Hull 2017 Cultural Guide: Food & Drink

Food & Drink

The Avenues

Home to some of the city’s finest restaurants and bars, Princes Ave and nearby Newland Ave are perfect places to go if you’re looking for food in Hull.

On Newland Ave, you can try a proper pie from the the institution that is Hull Pie, or maybe some delicious Caribbean food and cocktails at Roots Rum Shack and Kitchen (who have an outfit in Beverley too). The Fish & Chip Kitchen does exactly what it says on the tin, with plenty of British beers available too. El Chupitos offer Mexican Street Food, while Dirty Bird is a temple dedicated to all things chicken and Gusto da Gianni is heaven for pizza and pasta lovers. Ruby Lounge, Larkin’s Bar, Lodge, Sleepers, The Boathouse and Tofts are all great places to head for after work drinks and food on Newland Ave too. For something sweet, fans of French crepes should head to Le Crêpier Papin, or try Caffe Gelato for the scrummiest sweet treats.

On Princes Ave, stop in at the Fudge bakery where they have a range of breads, cakes and other treats, plus a sit-down restaurant next door too. Traditional Texan delights are on the menu at American Smokehouse Aunt Bibby’s, and Pave offers beers, comedy and live music, plus some great home-cooked food. Marrakech, The Persian, Bengal Lounge and Thai House are all great places to try that show off Princes Ave’s international flavour too. For pizza, don’t miss Uno’s. Lucca offer fine food at a good price, and Garbutts Bar is a popular watering hole with a great menu too.

A quick bite

Don’t have much time, but need to grab something to eat? Fans of quality coffee and cake should head to Caffeinated Hull in Trinity Indoor Market, or if you’re more of a tea-lover, then Liquid Jade in Zebedee’s Yard is the one for you. In need of a decent sarnie? Relish and Kingston’s Deli have got you covered.

Nibble near the marina also offers hearty breakfasts and quick eats during the day. With our maritime heritage, fish and chips are a big deal in Hull – not to mention chip spice and the Hull pattie. Bob Carver’s and East Park Chippy are two popular choices.

Quality pubs

Old Town has plenty of great pubs, like the Lion and Key, where they serve good food and beer under a ceiling covered with hundreds of different beermats. Ye Olde Black Boy holds claim to the title of the oldest pub in Hull and was a favourite haunt of Larkin during his time in the city, and both the Sailmakers Arms and WM Hawkes are cosy places to nurse a pint of mild. The nearby Ye Olde White Harte’s most famous room, the Plotting Parlour, is said to be where Governor of Hull Sir John Hotham plotted to defy King Charles I when he tried to enter the town, providing a spark big enough to start the English Civil War. Polar Bear on Spring Bank offers something different, and is home to live music night The Sesh every Tuesday. The Minerva is also well worth a look if you’re along the waterfront.

Craft beers and food

Beer aficionados need look no further, because there are plenty of places to get a quality beer with your food in Hull. Furley and Co and The Head of Steam are great examples, whilst The Old House offer craft beer, a gin bar and delicious food from Shoot the Bull.

Burgers and other treats

Thieving Harry’s on Humber Street is a firm favourite, home to some of the best coffee, grilled cheese and burgers in the city. Dope Burger provide exactly what you might think (gourmet burgers and hot dogs for when you fancy a real treat). If Americana’s not your thing, Ambiente has arrived on Humber Street with delightful Mediterranean tapas.

Fine dining

Feeling fancy? 1884 Dock Street Kitchen serve some of the finest food in Yorkshire for lunch and dinner in their restaurant in the marina. Or if you’re in the mood for lobster ravioli, Al Porto are an authentic Italian outfit serving quality dishes in their warehouse home. For something completely different, The Deep (Hull’s incredible aquarium) is home to the Two Rivers restaurant, giving diners the chance to eat their meal surrounded by an unbelievable aquatic display. Venture out to Beverley to visit Ogino, for the finest sushi and Japanese food the region has to offer, or head to Tapasya for an Indian treat.

And don’t miss…

Vegetarians in the city need to make a stop at Hitchcock’s, an informal and social vegetarian restaurant in the Old Town. Kardomah 94 is a performance and events space with a great restaurant too, whilst Bar82 open late and offer their own huge range of cocktails too. Hull’s own Yum! Festival of Food & Drink is the culinary highlight of the year, with street food, live demos and lots of fresh produce.

Hotels & Accommodation

Holiday Inn [Marina], Holiday Inn Express [City Centre]Premier Inn, Travelodge and the Ibis all offer what you’d hope from well-known hotel brands – easy access to the city centre and a good night’s sleep for a reasonable price. Most of these have a couple of locations in and around the city, so check their websites for more information. The Village Hotel is another popular option, with an indoor pool and a gym for guests.

If you want to jump straight from the train and into your room, the Britannia Hull Royal Hotel could hardly be in a better position. It’s directly connected to the train station and is in the centre of town; Larkin even wrote a poem about it. Or enjoy a stay at Hull’s latest hotel addition, the Hilton DoubleTree; Hull’s most luxurious offering. Including the Marco Pierre-White Steakhouse, a rooftop bar and 24-hour room service, you might never want to leave this lavish city-centre hub.

If you fancy a panoramic view of the Humber Bridge then the Hallmark Hotel is one to try, while the Kingston Theatre Hotel is in just the right spot for Old Town. Visitors heading to Cottingham could check out the Lazaat Hotel. There is also the four star 19th century manor house Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel nestled in 12 acres of landscaped gardens in the picturesque Willerby. Cave Castle Hotel is a castellated manor house just off the A63, set amongst 150 acres of parkland.

It’s not all about hotels though. Why not try Hideout Hotel who offer contemporary apartments in the heart of Hull. There are plenty of great B&Bs and self-catered options for accommodation too, like The Toll Cottage in Cottingham. Airbnb is another good place to look, which is full of gems like this converted orangery in a rose garden near Beverley. Take a peek at the other homestays (including whole properties) available on Airbnb now.

If you fancy a truly authentic rural East Yorkshire experience, why not spend the night on a working farm, for example Butt Farm in Beverley? Expect beautiful countryside and the freshest eggs you’ve ever eaten for breakfast. Campers and caravan-ers have lots of sites to choose from around Hull and East Yorkshire too, like the Bridlington Caravan Club Site or the Burton Constable Holiday Park.

There are loads of places to stay in Hull and East Yorkshire – for a great big list of hotels and accommodation of all kinds, head to Visit Hull and East Yorkshire’s website.

Top Attractions

If you’re driving into Hull and East Riding from the south, there’s one attraction that’s pretty much impossible to avoid: the Humber Bridge. Stretching 2,220 metres between Barton-on-Humber in North Lincolnshire and Hessle in East Riding, the bridge was the longest in the world when it first opened. Take some time to explore this incredible feat of engineering during your trip to Hull.

If you’re not too sure where to start once you arrive in Hull itself, a walking tour is a brilliant way to get to know the city. Paul Schofield leads guided walks in Hull (and Beverley too) that show off all the area has to offer. Try exploring the Old Town, sample the city’s best pubs, or follow Hull’s literary history.

Once you know your way around, there are dozens of visitor attractions to keep you busy. One for the kids (and big kids too) The Deep is one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world, home to thousands of fish and a colony of Gentoo penguins. Continuing the marine theme, Hull also celebrates its maritime history with two floating visitor attractions that are both well worth a visit. The Arctic Corsair is a former deep sea trawler ship, now a museum dedicated to the history of deep sea fishing. The Spurn Lightship (permanently moored in Hull Marina) spent nearly 50 years guiding ships safely through the Humber estuary with its great light, and now houses its own museum too.

Hull is a big sporting city, with regular fixtures at the KCOM Stadium. Football team Hull City (aka The Tigers) play their home matches at the stadium, which they share with rugby league side Hull F.C. The city is proudly home to two top-tier rugby league sides, with F.C.’s rivals Hull Kingston Rovers playing their matches at the KCOM Craven Park.

For something a little bit more sedate, Hull Minster is a beautiful a place of worship but also also a place of exploration and enjoyment which hosts events and concerts all year round. The incredible Beverley Minster is a gothic masterpiece in nearby Beverley, with a history that stretches all the way back to the 8th century.

Fort Paull, the only remaining Napoleonic Fortress in Yorkshire, is home to the colossal Blackburn Beverley Aircraft and offers views across the Humber estuary. If military history isn’t your thing, the Skidby Windmill near Cottingham is the last working mill in Yorkshire, part of the Museum of East Riding Rural Life, and Burton Constable Hall is packed with interesting local curiosities.

For wildlife lovers the great chalk cliffs at RSPB Bempton Cliffs offer the chance to see hundreds of seabirds, with nature trails for younger visitors and bracing cliff-top walks for the more adventurous.

Why not try…
Rockcity, the home of climbing, skateboarding and BMX in Hull since 1994. With a large indoor complex of climbing walls and a skatepark, Rockcity also has a coffee shop for those who’d prefer to watch.

Hull City Hall

Theatres, Museums & Galleries

Theatres and arts centres
Fancy a bit of Shakespeare? Performance art? Musical theatre? We’ve got you covered in Hull. Head to Hull Truck Theatre to watch pioneering, powerful theatre with a contemporary northern voice. Hull Truck produce several shows a year and present work from some of the most exciting theatre companies from the UK and beyond, in their main theatre and intimate studio. The recently spruced up Hull New Theatre meanwhile plays host to big touring shows, including opera, ballet and drama. Hull City Hall have gigs, comedy and live events of all shapes and sizes, and are home to the Hull Philharmonic Orchestra.

As well as the regular programme of concerts at Hull City Hall, classical music fans can head over to the University of Hull for more recitals, chamber music and full-scale concerts. The newly-renovated Middleton Hall is a world-class concert hall at the heart of the University of Hull campus. The University’s Gulbenkian Centre is home to The Donald Roy Theatre and The Anthony Minghella Studio too, showcasing student drama and professional shows.

Hull’s fringe scene is a pretty big deal too. Try out Kardomah94 for alternative theatre, music, film and other events (bonus: they also do great food). Over in the Fruit Market, Früit are a multi-arts venue showing everything from cult cinema and comedy to club nights and gigs. Head up to the Avenues you’ll find theatre, spoken word and a whole programme of other events at Union Mash-Up.

Venture a little further north into Beverley and you’ll find East Riding Theatre, showing new productions, comedy and touring shows in their beautiful converted chapel. And if you make the trip out to Bridlington on the coast be sure to visit Spa Bridlington, as well as Brid’s favourite little venue Spotlight Theatre.

Hull has an incredible story. Learn about our city’s history and heritage in one of Hull’s museums, starting in the (city-run, so completely free of charge) Museums Quarter. The Hull and East Riding Museum is part of the Museums Quarter and gives you the chance to explore Hull’s history from 250,000 BC to today and come face to face with a wooly mammoth. You can find out about Hull’s maritime and seafaring history at the Maritime Museum, or learn about life on Hull’s historic ships first hand on the city’s two floating museums, the Spurn Lightship and the Arctic Corsair. Stop in to hear stories from across the city’s past at the Hull History Centre, or at Hull People’s Memorial Exhibition Centre, and celebrate the legacy of Hull’s most famous son William Wilberforce (MP and champion of the abolitionist movement) at his birthplace Wilberforce House.

For some local history just outside of Hull’s city centre, head to Burton Constable Hall to discover its ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ and get to know some of the fascinating characters from the Constable family over the past 500 years.

If you’re looking for something a bit more interactive you could take a trip to the Hands on History Museum, and then Dinostar – a whole museum dedicated to dinosaurs. The Streetlife Museum of Transport is another popular choice for families, with its own replica 1940s high street.

Old school ravers, on the other hand, should definitely pay the UK’s only Museum of Club Culture a visit.

2017 was a huge year for galleries and visual art in Hull, and its star will only continue to rise. The Ferens Art Gallery, home to work by David Hockney, Stanley Spencer and Gillian Wearing reopened after refurbishment. The gallery hosted crowd-pleaser Skin: Freud, Mueck and Tunick, plus one of the biggest and most exciting contemporary art competitions in the world – the Turner Prize. Make sure you pay this grand building a visit.

The Fruit Market area is rapidly becoming a centre for arts and culture in Hull Humber Street Gallery leads the way on Humber Street, with its contemporary selection of exhibitions. Visit gallery space Studio Eleven, specialists in printmaking and ceramics, who run their gallery alongside a programme of workshops for all abilities. You’ll find even more beautiful hand-made work down the road from Studio Eleven at Oresome, who create, sell and exhibit contemporary jewellery. The Kingston Art Group have been a pillar of Hull’s artistic community since 1989 and now call Fruit Market home too, with an exhibition space on Humber Street.

The RED Gallery of Contemporary Art is run by a group of local artists and is the heart of the city’s contemporary art scene, giving artists the opportunity to experiment and exhibit their work in Hull. The Creative and Cultural Company run the POP (Pride of Place) Art Space in Princes Quay Shopping Centre to democratise contemporary art and start a discussion around art in Hull; they also run the Hull International Photography (HIP) Gallery and Club in Princes Quay, home to the Hull International Photography Festival and other exhibitions throughout the year. The University of Hull have an excellent collection in the Brynmor Jones Library, including work from Wyndham Lewis and Henry Moore. Meanwhile the Myton Gallery in Hepworth Arcade showcase and sell the work of local artists, specialising in historical maritime painting.

North of the city, Beverley Art Gallery has a huge collection of work from celebrated local artist Frederick Elwell, as well as a wide-ranging permanent collection. Bohemia Galleries in Beverley open by appointment and have a focus on contemporary painting. Nearby country estate Sledmere House is home to the Triton Gallery, an exhibition space showcasing a range of professional and amateur Yorkshire artists. Head over to Bridlington to see Gallery 49, with paintings, print, sculpture and lots more over two floors of a listed Georgian house. If you head over the Humber Bridge into Barton upon Humber, make sure you stop by The Ropewalk to see their new exhibitions in all disciplines, as well as a celebrated sculpture garden.


The bigger shopping centres offer everything you need for a day of retail therapy – well-known brands, somewhere to park the car and pit-stops for when you need tea and cake. Try out St Stephens on Ferensway for posh pants, new shoes or a fancy pair of specs. Princes Quay has a mix of independent shops and high street brands, as well as a cinema and bowling alley. Prospect Shopping Centre is the place for games and gifts in the city, while the North Point Shopping Centre in Bransholme is one of the biggest and busiest shopping centres in Hull, with over 50 shops to choose from.

For something a little bit more independent, Trinity Indoor Market offer quality coffee, confectionary, meat, fresh fruit and veg. Just next door, Hepworth Arcade is a Grade II listed shopping arcade in the Old Town, dating all the way back to the late 1800s. Stop in to visit Dinsdale’s famous joke shop or take a peek at Beasley’s incredible hat shop. Hepworth Arcade was also home to one of the first ever Marks and Spencer penny bazaars, before they moved up the road to their newer ‘large cool store’ (as Larkin put it).

Fruit Market is home to Früit, a vibrant arts and events space in the city, who host the Humber Street Market on the third Sunday of every month. Pop by for fashion, food, furniture and antiques. It’s not just about the market though – Fruit Market is home to loads of other independent creative businesses too.

Into vintage fashion? Hull’s vintage shops are a goldmine. Try Poorboy in Princes Quay or on Newland Ave, Chinese Laundry on Saville Street or Beasley’s in Hepworth’s Arcade.

Why not try…
Hull’s unbelievable selection of independent record stores, who all work closely with the record labels in the city. Check out…

  • Funkywormhole, who specialise in soul, funk, R&B and reggae in their Bowlalley Lane store. They hire out their own funkadelic sound system too.
  • Spin-It Records, a vinyl-only institution in Trinity Market, with over 20,000 LPs and singles.
  • GO Records, selling new and second hand vinyl from the 1950s to now on Cottingham Road.
  • Minster Records who have a huge selection of music in their shop in Beverley, and are always keen to promote local acts.
  • The Hull Record Fair happens every two months at the Mercure Royal Hotel, bringing the UK’s best vinyl dealers together in Hull.
Getting Around

Parks & Gardens

East Park is Hull’s biggest park, which opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Complete with 16 acre boating lake and swan pedallo boats, East Park is also home to a listed Wicksteed splash boat dating all the way back to 1929. Their animal education centre is a big hit with young visitors, who can get face to face with alpacas, wallabies and peacocks (as well as snakes, beetles and tarantulas if they dare). Pickering Park boasts a beautiful fishing lake and a fine collection of native and exotic trees, add in the ornamental gardens and summer paddling pool and you’ve got the makings of a great day out.

If you’re nearer the Avenues, it’s worth heading over to Pearson Park – the first public park in Hull. Larkin spent much of his time in Hull living in a house overlooking the park and it’s easy to see why. West Park sits next to the KC Stadium and has some of the city’s best sporting facilities, as well its own model railway. The annual Hull Fair (Europe’s largest travelling funfair) happens each October next to West Park too.

Country Houses
Burton Constable Hall is an impressive Elizabethan house about 9 miles north of Hull. The grounds around the house were designed by Capability Brown, and there are 300 acres of parkland to explore. The house itself is full of weird and wonderful things, including an 18m long sperm whale skeleton and an entire Cabinet of Curiosities.

Burton Agnes Hall near Driffield dates back to 1173, and is a beautiful example of Tudor Renaissance architecture. Take a tour around their award-winning gardens and stop by for their Jazz and Blues Festival in the summer.

Sewerby Hall and Gardens was built in the early 1700s on the coast near Flamborough Head, offering unbelievable views across the North Sea. They have a permanent Amy Johnson exhibition (showing off artefacts from one of the world’s most famous aviators) and their own fully-fledged zoo. Be sure to catch the Humboldt penguins, who are fed every day at 3pm.

Sledmere House has welcomed visitors for over 200 years, since the original house was extended and beautifully decorated in the late 1700s. A huge fire destroyed much of the decor in 1911, although lots of the furniture was saved and it has since been lovingly restored. The house is now home to the Triton Gallery, one of the most exciting contemporary art spaces in East Yorkshire.

18 miles north of Hull, Wassand Hall is open to ticket holders during the summer. Walkers can enjoy the woodland walks and gardens, while petrol heads should come for the vintage car rally.

Burnby Hall Gardens near Pocklington was the home of Major Percy Stewart, who travelled far and wide in the early 1900s gathering artefacts and inspiration for his estate. Visit his house to see the gardens inspired by his travels and the museum that showcases all of the amazing objects he gathered.

South of the Humber Bridge, Normanby Hall is a 300 acre estate in North Lincolnshire. With an impressive walled garden and deer park, Normanby Hall also hosts an annual adventure race for braver, sportier visitors.

Walking and cycling
The Viking Way is a long distance footpath, running all the way from Oakham in Rutland to the Humber Bridge. Walkers and cyclists are both welcome, on a path that takes you via Rutland Water reservoir, into the grounds of Lincoln Cathedral and through the Lincolnshire Wolds. It’s 147 miles long, with plenty of great places to stop along the way. There’s an ultra-marathon along the route too, that the bravest runners (somehow) complete in one go, within 40 hours.

The Yorkshire Wolds Way is an 80 mile trip for walkers and cyclists, taking you north from Hull through Pocklington and towards Filey on the coast. Villages and market towns along the way have pubs and other places to rest your weary feet, and you can treat yourself with fish and chips at the seaside once you reach the end of the path. It’s been popular since it opened in the 1980s and is well signposted too.