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

The 10 Coolest Bars in Leeds

· Darcie Hewitt-Dudding · Food and Drink

Discover your new favourite bars.

Belgrave Music Hall

These bars top the list when it comes to the coolest places in Leeds to grab a drink.

Planning a date with a new beau? Organising a night out for your mates? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Leeds is heaving with awesome drinking establishments, but when you really need to impress, there are only a select few that make the cut. We’ve rounded up the coolest bars in Leeds, from an underground jazz speakeasy to a music-loving bar above a Japanese restaurant. Take a look…

The Maven

CITC The Maven

What makes The Maven one of the coolest bars in Leeds? It could be that it doesn’t have any external signage, only an inconspicuous door and the tiled stairs within. Perhaps it’s the well-dressed mixologists making creative (and endlessly quaffable) concoctions from behind the bar. It might even be the decor – we’re talking dark walls adorned with kooky artwork and cosy leather booths. And then there’s the soundtrack, which will have you dancing all night long. Let’s face it, it’s all of the above.

The Maven, 1-3 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.

North Brewing Co. Tap Room

North Brewing Co.

Credit: Chapter 81

If you love your craft beer, then North Brewing Co. Tap Room is the place to be. They’ve got 24 taps, all filled with their own beer, from Transmission IPA to Sputnik Pale Ale. In the fridges you’ll find other options from breweries they admire, like Eternal Darkness from Beerbliotek. All this beer making you peckish? One of the best bits about this Leeds bar is that you can line your stomach with delicious bao buns from Little Bao Boy. There’s everything from breaded cauliflower to fried chicken on the menu!

North Brewing Co. Tap Room, 3 Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BA. 

The Domino Club

The Domino Club

Credit: McFade Photography

The Domino Club is the coolest of cool bars. It’s an underground speakeasy, for a start. You’ll find the entrance at the back of Lords Barbering with only a neon sign hinting at the secrets within. Inside, head down the stairs and you’ll discover a timeless jazz and blues bar with parquet floors, leather booths and dark wood panelling. At the brass-top bar, they serve a mix of classic and original cocktails with only the best ingredients, while a different live performer sings the blues or gets funky on stage every night.

The Domino Club, 7 Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.

Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa marries sophistication and cool vibes. Striking teal walls, arched mirrors, velvet seats and a shimmering gold ceiling – this is an elevated night out experience. They serve aperitivo drinks to go with your charcuterie board, cocktails to sip and savour and even hot drinks to get you through the day. For something intoxicating, try the Pablo Picasso – it’s bright blue, garnished with a shock of pink candy floss. Swirl it in your drink and watch it magically change colour from blue to lilac to purple.

Tabula Rasa, 8 Eastgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7JL.

Outlaws Yacht Club

Outlaws Yacht Club

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Katie Nicole

From the height of sophistication to the effortlessly laid back atmosphere of Outlaws Yacht Club. It’s a hip European-style cafe bar, record shop, and exhibition space, a perfect hangout for those creative types. You can even get your hair cut in their in-house salon if the mood takes you! Grab a pint of their pale ale, pick out a board game and sit down to play. Refuel with their legendary grilled cheese (it’s got three different cheeses in it), nibble on bar snacks or treat yourself to a slice of cake.

Outlaws Yacht Club, 38 New York Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY.

Hello Music Lounge

Hello Music Lounge

Credit: Reece Leung

Hello Music Lounge is in the same building (and run by the same people) as House of Fu, so you know it was always going to make it into the list of the coolest bars in Leeds. First, you have to buzz to get in. Then you have to climb a lot of stairs. When you get to the top, you’re greeted with a tiled bar, stacks of records and a quality sound system playing a wide range of cool tunes. There are cocktails, a selection of wines from the organic-loving Wayward and even Japanese whiskeys to fuel your night out.

Hello Music Lounge, House of Fu, 15-19 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU.

Belgrave Music Hall

Belgrave Music Hall

Credit: Tom Joy

Belgrave Music Hall is three floors of cool. The first floor is the bar, where you can grab a craft beer and a delicious slice of pizza from Dough Boys or a jacked-up burger from Patty Smiths. It’s here that they often hold ‘Feasts’, where they get a load of street food vendors in from across the country. They always have excellent veggie and vegan options too. On the second floor, there’s an events space for gigs, art & crafts markets and film screenings. The top floor? An epic rooftop terrace!

Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, 1-1a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JR.

Roland’s

Roland's

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Max Wailes

Somewhere between industrial warehouse and your gran’s country home, Roland’s has a laid-back, rustic feel. It’s a small space, but they’ve got three different areas to choose from. It could be the cool main bar, the quaint covered courtyard or the intimate secret terrace, lit by twinkling festoon lights. To drink? It has to be a cocktail (the espresso martini is one of the best in Leeds) Hungry? Don’t Feed the Dog’s subs are top notch. Top tip – they love pooches as much as they do people.

Roland’s, 39 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT. 

Viaduct Show Bar

Leeds Pride

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Suzy Rodden

One of the most glamorous bars in Leeds, Viaduct Showbar is full of mirror balls, red velvet covered chairs, neon signs and, of course, fabulous drag queens. High hair, incredible beats and turnt out looks – it’s totally fierce. There are events every day of the week, from Sassy Susan’s daytime bingo sesh to high-glam showgirl entertainment and DJ sets pumping out gay anthems you can’t help but belt out and get down to. It might not be an edgy cool, but it’s absolutely smokin’ hot.

Viaduct Showbar, 11 Lower Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6ER.

Below Stairs

Below Stairs

Below Stairs, as the name suggests, is tucked away under an office building and down some stairs. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you would probably never stumble upon it naturally, which makes it all the more thrilling that you’re there. Inside, there’s herringbone floors, subway tiles and industrial touches. It’s well known for the experimental – and completely delicious – cocktails. Try the Night Market, a tasty concoction of gin, black raspberry liqueur, black cardamom and sparkling wine.

Below Stairs, 12 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AL.