The top 10 cafes in York

I’ve been wanting to write this for a while as I feel I have a lot of experience of cafes in York, since I’ve cafe-hopped extensively during my time living in York. I well and truly lived up to the stereotype of an English student reading a book with a cuppa in a cafe, with the occasional piece of cake.


I’ve gotta start with the Queen of all cafes in York, which of course is Betty’s. It’s 100 years next year since Betty’s was founded and provides the city with an original old fashioned tea room. You can sit upstairs and book in advance for a swanky extended version of their afternoon tea, or you can queue it and spend £18.50 per person for an afternoon tea with all the trimmings. Thankfully you can also just go in for a cuppa (but their hot chocolate is also A M A Z I N G) or grab some of their all-day breakfast, so we do.

Brew and Brownie

My favourite independent cafe in York is without a doubt Brew and Brownie. I’ve spent SO much time in there over the course of uni, as it’s just so darn good. They are pretty famous for their pancakes (which I’ve still never had), but as a savoury ol’ gal I will either get the classic smashed avo on sourdough toast with poached eggs or bacon. Nom. But the best thing they do is without a doubt the three cheese toastie with chutney, which I’ve probably spoken about in at least three separate blog posts already. I’m OBSESSED. It’s perfect for brunch, lunch, or just a cake, especially obvs the brownies – would highly reccomend the oreo, or the salted caramel. It’s always pretty busy and it’s relatively small inside so usually you have to queue for 15-30 minutes, but it’s always worth the wait. Also the aesthetic is so Instagrammable, and if you have friends looking at food/lattes then your cute photo is basically already achieved.


Probably about two years ago Brew and Brownie opened their sister shop, the Bakeshop. The Bakeshop as the name suggests just sells cakes, pastries, or pre-made savoury food like pasta salads, and some sandwiches. It’s airy and spacious, again is always busy and has relatively few tables though so it’s lucky to get a table. They also have great coffee, obvs an essential for the whole coffee n cake thing. Also, their green & mint tea’s are fancy af so that makes my order 10 times more interesting than usual.


Now Crumbs is the cutest independent in all the land. Imagine if a princess or Alice in Wonderland had a tea shop, that’s kinda what crumbs is like pale pink sofas, old wooden chairs, bunting, and the walls are lined with dainty china teacups and saucers. Also, as the name suggests they have a wide range of cupcakes, and regularly make specials for the seasons, or new month or just because, well, CAKE. My favourite is the American cupcake which is filled with peanut butter. Nom.


I always write about how much I love Waterstones cafe, we’re always in there because a) it’s homely, b) it’s cheap and c) they serve smarties cookies and scones so we’re all happy. They also don’t kick us out after being there for three hours with one drink, so that’s also a massive bonus when essay writing.

Vanilla Cafe

The Vanilla Cafe is at the back of the Minster next to Crumbs and is again a very cutesy cupcake cafe. I really like the cupcakes here, and the interior again is very quaint. Also, both the Vanilla Cafe and Crumbs have outside seating with a view of the Minster, so it’s a perfect little hideaway to really get a feel for the city.

Filmore and Union

Okay so it is a chain, but the Filmore in York is really nice and I just love the vibe inside as it’s pretty small so it’s never to noisy, and the large windows make it really airy and not so cramped. They also do healthier cake and beetroot lattes so at least there’s the option to be healthier, or for a pretty photo.

Gatehouse Coffee

This coffee house is probably the best one in York to get a feel for the heritage as it’s actually inside the wall that runs around the city. They serve great coffee & iced coffee and have seating outside on the wall as well as inside. The interior also has very Hogwarts/ Harry Potter vibes. Tbh I don’t know why there isn’t a HP cafe yet in York, there are several HP shops along the shambles and a good percentage of the rest at least sell a HP key ring. Not that any of it was filmed, written in York, just has yannoo old witchy vibes apparently.

Spring Espresso

There are a couple of spring espresso’s around York, and they’re a great place to get brunch, chill and grab coffee. The food is actually great, as is the coffee, so again another great brunch spot, especially as there are several around the city.

York Cocoa House

Everything is made out of chocolate. Need I say more? They have every flavour of hot chocolate ever, plus more chocolate to buy, then chocolates or chocolatey cakes, AND a chocolate afternoon tea. They also do workshops where you make more chocolate to take home with you. Always worth a visit, unless your lactose intolerant then this probs not for you, or don’t like chocolate in which case you NEED to go here and change your mind pls??


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