Best Student Bars in York
Check out our picks for the best student bars in York!
With a pub for every day of the year and a charming olde worlde vibe, there’s no shortage of top York student bars where you can chill with a post-lecture pint while you set the world to rights with your mates. Much like the city’s residents, York drinking dens tend to be friendly and easy-going, although there are plenty of livelier options for when you’re in the mood to party right through to the wee small hours.
Check out our round-up of the best student bars in York for drinking decadent cocktails, raving to cool indie bands, or looking out for passing ghosts!
Evil Eye (£££)
If cocktails are your poison of choice, don’t miss this top York student bar on the lively Stonegate right in the centre of the old city which is reputed to be one of Johnny Depp’s fave drinking dens. The fun starts as soon as you step through the front door and stumble across their well-stocked liquor store which boasts shelves and shelves of intriguing spirits, syrups and bitters. After you’ve dragged your budding mixologist friends away from the shop, further exploration reveals a charming garden, a Malaysian restaurant, and a cosy upstairs lounge decorated in a striking South-East Asian style.
Kick back with your mates on one of the large wooden beds scattered with comfy cushions and pore over the eclectic drinks menu which features over 70 cocktails as well as a great choice of shots and bottled beers. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try one of their “Evil Creations’ which boast names like “Persian Carpet Ride” and the “Dick Turpin” or challenge the capable bartenders to mix up something special just for you.
Although the drinks are on the pricier side, budget-conscious students will be delighted by their generous happy hour deals which run from Sunday to Thursday between 17:00 and 21:00. Pick any 4 of their £3 shots for £10 or choose two cocktails for £10. Beer lovers can also enjoy 4 for £10 on bottles of Desperados, Modello or Singha.
The Stone Roses (£)
Impress your mates with your knowledge of York’s best student bars by dragging them out to this cool drinking den tucked away a stone’s throw from the River Ouse on King Street. Ever-popular with Indie kids thanks to their well-curated playlists and regular live music nights, this welcoming spot is decked out in music-themed paraphernalia including a giant Stone Roses mural and Oasis pop art prints to set the tone.
Although there might be limited choice on drinks, the beers, shots and mixers that are available easily fit within a student’s budget. If you want to fit in with the regulars, take advantage of their triple shot offers to really get the party started. They also do £2 offers on bottled beers and regular two-for-one deals that are well worth checking out.
The real draw, though, is the good tunes and welcoming vibe which draws a mixed crowd of students and younger locals throughout the week. Get there early to get in a round of pool on one of the two tables and to grab seats to catch the nightly live music sets. After the band has done their thing, DJs keep the beat moving so you can carry on dancing awkwardly with your new Indie kid crush until bar closes at 2am.
House Of The Trembling Madness (££)
This quirky spot is named after “delirium tremens”, the Latin term for the “violent tremors” that often accompany severe alcohol withdrawal. Despite this warning against the dangers of drinking too much, this curious bar has much to offer beer lovers thanks to their excellent range ales and ciders!
Downstairs is their critically-acclaimed shop which stocks over 900 ales and ciders, while upstairs you’ll find a cosy tavern perfect for lingering with a pint of Belgian beer on a cold winter’s evening. Interestingly, the oldest part of the building dates back to 1180 and at one time it is thought to have been a medieval drinking hall! Those with keen eyes will be able to spot the 800-year old timber ceiling beams which were once part of a ship’s hull.
In addition to having one of York’s best beer and spirits shops, this charming independent bar also puts on regular beer festivals and provides their staff with excellent training so they can help guide even the most inexperienced beer drinker. As if that wasn’t enough, the perfect picture postcard view of York Cathedral from the upstairs windows make it the ideal spot for a relaxed date or a catch-up with visiting parents and friends.
Vudu Lounge (£)
If you’re after something a little more lively, head down to Vudu Lounge which is one of York’s favourite student bars thanks to the raucous party vibe, free entry and great drinks offers. Situated right in the heart of the old city, Vudu is known as the official home of R&B in York so it’s no surprise that the decor looks like something out of a Rihanna video with sparkly walls, lots of mirrors and a VIP section marked off with a clichéd red rope.
Vudu hosts DJ sets every night of the week and stays open until 4am, so the bar is popular with students looking to let their hair down on a school night. Nights usually feature a healthy dose of 90s hip hop, R&B and house as well as plenty of classic tunes to get everyone up on their feet.
The drinks offerings tend to be fairly basic, but the prices are a major draw with £2 bottles of beer, £2 jagerbombs and two cocktails for £6. If you’re feeling flush or looking to celebrate a big birthday, check out their party packages which include the hire of one of their fun LED booths and a bottle of Grey Goose vodka plus mixers.
The Golden Fleece (££)
The Golden Fleece has a bit of a reputation in the city for being York’s most haunted pub! Dating back to at least the 16th century, this ancient drinking den draws visitors from all over the U.K. and beyond with its mysterious goings on and reports of ghost sightings. In total the bar is rumoured to be home to five ghosts, while the creepy cellar was once used to store the bodies of hanged criminals until their families came to claim them.
If you’re brave enough to venture inside, you’ll discover a welcoming, chilled vibe and a cosy interior that boasts old wooden beams and a traditional decor. Most nights there’s live music courtesy of local bands which are guaranteed to get your feet stomping. If you prefer a quieter evening, head out the back where there’s a second bar room which leads on to a charming garden ideal for idling away warm summer afternoons.
The menu boasts a decent selection of beers and ales including local favorites like Skipton’s Copper Dragon Best Bitter and Theakston’s Old Peculier at reasonable prices. There’s also a decent pub grub menu with hearty classics like chicken curry and full English Breakfast served with all the trimmings.
The Blue Bell (££)
Stepping into this traditional Edwardian public house is like travelling back to a time long before noisy jukeboxes, tacky themed decors and violently-coloured alcopops. Punters are even politely asked to answer their mobiles outside to help preserve the old school vibe. Inside you’ll find two rooms which are both served by the central bar and both boast blazing open fires to see you through those bitter northern winters.
Due to the welcoming atmosphere and modest size of The Blue Bell, it’s one of York’s most popular student bars and it is usually packed on weekends. Arriving early is a good idea if you want to secure a table and it’s worth bearing in mind that large groups may be turned away due to the limited space available.
Beer lovers will enjoy perusing the reasonably-priced selection of real ales and bottled beers, but there’s also a decent choice of wines and soft drinks on offer. Saturday evenings are the best time to head down as the pub often hosts a live acoustic night which draws a nice mix of friendly locals and students for some good tunes and a bit of lively foot-tapping action.
The Drawing Board (££)
Arty types will love the creative vibe at The Drawing Board where patrons are encouraged to decorate the walls to their hearts’ content. The quirky owners decided to use chalkboard paint on all the walls so visitors can leave a doodle or perhaps a few words of wisdom for future punters. Another nice design feature inside is the pyramid ceiling window which floods the place with natural light, making it seem inviting even on grey days.
Most people opt to pick something from their made-to-order cocktail menu which start at £4 or £14 for a sharing pitcher which serves four people. Unusual options include the potent “Tokyo Iced Tea” made with midori, amaretto, triple sec, vodka, gin and white rum, and the “Conquistador” which contains mezcal, orange liqueur, lime juice, and a dash of honey. You can also get 2 for £5 on shooters with names like “Alien Brain Hemorrhage” and “Snickers”.
The bar also offers cooked breakfasts, delicious sandwiches and a mouthwatering array of cakes in case you’re feeling peckish. During the summer months there’s a nice terrace out on the street where you can savour a coffee or a beer while you work on your tan and watch the tourists stroll by.
If you’re planning a nice night out with the girls or scouting out ideal date locations, look no further than this charming bistro bar right in the heart of old York. The kind of place where you could easily while away a whole evening, 1331 is spread over three floors and boasts a beautiful candlelit restaurant, expansive downstairs bar area, and relaxed courtyard which is ideal for summer nights.
There’s even a cinema room tucked away in an attic which you can hire to screen your (or your date’s) fave movie while you enjoy a private dinner for two. The room is also used to show off the work of budding student filmmakers from time to time.
The drinks menu boasts a good choice of wines and strong selection of classic cocktails as well as more unusual offerings like the “Bitterly Italy” and “Cherry Nutz”. Although prices are a little higher than other popular York student bars, there’s a decent range of offers like two cocktails for £7.95 all day from Sunday to Friday which should ensure you don’t blow your student loan. On those days you can also get 10% off on all beers, wines and cocktails between the hours of 5pm and 7pm.
There we go! That rounds up our picks of the best student bars in York. We hope you’ve enjoyed your read, check out some of our other posts to explore the nations favourite student bars in other cities.