Yorkshire and The Humber

Circles Café, York

13 October 2007

This coffee house feels very “York”… it’s small and cosy and it’s shoved into a bridge over the Ouse. It’s a nice place to drink coffee in this great city.

Circles Café, York

Circles Café, sister to an art gallery on the Shambles, is relatively new. It’s a pretty place, very cosy and well decorated.

Circles Café, York Circles Café, York

Despite being quite petite, every inch is used well. There are a few interesting nooks and crannies, including a separate tiny room and a windy staircase down to a very pleasant toilet (only the more mobile of us would be able to climb down to these facilities).

There’s also an outdoor terrace and river views from some angles.

Circles Café, York Circles Café, York

The service (it’s waiter service) is very friendly, and the coffee selection (all Fair trade) is alright. There are also plenty of delicious cakes which tend to come in generous portions. There is a lunch menu, but this place doesn’t seem to get too busy over lunchtime, so it’s probably ok to have just a coffee at any hour.

Circles Café, York Circles Café, York

Pricey and there are better York options.

Barker Tower
Lendal Bridge

We visited on 13 October 2007.

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  • R. Bud 16 December 2007 at 4:14 pm

    I would have to agree entirely with your comments above. Circles is a lovely Cafe with fantastic service which comes highly recommended. Located in a quaint building the newly refurbished Cafe is extremely welcoming which is a warm luxury in this world of expanding chair restaurants. Good luck Circles! Oh and if you get a chance to visit The Shambles take a trip into Art Circles Gallery – simply fantastic!

  • Hayley Donaghy 18 December 2007 at 11:30 pm

    We were thrilled to stumble across your review! Thank you kindly for your comments, as a new family business we have worked hard to make Circle’s Cafe a success. We are delighted that you enjoyed your visit to our cafe, and would be happy to meet you the next time you come in! 🙂

  • ms aims 17 February 2008 at 12:03 am

    what a lovely cafe!!
    i love it when the owners comment on your reviews.
    go the family business!!!!!!

  • Jess 18 June 2008 at 9:48 am

    My partner grew up in York. Next time we visit from Australia we will be sure to pop in!

  • Brian 2 February 2009 at 10:21 pm

    We visit this cafe every time we come to York which is only once every two months or so. It’s not the cheapest around but the quality of the food is excellent and it is certainly value for money.
    Worth visiting for the hot chocolate alone which is just about the best I’ve ever had.

  • Amy Johnstone 14 December 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I am saddened to say I recently visited this cafe and was very disappointed with it. After reading pleasant reviews I was looking forward to finding a cosy quaint cafe. This was not what I found, the service was poor, food not much better and just generally lacking in atmosphere. I would like to hope that this was a one off & I happened to be in on a bad day but I feel this is not the case.

  • Tracy 14 March 2011 at 10:27 am

    We visited York this weekend and the food and hot chocolate was fantastic, it looked like new owners were running the cafe as the service was slow, but worth waiting for.


  • suzie 15 March 2011 at 9:28 am

    since under new ownership and management i found this cafe much improved.the service is better, the staff are happier, the food is a much better quality and there is just a general atmosphere that was lacking before. i look forward to returning again and would recomend people visiting

  • graham 19 March 2011 at 5:28 pm

    After getting off the train today me and my wife decided to go to the museum gardens and have a look around. After coming out we spotted this cafe which had lovely views from outside. The food was very pleasant and we were very impressed. Service with a smile makes all the difference!
    If there was not a sign outside saying under new management Claudia and I would have not known as they seemed to know just what they were doing
    Really enjoyed our visit and next time we are in York we will be sure to visit!
    Good luck new owners!

  • Lisa 22 March 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I’ve been to Circles Cafe twice since the new owners Helen and Alison took over. I got talking to them whilst it was quiet.
    They are lovely girls who are keen to make this cafe into a friendly relaxing atmosphere – which i think they have achieved already!
    I noticed they are now using Coopers coffee and what a fantastic coffee it was, served with a homemade biscuit in the shape of a star!
    The hot chocolate is too die for and the cakes truly scrumptious.
    Pop in if you’re passing – you won’t be disappointed!

  • Louise 19 July 2011 at 11:22 am

    What a reffreshing change to the coffee chains, excelent food and service, I recommend you pop in next time you are in York, Fab


  • Keith 17 December 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Just to say as a Diabetic Type 2 i call in quite Frequently with been local and get well looked after and the staff very helpful with my diet requirements. Give this cafe a try it is indeed a wanderful exsperiance.

  • Ian 31 January 2014 at 10:18 am

    Had coffee and lemon ginger cake yesterday at Circles Cafe. Very tasty in a pleasant atmosphere

  • Mark Speirs 22 February 2014 at 10:42 am

    Just spent two lovely days exploring the sights of York with my 11 year old son and popped in to Circles on our arrival off the train for a light lunch. Really lovely wee place with loads of character and excellent service. Fresh, quality food beautifully presented and perfect coffee so much better than than the big names. We returned on day 2 of our stay and weren’t disappointed! All the Best to you both and we look forward to our next visit!