The secret coffee spots on and off campus! You’ll thank me later

One of the things that people always warned me would happen when I went away to university was that I would end up drinking a lot of coffee! This coffee addiction warning was well justified, not least due to the fact that York is more than equipped to provide a great cup of coffee anytime, anywhere. The coffee shops in York serve both social and educational purposes, meaning there is a lot more to a good coffee shop than just getting a caffeine fix.

Therefore, I thought I would share with you the secrets of amazing coffee spots on campus, as well as the best places in town for when your family come to visit (and you want to show off just how incredible York is). These are also great places for when you want a break from university life and some downtime with friends, or when you’ve just had enough of working in the library and want a change of scenery.

On campus, there are many obvious cafes dotted around, such as Costa and Starbucks, which are great. However, the real saviors of both caffeine fix and wallet are the little coffee vending machines which are tucked away in random corners. There are two tucked away in the library on the bottom floor which provide cheap coffee 24/7 unlike the shops. There are several others dotted around campus. These vending machines can be a life-saver if ever you find yourself desperately in need of some caffeine at 2am in order to help you work through the night (not something I’d recommend, though!).

In York itself, there are almost as many coffee shops as there are geese, with thousands of amazing places to choose from. All are worth a visit, but in my humble opinion here are the top three cafes in York, which are all slightly off the beaten track.

First is The Nook. This place is so well hidden that I have only just found it myself! Near Clifford’s Tower and bang smack in the centre of town, The Nook sells potentially one of the best hot chocolates in the entire world. Around Christmas, they also sell three different types of mulled to help you fight off the cold.

Café Concerto is another hidden gem, tucked away down a street next to the Minster. It is a perfect stop for before, during and after a shopping trip. It also sells food which is as quirky as the decor!

Last, but certainly not least, is The Gatehouse. This charming little café is so well camouflaged that it’s actually a part of the city walls! The Gatehouse is one of my favourite places because it feels as if it were designed specifically for students! Picture1With a cosy warm room full of tables upstairs, loads of plug sockets and free wifi, it is one of the best cafes to take work to in York. It also has a huge selection of board games to play if you would rather procrastinate by playing bananagrams than work.

So if you have already developed a taste for coffee at sixth form or you just like to have a break with friends in a wonderful location, York is the city for you!


Published by


Hi, I am currently a third year Environmental Science Masters (MENV) student. Originally from Durham - so not travelled too far. I am part of Alcuin college and play netball and hockey with the college and am also part of the University triathlon club. I am also a YSIS (York Students in Schools) volunteer at a local primary school.