Whether you’re after a classic cosmopolitan, a punchy mojito or something you’ve never tried before, there are some great cocktail bars in York serving some fantastic drinks.
City Centre Bars
The Evil Eye Lounge on Stonegate with its knowledgeable bar staff and vast range of spirits, bitters and assorted mixers is probably still York’s cocktail daddy. With unusual hippy-ish décor and opium den-style seating upstairs it’s certainly a place unlike most of York’s other bars.
Their cocktail recipes are typically quite complex and a lot of time goes into making each drink. Although they serve bottled beer, it can be a frustrating place for the non-cocktail drinker as waiting times at the bar can be a lot longer than in your average pub.
Just around the corner on Little Stonegate is Banyan – a plush, comfortable bar housed in a what I believe to have been a former chapel. They have an interesting range of sophisticated cocktails, many with unusual ingredients and flavour combinations.
This is the description for their Smoked Paloma: ‘El Jimador tequila and illegal mezcal dance together with a combination of ginger, grapefruit, Solerno blood orange liqueur and agave. The finishing touch of hickory smoke elevates the vibrant aromas of agave and ginger to new heights.’
With leather Chesterfield-style sofas, exposed brick walls and decorative ironwork The Pitcher & Piano aims to create a sophisticated drinking environment in a repurposed Victorian space. Like many bars in York, alongside serving cocktails they open from 11am and serve food throughout most of the day.
Although not overly expensive, the drinks certainly aren’t cheap – however it does have river views which go some way to making up for any additional cost. If you’re something of a spirit connoisseur, they have a wide selection of gins, rums and vodkas.
A few doors down past the City Screen cinema complex you’ll find Revolution, another riverside bar with outdoor seating and views across the Ouse. With two bars downstairs and another upstairs it’s probably York’s largest bar and fills up of a weekend (be careful of a Sunday as it’s often booked out as a student venue – NUS cards only).
Cocktail-wise you can find the classics alongside reasonably priced pitchers and more gimmicky flavour of the month concoctions. Although sitting outside can get a bit nippy in the winter months they do have patio heaters which help take the edge off.
Another York bar with impressive views of the Ouse is Missoula Montana Bar & Grill which can be found just over Ouse Bridge (on Bridge Street). Aiming to bring the essence of Montana to the UK, their range of cocktails has a distinctly American feel to it. Why not try a huckleberry lemon drop, maple syrup sours or a blueberry mojito?
Other Cocktail Destinations
Just off of Coney Street, All Bar One makes a great pit stop for the flagging shopper. Although it doesn’t have the river views that some other bars can boast, the modern spacious interior make this a very pleasant place to enjoy a drink or bite to eat. After 5pm they currently offer a choice of six classic cocktails for just £4.95 (as of Spring 2016).
If it’s value for money and deals that you’re after, you can try The Graduate on Lendal, the two Slug and Lettuce bars on Swinegate and Bridge Street, Missoula and Lendal Cellars – all of which offer 2 for 1 deals on a selection of house cocktails all day, every day.
Both Oscar’s and The Biltmore (pictured right at the top of the page) on Swinegate have cocktail deals during their “happy hours” and Banyan – and Bobo Lobo too – just around the corner also have cocktail deals on certain days.
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