Lace up your dancing shoes – these are the best bars in Leeds for a boogie.
Been out for a few drinks in the city? If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy amazing tunes and throw a few shapes, you’re in luck. Forget the club, Leeds has a heap of bars with stellar soundtracks and cocktails to match, and we’ve rounded up seven of the best. From secret underground haunts to colourful New York-inspired venues, there’s something for everyone.
Mean Eyed Cat
When it comes to dancing, Mean Eyed Cat is up there with the best, not least because it’s open until 4am every Friday and Saturday. The decor is vintage Americana, all dedicated to blues icon Johnny Cash, with murals, flags and license plates wherever you look. It’s not just blues on the dance floor though, you can expect a heady mix of rock, soul and funk all night long. So grab a drink, lace up your dancing shoes and get your legs moving.
Mean Eyed Cat, 14 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.
There’s only one rule at Mook – the tunes have to be 100% fun, 100% of the time. Which should be music to the ears if you’re ready for a boogie. From club classics to indie hits and 50s swing, there’s no end to the variety of music pumping out over the speakers and they’re all real crowd-pleasers. Between songs, why not head to the neon sparkling bar for refreshments? They’ve got a packed cocktail menu to choose from, with Long Island Iced Teas, Espresso Martini’s and Kir Royale’s aplenty.
Mook, Hirst’s Yard, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NJ.
Going dancing? Smokestack has two floors throwing out funk, soul, jazz and even reggae to jam along to. It’s not just DJs that get in on the act either. This Lower Briggate institution often has live music, with everything from blues musicians to 1920s dancing bands hitting the stage. Alongside your dancing, check out their ever-popular cocktail menu, including delights like the gin and elderflower based Breakfast at Tiffany’s. If you need a breather with your drink, there’s a chilled-out seating area on the first floor to take advantage of.
Smokestack, 159A Lower Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LY.
7 Greek Street Social
7 Greek Street Social takes a bit of finding, being a secret bar and all, but it’ll be worth it for the dancing. Just head downstairs into the dark and atmospheric basement below The Liquorist. 7 Greek Street’s regular rotation of R&B-loving DJs will be spinning the tunes all night long every Friday and Saturday, so grab a tasty tipple from the bar and start burning up the intimate dance floor by the light of their Hollywood-style ‘SSSH’ sign.
7 Greek Street Social, 7 Greek Street, Leeds, LS1 5RW.
The best Rock n’ Roll cocktail bar in Leeds, Mojo’s soundtrack is certainly among the finest in the city. This long-standing Leeds institution brings foot-stompers from every era, with The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash and even The Pixies adding to the tuneful mix. If you’re after a delectable drink with your dancing, you won’t be disappointed. They have a wide selection of beer and spirits, but it’s their cocktail menu that’s the real star of the show. From Bellinis to Piña Coladas, Zombies to their gin-infused Hot Tramp, there’s plenty to sup while you jam to the music.
Mojo, 18 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.
One of Leeds’ best secret cocktail bars, The Maven is a great little dance spot. Find the unmarked doorway on Call Lane and head inside to discover a dimly-lit Prohibition-style speakeasy. Their ever-changing playlist covers everything from old-school 60s Motown to modern R’n’B via classic indie, so there’s sure to be something to get your feet tapping. You can chill out on the comfy leather seating around the side of the bar if you get tired later, but for now, grab one of their spectacular concoctions and head for a boogie.
The Maven, 1 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.
If you’re looking for somewhere that does dancing right, go to Neighbourhood. It oozes style, from the colourful murals to the living walls and the neon lights – the sense of fun here is as infectious as the DJs who pump out an eclectic and ever-changing setlist alongside live saxophonists, percussionists and dancers. At 11pm, on the dot, there’s a spontaneous dance party and everyone gets involved, including the staff behind the bar. Add Instagram-worthy cocktails, bubbly with a sparkler on top and Empire State Building shots for an unforgettable night.
Neighbourhood, 5 Greek Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RW.Cover image credit: Bevan Cockerill