Like a Local: 10 Places to Eat and Drink in York

by Michael C. Upton  |  Published June 8, 2023

Steeped in American history and only 50 miles north of Baltimore, York, PA is feeling the early pangs of a new renaissance with chic eateries and unique spots for libations leading the way.

Downtown York, PA, is home to a variety of cafes, restaurants, and bars (Photo: Michael C. Upton for TravelMag)

York, for much of the late 20th century, served as a commuter city for those working in Northern Maryland. But the White Rose City is steeped in history it is both proud of and not afraid to recognize as it enters a new period of prosperity. The city served as the capital of the United States from September 1777 until June 1778. In the late 1960s racial tensions in Pennsylvania came to a head as unrest led to violence in York; the city’s diversity is now celebrated through mural projects, cultural tours, and BIPOC-owned businesses.

The straight shot north from Baltimore on route 83 brings visitors from Charm City and the DC Metro area who are searching for a quick and quaint respite while enjoying the conveniences of city life. York has everything weekend tourists could desire, a professional baseball team, established performing arts, a county-wide community of makers and artists, and a burgeoning selection of restaurants, cafes, cocktail bars, and breweries.

Prince Street Café

Visitors find a crisp and clean environment to enjoy the morning’s first cup of coffee or an afternoon refresher at Prince Street Café. The spacious coffee shop specializes in espresso drinks. The Lancaster City micro chain serves some of the most popular coffee in the Susquehanna Valley as part of the Commons company. Before stepping foot into the space, guests can check the café’s vibe by finding out what music is currently playing via

2 W Market St

Roost is the spot for a creative brunch with indoor and outdoor seating (Photo: Michael C. Upton for TravelMag)

Roost Uncommon Kitchen

The early bird may catch the worm somewhere, but at Roost Uncommon Kitchen the night owl from the evening before can grab breakfast until 2:00 p.m. Specializing in brunch, Roost makes its biscuits from scratch, smokes its own meats, and serves beer and cocktails from local breweries and spirits makers. Roost serves fresh Necessary coffee alongside specials like The Garbage Biscuit and The Flower Pot, which both feature apricot butter for the meat lover and veg-forward eater.

35 W Market St

Central Market York

Central Market York is an institution. Built in 1888, the red brick and gray slate building stands in the heart of the York Historic District delighting tourists Thursday through Saturday. There are more than a dozen eateries located in the Romanesque building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The market offers a variety of dining options, from the popular Roburrito’s to landmark stands like Henry’s Ham and Chef Tim Spangler’s Mezzogiorno.

34 West Philadelphia St

Deep dish pizza is the specialty at Archetype (Photo: Michael C. Upton for TravelMag)

Archetype Pizza

Archetype Pizza is far from an average pizza joint. Customers can build their own pizzas and select from a lineup of traditional “round pies,” but the specialty here is the Detroit-style deep dish pizza. The signature Mac Attack is an homage to a popular American burger franchise and is a thick rectangle of crispy dough topped with ground beef, American and mozzarella cheese, lettuce, pickles, and a drizzle of Thousand Island dressing.

33 W Market St


When asking locals for dinner recommendations Victor’s usually makes the list. Harold and Eunice Fitzkee opened the Italian restaurant in 1984 inside a circa-1925 church and the stalwart dining spot survived a fire, a pandemic, and ownership changes. Now owned by Mark and Marie Sindicich, Victor’s holds several “best of” awards and received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2022. Reservations are recommended for the dining room, while the patio and bocce court are more casual.

554 S. Ogontz St

Short ribs are just one of the succulent items on the Revival menu (Photo: Michael C. Upton for TravelMag)

Revival Social Club

Part of York’s influx of modern restaurants, Revival Social Club occupies two downtown spaces and offers a changing menu of creative main courses, burgers, and shareable appetizers. Seasonal highlights include squash and pancetta carbonara, braised duck with fig over pappardelle, and beef short ribs in the winter. The spring menu brings items like goat cheese chicken roulade, pan seared Bronzino with sunchoke puree, and smoked octopus. Revival offers great cocktails, too.

19 North George St

The First Post

The First Post is versatile. Diners come for business meetings, family gatherings, and romantic evenings. Cocktail enthusiasts and domestic beer drinkers share space at the circa-1839 bar resourced from a closing Pittsburgh establishment and given new life in York. One of the most popular dishes is the charred octopus, which has been modified over the years, but still presents a Mediterranean flair. Sensational salads are also a big hit for both lunch and dinner.

3691 E Market St

Great beers come with great views at South County Brewing Co. (Photo: Michael C. Upton for TravelMag)

South County Brewing Company

In April 2022, a tiny brewery with a loyal following made a big move to a new location. South County Brewing Company opened a 28,000 sq. ft., timber-framed space on 13 acres, complete with a production area tripling their brewing capacity. There’s also an event room, a casual dining hall, a loft with a few pinball machines, and an outdoor seating area and bar with sunset views. Dining options include St. Louis style barbeque, brick oven pizzas, and a few sandwiches, starters, and salads.

170 Crossway Dr

Lovedrafts Unplugged

Nightclub meets craft beer at Lovedrafts Unplugged, the number four location of the Dauphin County enterprise. The skull and skeleton mascots and motif provoke more fun than fear in this quirky venue offering trivia nights, music bingo, and live performances from regional musicians. House rules are posted and include: the bartender is always right; no Nickleback; zero tolerance for hate speech; no politics, sports, or religious talk; and no rearranging furniture. The small, craft kitchen menu changes regularly.

251 N George St

The Davidson Lobby Bar retains its art deco décor (Photo: Michael C. Upton for TravelMag)

The Yorktowne Hotel

This classically iconic hotel in downtown York reopened as part of Hilton’s Tapestry Collection in 2023 following $52 million in renovations. Riding the theme of “where majestic meets nostalgia” the bar program makes the Yorktowne Hotel the spot for classic cocktails made with high-end spirits. The Graham Rooftop Lounge offers sunset city views and small bites, while quality cocktails can also be sipped in the art deco-infused Davidson Lobby Bar. Artwork from a dozen local creators is hung throughout the hotel.

48 E Market St