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...

The Cross Keys

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 Mustard Pot

Nestled in the heart of Chapel Allerton, The Mustard Pot is a great place to hide away in on cold days. They’ve got big leather booths, snuggly armchairs and comfy sofas for you to settle into, 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.

2. The Griffin

The Griffin Leeds

A traditional boozer in a historic location, The Griffin is a real find in Leeds city centre. The old school brass bar is matched with cosy 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 in 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. The Waiting Rooms

Baht'ap Leeds

Just around the corner from Leeds Train Station, The Waiting Rooms 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 pint and soak it up with a charcuterie board or a posh toastie. Beer is what they do best here, with a host of ales for you to choose from, as well as wines and spirits.

The Waiting Rooms, 11 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.

5. The Rockingham Arms

The Rockingham Arms

Credit: The Rockingham Arms

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 to 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 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.

7. The Midnight Bell

Midnight Bell Leeds

Tucked away on the South Bank, The Midnight Bell is a great shout if you’re looking for cosy pubs in Leeds. You’ll find an excellent selection of real ale and craft beer behind the bar, but that’s not all it’s good for. There’s 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

Credit: 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, a roaring fire 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 Old Peacock

The Old Peacock

Just across the road from Leeds United’s ground, The Old Peacock is a great pub for hiding away from the cold for a few beers. It had a £400,000 makeover in 2015, but it’s got a rustic decor that you won’t mind spending a couple of hours in. Choose from a range of Ossett Brewery ales on the pumps, then take a pew in one of their leather booths. If you get peckish, you can enjoy the likes of hot roast beef sandwiches with onion dipping gravy – if that doesn’t warm your cockles, what will?

The Old Peacock, 251 Elland Road, Churwell, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 8TU.

10. The Reliance

The Reliance Leeds

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 you can settle in to watch the world go by outside with a couple of pints of cracking real ale. All this is matched with an exceptional menu that, while small, is filled with tasty morsels – their Sunday roast is a cracker too.

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

12. Whitelock’s

Whitelocks Leeds

Credit: Ollievision

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 time again.

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

13. The Rose and Crown

Rose and Crown Otley

Credit: Paul Grubb

Another beautifully historic pub, The Rose and Crown was built just sixteen years after Whitelock’s in 1731, and as such, the Otley favourite is packed 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 and 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

Ram Tam at Town Hall Tavern

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, Roundhay Fox is the real deal with a big roaring fire in amongst old beams, eclectic furnishings, and traditional art on the walls. The bar is always full of favourites, be it beer, wine or spirits, and the food menu promises classics like fish and chips, alongside more adventurous dishes like Moroccan-style couscous salad.

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

16. The Chemic Tavern

The Chemic Tavern

The finest local in Woodhouse, The Chemic Tavern is a welcoming watering hole that’s as cosy as they come. It’s a proper Yorkshire pub with dark mahogany furnishings, old pictures of Leeds on the wall and live music on the regular. They have a decent selection of real ale, cider and spirits to quench your thirst, and they’ll even let you nip next door to Arkwright’s chippy to pair your pint with a bag of fish and chips.

The Chemic Tavern, 9 Johnston Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2NG.

17. Kirkstall Bridge Inn

Kirkstall bridge Inn

A cracking little boozer out in the suburbs, Kirkstall Bridge Inn is a 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 and a new rustic decor 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, it’s full of pub classics, from pies to burgers.

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

19. The Lamb & Flag

The Lamb and Flag pub in Leeds

Credit: Katie Nicole

The Lamb and Flag has the feel of a country pub in the heart of the city centre. There’s exposed brickwork everywhere you look across its two floors, and they have nice little touches like vintage bottles stacked on shelves in the chimney. The 19th century building has been given a new lease of life and it really is a cosy affair you can make the most of with a quality selection of real ales and a menu that’s full of hearty classics like fish and chips and sausage and mash.

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

20. The Packhorse

The Packhorse

Credit: Daria Wszolek

The Packhorse is something of a hidden gem. A 17th-century wood-panelled inn tucked away down an alley, it’s full of old-school charm. It’s a great place to cosy up for a few hours and you can make the most of a varied real ale selection or delve into their extensive gin selection. If you get hungry, what better to way to warm up on a cold, wet winter’s day than with your pick of their range of Pieminister’s freshly-made pies?

The Packhorse, Packhorse Yard, Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AT.

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. The Fox at Menston

The Fox at Menston

The Fox at Menston has been the go-to local pub for more than 200 years and you’ll soon see why – it’s full of rustic, old country charm, with roaring fires, exposed brickwork and beautifully lit rooms. Grab one of their comfy sofas, and settle in for the evening with an array of local ales behind the bar. They also have a cracking food menu, if you get peckish, and if you’ve got Sunday free, their roast will hit the spot on a miserable winter’s day.

The Fox at Menston, 129 Bradford Road, Menston, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 6EB.

24. 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.

25. The Head of Steam

The Head of Steam, Leeds

This old Mill Hill pub has been revived and renovated, becoming a Head of Steam pub. Although it’s not 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.