kick off your night on the town.

29 Swinegate, York, YO1 8AZ(thebiltmore)

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A student haunt with regular drinks deals and an atmospheric dank and dingy getup, Dusk is a popular pit stop on any drinking tour of this historic city.

Good value for money, with a tasty food menu to boot. Word of warning though – make sure you have some cash on you to pay the bill.

8 New St, York YO1 8RA (duskyork)

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