iQ in the city: York

York Lifestyle City guide iQ life

The home of iQ in York, The Brickworks is positioned just minutes away from the city centre and the River Foss – that puts the likes of gothic York Minster, the cobbled Shambles and 13th-century Clifford’s Tower within walking distance of our residents’ door, as well as York St John University and the University of York.

There are numerous ways to uncover York’s Roman and Viking heritage, but the city isn’t just about history – you’ll find plenty more to keep you occupied in the evenings and between lectures. We take a look at some of York’s many highlights.


The iQ city guide to York



City Screen Picturehouse – 16 min walk

This 3-screen riverside cinema just off Coney Street shows a mix of arthouse and mainstream movies and has its own café bar with an outdoor terrace. All good so far, but there’s an extra surprise in the form of The Basement – an intimate venue which regularly hosts live music, comedy and open-mic nights. With Pitcher & Piano and Revolution bars conveniently placed on either side, you may find your evening continues long after the credits roll.

Dusk – 16 min walk

Not far away (in fact, about one minute away), student favourite Dusk is one of those venues that undergoes a daily transition – as they put it, it’s a ‘chilled café bar by day, den of iniquity at night’. If that sounds intriguing, you can expect artisan coffee, veggie and vegan snacks and homemade burgers, followed later by live music, partying and – perhaps best of all – an amusing menu of celeb-inspired cocktails. Often 2-for-1, you can sample Britney Spears, Graham Norton or maybe both. Sounds like a night out.

Mansion – 19 min walk

Hidden in the somewhat unlikely setting of a Grade II listed building on Micklegate, underground club Mansion is the place to head for night-to-morning drum ‘n’ bass, house, techno and other beats of the ‘phat’ variety. Mansion also hosts regular LGBT+ nights with tribute acts to your favourite pop legends – the only time you’re likely to see Kylie in a York nightclub, to be fair.

The Crescent – 26 min walk

A former working men’s club which retains its old-school vibe (dominoes, cask ale, billiards and such), The Crescent now hosts an impressively eclectic mix of live music and performance from around the world. All genres are welcome at The Crescent, so you could discover jazz, country, indie, folk or virtually anything else. Aspiring DJs can follow the likes of Leftfield’s Neil Barnes and snooker’s Steve Davis by taking to The Crescent’s decks on Wednesday nights.


Food and drink

The Nook – 14 min walk

York is the kind of city that’s packed with great independent cafés, and the cool and cosy Nook on Castlegate is one worth knowing about. The menu is packed with street food classics, showcasing Korean, Lebanese and Mexican influences, as well as comforting coffees, loose-leaf teas, brownies and cakes. As The Nook is open until late, cocktails and limited edition craft beers also make an appearance, as do dogs – so you could make some furry friends, which is never bad.

Goji Vegetarian Café and Deli – 11 min walk

This blink-and-you’ll-miss it little café on Goodramgate offers a tasty array of vegetarian (and mostly vegan) treats, from cakes and quiches to yummy mushroom burgers, noodle bowls and Middle Eastern platters. Very popular, but any waiting is sure to be worth it – in fact, it’s worth going just for their desserts, like vegan sticky toffee pudding. The deli element is also ideal for taking some heavenly nibbles home.

The (N)ice Cream Factory – 11 min walk

Because you never get too old for ice cream, The (N)ice Cream Factory on Fossgate ought to be on your York radar. With the rapid-freezin’ magic of liquid nitrogen involved, you can enjoy all sorts of super-smooth, made-to-order flavours including Malteser, Oreo, Nutella and the very decadent-sounding Espresso & Walnut. Various vegan and gluten-free options give you no excuse not to treat yourself while browsing the many independent stores of this historic street, which dates back to Roman times.

Burgsy’s – 14 min walk

York’s burger-lovers have recently welcomed Burgsy’s to the city – and that was a big deal, because their burgers, which owners Marta and Patryk began selling from a van in Whitby in 2014, were voted the second-best in Britain on TripAdvisor. With everything handmade from scratch, this American-themed burger bar on Castlegate won’t leave you hungry but it will leave you happy, whether you opt for a cheesy Blue Jack, veggie Wild Bill Hickock or a pulled pork-filled Bandit Queen.



Year Dot – 13 min walk

Keep seeing people walking around York sporting a distinctive ‘y’? They’ve likely been shopping for threads down at Year Dot. With its roots in the club scene, this independent local brand opened its flagship store on Swinegate after starting life online in 2014. They have all the streetwear and accessories you could need, from hoodies to hats, sweats and shorts – mostly man-oriented, but they have started to move into womenswear too.

Shared Earth – 14 min walk

If you like to live your life ecologically and ethically, you’ll want to pay a visit to Shared Earth, as this has been their ethos since starting out in York back in 1986. Offering a wide array of gifts, homewares and fashion – including Fair Trade bamboo socks – it’s also a great place for accessories like bangles, earrings and eye-catching animal bags. Many items are sourced from small-scale producers across Asia, Africa and South America, giving them an international market for their crafts.

Earworm Records – 12 min walk

A cute little record shop with a good range of vinyl, CDs and even cassettes (remember them?), Earworm would be easy to miss if you didn’t know it was tucked away down a little alley off Goodramgate. No genre is off limits, but the dance and electronica section is particularly good, with the knowledgeable guys who work there on-hand to help. Plenty of second-hand gems, plus a listening booth for pre-purchase evaluation. You can also get tickets for gigs at The Crescent there.

Rafi’s Spice Box – 11 min walk

If you fancy impressing your flatmates with a curry night, you’ll be able to find all you need to make it a success at Rafi’s Spice Box on Goodramgate. Their hand-mixed spice packs, mixed to your taste, make it both easy and authentically Indian, plus you can pick up all the rice, pickles, naans and papadums there too. The helpful staff know their curries and can even give you the recipe, so… Friday night at yours?



York is an easy city to get around on foot. The main train station is around 25 minutes’ walk from iQ The Brickworks, and most bus routes also stop outside the train station. You can find more information about public transport in the city at

Your iQ team will be happy to help you get to know York better, so please ask at Reception if you need any help. And if you find somewhere in town that you think everyone else should know about, let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using hashtag #MyiQLife


Meet the Team: iQ The Brickworks, York

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