York was recently named England’s best and most beautiful city to live in and that’s not surprising given its rich history, stunning architecture, vibrant culture and, of course, it endless selection of high-quality independent coffee shops. York is an incredible city, with plenty of things to see and do but one thing it truly stands out for is its superior array of coffee shops to choose from. In between all that sight seeing, it is essential that you can stop off for a rest and a good cup of coffee at one of the best coffee shops in York. That said, we have put together a list of the best coffee shops in York in 2022 to make finding the perfect cup of coffee that bit easier.
If you’re taking a trip to York, be sure to also check out our other favourite’s in the city:
The Best Coffee Shops in York
GATEHOUSE COFFEE – THE BEST COFFEE SHOP IN YORK FOR CITY VIEWS
Gatehouse coffee shop is a firm favourite with the tourists and, set within the ancient city walls, it is easy to see why. Unique and incredibly charming, this York coffee shop is spread across three levels, including a roof terrace which provides the excellent views across the city. The cafe oozes cosy vibes, complete with cute fairy lights and comfortable slouchy sofas which are ideal for sitting back, relaxing and sipping coffee in.
This welcoming cafe is definitely a unique spot to enjoy your morning latte or flat white which is exactly why it has made it onto this list of the best coffee shops in York. The staff are also particularly friendly and are very flexible when it comes to your needs. Although coffee is their speciality, this York coffee shop also serves delicious food to accompany your refreshment – think cosy, heart-warming dishes, including homemade soup of the day, toasted paninis or freshly baked pie. Make sure you leave room for some of their extremely popular lemon cake if you’re lucky enough to get there before it’s all been eaten.
COFFEE CULTURE – THE BEST YORK COFFEE SHOP FOR CATCHING UP WITH FRIENDS
Slightly crooked and built across several floors in typical York style, Coffee Culture is an ideal spot to catch up with friends over a quality cup of coffee. A true hidden gem, this independent York coffee shop occupies a very unique space in, what feels like, a very old building on Goodramgate. The entire coffee shop is connected by a very windy and fairly wonky set of staircases which makes it feel like you’re walking through a little bit of history.
Coffee Culture is incredibly passionate about its coffee, sourcing it from a local roaster, York Coffee Emporium, along with a house blend and two guests. All three of these coffee blends are available as espresso drinks or as a cafetiere for one or two. As well as top-notch coffee, this York cafe also offers an impressive food menu for somewhere so compact, all of which is cooked and prepared in the tiny little kitchen behind the counter. We would particularly recommend trying the coconut milkshakes which are unlike any we’ve had anywhere else. They also have a daily specials board which changes regularly, along with a tasty collection of cakes and pastries.
DYLS – THE BEST COFFEE SHOP IN YORK FOR RIVERSIDE VIEWS
Housed within an old Victorian Motor House which was once home to the machinery for opening a section of Skeldergate Bridge, Dyls is definitely one of the best coffee shops in York. The tower-like layout of the building really adds to the charm, while the winding stairs and cosy circular rooms create the feel of a castle turret. Meanwhile, the outside patio area is ideal for sipping your coffee al fresco while you watch the narrow boats float down the River Ouse.
If you’ve just stopped by for a coffee, you should definitely give the red velvet latte a go or, why not try the turmeric spiced hot cocoa. If you haven’t already eaten, though, or just fancy a snack, then you should certainly make the most of their fantastic food menu. They have a great choice of freshly baked pastries for you to wash down with a mighty cup of coffee or, if you fancy something a little more substantial then take a look at their impressive brunch menu, featuring delicious dishes like vegan blueberry overnight oats, smashed avocado on toast and homemade brioche French toast with a range of different toppings. Alternatively, if you’re stopping by at lunch time, then make sure to try one of their artisan toasties. Opt for the Cheesy Come, Cheesy Go (smoked applewood, mature cheddar, mozarella, wilted baby spinach, tangy pesto and roasted red peppers on sourdough bread) or the Oink Oink (streaky bacon, mature cheddar, vine tomato and tomato chutney on ciabatta bread).
BREW & BROWNIE – THE BEST COFFEE SHOP IN YORK FOR BAKED GOODS
At Brew & Brownie coffee shop, they don’t only serve amazing artisan coffee and quality loose leaf tea but their baked goods and superior breakfast and lunch menu are what make this one of the best coffee shops in York. Their menu changes with the seasons and all the ingredients are sourced from the very best local farmers and suppliers. Much time and effort has gone into researching the highest quality produce from within Yorkshire – from Raydale Preserves produced in the quiet village of Stalling Busk and free range eggs based in Bewholme to Wilson’s Butchers in Huntington and bread from Food for Thought.
Just like their food, Brew & Brownie’s coffee is also of the best quality and is sourced from Carvetti Coffee, a brilliant artisan roastery located in the Lake District. From the menu, we would recommend the American pancake stacks – choose from maple syrup, streaky bacon and blueberries; homemade fruit compote, real Greek yoghurt and honey; or banana, salted caramel or Nutella. Or, if you would prefer something savoury for breakfast, why not opt for the eggs Benedict or the veggie Brew breakfast. If you’re visiting at lunch time then you can sample one of their York-famous sourdough toasties – choose from options like halloumi, roasted peppers and chilli jam; bacon, raclette and tomato chutney; or the Portobello mushroom, Emmental and truffle oil. But, whatever you do, be sure to leave room for dessert! The baked selection is what makes this York coffee shop stand out from the crowd- try the lemon crumble shortbread, the Victoria sponge cake or the salted caramel brownie.
SPRING ESPRESSO – THE BEST YORK COFFEE SHOP FOR QUALITY COFFEE
Located on Fossgate, Spring Espresso certainly know their coffee! The Fossgate branch is the sister site of the original coffee shop, based on Lendal and, while both cafes are extremely popular in York, the Fossgate shop is a fair bit smaller and more intimate than the Lendal one, creating a cosy vibe that’s perfect for enjoying a smooth and silky latte or a warming mug of hot chocolate. Despite its touristic city centre location, this York coffee shop has an air of community, with people nipping in and out for a quick chat with staff or other regular customers.
The coffee offering is just as impressive as the cute and cosy surroundings, and they do alter their menu regularly to reflect seasonal produce. In general, the menu comprises breakfast, brunch and lunch options. The breakfast selection consists of classic cafe fare, like porridge, granola, bacon sandwich or sausage ciabatta. If you’re visiting a little later in the day and fancy something a little more substantial, you might be better opting for the French toast, topped with creamy Greek yoghurt, fruit compote and pistachio crumb. Or, perhaps you are more of a savoury brunch fan? If so, why not choose the eggs Benedict, the avocado toast or the Yorkshire Rarebit. Alternatively, if you’re visiting this coffee shop in York for lunch, then you have plenty of delicious options to choose from; think mozzarella and pesto ciabatta, bacon and brie sourdough or Croque Monsieur. Whatever you fancy, as one of the best coffee shops in York, you are sure to find something delightful at Spring Espresso.
THE DARK HORSE ESPRESSO BAR – THE BEST YORK COFFEE SHOP FOR AL FRESCO DINING
This coffee shop is unlike any other in York. Housed in a unique horse box in the Shambles Market, owners Laura and Mark have taken their passion for good coffee and developed a homemade and wholesome menu with an Australian twist. Although Laura is York born and bred, she spent over a decade living in Sydney with Mark who is originally from Australia. They returned to the UK and decided to encompass what they love about Australia from their coffee cart. Whether you are looking for a quick bite to eat or want to explore the bustling Shambles Market with a cup of steaming coffee, this horse box coffee shop in York provides a unique spot to stop.
Not only is their coffee amazing, but they serve up some delicious ANZAC biscuits, banana bread and cheese and ham scrolls that make the perfect accompaniment to any cup of high-quality coffee. They have spent plenty of time researching the best quality local suppliers to make their produce extra special. They source their incredible coffee from Allpress and we promise it will not disappoint. The Allpress hot air roast method really does set their coffee apart from the rest, with a natural sweetness and a smooth taste. So, if you’re passing through the Shambles Market, be sure to stop off at The Dark Horse Espresso Bar, one of the best coffee shops in York.
ROBINSONS – THE BEST COFFEE SHOP IN YORK FOR BRUNCH
Robinson’s is a coffee shop located on the super hip and trendy Bishy Road, sometimes referred to as the ‘Notting Hill of York’. Owners, Wills and Bex undoubtedly serve excellent coffee but they also serve what is arguably the best brunch in York – and that’s what makes it so deserving of a place on this list of the best coffee shops in York. Like many of the other York coffee shops on this list, Robinson’s is an independent, family-run cafe with a laid-back vibe. It has recently just undergone an expansion which, lucky for us, means more people can enjoy all the good stuff they have to offer.
This coffee shop is extremely popular with locals and visitors alike, and you will often find queues out the door on weekends. But, we promise their coffee and brunch is certainly worth the wait. Bex, who was previously a chef working in a Michelin Starred restaurant, cooks all the food fresh to order and they use only locally sourced ingredients, including meat and veg straight from Bishy Road itself. If you’re stopping by for brunch then we would definitely recommend trying the American pancake stacks, with toppings including berry compote and maple syrup, bananas and caramel sauce, and streaky bacon and maple syrup. Or, if you’re more of a savoury person then you might prefer the sweetcorn fritters, the Turkish eggs, the creamy truffle mushrooms or the kedgeree. Additionally, if you’re getting coffee (which why wouldn’t you?), then we would suggest getting the beetroot latte or the turmeric latte.
STANLEY & RAMONA – THE CUTEST COFFEE SHOP IN YORK
Stanley & Romana is a gorgeous little coffee shop in York, run by mum and daughter team, Val and Emma Carr. The duo took over this cute and cosy establishment in mid-2017 and have been serving delicious cakes and fabulous coffee ever since. The coffee shop itself is pretty tiny, with enough room for just a dozen or so people, but this just adds to the cuteness, creating an intimate space that is perfect for catching up with friends. On a sunny day you can also make the most of the outdoor seating area and watch the world pass by on Bishy Road.
The blackboards in this York coffee shop al feature handy anatomical diagrams of the various coffees that they serve. Once you’ve ordered your coffee, it will arrive having been carefully constructed over the rustic wooden counter. As well as incredible coffee, Stanley & Romana offer an excellent selection of cakes and sandwiches. Emma bakes all the sweet treats herself – try the lemon, polenta and almond cake or one of the super gooey brownies.
CRUMBS CUPCAKERY – THE BEST COFFEE SHOP IN YORK FOR CUPCAKES
Crumbs Cupcakery delivers a slightly different concept to the other York coffee shops on this list. A wonderful world of cake, this coffee shop in York specialises in cupcakes and there is no better way to enjoy a delicately iced bun than with a steaming hot cup of coffee. Crumbs Cupcakery is owned and run by twins Charlotte and Jennifer Davison who are both extremely passionate about baking and create the most delicious selection of perfectly iced cupcakes. Located just a stones throw from the iconic York Minster, this York coffee shop is the ideal spot to break up a day of sightseeing in the city. Take a seat in their elegantly decorated, vintage tea room and tuck into one of their decadent cupcakes.
If you have a sweet tooth, then this is certainly the best coffee shop in York for you. With a wonderful and exciting array of cupcake flavours to choose from, and changing on a daily basis, there will almost definitely be the perfect cupcake for everyone. Choose from delicious and inventive flavours like caramel fudge, cherry bakewell, raspberry swirl cheesecake and chocolate orange. Whether you’re into icing sugar or sprinkles or both, this is by far the best coffee shop for cupcakes.
WHELDRAKES – THE COSIEST COFFEE SHOP IN YORK
Wheldrakes is a quaint independent coffee shop situated near the Monkbar walls. This homely cafe offers table service and a welcoming environment, serving quality freshly made food, home bakes made daily on site and their very own bland of coffee. One thing that really does make this one of the best coffee shops in York is the fact that it is licensed for those of you who fancy a relaxing alcoholic drink while you socialise with friends.
This York coffee shop serves a lovely menu of freshly cooked dishes as well as a fantastic selection of sweet savoury treats that are baked on the premises each day. On the menu at Wheldrakes you’ll find everything from scrumptious scones, crisp salads and decadent cream cakes. This is the perfect casual coffee shop for a quick pit stop after exploring the historic city of York.