25 of the Best First Date Bars in Leeds

· Kirsty Allen · Best Of

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

Junkyard Golf

Want to impress your new love interest? You’re in luck because Leeds is awash with date bars, so take your pick from an extensive list.

Picking the right place for your first date is as important as selecting your outfit – it pays to be prepared. Get it right, and your partner will be melting over how in-the-know you are. Leeds is teeming with bars, but which are the best for that perfect first date? Whether you’re after a secret speakeasy, an edgy indie or a low-key place to chill, we’ve got your back.

Outlaws Yacht Club

Outlaws Yacht Club

For a hip yet laidback vibe, take your date to Outlaws. Day or night, this cool indie bar has got you covered, whether it’s coffee or cocktails you’re after. It’s chilled enough to settle any first date nerves, yet edgy enough to demonstrate your knowledge of Leeds’ best bars. Vintage board games, an in-house vinyl shop and a wide range of craft beers offer plenty of ways to keep the conversation flowing. If you get peckish, locking eyes over one of their legendary grilled cheeses is sure to set sparks flying.

Outlaws Yacht Club, 38 New York Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY.

Flight Club

Flight Club

Nothing says romance like launching darts at a board. Adding a competitive edge to your first date is a great way to break the ice and Flight Club is a fantastic choice for a bit of high-tempo fun. Unlike traditional darts, you don’t have to do the maths – the system does it all for you – and with loads of unique mini-games on offer, it’s perfectly accessible for all abilities. Throw in a vintage fairground decor, an impressive cocktail menu and delicious sharing platters, and you’ll be screaming “bullseye” before you know it.

Flight Club, Sovereign House, 1-2 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5QL.

Junkyard Golf

Junkyard Golf Club

Credit: Gary Oxford

If mini golf’s more your jam, step up to the tee at Junkyard Golf. A certified first date banger, Junkyard’s been acting cupid since it opened its first bar in Leeds back in 2018. With UV lights, boozy cocktails in those iconic red plastic cups and a cool hip-hop soundtrack, there’s no room for nerves. Take your pick from three courses – Bozo, Pablo and Gary – and keep tally as you tackle the weird and wacky obstacles along the way. Worked up an appetite? Grab a bite for two – food comes in the form of pizza and nachos.

Junkyard Golf Club, The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.

Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen

Belgrave Music Hall roof terrace

Credit: Tom Joy

Ultra-hip Belgrave is one of the coolest first date bars Leeds has to offer. Its three floors provide edge and entertainment, with regular live music and DJs to soundtrack your stay. Kick things off on the ground floor with relaxed drinks and excellent street food from Dough Boys or Patty’s. Music lover? Head on up to the first floor to catch a gig. You can cool things off on the top floor – the pièce de résistance – Belgrave’s famous roof terrace, complete with comfy cushions and seating, perfect day or night.

Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, 1-1a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.

Domino Club

Domino Club

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Your date may be confused when you cut through a barber shop, but you’re on your way to one of city’s hottest underground venues. The Domino is a late-night jazz club that feels like one of Leeds’ best-kept secrets. With an exquisite lineup of live music, a ridiculously extensive drinks menu and a timeless ambience, it’s the perfect bar for an unforgettable first date. Whisk yourself back to the prohibition era by ordering a boilermaker – a glass of beer paired with a shot of whiskey – or go traditional with a mojito.

Domino Club, 7 Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.

Lazy Lounge

Lazy Lounge

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With an eclectic vintage decor and a cosy, laidback vibe, Lazy Lounge is an ideal setting for a no-pressure first date. Here, it’s all about the drinks. The staff are passionate about what they do, serving up a fine selection of wines, champagnes and spirits to a receptive audience. Pop open a bottle of red and while away the evening – you’ll find the Chesterfield sofas oh-so welcoming. If you’d like to learn about what you’re drinking, regular wine tasting events provide a classy way to break the ice.

Lazy Lounge, Unit D, Westpoint, Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4JY.

Below Stairs

Below Stairs

Another subterranean hideaway, Below Stairs is the perfect Leeds cocktail bar for an atmospheric first date. Request your favourite tipple from the bartenders – they’ll know how to make it – or take your pick from a condensed yet experimental menu of their own concoctions. The Patisserie is a highlight – combining flavours of strawberry jam and hazelnut with a solid kick of vodka and brandy, it’s oh-so-sweet and ultra-special. Once you’ve grabbed a drink, slink off to one of the many nooks and crannies to get to know each other.

Below Stairs, 12 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5QS.

The Alchemist

The Alchemist

The Alchemist is a guaranteed way to make a lasting impression. Famous for its head-turning, science lab-inspired cocktails, there’s smoke, bubbles and a whole load of drama in these seriously good drinks. It’s a glamorous affair, complete with mood lighting and backed by a hip soundtrack. An extensive food menu offers plenty of variety, from Asian-inspired bao buns and gyozas to start, to twisted classics, such as chicken in a basket and surf ‘n turf. Finish with the cotton candy baked Alaska to really heat things up.

The Alchemist, Trinity, 27 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.

The Maven

The Maven Restaurant

This sophisticated speakeasy is another one with an air of exclusivity. Hidden away behind a secret door lies The Maven, a prohibition-themed cocktail bar that’s as intimate as it is exciting. It’s achingly cool – from the vintage furniture to the Gatsby-esque cocktails. Put your faith in the expert mixologists – they’ve crafted a short but sweet menu that’s designed to dazzle. As night draws in, the party really begins – live DJs keep the party going until the early hours. It’s a Leeds favourite, and an ideal first date spot.

The Maven, 1 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.

Headrow House

Headrow House

Credit: Jo Ritchie

Headrow House has become a Leeds institution, and it’s ready made for first dates. Whether you showcase your knowledge of craft ales in the Beer Hall, slurp oysters in the Michelin-recommended Ox Club restaurant or sip cocktails in Redondo Beach, there’s enough going on to keep you both thoroughly entertained. As day turns to night, take your pick of two roof terraces, where you can cosy up under the heat lamps. Prefer to take things to the dance floor? You can strut your stuff to a range of resident DJs until the early hours.

Headrow House, 19a The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU.

The Decanter

Nooks and Crannies - Hidden Gems - The Decanter-web

If you like wine, you’ll love The Decanter. A carefully curated collection of vino awaits within this warm, stylish bar. Not a fan of wine? Not a problem. There are plenty of beers and cocktails on offer too. The cosy, intimate vibe is matched by exemplary service, providing the perfect environment for budding romance. Alongside hand-picked wines there’s hand-picked cheese – oh so much wonderful cheese. Slice into a creamy blend and nibble to your heart’s content with charcuterie meat, chutneys and crackers.

The Decanter, 17 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5JQ.

Hello Music Lounge

House of Fu Hello Music Lounge

Credit: Reece Leung

Now for something a little different. Opt for Leeds’ hippest karaoke joint for your first date and you’ll be transported to a different world – one of neon lights, retro decor and bold wall art. Sitting atop of ramen restaurant House of Fu, Hello Music Lounge is a great hidden gem, and perfect if you’re not too shy to belt one out. In need of some Dutch courage? You can choose from a wide range of cocktails, beers, sake, natural wines and more. Once you’re all sung out, it’s time to hit the dance floor – DJs spin tunes every weekend.

Hello Music Lounge, Upstairs at House of Fu, 15-19 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU

Friends of Ham

Friends of Ham

Put the cute in charcuterie with a first date at Leeds’ finest – Friends of Ham. As the name suggests, it’s a celebration of all things cured meat – spicy salamis and smokey chorizo will get carnivores salivating. There’s an impressive cheese menu to boot, as well as a glorious selection of small plates. Crack open a craft beer – there’s a stunning collection – and impress your foodie date with a smorgasbord of flavours. When the sun sets, move things downstairs to candlelit cocktail bar, Underbelly.

Friends of Ham, 4 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.



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A traditional boozer is a great choice for a chilled-out first date, and Whitelock’s is one of the best in Leeds. Going back as far as 1715, it’s the oldest pub in the city centre, and it’s brimming with old-world charm. Beer-lovers will be in heaven – an extensive list of cask and keg ales will ensure you’re thoroughly refreshed. A courtyard provides the perfect space to talk it out, should the weather allow, and a hearty menu of delicious Yorkshire fare will hit the spot should you get hungry. There’s always a great atmosphere here, you’ll love it.

Whitelock’s Ale House, Turk’s Head Yard, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HB.

Blind Tyger

Blind Tyger Cocktails

Blind Tyger is a den for drinkers. Inspired by the 19th-century prohibition era, its dark, intimate interior is the perfect sanctuary for an ambient first date in Leeds. Climb the stairs up to this hidden cocktail heaven, where a huge menu of signature and classic blends awaits. In a place like this, it pays to experiment – the imaginative drinks list features stunners such as the Wake & Bake – a unique twist on the espresso martini, bringing sherry, bananas and chocolate into the mix. Show-stopping.

Blind Tyger, 5A Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.



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With its maverick cocktails and wacky decor, Cuckoo is one of Leeds’ most playful bars, and a great choice for a fun-filled first date. There are five unique spaces to explore – climb through the wardrobe to Narnia, take a spin in the fairground bar, or hide away in the secret garden. Once you’ve found your bearings, why not get competitive with a game of beer pong or giant Jenga? The cocktails are as colourful as you’d expect, and there’s free pizza with every drink ordered before 9pm.

Cuckoo, 37 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.

Electric Shuffle

Electric Shuffle

Credit: Electric Shuffle

Electric Shuffle is home to shuffleboard, but not as you know it. Challenge your date to a round of the most in-vogue bar sport, and you’ll break the ice in no time. You’ll get your own dedicated gaming area with a ‘push for service’ button, so there’s no need to wait at the bar. A wealth of craft beers, lagers, spirits and wines offers plenty to choose from, or opt for a cocktail – the sharers come served in trophy cups. Hungry? There’s a wide variety of pizzas and small plates if you’re in need of a nibble.

Electric Shuffle, 123 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RD

Chow Down

Chow Down Night

Credit: Tom Martin

A first date at Chow Down is a definite winner. A hub of boozy cocktails, rotating street food and fun-filled activities awaits, with the escapades varying season by season. Visit in summer to soak up the sunshine and challenge your date to a spot of mini golf, while boogying away to resident and guest DJs. The Winter Village offers an escape from the cold – cuddle up in a tipi while you sip on mulled wine, or even try your hand at ice curling. Rain or shine, Chow Down is one of the coolest first date ideas in Leeds.

Chow Down, Temple Arches, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5QG. Open seasonly.

Green Room

Green Room

Green Room is fast-becoming one of Leeds’ best bars, and it’s a great choice for a laidback first date. This indie has sustainability at its heart, decked out with reclaimed fittings and furniture, as well as plenty of lovely, luscious plants. Head for the roof terrace – sprawling, leafy and lined with twinkly lights, it’s got romance written all over it, and it’s covered in winter, too. Take your pick from a wide array of drinks, including beer from hand-picked Yorkshire breweries. If things go your way, you could even stay the night in their luxury lodgings.

Green Room, 36 Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2DE.


Roland's roof terrace

Credit: Jacob Savage

Roland’s is a little more grown-up than its Call Lane neighbours. With a rustic look and feel, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, it’s a great option for a casual yet charming first date. It’s only small, but what it lacks in square feet, it certainly makes up for in personality. Thirsty? There’s craft beer for days, both on tap and in the fridges. If it’s cocktails you’re after, there’s a fine selection, and their Espresso Martini is one of the best in town. To appear in-the-know, head on out to the terrace – one of the city’s best-kept secrets.

Roland’s, 39 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.

Roxy Ball Room

Roxy Ball Room Merrion Street

Roxy is a real-life adult playground, with a huge range of games and activities on offer across its three Leeds sites. It’s a fantastic fit for if you’re looking for a first date with a competitive edge – pick your sport and see who comes out on top. Games vary based on location, including the likes of American pool, table tennis, shuffleboard and curling. Step up to the beer pong table for the ultimate decider. Hand-rolled Italian pizzas, bratwurst sausages and a selection of sides are on hand to soak up all that ale.

Roxy Ball Room, 9a Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ, 58 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.

North Bar

North Bar, Leeds

If your date loves their beer, North Bar is a must. Opening way back in 1997, it’s most likely the first-ever craft beer bar in Britain. With an unparalleled drinks selection, you might be staring at the menu for a while. There’s a huge range of pils, pales, IPAs and porters, alongside an impressive selection of Belgian beers, legendary Bloody Marys and ever-flowing Tequila Verditas. Hungry? Asian street food from Little Bao Boy is sure to satisfy. If you’re lucky enough with the weather, their outdoor area’s a right little sun trap.

North Bar, 24 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.

Water Lane Boathouse

Water Lane Boathouse

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You’ll find Water Lane Boathouse on the banks of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, offering stunning views across the water. It’s ultra-hip and a fantastic laidback date spot, with minimalist decor and exposed brickwork. Take your pick from a menu of craft beers and artisan gins, then cosy up inside or head out to the huge outdoor area. There’s a great selection of board games to challenge your date to, and it’s super dog-friendly, should you wish to bring the pooch. Oh, and the pizzas are not to be sniffed at.

Water Lane Boathouse, Canal Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5PS.



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Mojo is a verified Leeds institution, providing punters a rock-and-roll party atmosphere for over 20 years. If you’re not afraid of a loud and lively first date, this NYC-inspired dive bar is a whole load of fun. Their cocktail list is massive, with a dedicated espresso martini section – the Black Forest is a great twist on a classic. Once you’ve sampled a few drinks, get on down to a soundtrack of rock and indie or slip upstairs to the Rhum Room – a hidden sanctuary with its own private bar.

Mojo, 18 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.

The Watermark

The Watermark

Walk into The Watermark and you’ll feel like you’ve walked into someone’s living room – and that’s not a bad thing. This laidback venue is downright down-to-earth, and run by a legendary mixologist whose sole aim is to serve you the perfect drink. So what’s on the menu? Naturally, cocktails. They’re weird and wonderful. The Golden Ticket is a must – a creamy blend of Hennessy, green tea liqueur and oat cream, served in an edible gold cup. It’s bonkers – Willy Wonka eat your heart out.

The Watermark, 3 Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.

Cover image credit: Mcfade Photography