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On Stonegate and only a stone's throw away from the Minster, the Evil Eye Lounge is a regular haunt for York locals and students a like, but some come from farther afield. Only last year, 90s icon Jamiroquai was spotted on the terrace and a few years back, whilst filming in York for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Johnny Depp was a regular. With a bewilderingly long cocktail menu, the only problem you'll encounter is making up your mind. From new approaches to Martinis and Long Island Ice Teas, to the dangerous 'Shed Seven', bizarre yet wonderful combinations of savoury, sweet and spirited make Evil Eye a must-visit.
Evil Eye's talents, however, extend beyond the bar and the cocktail mixer. Monday to Saturday, their kitchen offers up wonderful melange of Asian cuisine, sampling Thai, Laos, Vietnamese and Chinese food. With dishes ranging from mild to tauntingly hot, there's something for everyone's palette. I'd personally recommend the Mok Kong Noi Special, but fear not, if you don't fancy sampling their Far Eastern menu, snack on their distinctly un-Asian option of Evil Chips (fries smothered in melted cheese). On Sunday, however, you'll have to head elsewhere for Fusion delights, as Evil Eye only serves English roasts. Available in three different sizes with a variety of meats (and an apparently delicious veggie option), it would probably beat most pubs' offerings.
It's a little eccentric, but loveably so. Housing one of the nicest smoking gardens in York, with a view of the Minster, lounge beds on the first floor and a room that projects blockbuster films on mute, it stands out in the crowded York drinking scene. Additionally, with its creaking floorboards, colourful and quirky wall paintings and mismatching furniture, you can sit comfortably in a bar that's most definitely not one of a chain.
Fortunately for the Evil Eye team and unfortunately for us, their establishment is hardly a secret and sometimes queues in peak periods can be shocking. Perseverance is rewarded, however, as part of the Evil Eye experience is getting to watch your poison being constructed artistically in front of you. Evil Eye evenings can cause some damage. Forget about a morning headache, for your wallet's sake this isn't stop on a bar crawl so don't knock one off their finely crafted cocktails as part of predrinks. It's a treat to be savoured.
Much like their cocktails, Evil Eye Lounge is a bizarre mixture: ample alcohol, Asian cuisine, bohemian decor and thumping rock music. Both are, however, recipes for success, making it a firm favourite for many students.