If you are looking to enjoy a night out in York, be it eating, drinking or both, and you would like to avoid the usual hen parties, stag do’s and general raucous behaviour associated with a Saturday night, then look no further than York’s intimate ‘Quarter’.
A great place to base your night out, The Quarter has everything you need; lovely restaurants, friendly bars, and all with a backdrop of historic and pretty York streets.
The Quarter has been developed over the last two decades, becoming the heart of its side of the river. Starting from St Helens Square and heading up Stonegate, a beautiful historic street, you enter into The Quarter via Little Stonegate to your right.
The first place you come to is Kennedy’s, a modern and spacious bar set over 3 floors and including a lovely outdoor terrace area. Kennedy’s is a lively place, with a basement bar which has been newly renovated. It has a late licence until 2am, so a good place to head back to later on.
Next is Stonegate Yard, on the other side of the street down a little covered alleyway, at the end of which is a pretty courtyard garden which has a retractable roof and heaters, so a great place to go whatever the weather.
Twinkling fairy lights give the setting a relaxing ambiance, you really feel like you are on holiday. Happy hour makes it even more welcoming, Sunday & Monday 4pm until close, and Tuesday to Friday 5pm until 7pm, there are some great deals to be had! The food menu varies from sandwiches and sharing plates, to sausage and mash and lasagne, served until 10pm, it is the perfect place to spend a few hours without feeling the need to rush. Friendly staff and great music, along with the beautiful setting make Stonegate Yard a must to visit.
Over the road sits Bobo Lobo, a small but lively Latin bar, which also serves food. They serve various cocktails, the Margaritas being especially worth the visit! Friendly staff welcome you at the door, which is not always necessary as the music will lure you in. Once inside, you can choose between sticking with a cocktail or a glass of wine, or ordering from their interesting food menu; this includes tapas, ‘The Steak Experience’ and ‘The Latin Experience’, which includes Costillas del Cerdo – Bobo Lobos famous ribs.
If Tapas is your thing, then around the corner into Back Swinegate you will find La Tasca, a lovely Spanish Tapas restaurant. The difference between this restaurant and others in this chain is a spacious rooftop terrace, which really allows you to pretend you are in Spain, weather permitting! The restaurant has a fun fiesta feel about it, having large tables so if you are dining with a big group it has a great party atmosphere.
Across the road is the Slug & Lettuce, another vibrant bar, but with a laid back atmosphere. Great music and the modern cosmopolitan feel make this a definite destination for a cocktail. You can often find restaurant and drinks vouchers online that allow you to get a significant discount at this chain.
Go to the end of the street and turn left on to Swinegate to find The Biltmore Bar & Grill, another cosmopolitan bar, serving fine wines and champagne, it feels exclusive and upmarket but in a friendly way. Next door is Oscars, a modern eatery, well known for its fabulous burgers among other amazing food.
Turning left from Back Swinegate you come to Grape Lane; another pretty little street. You will find Nineteen restaurant, El Piano Vegan Restaurant and Wildes bar. Wildes is an intimate little place, with candles on tables and subtle music, perfect for a quiet drink or two.
Along the road is 1331, another lively venue, which is set over 3 floors, includes a lovely restaurant, and is now also a Wedding Venue, having obtained a Civil Ceremony Licence. It has bars on each floor, and plays great music always. Thursday nights sees an ‘Indie Disco’ which is always great fun. The bar also has a late licence, closing at 2am.
Lastly, through the archway as you leave 1331, you come across Lucia’s, a lovely Italian restaurant come bar. The large outside eating area is complemented by heaters and the addition of fleecy blankets to keep you warm! The beautiful food, friendly staff, and holiday style setting help to make this a hidden gem in the Quarters crown, a perfect place to spend a few hours with friends.
You could centre an entire evening in and around the Quarter, or you may even find yourself staying in the first place you visit, but if you are spending some time in York, it is a must for a welcoming, exciting and friendly experience, well away from the hoards of drunken youths and the mayhem!
Julie Ward writes for www.lovemyvouchers.co.uk, the UK discount and voucher code website that helps you to have a night out on a budget.