When we first moved to York, one of my first thoughts was ‘where am I going to find good Coffee?!?‘ Australia is well known for its vibrant coffee culture, and it was not a habit I was willing to kick … despite being pregnant at the time. Wherever we travel in the world, it is my mission to find the best coffee shops each city has to offer. So after 3 years, I believe I have become an expert on the best coffee shops in York.
If you know where to look, there is a huge selection of independent cafes who will serve you the perfect cup of coffee in York. Many also offer delicious cakes and brunches worth getting out of bed for on the weekend. I now know many of these coffee shop owners and baristas by name. So next time you are in York, make sure you stop by at a few of these cafes and tell them that Shelley at Wander & Luxe sent you!
York City Centre
This coffee shop within the York city walls is located on Goodramgate and is definitely one of York’s hidden gems. It is run by a husband and wife team, with Annalise being a fellow Australian. They serve up amazing coffee alongside delicious breakfast, lunch and cakes. Step into the unassuming shop front where you will be greeted by friendly staff and find a comfy spot to enjoy your coffee from inside this quirky cafe.
This espresso bar is unlike any other coffee shop in York, as it is housed in a unique horsebox in the Shambles Markets. Owners, Laura and Mark, have combined their passion for quality and a love of coffee to bring you a homemade and wholesome menu, all tied together with an Australian twist. See, I told you that us Aussies love our coffee.
Whilst Laura is York born and bred, she spent over a decade in Sydney with Mark who is originally from Australia. They have returned with a vision to encompass what they love about Australia from their coffee cart. Alongside the excellent coffee, they serve up fantastic ANZAC Biscuits, banana bread & cheese and ham scrolls – a selection that will make any Aussie proud.
Relax, eat and drink in the stylish, contemporary interior that is Brew and Brownie. Located opposite the Museum Gardens, this coffee shop is a very popular destination for coffee and brunch alike. So popular, in fact, that they have opened a second premises just a few doors down – B&B Bakeshop. Here they serve the same delicious coffee, cakes and a selection of pre-made foods for dine-in or takeaway.
The masterminds behind Brew & Brownie say that they are inspired by the seasons, their countryside upbringing, an urban adulthood and the food they craved as children. They also have a passion for serving excellent, locally sourced produced. Together this has brought their vision to life of two fabulous coffee shops in York.
Partisan is a vibrant, independent coffee shop located on Micklegate in York and the cafe has been a long term dream for owner, Florencia. They serve a modern menu for breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea every day of the week. And they also open on evenings later in the week for casual dining.
Partisan regularly host exhibitions for local and national artists and most of the art and furniture which are on display in Partisan are for sale. There is always a ‘too hard to resist‘ selection of homemade cakes on the counter and they serve up coffee made with beans from London coffee roaster, Monmouth.
Daughter Cafe is a small, family run, independent cafe which is located in a grade 2 listed building. Impressively, the building has been in the family since the 1970’s and the second generation has now taken over and restored the building to its original glory.
The name ‘DAUGHTER’ represents the relationship between father, daughter and granddaughter.
The cafe is a relaxed friendly atmosphere where families and dogs are very welcome and well accommodated. The perfect place to visit if you are exploring York with kids. The food is simple and fresh, and proudly made from locally sourced produce. Don’t forget to leave room for one of the homemade cakes which are all made in-house daily.
Hands down, Plush Cafe is the most instagramable location in York. This independent cafe is located on Stonegate which is right in the city center and is home to many shops and pubs. At Plush Cafe you will find three different themed dining rooms – the Garden Room with its flower walls and swing seats, the Art Deco-inspired Neon Room, and the luxurious, floor cushion-filled Bohemian Room.
Expect to find over-the-top cakes and an Instagram-worthy food menu. They have thought of everyone when creating the menu and offer vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options too! For the full experience, make sure you pair your food with a Plush colourful latte!
And we can’t forget the Plush boutique store located on the ground floor. Pick yourself up some cute and unusual trinkets before you leave.
Always serving a delicious artisan coffee made from award winning baristas. Spring Espresso have two coffee shops in York city center, one on Lendal and the other on Fossgate. You can enjoy coffee, cake or brunch at either venue and they are the perfect place for business meetings or to catch up with a friend. These guys live up to their reputation of being one of the best coffees money can buy in York.
If you are looking for unique coffee shops in York, then look no further than Dyls. This contemporary cafe is situated in the iconic Motor House on Skeldergate Bridge and offers 4 individually decorated rooms to dine in. The coffee shop overlooks the River Ouse and the infamous Clifford’s Tower, and sadly all too often is the victim of the high tide of River Ouse.
They serve an excellent range of breakfast, lunch and late night nibbles alongside a great selection of teas & locally roasted coffee. Of course it wouldn’t be an English cafe without some home made cakes. Plus there is wine, beer on tap and plenty of gin varietals to choose from. Their large outside terrace is the perfect place to eat, drink and simply chill (with heated lamps and cosy blankets for those crisp days).
Robinsons is located on the ultra hip Bishy Road – a place I have heard referred to as the ‘Notting Hill of York‘. Robinsons has recently expanded their premises which means more of us can enjoy the good stuff they have to offer, more frequently.
Wills and Bex serve arguably one of the best brunches in York, my personal favorite being the sweetcorn fritters. Like many of the other coffee shops in York, Robinsons is a family run, independent business with a relaxed vibe. It is popular with locals and tourists alike, and you will often find a line of patrons eagerly waiting for a table on the weekend. But I guarantee you, its worth the wait!
This gorgeous little coffee shop is run by mum and daughter team, Val & Emma. They took over this establishment in mid-2017 and have been serving up delicious cakes and perfect coffee ever since. The coffee shop itself is a cute space with room for half a dozen or so people. But on a sunny day you can enjoy the outdoor seating and watch the world pass by on Bishy Road. If you are on the run, this is the perfect place to stop by for a takeaway coffee.
Popular with students, this quaint coffee shop in Fulford serves excellent coffee alongside a selection of bagels, toasties and cakes. Opened in November 2011, Bison Coffee House is now well established as one of the finest coffee shops in York. At Bison they do not have a ”house blend’ instead preferring to change their coffee on a regular basis. They believe this gives customers the chance to explore the wide variety of flavours that can be found in different coffees from around the world.
Busk is one of the newer local independent coffee shops located just outside of York city center in Fulford. Whilst this cafe looks small from the exterior, there is a secret room at the rear with plenty of space to dine in, have a meeting or do some work. The team at Busk pride themselves as being made in Yorkshire! Their coffee is roasted by Roost, their tea blended by Forleaves, and the bread baked by Haxby Bakehouse. Busk offers a small seasonal menu, with all food made fresh on site, including; sourdough toasties, soup of the day and salads. And of course there is homemade cakes on the counter to tempt you.
So there you have it – my complete guide to the best coffee shops in York. I must say, what a lovely bunch! I frequent most of these coffee shops on a regular basis and I know many of the owners by name. It is so wonderful that York has such a strong and vibrant independent cafe scene. I hope my insider local knowledge is just what you needed to help you enjoy your time in the wonderful city of York. Be sure to let me know which are your favorite coffee shops in York, or which one you are most eager to try. Shell x