York: The Essential Guide

Full of history, shopping, fun activities and the one of the best nights out in the North, York is the perfect weekend destination for couples, groups and families. Explore hidden gems along the cobbled streets and sip champagne in one of the uber cool wine bars looking out over the river Ouse. Here you’ll find a great guide to spending the weekend away in the city and the top spots for eating, sleeping and drinking. 

Places to Eat

Lucias - Serving informal mediterranean dishes, Lucias is one of the most popular spots in York that is quietly tucked away. The restaurant is surrounded by quaint boutiques offering a French Parisian atmosphere. Serving amazing cocktails and a great menu, you can even sit outside (if the weather lets you) and stay warm under the outdoor heaters.

Jamie's Italian - About to celebrate it's 1st birthday in York, Jamie's Italian pretty much speaks for itself. If you've been in any of Jamie's restaurants you'll have noticed that the decor matches each City and it's environment and York is no different Enjoy gorgeous pasta, fresh salads and free-range meats surrounded by 17th century rustic features. We recommend the spaghetti alla norma, it's amazing and you can't leave without a portion of funky chips

Wildes Wine Bar & Bistro - Quietly nestled down a side street in York - Grape Lane, Wildes is a popular choice for couples with a Parisian atmosphere and an authentic family feel. Serving lunch, coffee and evening meals the bistro will leave you feeling ultra relaxed after a long day of shopping. 

Oscars Wine Bar & Grill - York store managers favourite place to eat in the City is Oscars Wine Bar & Grill. Very popular with the locals for food and drinks, the restaurant is always buzzing and is open from 10:30am until midnight every day of the week. Serving speciality burgers, sharing snacks, and lots of grill dishes (there's plenty for the veggies too) you can wash it all down with cocktails, wine or beers.

Betty's - Right in the heart of York's City centre is the iconic Betty's Tea Rooms, specialising in afternoon tea featuring gorgeous cakes, sandwiches and list as long as your arm of flavoured teas (there's a champagne option too if you're feeling bubbly) Always crazy busy on a weekend with queues out of the door, but don't let this put you off, you've got to go

Places to Drink

Evil Eye - Serving plenty of amazing cocktails (the list never ends) and unique concoctions (you must try the Jungle Mojito), Evil Eye is one of the top spots in York with recommendations from locals coming left, right and centre The bar has a very indie  feel with an internet cafe and sofa beds upstairs so you can relax. Mr Johnny Depp once visited York and quoted Evil Eye as his favourite bar he's ever been in Definitely worth a visit.

Kennedy's - If you've had an amazing day at York races then a trip to Kennedy's is paramount The bar features a roof top sun terrace (if we ever get sunny days) a contemporary ground floor bar and gorgeous hand prepared food. Continue the celebrations with a classic cocktail or bottle of well deserved bubbly. Situated on Little Stonegate, you'll only be within walking distance from the rest of your night.

Vodka Revolution - Possibly the busiest place in York and one of the most popular, Vodka Revolution is set just off the river bank and is THE place to be on a Saturday night. Listen to live DJ's and dance the night away in a historical building featuring a newly refurbished decor, booths, roof terrace and a cracking drinks menu. Dress code applies and opens past midnight 7 days a week. 

The Living Room - Situated right next door to the river Ouse, this piano bar is great for both food and drinks. The Living Room prides itself on being fun and cool, with plenty of live music music to see you through the night. Located on a corner plot opposite Picollinos restaurant, you can enjoy a relaxed evening with friends or the other half.

Vudu Lounge - So you've hit Evil Eye or Kennedy's and you're looking for where to go next, well Vudu Lounge is always a great choice to end the night. Located upstairs on the same street as Oscars, The Biltmore and The Blind Swine, the bar has a cool, urban vibe serving some amazing cocktails and tasty champagne. 

Places to Stay

Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa - If you've come to York for a chilled out weekend and are looking for a luxury hotel and spa, then the Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa is the perfect choice. You can look at breathtaking views of the historical city walls, unwind and relax in the amazing spa and indulge in the two AA rosette restaurant. Perfect

Churchill Hotel - This gorgeous Georgian mansion is ideal if you're looking for a little quiet in the big City, but still want to be close to all the action. With only a short walk to the York Minster, you can come back and relax with some drinks in the cosy bar before heading into the Piano fine dining restaurant for something to eat. For a special treat we recommend the Luxury Collection bedrooms - they're amazing

Wheatland's Lodge Hotel - So you've come for a day at the races with the gang or are looking for ideal hen/stag do accommodation, then Wheatland's Lodge is the place to be Large groups are welcome at this family run hotel and it's within walking distance from the train station and city centre. For larger groups we recommend the mews cottages, complete with kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and all the amenities

Hilton Hotel - When you think of the Hilton you know you're in for a treat, and the Hilton Hotel in York is no exception.

Dean Court Hotel - Dean's Court Hotel has got to be in the perfect location, smack bang in the middle of the City with the York Minster right outside the door. This hotel is part of the Best Western Plus chain featuring contemporary, boutique style rooms and two AA rosette restaurants. You'll have all of York right on your doorstep