Best York Pubs

Old pubs dating back to the 16th century? Traditional taverns named after political parties? Modern picks with a penchant for live sport? This historical city has all that and more when you want to swap your usual bar for a public house instead, including places serving everything from the finest gastro grub to a whole menu of pies. Read on to find the best pubs York has in store right now.

Last edited by Lauren Cole

Last updated on 19th June 2024

The Punchbowl

Out of all the famous York pubs, The Punchbowl is a firm favourite. Not only does it take its name from the preferred drink of 17th Century Whig Party members who made it their regular stomping ground, but it's also meant to be haunted. Find its glorious Tudor-style frontage perched on Stonegate within a short stroll of the Minster, with the traditional look continuing inside thanks to wooden beams and exposed brick fireplaces. Cosy while being good for a Sunday roast, your pick seven different pies on the menu or British sausages with Cornish clotted cream-laced mash, this old pub is a must-visit.

Walnut Tree, York

The Walnut Tree is a traditional boozer with cosy seating, a friendly atmosphere and a huge beer garden which is perfect for the summer months. This dog-friendly spot serves everything from fruity cocktails to craft beer, as well as an extensive food menu which includes barbecue beef tacos, cheesy stone-baked pizzas and plant-based hotdogs.

O'Neill's York

Pizza and a drink from £101.45 and 1 other offer

Always promising a great atmosphere and home to live music every Friday night, O'Neill's is one of the best pubs around. Not only do they serve an excellent pint of Guinness, but there's also a heated courtyard and 8 TV screens showing all the sporting action. The food here is pretty impressive too, from chargrilled beef burgers to stone-baked pizzas or chicken tikka masala.

Keystones York

Colourful boozer Keystones boasts TV screens and pool tables for entertainment, as well as a weekly quiz night. Whether you're sitting in their cosy venue or relaxing in the sunny courtyard, you can get stuck into tasty tacos, loaded doughballs, gourmet burgers and more, alongside a great choice of beers.


If you're after the best pubs in York city centre, look no further than Harkers. This spot is built on the site of the Roman Praetorian Gate, with part of the original structure is still exposed in the basement, boasting high ceilings, pillars and chandeliers. Alongside a huge number of cask ales, you can find tasty eats like steak and ale pies, chargrilled chicken burgers or house-cooked nachos here.

The Cross Keys

One of the best old York pubs around, The Cross Keys is a stone's throw from some of the city's most iconic attractions like the Medieval Walls and York Minster. This Victorian venue not only offers an impressive selection of cask ale, but it's also a specialist pie house serving up hearty offerings paired with mash, as well as other dishes like classic beef burgers and sizzling steaks.

Charles XII York

Charles XII is a traditional village pub, situated in the picturesque area of Heslington. This cosy, dog-friendly spot flaunts a huge beer garden for the summer and comfy seating around a traditional fireplace for the colder months, with multiple screens showing both Sky and TNT Sports. Hungry? Take a look at their menu, which features everything from buckets of chicken or cauliflower wings to katsu curries and three-bean chilli burgers.

The Old White Swan

One of the best pubs in York for food, The Old White Swan offers a side of history with your pint. Just a short walk away from York Minster, Parliament Square and Deangate, in a building that dates back to the 16th century, you can enjoy local cask ales, wine and spirits here. As for food? Tuck into garlic-coated chicken and chips, lentil cottage pie or classic beef burgers.