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Pub Review: The Esk Vaults, Whitby

The owners of The Esk Vaults set out to open a bar in Whitby that they’d like to drink in themselves. They’ve created a place that, not only they, but many others (including us!) like to drink in, too.

Doorway to The Esk Vaults in Whitby

Inside The Esk Vaults in Whitby

What to expect at The Esk Vaults

In April 2022 at the inaugural Whitby Beer & Spirits Con – a veritable celebration of top-notch booze, organised by The Green Dragon Ale House and held in the Brunswick Centre – three friends had the idea to open a bar together: somewhere a bit different for Whitby, with a cosy feel, a great atmosphere and excellent beer. Fast-forward to November of the same year and Liz, Danny and Chris, (bringing with him experience from The Green Dragon), were opening The Esk Vaults on Golden Lion Bank.

The bar at The Esk Vaults in Whitby

The Vaults is an upstairs-only venue, accessible by a staircase next door to The Greedy Pig sandwich shop, and as such it can be easy to miss. We’re in Whitby fairly regularly and can’t believe that we’ve walked past it so many times and never been in until now – lost time that we’ll be sure to make up for on our future visits! It really was a lovely surprise to climb the stairs and find such an inviting place with a brilliant choice of beers that’s right up our street! We love the decor: teal green carpets and upholstery, dark wood furniture, blackboard notices (including a free-for-all ‘doodleboard!’) and a damn fine-looking bar. Liz told us, “We just wanted to open a bar that we would be happy to drink in ourselves.” They’ve certainly achieved that, we we’re more than happy to drink there, too.

Two beers at The Esk Vaults in Whitby

What’s to drink at The Esk Vaults?

The Esk Vaults has four constantly-rotating craft keg lines with a good choice of different styles, all available in measures of 1/3, 1/2 or 2/3 of a pint. When we visited, we could choose from Freedom Brewery Ltd’s (Rugeley) Lager, SALT Beer Factory’s (Shipley) Vic Secret and Talus IPA, Lush pale ale by Wylam Brewery (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) and Goodh Brewing Co.’s (Cornwall) Joe espresso stout, plus ciders, Thundering Molly by Celtic Marches (Herefordshire) and Snails Bank (Herefordshire) Strawberry and Lime. We went for the Freedom Lager and Salt’s IPA, both of which were great. Every new beer is recorded in the Esk Vaults Book of Beers – a Who’s Who of great brew, if you will – and, in 17 months, The Vaults has accommodated a whopping 400+ different varieties! There’s also a fantastic range of bottles and cans to drink in or take away, as well as wine, spirits and soft drinks.

Menu at The Esk Vaults in Whitby

What’s to eat at The Esk Vaults?

The Esk Vaults serves up very popular stone-baked pizzas which look delicious. You can choose from a menu of the classics (margherita, pepperoni, etc.); the Daily Specials board (when we visited, the ‘Dirty Shirley’, with chilli flakes, chorizo and pulled pork, sounded particularly tempting); or mix-and-match your own selection of toppings. Vegan and vegetarian options are available. Toasties, nachos, light bites and pickled eggs are also on offer. Or, if you’re feeling brave, try the ‘Fireball Challenge’: eat ten insanely hot garlic dough balls in ten minutes and get your meal for free!

Stairs to The Esk Vaults in Whitby

What’s on at The Esk Vaults?

The Esk Vaults has organised several events since its opening in November 2022, all of which would delight booze-lovers. They’ve held tasting evenings for whisky, rum and tequila; co-hosted Whitby Beer and Spirits Con with The Green Dragon; and hosted Tap Takeovers from Brew York (York) and Vocation Brewery (Hebden Bridge). Follow them on Facebook to keep up to date with what’s going on.


Where can I find The Esk Vaults?

The Esk Vaults is in the centre of Whitby on the west side, just a minute’s walk from the Swing Bridge over the River Esk. If you’re travelling by car, Whitby is around 50 minutes from Middlesbrough and just over an hour from York. There are several carparks, many of which are free during winter months. We usually park in Langbourne Road Car Park which has plentiful spaces and is a 10-minute walk from the town centre. Local trains and buses also service Whitby. You’ll find The Esk Vaults on Golden Lion Bank, through the door to the right of The Greedy Pig sandwich shop and up the stairs.


Inside The Esk Vaults in Whitby

The Esk Vaults, Whitby: Summary

-          Great beers and ales

-          Bottles and cans available

-          Dog-friendly

-          Pizzas and toasties

-          Whitby town centre

-          Parking nearby

-          Good transport links

-          Occasional spirit-tasting events


Where can I find out more information?

For information about the latest opening times, menus, events and what’s on tap, follow The Esk Vaults on Facebook.



What’s your favourite pub in Whitby? Message us on Facebook, Instagram or use the form on our website to give us a recommendation for where to review next on our blog!

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