Discover the BEST coffee shops in York! Whether you need a place to work, chat with friends, or soak in the views, I have the spot for you!
I was very hesitant to add York to my UK itinerary several years back. York seemed to be a place that people either loved or hated. Some visitors gushed about how charming and quaint it was. Others said it was touristy and didn’t feel “real”.
I absolutely fell in the first category. York won my heart and I've returned 3 times since.
It never felt overly touristy. There were many moments in the morning and evening when I had the most picturesque streets to myself. Granted, I did make a point not to visit on the weekend (it's a popular weekend/day trip for UK residents).
York has charm, a stunning little section of medieval streets called The Shambles, awesome restaurants, good shopping, a reputation for being the most haunted city in England, and a very interesting Viking past.
There's also no shortage of cozy coffee shops and cafes.
Whether you need a place to work, chat with friends, or soak in the views, I have the spot for you! Let’s dive into the best York coffee shops!
This map shows the best York cafes and coffee shops. Click the icon in the very top left to see a list view of each pinned location. Click the top right button to enlarge the map. Click the star to save to your own Google Maps account. To access this map once saved (after clicking the star), open Google Maps (on your phone/computer/tablet), click the menu button, go to "your places", select "maps", and you will see this map listed.
1. Gatehouse Coffee
One of the best coffee shops in York, England for memorable views
Gatehouse Coffee will be one of the most memorable York coffee shops that you visit. Like many medieval cities, York was enclosed by city walls for protection.
Did you know York has more miles of intact city walls than any other place in England? Along these walls are gatehouses. These were the entrances through the wall and often used to collect tolls.
Gatehouse coffee is, you guessed it, located in a gatehouse. It’s a must on any visit to York, especially if the weather is nice.
They have a patio at the top of the gatehouse that offers views over York and the ancient city walls.
It’s quite a unique spot to enjoy your morning latte, which is why it’s at the top of the list for the best coffee shops in York.
If the weather isn’t agreeable there's a small, but very cozy, space inside with exposed stone walls and rustic furniture.
The staff are especially friendly and will make sure you're taken care of.
Try a warm panini, homemade soup, freshly baked pie, or the popular lemon cake. Everything here is made with care and will not disappoint.
WiFi is available if you need to stay and work.
One of the best coffee shops in York, UK for riverside views
DYLS has a scenic riverside view and is located at the Skeldergate Bridge. The patio is the perfect spot to enjoy some afternoon sunshine while watching rowers glide by on their narrow boats.
The interior is a circular building at the entrance of the bridge. Walk up the winding staircase to check out the four quirky, circular rooms…you almost feel like you’re in a miniature castle.
DYLS is a great choice if you want more than coffee and pastries or are looking for a spot that stays open later in the day/evening. A full bar and food menu is available.
The brunch menu features items like vegan blueberry overnight oats, smashed avocado toast, and homemade brioche French toast with a variety of toppings. Try the croque madame or goulash soup if you stop by in the afternoon.
If you’re just stopping by for a coffee, try the red velvet latte or the turmeric-spiced hot cocoa. The baked goods are always fresh, so be sure to ask what's available that day.
DYLS and Gatehouse Coffee are the best coffee shops in York to visit when the weather is nice and you want to sit outside.
3. Brew & Brownie
One of the best cafes in York for baked goods and pancakes
If I lived in York, you would find me at Brew & Brownie multiple times a week. Not only do they serve excellent artisan coffee drinks and quality loose-leaf tea, their baked goods and extensive breakfast and lunch menu are incredible.
I highly recommend the American pancake stack with salted caramel, bananas, and golden syrup for something sweet or the eggs royale with smoked salmon, watercress, poached eggs, and hollandaise over fresh sourdough for something savory.
Save room for dessert because the baked selection is always fresh and rotates. Try the lemon crumble shortbread, salted caramel brownie, scones, or the Victoria sponge cake. A small variety of gluten-free and vegan options is also offered.
There's usually a line on the weekends, so plan accordingly.
Brew & Brownie is easily one of my favorite York cafes for when I’ve worked up an appetite.
4. Spring Espresso
One of the best York coffee shops for a legit flat white and space to spread out
Spring Espresso knows its coffee! The flat white was probably the best I had while in York. The iced americano was also excellent...you could taste the quality of the espresso beans.
Spring Espresso recently expanded the Fossgate location to include the space next door...so this is the better option if you want to stay a while or have a better chance of finding a seat.
The menu has classic cafe fare like avocado toast, overnight oats, granola bowls, and sandwiches. The American pancakes are extra fluffy and worth the splurge. The flat white and mocha are especially good here along with the classic Americano.
Neither location had WiFi when I visited, so bring a book or friend to chat with.
5. Drift-In Cafe
One of the best York coffee shops for healthy bites
Drift-In Cafe has a totally different vibe from the other York cafes and coffee shops. Its beach theme complete with surfboard décor, weathered wood flooring and walls, and large windows make this a relaxing place to chill or work.
This is one of the best cafes in York if you're looking for a healthy menu complete with fresh juices, green smoothies, and granola shakes. There are also grilled sandwiches, wraps, and a selection of salads.
Drift-In Cafe is a safe choice for vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets. The crepes (both sweet and savory options) can be made with gluten-free vegan batter. Try the gruyere cheese and sautéed mushroom crepe or the black cherry with vanilla ice cream.
This York cafe really seems to have it all. Excellent artisan coffee drinks, sinful treats, healthy salads, hearty sandwiches, and refreshing smoothies…all served with a smile.
Drift-In Cafe is one of the best coffee shops in York for those looking to work or study (when it's not busy...please be mindful). It’s spacious and bright and the tables are spread out so you don’t feel cramped.
I hope this post helps keep you fueled while touring this charming medieval city. These are without a doubt the best coffee shops in York, England. Each spot serves excellent espresso and tasty treats.
Try one of all five and let me know which ended up being your favorite!