If you’re looking for the coolest bars in Leeds, you’ve come to the right place…
Leeds is full of quality bars, but where should you go when you want to impress? These 10 are right at the top of the list. You’ve got secret cocktail bars, brewery tap rooms and even a cabaret club, so no two are the same, but while they’re all different, they’re also undeniably cool, so next time you’re wondering where to go, try one of these.
The city’s coolest bar is also its most secretive. The Maven is a hidden speakeasy, tucked away behind an unmarked doorway on Call Lane. For those in the know, it’s a treasure trove of exquisite cocktails. Try their Lady of Sage, a mixture of Hendricks gin and sage syrup with lemon and egg white, or go for the Velvet Punch and enjoy a blend of 7 year Havana Club Rum, mandarin liqueur, falernum and lime juice.
The Maven, 1 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.
North Brewing Co. Tap Room
It didn’t take long for the new North Brewing Tap Room to become one of the coolest bars in Leeds. The first thing you’ll notice as you walk inside is the bar – it’s packed out with 24 taps of craft beer, showcasing world brews as well as their own hoppy creations. Colourful stools, eclectic wood panelling and crisp white tiles dominate the space, but look past it to seek out their secret weapon – Little Bao Boy has taken up residence to serve its oh-so-delicious baos.
North Brewing Co. Tap Room, 3 Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BA.
Bundobust is a relaxed drinking den right in the heart of the city. The decor is eclectic, think doors as decorations, and the venue has an incredible down to earth atmosphere that makes everyone welcome. It’s craft beer central, with a huge selection on tap and in the fridges. From their own Bombay Dazzler Indian Witbier to local favourites like Kirkstall’s Three Swords, you won’t be short of choice. And you can pair your pint with their Indian street food plates – try the crisp Okra fries or the spicy Vada Pav.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
The Domino Club
Secret cocktail bar The Domino Club oozes cool. A small neon sign hints at its existence within working hairdressers Lord’s Barbering in Grand Arcade. But once you’re inside, their opulent decor will take you back in time, from the brass-topped bar to leather booths and parquet flooring. And as for the drinks, they do beer and whiskey boilermakers, a weekly rare liquor at a cut-price and an imaginative cocktail menu to boot.
The Domino Club, Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
Bonkers bar Neighbourhood has become a staple of the city’s nightlife, thanks to its living walls, neon lights and instagram-worthy cocktails. There’s even a Leeds exclusive, the NyLee, which blends vodka, poppy liqueur and fruit puree, all served in a teapot over dry ice. It’s a real showstopper, best at night, when the venue comes to life with house DJs, live saxophonists and spontaneous dance parties.
Neighbourhood, 5 Greek Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RW.
Tucked away in a Grade II-listed building over on South Parade, Below Stairs is an underground hideaway where they serve the most wonderful experiential cocktails. Ease into a comfy chair and take a peek at their bonkers menu for drinks like the 109 Miles to Filey, a liquid version of the Yorkshire coast, made with seaweed-distilled gin, wildflower eau du vie, ‘sea foam’ that’s really Islay Scotch and even an edible pebble. Creative and delicious, it’s the perfect mix.
Below Stairs, 12 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5QS.
Remedy is best known as a barbers, but you can get much more than a short back and sides here. Downstairs has been transformed into a super-cool bar with a real old school vibe. By day, you can enjoy a laid-back glass of wine and a charcuterie board as they play smooth-as-silk jazz sounds, but if you head over in the evening, you can venture into their downstairs speakeasy, where they serve cocktails and live music in equal measure.
Remedy, 16 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
It doesn’t get cooler than Whitelock’s. This is one of the oldest pubs in Leeds and they’ve maintained much of its original charm, so you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time. Expect old fashioned beer mirrors, beautiful old beams and a polished copper bar, where they serve real ales, craft beer and all the spirits you could want. Coupled with a menu of home cooked favourites, Whitelock’s has the kind of old-world cool that never gets old.
Whitelock’s, 4 Turk’s Head Yard, off Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HB.
Outlaws Yacht Club
Outlaws Yacht Club is an anomaly. It’s an exhibition space, a record shop, a cafe and a bar all rolled into one. You can hear up-and-coming DJs while admiring the local artwork and supping a craft beer, but their ace-in-the-hole is Leeds’ best Bloody Mary’s. Made with Russian Standard vodka, a slug of tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, and a splash of tabasco with lemon and celery, it’ll put a pep in your step for the rest of the night.
Outlaws Yacht Club, 38 New York Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY.
Viaduct is something else. It’s colourful and over-the-top, it’s loud and proud, it’s wild and raucous – in essence, it’s an incredible night out. There’s nothing else quite like it, and while it may not be traditionally cool, it’s the utter exuberance of it all that makes this one of the best and coolest bars in Leeds. Prepare for a night of eye-popping cabaret, crowd-pleasing drag artists and pounding beats.
Viaduct Showbar, 11 Lower Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6ER.Cover image credit McFade Photography.