14 of the Best Pubs in York - The Camping and Caravanning Club
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14 Great Pubs to Visit in York

A city founded by the ancient Romans, a trip to York allows you to step back into medieval times, appreciate the magnificent architecture, explore the historical sites and, most importantly, take a trip to one of the many iconic pubs scattered around the city. Here are some of the best pubs to visit in York.

The Phoenix Inn

Starting off the list is the Phoenix Inn. This homely pub makes for the perfect rest stop after spending a long day exploring York. The Phoenix Inn sits in the city centre and carries a lot of history. Not only does it date back to the 18th century, making it the oldest recorded pub in York, but it’s also the last surviving original pub inside the city walls.

If you’re visiting in the summer, you can enjoy time in the beer garden, which is flooded with greenery and overlooks the city wall. In winter, the Phoenix Inn is just as magical as the inside is lit with candles, creating a cosy atmosphere and relaxing environment.

The York Tap


Located in a beautiful Grade II listed Edwardian building, the York Tap is a great pub dedicated to serving the very best British real ale and continental craft beer. The York Tap is one of the best pubs in York because it’s conveniently located at the train station. If you’re early for your train or you’re looking to relax after a long journey, pop down to the pub and enjoy the great atmosphere.

The House of Trembling Madness

A quirky pub in York with a great ale collection is the House of Trembling Madness. The pub is popular for its impressive collection of beers, rich history and taxidermy animal collection.

The House of Trembling Madness prides itself on sourcing ingredients from local vendors and providing Yorkshire-sized portions – which will definitely leave you stuffed. If you’re visiting with a group of friends or family, dive into a sharing platter which has an assortment of local meats, cheese and other goods from around the region.

If you want more but just can't stomach it, the shop downstairs has a large selection of goods you can take home for yourself or purchase as a gift for others to enjoy.



Dine like Vikings at Valhalla. The bar and cafe opened up in 2017 with the aim of paying homage to York's Viking heritage. When visiting, you’ll find a cosy, friendly atmosphere open to all, with rock and metal music pulsating through the air.

The venue has two bars serving eight kegged beers and ciders and four cask ales. Two of the four cask ales are produced specifically for Valhalla by Half Moon Brewery in South York, and they’re definitely worth trying. You can also enjoy some of the best canned craft beers and ciders from around the UK and internationally.

If you’re feeling peckish, dig into some hot Yorkshire tapas or enjoy platters with an assortment of meat, cheeses and bread.

Ye Olde Starre Inne

Licensed in 1644, Ye Olde Starre Inne is thought to be York’s oldest pub and, interestingly, was used as a hospital and mortuary for soldiers during the Civil War. Not only is the pub full of history and a few ghost stories, it also has great views of the city and tasty food. You can enjoy the classic hand-battered fish and chips, pie and mash or juicy burgers. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of dishes for you to choose from too.

The Blue Bell

pub entrance  

As the old saying goes, the best things come in small packages, and that’s precisely the case at The Blue Bell. As the smallest pub in York, the Blue Bell leaves a lasting impression with its Edwardian architecture, selection of locally sourced beer and, best of all, great company. It’s no wonder why the pub won CAMRA’S 2022 Pub of the Year.

If you’re feeling peckish, the pub doesn't have a kitchen, but they have teamed up with a local butcher to provide freshly baked pork pies served with English mustard, brown sauce or apple & ale chutney.

Rose and Crown

The Rose and Crown is a traditional pub serving drinks and food. You’ll have a choice of the finest whisky in York, craft ales, world beers, fine wines and local hand-pulled cask ales. If that’s not enticing enough, the Rose and Crown pride themselves on their freshly cooked meals using locally sourced meats and vegetables.

The Fat Badger

pub at night 

A definite contender for one of the best pubs in York is The Fat Badger. The secret beer garden is hidden within the famous bar walls and makes for the perfect place to dine with your partner, family, friends or solo. With tables overlooking the city walls, you can drink and eat with a great view of York. If the skies are clear, you can also enjoy watching the stars as they shine on the city.

The Kings Arms

One of the best pubs amongst locals in York is The Kings Arms. The Kings Arm is a well-known riverside pub where customers can enjoy a pint and great chat indoors or take the conversation outside, where they can watch the boats float through the river. The pub has a reputation for flooding in the 90s, but instead of letting that deter them from their excellent service, they proudly showcase it through their cleverly designed interior.

Walmgate Ale House

If you’re in the mood to sample some local ales and craft beers, the Walmgate Ale House is the place to be. This makes it onto the list of one of the best pubs in York as it offers more than you expect. On the lower ground of the listed seventeenth-century building, you’ll find a fantastic bar full of your favourite beverages and local drinks, and upstairs there’s a ‘Chopping Block’ – an Anglo-French restaurant serving traditional French dishes made from fresh local ingredients.

Beer garden

Eagle and Child

Spread over three floors, the Eagle and Child has enough room for everyone. Whether you’re visiting alone or with a large group, you’ll have a relaxed pub experience with tasty food and great beverages. This Grade II* listed, timber-framed pub prides itself on its spectacular food made from local produce. Not only do they have fantastic seasonal dishes, but they also make a divine Sunday roast.

What makes Eagle and Child one of the best pubs to visit in York is its history. Did you know that the Rolling Stones hung out in the upstairs bar during the 60s, and visitors can still see their signatures and lipstick mark on the wall? 

The Habit

Guy sitting in the pub 

With phenomenal views of York Minster from their rooftop terrace, delicious food and a great selection of beverages, The Habit is up there as one of the best pubs in York.

This pub offers a varied menu, including great options for vegetarians and vegans and a wide range of craft ales, lagers and IPAs. If that hasn’t convinced you, The Habit also serves over 30 whiskys and 30 gins. It doesn’t stop there. Whilst enjoying your meal and drinks, you can sit back, relax and listen to live music from some of York’s favourite artists.

Golden Fleece

Located at the bottom of the Shambles, the Golden Fleece is a small pub that offers a range of local drinks and a variety of food. Although the drinks and food are definitely a showstopper, what really attracts people to the Golden Fleece are the ‘not so easy to see’ residents. This pub is known to be UK’s most haunted pub, and several paranormal researchers have gone to investigate the scene. Whilst visiting, keep your eyes peeled for anything out of the ordinary or ask the staff and see if they can share more about the spooky events of the Golden Fleece.


Serving up some of the best beer since 2007, Pivni is a great escape from the tourist hotspots in York, and it sits just off the Shambles. Although it may appear small from the outside, Pivni has three floors of seating so you can get comfortable and spend hours with great company.

We love seeing what our campers get up to. If you’re camping in York and visit one of these brilliant pubs, or have more recommendations, share your experience and thoughts with us via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

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