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11 Leeds Bars to Challenge Your Mates to a Game In

· Andrew Emery · Food and Drink

At these Leeds bars it’s not just pint time, it’s playtime.

Shuffleboard, Roxy Ball Room

Got a thirst to quench and a competitive streak? Look no further than these fun-packed Leeds bars where you can take your mates on…

There are few finer things to do in Leeds than get into some friendly rivalry with your friends while you grab some drinks. Whether you’re after cocktails and competition, pints and pool or shuffleboard and shots, you’ll find a place in the city centre for you. Loser picks up the tab? Sounds like a great idea. There’s no kit needed – just head out into the night and have fun in the very best gaming bars in Leeds. Let battle commence!

Roxy Lanes

Roxy Lanes

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The name Roxy Lanes suggests that this place is all about the bowling and the lanes are certainly the main event. Aim for a strike or spare while you make your way through the classic and signature cocktail lists, shots and suds, with pizza on hand if you need to refuel. There’s plenty more to do in this cool, contemporary space, though. Pool tables, beer pong, shuffleboard and, if you’re taking a break from thrashing your buddies, plenty of screens showing all the best live sport.

Roxy Lanes, 1st Floor Podium, Bond Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5BQ.


ShuffleDog bar by BrewDog, Leeds

Here’s a simple gameplan for making the most of BrewDog’s second Leeds venue – head into the ground floor and take your pick of the 36 beer taps serving the famed brewery’s own tipples. Then descend the stairs to take on your mates on one of three 22-foot shuffleboard tables. Sliding discs down a table? It looks like a doddle, but true mastery takes time. If you’re waiting for your table to empty, there are vintage pinball machines to warm up on.

BrewDog, Crispin House, New York Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PF.

Parkside Tavern

Parkside Tavern

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There’s a lot to like about the Parkside Tavern, perhaps the best pool bar in Leeds. Let’s start with the games – four full-size Sam K leisure tables await your best impression of a pool shark or hustler. There are also two Winmau dart boards if you fancy some arrows. You can reserve both to make sure you and your friends get to play. 18 beer lines, cocktails and wine will make sure you stay lubricated, while pizzas, tacos, nachos and more good grub will soak it up.

Parkside Tavern, St John’s House, Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JE.

Pixel Bar

Pixel Bar

Credit: Pixel Bar

Fancy yourself as a gamer? Head to Pixel Bar where you can slide into console booths, try your hand at eSports on gaming PCs or try out some retro classics. There are hourly charges for the PCs, Nintendo Switches, PS5s and other modern consoles, while retro gems like PS2, SNES and N64 are free to play. Smash your friends at Mario Kart 8 or FIFA while supping Pokémon cocktails, potion shots, draught beers and munching on Almost Famous burgers.

Pixel Bar, 25 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AL.

Roxy Ball Room

Roxy Ball Room Merrion Street

There’s a brace of Roxy Ball Rooms in Leeds – one on Boar Lane, one on Merrion Street. Both are great places to get one over on your friends. Boar Lane boasts pool tables, shuffleboard, beer pong, golf and is one of the best bars to play table tennis or arcade games in Leeds. Head to Merrion Street for late night drinks, duck pin bowling, crazy pool, ping pong and even karaoke. Although you might struggle to make the last one into something competitive…

Roxy Ball Room, 58 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW and 9a Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.

Trinity Kitchen

Trinity Kitchen Shuffleboard

Credit: SHUFL

Trinity Kitchen has long been a reliable go-to for street food and drinks in Leeds, but it just got a whole lot better with the addition of two shuffleboard tables. Reserve ahead and you can tackle one of two 16-foot grand champion SHUFL tables – you can book for a half hour or hour, and there’s even a student discount. The rules are simple, but if you want to trash talk your mates, you can drop in shuffleboard slang like ‘hanger’, ‘sip n slide’ and ‘pucker up’.

Trinity Kitchen, 27 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5ER.

Junkyard Golf

Junkyard Golf Club

Credit: Gary Oxford

With vivid neon lighting and an approach to décor that turns both kitsch and crazy up to 11, Junkyard Golf Club is a mad scientist’s update on the cosy, seaside world of crazy golf, all inside a Leeds bar. Three different courses – Bozo, Gary and Pablo – all have different themes, from twisted fairground to a scrapyard challenge. Bad puns are par for the course here, as are colourful cocktails that deliver boozy updates on childhood drinks. The Fairway to Heaven is vodka, cherryade and Vimto dressed with pick-n-mix.

Junkyard Golf Club, The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.

Flight Club

Flight Club

Social Darts is the name of the game at Flight Club, with numerous hi-tech boards mounted in their wonderfully decorated home. They use a ‘darts vision system’ to do all the scoring for you, so you can concentrate on having fun, drinking, eating and taking the mickey out of your pal who completely missed the board. A great drinks menu – cocktail slushies anyone? Thought so! – along with pizza and sharing platters make this one of the best gaming bars in Leeds.

Flight Club, Sovereign House, 1-2 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5QL.


The Fairground at Cuckoo

Credit: BOKEHGO Film & Photography

Cuckoo is the sort of place where you won’t care too much about keeping score. After all, the games here are definitely on the casual side of things, and just an excuse to get the shots in – especially with a 4am close on weekends. The multi-coloured décor screams FUN, and that’s what you’ll find here, with fairground rooms and wild cocktails. But what about the games? Get involved with giant jenga, beer pong or even prosecco pong. It promises to get very messy.

Cuckoo, 37 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.

Head of Steam

Head of Steam

Credit: Head of Steam

The big, bold Head of Steam on Park Row packs a lot in – and that includes shuffleboard. In fact, it’s one of the best games bars in Leeds as it also has pinball tables, electronic darts and retro arcade and console games. A shuffleboard contest with mates is a great way to lose a Saturday afternoon, while stacks of cask and keg ales, a huge, canned beer range, cocktails, kebabs and burgers make it the perfect all-day venue.

Head of Steam, 6 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5HN.

The Social

The Social Table Football

This chilled sibling of Brudenell Social Club and Sela is a lovely, unassuming place to grab a beer on Merrion Street. It also has something that’s a rare sight in Leeds bars and pubs – a foosball table. Order a round, ask for the ball and you can play table football for free. Got the technique to unlock your opponent’s defence, or are you just a ‘spin-and-hope’ kind of player? Play for drinks and you’ll need to channel your inner Marcelo Bielsa.

The Social, 21 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JE.