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City Secrets: October

Photograph: The Yorker

Photograph: The Yorker

Photograph: The Yorker

For the discerning student or inhabitant of York who likes a chill cafe or jazzy pub but doesn’t know where to look, City Secrets is your guide. Every month we will post reviews and commentary of some of the best pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars in York.


Ippuku Tea House

Sat – 10am-9pm
Sun – 10am-6pm
Mon-Fri – 11:30am-9pm
Pro: serene cafe, great for chilling with friends
Con: limited seating
Diet: vegan, lactose free and gluten free options
Seating: indoors and outdoors

Venture to Ippuku Tea House for authentic Japanese cuisine. Situated opposite the McDonald’s – without seeming or smelling like it – this quaint tea house and restaurant transports you to the tranquillity of a Japanese garden in the middle of York’s bustling town centre.


Ippuku has a very chilled atmosphere, you can find your zen inside amongst the traditional Japanese artwork or outside surrounded by verdure. The intimate seating both inside and out makes this a great place for a date or a one-on-one with someone special. Cosy, however, can quickly turn into cramped with only limited tables and seats available. To avoid this, go before 12pm on a weekend and book for dinner. It is child-friendly which adds to its family appeal, your mum would appreciate a trip here!


If you are a vegan this is the place for you! Much Japanese food is already vegan, but Ippuku takes it a step further by offering vegan options for most of the non-vegan dishes. The vegetable gyoza is particularly good; according to my vegan housemate.


If you have been wanting to try matcha this is the place to do it, Ippuku offers matcha tea and matcha latte; both delicious for a fan of bitter tastes. There is an option to add honey to sweeten. Latte-drinkers can choose dairy or non-dairy options which, in my experience, is rarely offered in lattes and other milky drinks.


There is not as much in the way of entertainment as there is in other eateries, bars and pubs. There is no live music, quiz night or public speaking event. That said, Ippuku occasionally host events mostly denoting to Japanese culture such as their up-and-coming Sake Tasting Night on Monday 15th October.


The tea house is on a main road and easy to see from the pavement due to the hanging signs. If you know where the McDonald’s is Ippuku is easy to find. If you do not know this part of York: walk straight from Piccadilly, past the Disney store on your left, keep going until you reach a fork in the road by Betty’s Tea Room, take the right road straight ahead of you and Ippuku will be down this street on your right.

For the nearest bus stops go to Museum Street or Rougier Street. From campus, take the 66 to Rougier Street (6 minutes) and walk or take the 66 to Low Ousegate and walk (6 minutes). From Alcuin Avenue (Tang Hall Lane) take the number 6 bus to Rougier Street and walk.


Only outside, obviously. Although there were no smokers when I have visited, there were traces of cigarette ash so we can assume that smoking is somewhat tolerated.


Check out the menu here.

Ippuku Tea House
15 Blake St, York YO1 8QJ