Leeds is filled with fun, creative bars that are worth exploring and there truly is something for everyone. Many of the more popular places are hidden gems or tucked away underground and there are a number of speakeasy-style bars for that added air of mystery. There’s a mix of unpretentious cocktail bars, classy establishments and multi-purpose venues that make your night out about more than just booze with different games to try. Here’s a list of some our top picks. To find out more about Leeds see The Highlights.
This speakeasy-style cocktail bar is hidden on Call Lane behind an unmarked door. It’s a uniquely stylish and quirky place to grab a quality drink with vintage decor, wooden flooring, plush leather seats and a prohibition vibe. There’s a seasonal cocktail menu filled with new and exciting combinations, plus old classics all served up with style - some even come in little teacups.
This little, intimate basement bar in an alleyway of Duncan Street may lack in size but makes up for it with its selection of creative tapas dishes. The funky decor, leather booths and outside terrace give it a chilled out atmosphere where you can enjoy signature drinks like the Hazelito and PS I Love You. Food and drink aren’t their only passions, they also love music, with top DJs taking to the decks over the years.
This not-so-hidden gem is a popular speakeasy-style bar above its sister bar, Sandinista. Head inside for opulent interiors, cosy candle-lit tables and a Victorian-themed take on prohibition bars. Its reputation comes from its fun selection of creative cocktails, with fifteen original creations including the Popcorn Julep, which served with actual popcorn.
Call Lane Social & The Tiki Hideaway
This Leeds’ favourite combines rock’n’roll with cocktails in a stylish setting. There are exposed brick walls, mahogany furnishings and a stuffed stag’s head on the wall. Head upstairs to discover The Tiki Hideaway, an exotic cocktail bar. Drink out of a coconut shell, or try a fiery concoction surrounded by bamboo beach hut bars and fairy lights for the perfect escape from the British weather.
Belgrave Music Hall
This versatile venue has been everything from a music venue to a comedy club to a yoga studio and home to street food, raves and burlesque nights. As a bar, it serves a great selection of craft beer and spirits, plus tasty burgers and pizzas from ever-changing street-food traders. There plenty of space and quirky interiors that give it a festival atmosphere. The rooftop terrace is the perfect place to sip on a cocktail in summer.
With two locations, this popular bar chain is a firm favourite in Leeds. One of these is atop Trinity Leeds with stunning views of the city from the inviting terrace. It’s a cool and modern venue that takes its theme and eccentricity seriously. It also takes mixology a step further with experimental cocktails and an air of sophistication.
For a classy night out, check out this rooftop bar in Trinity Leeds to feel like a VIP. During summer enjoy the fresh air and alfresco drinking experience, in the winter head inside and watch the world from the floor to ceiling windows. The cocktail bar includes tropical favourites taking inspiration from around the world, and homemade classics.
This famous Leeds establishment may be small, but its selection of drinks on offer makes it more than worth it, describing itself as ‘the first craft beer bar in Britain’. Whether this is true or not, it does have around 150 beers that are constantly changing, plus over 50 whiskies, 10 gins and 30 rums. It’s a great place to discover new drinks as they’re always ahead of the curve in importing the best.
Mojo Bar Leeds
This unpretentious cocktail bar helped pave the way for Leeds independent bar scene. It’s New York dive inspired interiors and rock-chic style combined with a Rock n Roll soundtrack give a lively party atmosphere. There’s a good selection of cocktails including both classics and their own creative concoctions like the Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb! If the suns out, there’s plenty of space to sit outside.
Crowd of Flavours
This chilled out pub is just off Kirkgate, next to Leeds Markets. Spread across two floors; the shabby-chic interiors and walls covered in local art create a relaxed place to enjoy an eclectic selection of beers, wines and spirits. There are lots of little nooks and crannies, great for groups including a small secret garden and the downstairs cellar bar that holds a number of events including movie night.
This stylish yet cosy pub in the Northern Quarter stands out as a unique, old Tudor style building. Inside it’s rustic, but with a contemporary twist and chilled out feel. There are seven pool tables for hire and dart boards so you can have a game while you enjoy their large selection of beers. There are 12 taps of craft beers, four real ales and over 40 bottled. Try their fresh dough pizzas, burgers and flatbreads.
The Cross Keys - Leeds
This welcoming gastropub on Water Lane transports you away from the busy city to a cosy inn. Split across two floors; there’s a dining area serving traditional pub grub, including Sunday roasts. Downstairs is the pub with exposed brickwork, modern furnishings and a toasty fireplace. There are cask stout and beer on tap, as well as malt whiskeys, craft gin and rum. During the summer, enjoy a drink on the sunny courtyard.