Although I love living in Leeds, there is a type of old-world charm about its neighbouring city York, that can’t be found in Leeds’ hip culture and industrial heritage. Steeped in rich history, York’s cobbled lanes and medieval buildings are full of independent bars and cafes. But as a city busy with tourists, many are overcrowded and have lost their charm. So with that in mind, here are four more hidden places to go in York where you can go and relax in the city among the locals.

1. Sotano

Hidden down a little-cobbled side street Sotano is a small Mediterranean themed underground wine cellar turned bar that is well worth a visit. The tiny space is occupied by little alcoves and booths which create a nice intimate feeling. The drinks menu offers a whole range of more traditional cocktails as well loads of different gins and a great list of wine. Something I particularly enjoyed with my love for a good Rioja. Sotano does not just stop at drinks though, with a menu of Spanish tapas to delve into too. The dishes all arrive fresh from the kitchen as soon as they are ready, so they are perfect for sharing alongside a few drinks and of course some good company.

Where to find it: 1 Little Stonegate, York YO1 8AX

hidden places to go in York, Sotano's, York

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2. Mr P’s Curious Tavern

Despite being fairly new on the block, Mr P’s Curious Tavern has a lovely vintage feel about it and blends in well with its historic surroundings. Inside it is small and cosy but certainly lives up to the curious part of its name. With lots of weird and wonderful decor on the walls and tables that only adds more interest to the place. Its menu is made up of nibbles and small plates inspired by different tastes from around the world. These again flow from the kitchen as soon as they are ready. You can also expect to find a wide choice of global wines that explore unusual flavours such as wood smoke and wet stone. As well as a good collection of gins to try and tempt your palate with.

Where to find it: 71 Low Petergate, York YO1 7HY

hidden places to go in York, Mr P's Curious Tavern

3. Olivia’s Artisan Bakery & Cafe

Although not exactly small in size Olivia’s Artisan Bakery & Cafe is one of my favourite hidden places to go in York, located on a little street just round the corner from York Minster. Selling their own artisan bread, cakes and pastries, Olivia’s is great for sampling locally made food. And with people constantly popping in and out to buy bread and cakes from their front counter the place had a nice buzz about it. Their menu has a wide selection of sandwiches and toasties, all made using their own homemade fresh bread. There’s also breakfast specials, Cream Teas, and their cakes and pastries, plus a good choice of drinks. I especially loved how all they serve their tea in large colourful teapots with vintage tea cups.

Where to find it: 30 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LG

hidden places to go in York, Olivia's Artisan Bakery & Cafe

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4. Brew & Brownie

A little further away from the all the main attractions, Brew & Brownie is located next to the river near the train station. It is a small and cosy coffee shop, with comfy seating and a relaxed vibe. Taking their coffee seriously, Brew & Brownie serve up a seriously good artisan roast that comes straight from the Lake District, as well as a selection of different flavoured loose tea. They also offer a comprehensive brunch menu, sandwiches and salads. As well as meat and cheese boards, making it is the ideal place to go for a bite whatever the time of day.

Where to to find it: 5 Museum Street, York, YO1 7DT

hidden places to go in York, olivias-artisan-bakery-cafe-york-2

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Of course, there are plenty more hidden places to go in York to discover. But hopefully this will be enough to get you started on exploring this historic beautiful city.

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