Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

Downright Down to Earth Pubs in Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Food and Drink

These traditional Leeds pubs promise good booze, good food and good times.

The Duck & Drake

When you want to take it easy and enjoy a decent pint in a laid back setting, these are the pubs in Leeds you need to know about.

These pubs are about as down to earth as they come. It’s all about the atmosphere – relaxed, easy going and incredibly welcoming, they’ll invite you in for a few low key pints for a surprisingly affordable price. So come as you are, pull up a pew and get ready for a night of good booze and good company, without the airs and graces.

The Victoria Hotel

Victoria Hotel

Credit: Daria Wszolek

The Victoria Hotel is one of those pubs that just gets forgotten about, perhaps because it’s just a little bit out of the way – it’s tucked away behind the Town Hall on Great George Street. Step inside though and you’ll discover a true old school gem – expect real ales on the centrepiece bar that stretches down the length of the building. Once you’ve chosen what you want, take it off to one of their snugs to drink. Hungry? You can get everything from steak to pies on their inviting menu.

The Victoria Hotel, 28 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3DL.


Baht'ap Leeds

With a name like Baht’ap, how can this proper Yorkshire pub be anything other than down to earth? The main room is linked to a snug room to the back, so pick a pew and enjoy something from the bar – it’s heaving with cask ales, with a focus on the best local ales they can get their mitts on for around £3 a pop. They also do a decent job of whiskey and gin, if that’s your poison, and you get to enjoy it all in a chilled out, friendly setting.

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

The Pack Horse

The Packhorse

Credit: Daria Wszolek

The Pack Horse is one of the oldest and most historic pubs in Leeds, dating back to 1615. Spread across two floors, it’s deceptively big, but somehow it stills feels intimate and cosy. They’ve kept the food and drink simple. There are six cask ales to choose from alongside craft beer, lager and bitter, all of which cost just over £3 a pint and they’ll go down a storm with one of their Pieminister pies. There is one thing that will give you pause – an extensive gin selection. Well, if you insist.

The Pack Horse, Pack Horse Yard, Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AT.

The Wrens

The Wrens

The Wrens isn’t like the other bars on Merrion Street, it’s a throwback of a pub that keeps things traditional. Think wood-panelled walls, cosy seating and proper fireplaces as well as a food and drink offering that has something for everyone – they have local real ales on tap which start from around £3.20, an extensive G&T menu and a decent selection of cocktails. Spread across three rooms, it’s a welcoming boozer in the heart of the city.

The Wrens Hotel, 61a New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JD.

Foley’s Tap House

Mr Foley's

Nestled on The Headrow, Foley’s Tap House has been a staple for real ale lovers for years. It’s a York Brewery pub, so you know you’re going to get some quality beers here – in fact it was named Leeds CAMRA’s Pub of the Year in 2017. It’s a cosy place to have a drink, decked out in rich mahogany furniture, leather chairs and old pictures of Leeds.

Foley’s Tap House, 159 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RG.

The Griffin

The Griffin Leeds

The Griffin is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Let the Gothic Revival architecture and Potts of Leeds clock tempt you in inside, where you’ll find an old school pub with a few surprises in store. It’s laid back, that’s for sure, with all your favourite real ale, lager and spirits on the bar, but it also boasts a cool subway style nook, with table service to boot.

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

The Angel Inn

The Angel

Credit: Sarae Akhamal

Pubs don’t get more down to earth than The Angel Inn. A Samuel Smith’s haunt, it’s a popular spot thanks to their cheap pints and laidback attitude. Treat yourself to the likes of Alpine Lager, Double Four and Best Bitter – chances are, you won’t have to spend much more than a couple of quid. It’s a buzzing place where you can easily while away the hours.

The Angel Inn, Angel Inn Yard, Off Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LN.



Credit: Ollievision

Whitelock’s may be one of the best real ale pubs in Leeds where you can get a pint for just a bit more than £3, but it hasn’t been completely taken over by beer-loving hipsters. It’s a throwback to days gone by, and they’ve kept much of the original charm of what is now one of the oldest pubs in Leeds. Think mahogany furniture, traditional carpets and mirrors emblazoned with beer slogans. Throw in a bustling atmosphere made up of people of all ages and an enticing menu of classic British food, and you’re onto a winner.

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

The Ship Inn

The Ship, Ship Yard, Leeds

The Ship is another pub just off the beaten path, and it’s a small but welcoming haunt that’s perfect for a quick pint. Expect to see a lot of ship-related paraphernalia on the walls, alongside the wood bars, brass finishings and old leather benches, all of which gives it an old school feel. Down a couple of local ales from the likes of Kirkstall, Leeds and Black Sheep for a couple of quid and tuck into a menu of pub classics if you get peckish.

The Ship Inn, 71 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LH.

The Scarbrough Hotel

The Scarborough Taps

A traditional Victorian boozer that’s just a stone’s throw from Leeds Train Station, The Scarbrough Hotel is a popular drinking spot that’s got all the hallmarks of a down to earth pub. The old fashioned tiled facade is coupled with red leather benches and a slew of quality real ales atop the mahogany bar which start from around £3. There are no airs or graces here, just a focus on quality local beverages, with a menu of pub grub to soak it all up.

Scarbrough Hotel, Bishopgate Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DY.

The Duck and Drake


The Duck and Drake is a longtime Leeds favourite, a welcoming boozer, with typical mahogany furnishings and 15 real ales on the go, the majority of which are from local breweries like Saltaire, Roosters and Theakston which you can enjoy for around £3 a go. The thing that sets this place apart, however, is its live music – the stage is teaming with bands come the weekend and it won’t cost you a penny to watch.

The Duck and Drake, 43 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DR.

The Palace

The Palace Beer Garden Leeds

The Palace dates back to 1741, and after all this time, it’s still as down to earth as ever. A laid back escape from the chaos of the city centre, it’s an unpretentious and traditional affair. Head to the bar to choose one of their local real ales, which won’t set you back much more than £3, and if you get hungry, there’s a decent menu of classic pub grub to keep you going.

The Palace, Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DJ.

The George

The George

You’d be forgiven for not knowing about The George, tucked away as it is at the far end of Great George Street. But, if you like a decent pint in an unpretentious setting with leather booths, traditional furniture and plenty of regulars, it’s a safe bet. They do a good line of local real ales from the likes of Saltaire, Copper Dragon and Leeds Brewery, none of which will break the bank at around £3 a pint, and you can get yourself a decent bite to eat while you’re at it.

The George, 67-69 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BB.