Yorkshire folk know the importance of a cup of tea to raise stamina levels or flagging spirits. There’s a large number of cafés all over the centre of York, catering for the many visitors the city has, as well as locals doing their shopping.
It’s beyond the scope of any guide to provide an exhaustive list, and half the fun of a visit is for many people discovering your own favourites. This guide aims to offer a selection of local favourites, rather than a listing of national or international chains.
The establishments range from the upmarket, pricey Betty’s and The Star Inn the City to smaller places around Stonegate, Grape Lane (such as El piano) or on Fossgate (such as The Hairy Fig), or there are niche venues around the city such as the vegan/vegetarian Goji.
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Even when York is busy, there are still places few visitors know about. Round the corner from the Minster, try Café No 8 bistro in Gillygate. Or at the top of Micklegate, there’s the Bar Convent, just 5 minutes from the station. And hidden away up Walmgate is trendy and informal hipsterish cycling café Bicis y mas with great cakes, coffee and tea.
For those just wanting a quick coffee or tea, the library, the Spurriergate centre (child-friendly, self-service in an old church) or stylish City Screen might do the trick. They certainly provide a local alternative to the ubiquitous chains.
Also check out our tips about the ritual afternoon tea, central to the life of any York tea shop or café worthy of its name.
For an ice-cream treat, hidden LICC has some seats in a quiet central location for a sight-seeing break, and also sells drinks
When you’re out and about and want to know what cafés are near at hand, check out the last part of the Nearby section at the foot of an entry in this guide.