Leeds-List - Leeds' ultimate magazine and guide

Downright Cosy Pubs in Leeds

· Ali Turner · Food and Drink

From vintage chic bars to proper pubs, here's where to go when it's cold outside...

Whitelock's

When the weather seems to be working against you, make the most of these cosy pubs in Leeds…

From roaring fires to comfy sofas and home cooked food, Leeds is filled with cosy pubs to see you through those miserable British days. So whether you’re looking for a city centre haunt to spend a day in or heading out into the suburbs, be sure to check out these homely drinking dens.

1. The Cross Keys

The Cross Keys

From the folk behind North Bar, The Cross Keys manages to combine beer expertise with a modern yet rustic decor – expect exposed brickwork and original beams alongside mounted cardboard moose heads. During the colder months, they have a roaring fire to keep you warm and toasty, so order a beer and something from their proper British menu and enjoy.

The Cross Keys, 107 Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WD.

2. The Griffin

The Griffin Leeds

A traditional boozer in a historic location, The Griffin is one of the more unique pubs in Leeds city centre. The old school brass bar is matched with cosy leather booths, subway-style tunnels and big benches perfect for groups. Add to that an impressive selection of real ale and lager, as well as a menu of home cooked classics like fish and chips, lamb shank shepherd’s pie and of course, sausage and mash – and you’ve got yourself a fine place to hole up on cold days.

The Griffin, 31 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DF.

3. The Crooked Billet

The Crooked Billet

Taking you away from the city centre and out into the sticks, The Crooked Billet offers all the charm of the Yorkshire countryside. It’s really close to the Towton Battlefield, so why not take a walk before settling down for a pint in their cosy little bar, which comes complete with a roaring fire? Make sure you’ve got room for dinner, they do a cracking roast – and are famed for their giant Yorkshire puddings, filled with your choice of meaty delights or roasted vegetables if you’d prefer.

The Crooked Billet, Saxton, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, LS24 9QN.

4. Baht’ap

Baht'ap Leeds

A recent addition to Mill Hill, just around the corner from Leeds Train Station, Baht’ap is a proper Yorkshire boozer that’s been brought up to date. The front room promises old school styling, with plenty of places to pull up a pew, while out back you’ll find their ‘snug’ where you can hide away from the British weather with a Wilson’s of Crossgates pie or pasty and a pint in hand. Beer is what they do best here, with a host of ales for you to choose from, as well as wines and spirits.

Baht’ap, 11 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.

5. The Rockingham Arms

The Rockingham Arms, Towton

Another cosy pub that’s just around the corner from the historic Towton Wars of the Roses battlefield, The Rockingham Arms is a stunning throwback of days gone by. Exposed brickwork is joined by pictures of the local area and comfy sofas to sink into. They also have two fires that will keep you warm when the temperature drops and an abundance of real ales, lagers and wines to quench your thirst. Top it off with a slew of homemade hearty British classics to completely make the most of your visit here.

The Rockingham Arms, Main Street, Towton, Tadcaster, West Yorkshire, LS24 9PB.

6. The Mustard Pot

Mustard Pot

Nestled in the heart of Chapel Allerton, The Mustard Pot is a great place to cosy up on cold days. They’ve got big leather booths, snuggly arm chairs and comfy sofas for you to settle down on, with a big roaring fire to keep you warm. Add a bar full of favourites, from spirits to beer, and a menu that will take you from sandwiches to pie specials in the blink of an eye, and you’ve got a winter essential.

The Mustard Pot, 20 Stainbeck Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 3QY.

7. The Midnight Bell

Midnight Bell Leeds

Tucked away on the Holbeck side of the city centre, The Midnight Bell is a great shout if you’re looking for cosy pubs in Leeds. It’s a former Leeds Brewery pub, and you’ll still find an excellent selection of beer behind the bar, but that’s not all it’s good for. With a menu of home cooked delicacies, like the Leeds Best battered haddock and the Yorkshire Dales steak and ale pie, all of which can be enjoyed in front of a roaring fire, it’s worth coming hungry.

The Midnight Bell, 101 Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5QN.

8. The Queen o’ t’ Owd Thatch

The Queen o' t'owd Thatch

If you haven’t been to The Queen o’ t’ Owd Thatch, you need to rectify that sharpish, because this pub has it all – a proper Yorkshire name, a stunning decor that blends rustic and modern, and an outstanding food and drink offering. We’re talking quality beer (including our very own Leeds Brewery pints), wine and cocktails, with a food menu that includes the likes of corn-fed chicken, lamb loin and mushroom and cabbage dumplings, all made with locally-sourced ingredients.

The Queen o’ t’ Owd Thatch, 101 High Street, South Milford, West Yorkshire, LS25 5AQ.

9. The White House

The White House

A trip to Roundhay is in order if you want to visit this cosy as heck pub, so perhaps you can take a turn around the park before warming up with a well deserved beer. It’s a traditional pub, with a welcoming attitude – you can even bring your four-legged friends. They’ve always got a decent selection behind the bar, including Black Sheep, and you’ll probably want to stay for a bite to eat – try the slow cooked braised lamb shoulder.

The White House, 55 Wetherby Road, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2JU.

10. The Reliance

The Reliance

With its vintage chic furniture, deep red walls and heartwarming soundtrack, The Reliance is undoubtedly one of the cosiest bars in Leeds. Nip in for a pint and a plate of their famed twice cooked chips, share a bottle of wine with one of their home cured charcuterie boards or slope off into the restaurant to indulge in British classics with a tasty twist – whatever you do, you can watch the rain pour down outside, while you’re all cosy within.

The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.

11. Crowd of Favours

Crowd of Favours§

Crowd of Favours has trademark cosy interiors, with a host of shabby chic furniture spanning two floors. Downstairs, you can settle down onto one of the sofas to catch their latest films, while upstairs there are two retro games consoles for lazy Sunday afternoons at the pub. All this is matched with an exceptional selection of beers and a menu that, while small, is filled with tasty morsels.

Crowd of Favours, Harper Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EA.

12. Whitelock’s

Whitelocks Leeds

At 300 years old, Whitelock’s is one of the oldest pubs in Leeds, and it still maintains much of its old world charm, with an impressive bar, stained glass windows and brass-topped tables. Needless to say, it has a distinctly cosy feel and proves to be the perfect hidey-hole when the weather turns. The selection behind the bar, with its focus on real ales, coupled with the menu of classics, adds to the effect, and inevitably tempts people back.

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

13. The Rose and Crown

Rose and Crown Otley

Another beautifully historic pub, the Rose and Crown was built just sixteen years after Whitelock’s in 1731, and as such, it’s full of character. The beautiful old stonework you see on the outside can also be found inside, where it’s got an old school decor with plenty of knick-knacks to catch your eye. While you’re supping a well poured pint, you’ll no doubt find yourself wooed by the smells coming out of the kitchen – try the roast and make the most of being in one of the cosiest pubs in Leeds.

The Rose and Crown, 20 Bondgate, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 1AD.

14. Town Hall Tavern

Town Hall Tavern

A longstanding resident of Westgate, Town Hall Tavern is a Timothy Taylor pub, and as such, it promises an impressive array of the award-winning local brewery’s beers, in a setting that’s about as traditional as they come. Alongside the beer, you can dabble in wine and spirits, using them to wash down something from their menu of British classics like Yorkshire beef pie and scampi in a basket. The building itself dates back to 1926 and they’ve worked hard to maintain its character, although you can still enjoy modern conveniences, like free wifi.

Town Hall Tavern, 17 Westgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2RA.

15. Roundhay Fox

The Roundhay Fox

If you need to warm up after a cold, windy circuit of Roundhay Park, this is the obvious choice. When it comes to cosy pubs in Leeds, this is the real deal with a big roaring fire in amongst old beams, eclectic furnishings and traditional art. The bar is always full of favourites, be it beer, wine or spirits, and the food menu promises old classics like fish and chips, alongside more adventurous dishes like Moroccan-style cous cous salad.

Roundhay Park, Princes Avenue, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2EP.

16. The Head of Steam

The Head of Steam, Leeds

This old Mill Hill pub has been revived and renovated, becoming one of a chain of Head of Steam pubs. But while it may not be unique, it sure is cosy. The walls are adorned with a mix of life-size prints, stonework and wood, while the circular bar takes centre stage, surrounded by breakout spaces, where you can find yourself a little booth. Order in a round of continental beers, Belgium is well represented here, and cosy up for the night.

The Head of Steam, 12 Mill Hill, City Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.

17. Kirkstall Bridge Inn

Kirkstall bridge Inn

A cracking little boozer out in the suburbs, Kirkstall Bridge Inn is traditional pub with loads of character and plenty of tasty bevvies behind the bar. It comes from the guys at Kirkstall Brewery, so the quality is guaranteed, and you can couple your drinks with burgers, steaks and pies. As for the decor, it’s a proper pub vibe – think stained glass windows, metal beer signs and wood panels, alongside traditional stonework and vintage furniture.

The Bridge Inn, 12 Bridge Road, Kirkstall, West Yorkshire, LS5 3BW.

18. Veritas

Veritas

One of the most underrated pubs in Leeds, Veritas can be found on Great George Street, and it has a lot to offer. Floor to ceiling windows make it the perfect spot for people watching, while the partitioned rooms with fireplaces, vintage furnishings and retro alcohol posters create not one but three cosy little drinking dens. They’re big on beer, so you’ll have a decent selection to choose from, and you won’t be short of wine or spirit options either. As for the food, the roast beef sandwich with gravy for dipping says it all.

Veritas, 43-47 Great George Street, City Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BB.

19. The Lamb & Flag

The Lamb and Flag pub in Leeds

The Lamb and Flag is an old 19th century building that was a mess for years, but it has transformed it into a beautiful watering hole, where bottles are stacked on shelves in the old chimney and exposed brickwork is everywhere you look. Add their understandably impressive beer and a menu that’s small but simple and you’re onto a winner.

The Lamb and Flag, 1 Church Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HD.

20. The Wrens

The Wrens

On the corner of Merrion Street, one of Leeds’ hottest nightspots, awaits The Wrens, an old school boozer with a love of all things traditional – be it the decor, the selection behind the bar or the food menu. It certainly looks the part. Think wood panelling, cosy seating and real fireplaces – and their focus on Yorkshire ales means you can try some of the region’s finest, as well as dabbling in brews from further afield and a huge selection of G&Ts if that’s your bag.

The Wrens, 59-61 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JD.

21. The West End House

West End House

Nestled on Abbey Road in Kirkstall, The West End House is a classic Yorkshire pub and has been since it first opened in 1867. Mahogany furnishings are complemented with cosy booths and they have a food and drink offering you won’t want to pass up on. They’re one of the pubs CAMRA has stuck in their ‘Good Pub Guide’ so expect plenty of local ales, alongside a menu of hearty British classics.

The West End House, 26 Abbey Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3HS.

22. The Windmill

The Windmill Inn, Linton

Standing for 450 years, The Windmill has been a vital part of the Linton community for generations. It’s a traditional country pub affair, that during the colder months, has not one, not two, but three roaring fires to cosy up around. Stick that alongside a host of local real ales and a menu of homemade hearty meals, that includes everything from steak pie to Sunday lunch and you’re in for a real treat. It’s also not far from the route of the Linton Walk, so it makes for the perfect venue to rest tired legs afterwards.

The Windmill, Main Street, Linton, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 4HT.

23. Candle Bar

New to Leeds: Candlebar

Ossett Brewery have made Granary Wharf their own with the likes of The Hop and Archie’s, however, it’s their Candle Bar venue that you’ll want to make the most of when it’s cold outside. Despite being in a new building, they’ve added cosy touches, like comfy leather booth, animal heads on the walls and floor to ceiling windows that let you watch the world pass by as you delve into their extensive menu of wines, craft beers and spirits or tuck into their rustic pizzas or gourmet sharing boards.

Candle Bar, Candle House, Granary Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4GJ.

Image of The Windmill Inn copyright Tim Green licensed for commercial use under Creative Commons.  Rose & Crown image copyright Paul Grubb licensed for commercial use under Creative Commons. The Rockingham Arms image copyright John Davidson licensed for commercial use under Creative Commons. Feature, Whitelock's and Town Hall Tavern images copyright Ollievision