Looking for bars that do food just as good as their drinks offering? Look no further, these multi-tasking spots cover all your bases.
It’s not rare for bars to be duplicitous affairs in Leeds. They can be breweries, gig venues, gaming joints, and even found in barbers or tailors. But what about when you want a tummy-pleasing feed to go with your revelry? There’s an abundance of watering holes with kitchens ready to serve up all kinds of scrumptious grub. Do one, do two, do them all – you won’t regret it.
Water Lane Boathouse
The riverside Water Lane Boathouse is one of the most popular bars in Leeds and they’re as much a must-visit for their tasty eats as they are for their copious drinks. Their menu is full of sourdough pizzas, burgers, hot & cold sandwiches and healthy salad bowls. Will you go for a roasted pepper, onion and spinach pizza, the chicken and chorizo burger or a bean and beetroot falafel salad bowl? Pair your food with craft beer and gin in a cool-as, stripped-back bar.
Water Lane Boathouse, Canal Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5PS.
Knave’s Kitchen at Oporto
For over 20 years, Oporto has been the devil on the shoulder of nights out in Leeds. Jager, beer and general rock & roll debauchery aplenty, but only recently has it served food and what a treat Knave’s Kitchen is. It’s 100% vegan junk food from a revolving menu so you never have to eat the same thing twice – even if you want to! The gourmet burger is a classic done perfectly, the French toast is unbelievable and the deep-fried risotto balls are as moreish as it gets.
Knave’s Kitchen, 33 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
A craft beer heaven with keg and cask beauties on the pumps all day every day, The Brunswick is a beer connoisseur’s paradise, but you’d never go hungry – not with their exceptional burger offering. You can keep it simple with the smashed beef, add a little crunch with the nacho burger or go meat-free with the Meatless Farm patties. And if you don’t want burgers, their fried chicken is a dream and their Sunday roasts are the stuff of legend.
The Brunswick, 82 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.
Friends of Ham
What do you get when you pair hand-picked vino, craft beer nouse with a food menu Parisian wine bars would be proud of? Friends of Ham! This verified Leeds icon has got everything you need to nestle into one of their nooks and crannies for a few hours. The wine and beer offering speaks for itself, but are elevated by a sensational menu – make-your-own charcuterie boards, split a set platter, gorge on sourdough sarnies and share small plates. It’s the dream.
Friends of Ham, 4-8 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.
Belgrave Music Hall
Belgrave is proof you can offer a little something for everyone. Three floors of sheer fun, with a ground floor bar well stocked with all kinds of craft beer brilliance. Either side of it, you’ll find the perfect grub for a few tipples. On one, there’s the oh-so-juicy delights of Patty Smith’s, whose divine burgers and iconic Session Fries are a match made in heaven, and the other is home to Dough Boys, who serve up pizza slice mastery until late. Get one, get both.
Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1A Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Bundobust is a bar where the food is just as important as the beer – and the beer is vital. Theirs is an ever-tempting menu of Indian street food perfection, served to share and all 100% meat-free. There are a few musts – the crispy okra fries, the crunchy Bundo chaat, the smooth tarka dhal. But here it pays to be adventurous. The gobi Manchurian is an Indo-Chinese cauli-shroom mash-up and the raghda pethis sees east meet west in a spiced potato cake form.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
Want a bar that gives you a proper taste of God’s Own? A place where you can eat Yorkshire puddings for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Drop into the wondrous Wapentake. They source all their ingredients from Kirkgate Market to create the Yorkshire grub of dreams. Keep it simple with cheese on toast or crisp butties over a pint of local ale, devour roasts with Leeds gins and delve into Yorkshire puds filled with baked eggs to start the day or gravy and wedges later on.
Wapentake, 92 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DJ.
When you’re looking for Leeds bars that double as foodie sanctuaries, The Reliance is a no brainer. It’s a charming, rustic bar with a dining room to the rear, but you can eat wherever you’re sat. And what a menu! Go for small plates like mussels with leeks, garlic and cider or Yorkshire asparagus with lamb bacon and crispy egg to share, but flying solo will see you try classic combos turned up a notch – the lamb shoulder, butter beans, mint and caper broth won’t fail.
The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.
Cantina at The Old Red Bus Station
The Old Red Bus Station does things differently. This is a super-cool bar that celebrates art and music and is also home to the city’s first 100% vegan cafe. It has a diverse menu, all made with ethically-sourced produce, that takes the meat out of junk food. There’s light bites like classic poutine or cauli wings, but if you’ve got a bigger hole to fill, try The Big Orbs, which sees a pair of seitan cutlets topped with deep-fried jalapeños, cheese, lettuce and pickles.
Cantina at The Old Red Bus Station, 101 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
There’s never a dull moment at Neon Cactus. This is a party bar moonlighting as a Mexican eatery and it rules at both. Before the music turns up and the dancing on the bar starts, you can feast on a menu inspired by traditional cantinas and street vendors. Share beef-topped nachos and hot, melty queso fundido, snaffle flavour-packed tacos and gorge on heaving burritos. Whatever you go for, pair it with one of their ice-cold margaritas and it’s practically a fiesta.
Neon Cactus, 35 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
Little Bao Boy at North Brewing Co. Tap Room
The city centre outpost of North Brewing Co is a well-known and much-loved bastion of craft beer, but as much as it’s worth visiting for hoppy bliss, you’ll get a darned good feed too. Little Bao Boy serves up cloud-like bao buns that are stuffed to bursting with Asian fusion delights. There’s Chinese-braised beef, pulled pork, panko aubergine and Sputnik-battered cauli, but the star is their KFB, a salivating mix of fried gochujang chicken and sriracha mayo.
North Brewing Co. Tap Room, 3 Sovereign Square, Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BA.Cover image Credit: John Slemensek at Bokehgo.