AD| York is a marvel of a city, a beacon of the North in God’s Own County and home to thousands of years of history. The city walls date back to the Romans, with architecture from the Saxons, Vikings and Renaissance Britain still in use today. It is no surprise that York is a draw for tourists, as the city enjoyed pre-pandemic tourism figures of over 8.4 million visits a year. There are attractions galore to see and experience, from the imposing York Minster to the edificial city walls, from the crooked alleys of the Shambles to the banks of the River Ouse.
But between all of the sights and the history, you will need somewhere to decamp for a rest, a coffee and a slice of cake. Luckily, York is also home to a wide variety of cafes and tea shops which can cater to almost every need. Here are just four of York’s cosiest, and the things they can offer the weary traveller.
Partisan is a café, restaurant and arts venue all rolled up into one, and one of the many jewels on Micklegate. Come for the Eggs Benedict, stay for the luxurious home-made cakes and exceedingly high-quality coffees. Micklegate connects the main drag from York train station to the Jorvik Viking Centre, making Partisan perfectly placed for you to drink away your journey before you engage with the city proper.
2. Crumbs Cupcakery
Crumbs Cupcakery may well be the quaintest café you ever set eyes on, with duck-egg features and mismatched furniture galore. This café’s focus is on the sugar-bomb delight known as the cupcake, with a huge range of different kinds on offer – all made in house. Crumbs is on the doorstep of York Minster, giving you a great excuse to rest up in its shadow.
3. Cocoa Joe’s
Cocoa Joe’s is without a doubt the single best place to find a hot chocolate in York. Their menu is simple at first glance – hot chocolate, iced chocolate or mocha – but the true joy lies in your ability to choose which chocolate becomes your drink! Whether milk, white or dark, Cocoa Joe’s has a number of offerings from different locations around the world, with different flavour profiles and strengths. If you are a chocolate aficionado, look no further.
4. Gatehouse Coffee
Gatehouse Coffee is a uniquely magical café on our list, being situated in the city walls themselves, near the junction of Walmgate and Foss Islands Road. The café boasts bare stone walls older than the British Civil war, as well as barbican seating atop the wall tower. Here you can get comfy and drink a range of artisanal beverages, as well as select from a variety of delicious treats small and large.
York is an exceedingly easy city to visit, and the perfect choice for a city break as a result; parking is ample, the bus routes to and fro are comprehensive, and the trains to York themselves are frequent, inexpensive and deposit you right there in the centre. Visiting York could not be easier, and there is something new to find round every corner – so go and discover!