16 Must Visit Bars in Leeds
If you’ve planned a weekend visit to Leeds, get clued up on the best bars to visit no matter what the occasion.
Where Are the Best Bars in Leeds?
From trendy new bars to age-old favourites, Leeds is brimming with great places to drink for all group sizes. The city was once known as the party capital of the UK, with areas like Electric Press, Call Lane, Briggate and Millennium Square being especially busy after dark. The city also holds a Purple Flag, meaning the nightlife is deemed hugely entertaining, safe and diverse. With so much to choose from, we’ve narrowed the venues down to the top bars in Leeds city centre for you to choose from.
1. The Maven
The edgy and fun Maven bar is right in the centre of the action on Call Lane and carries a modern, chilled atmosphere inside. Home of excellent mixology, the bars pride and joy is their cocktail menu made with flare for the bartenders. You and expect smoke, flames and alchemy when you order delicious drinks in one of the best cocktail bars in Leeds. This is more of a relaxed venue, therefore a great place to start the evening with a couple of drinks and chatting.
2. Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen
This bar and music hall is huge, set over three floors with two separate bars and a surprising roof terrace! You can find Belgrave in the Northern Quarter which means you can combine a few best bars in Leeds within walking distance. There’s something for everyone in this longstanding venue, from live music to ample seating on the terrace and even food served in the early evening. They also host a multitude of events throughout the year that might pique your interests. Have a browse through our list of the best clubs in Leeds for after you've visited all the bars.
3. Thewlis Gin & Cocktails
If you’re on the hunt for a more sophisticated evening, try Thewlis gin and cocktails. Like it says in the name, this sleek and chic venue has white leather seating and a dark wood interior creating a cosy atmosphere. Thewlis bar is small and sweet, so if you want an intimate evening rather than dancing until you drop this is the perfect place to spend the night.
4. Dirty Martini
Dirty Martini is famous for its Instagramable angel wings and tasty porn star martinis that sets the bar apart from the rest. Perfect for if you’re celebrating something special, Leeds Dirty Martini is spacious and welcoming. As nice bars in Leeds go, Dirty Martini is a newer establishment with a clean-cut style and uber cool interior. Open until 3am on weekends, you can sip on delicious cocktails all evening if you like!
5. Banyan Bar & Kitchen
For the best bars in Leeds to start the evening early, Banyan bar and kitchen is the right place to go. Because this venue also serves food, you can guarantee an excellent vibe before it even goes dark – especially in the summer. This venue is relatively large with an impressive outdoor seating area that spills onto the pavement. They also have an individually curated cocktail menu with unique drinks like Banyan Iced Tea and the Italian Job.
Best Beer Gardens in Leeds?
In a city full of great bars, sometimes you need a bit of fresh air when the weathers nice. We’ve done the research and collected some of the very best beer gardens in Leeds for you to visit for a spot of day drinking.
6. A Nation of Shopkeepers
There is also a lot of quirky bars in Leeds to choose from, and A Nation of Shopkeepers is one of the top venues for something different! This bar is also a music venue, hosting live bands and DJ’s all year round so you and dance and have a memorable night. Known for it’s spacious courtyard, the venue adds something different to a Leeds night out that’s sure to make your evening one to remember.
7. Call Lane Social
Call Lane is the place to be when it comes to the best bars in Leeds, and Call Lane Social is the essence of this area. Popular with younger crowds, this bar is a great spot for groups of all sizes to enjoy a buzzing atmosphere until late. It’s true that Call Lane Social can get very busy, but the bar spills out for a warm welcome from the family run bar. Top tip – don’t forget to visit the hidden Tiki hideaway bar upstairs for a bit of tropical fun on your Leeds night out.
8. The Domino
If you’re on the hunt for some live music and strong cocktails, The Domino is a classic bar to visit. The venue is dark and lit by neon red lights, the perfect backdrop for late night jamming sessions. Most of the bands you’ll find in The Domino are smooth jazz paired with drinks like Negroni and hard whiskey. Worth noting, this is one of the only venues in Leeds that offers free music throughout the year rather than a payment on the door.
As well as Call Lane, Briggate also comes alive after dark with plenty of cool bars in Leeds to choose from. For chilled out drinks, this small and cosy bar on Lower Briggate is a great hotspot. As you might have guessed, this Northern city is extremely musical and that proven in the Smokestack too. Although the venue is small there’s space to get up and dance to smooth Jazz performed live in front of your eyes. Better still, if you have a favourite cocktail that’s not on the menu the professional bartenders can whip you up all the classics too.
10. Below Stairs
Below Stairs might be the only bar we’ve ever heard of that does a complimentary cocktail on arrival! As soon as you walk through the door you get a taste for the feel of this low-key speakeasy venue. There’s a bunch of comfortable seating dotted around Below Stairs, so pull up a pew to indulge in some exquisite cocktails. Better still, if you don’t fancy any of the house cocktails the professional mixologists are more than happy to mix up your favourite classic.
Small and sweet, Roland’s is a wine bar and cocktail lounge combined into one venue. The venue boasts French style seating with mostly high bar stools and nibbles to graze on in between your drinks. Roland’s might not be the best place for a large group, but for a few friends who want a chilled evening it’s the perfect Leeds hotspot. As best bars in Leeds go, it would be a shame to miss a drink or two in this cute little venue.
12. Bar Fibre
Bar Fibre is a true Leeds staple, gracing the city with it’s presence in the city since the year 2000. The venue is an independently ran bar with 3 separately themed floors so that all your group can enjoy themselves. If you want to dance until the early morning, this is the perfectly place with bright lights and multiple bars to quench your thirst all night! They also have a Penthouse if you want to book a booth for the VIP treatment while visiting Leeds.
13. The Old Red Bus Station
This bar is exactly what it says on the tin – a venue based in the old bus station of Leeds! The Old Red Bus Station plays on this theme heavily with its décor, accompanied by a wooden bar and plenty of seating for a quick drink after a busy day. This is the perfect place to go if your group love craft beer and unique ales, plus they serve cheap and tasty food for a bite to eat.
14. Be at One
It’s likely that if you’re heading to a major UK city, there will be a couple of chain bars along the way. Be at One bar made it to our list of best bars in Leeds for great customer service and plenty of room for big group sizes. There’s a reason this venue can be found all over the UK, and the Leeds location holds up to the name of eclectic cocktails and space to get your groove on!
15. Baracoa Luxe Bar
Call Lane has a mix of different types of bars in Leeds, but Baracoa Luxe Bar is on the more sophisticated end of the spectrum. This classy venue is a bar, lounge and club rolled into one so you can stay in one place all evening. Describing itself is ‘lavish and elegant’, if you’re after a memorable place to visit while on a trip to this Northern city, we highly suggest Baracoa Luxe Bar.
16. Oporto Bar
There’s a couple of reasons why Oporto Bar has been a top favourite for locals and tourists of Leeds. Firstly, they are constantly upgrading and renovating their space to bring you the nicest vibes while having a drink or two. As well as that, the bar is attached to a tasty café for eat in and takeaway food called Knaves Kitchen. This means you can grab a bite to eat before heading over to Oporto to taste their selection of cocktails, wines and craft beers.
The music, bars and nightlife are the perfect mix for a hen party in Leeds! If you’ve got the task of organising a celebratory weekend, we have plenty of hen party ideas to keep you girls busy before you hit the bars.