Eating and drinking outdoors has become a real way of life over the last couple of years, so here’s where to head for some toasty toasting.
While it can’t be summer all year long – and even the balmiest sunny days can turn into chilly evenings – this collection of wonderful restaurants and bars in Leeds offers covered seating that lets you stay outdoors, come rain or shine. The temperature might drop, but these fabulous drinking holes and dining spots have heaters and shelter that let you enjoy al fresco fun no matter the weather.
Belgrave Music Hall
The rooftop beer garden at Belgrave Music Hall was one of the first Leeds bars to offer covered seating all year round. If that’s not enough, these much-coveted tables also have heaters to keep you snug. It’s a place that gives you a great vantage point at the top of the city, the perfect spot to enjoy pizza from Dough Boys or a dirty burger and the legendary Session Fries from Patty’s. There’s a staggeringly good range of craft beers, spirits, wine and cocktails too – you’ll want to settle in for a while.
Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, 1a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
North Brewing Co. City Tap Room
This brilliant tap room from North Brewing Co. – the same people who brought us the various North Bars – has loads of outside seating. The even better news is that much of it is covered, and the area is strewn with heat lamps that will help keep the cold at bay. Grab a spot and you can work your way through the brewery’s very best offerings, with 24 taps serving up classics such as Sputnik, Springwell Pils and some of their newer, more experimental beers. Hungry? Line your stomach with springy bao buns from Little Bao Boy.
North Brewing Co. City Tap, 3 Sovereign Square, Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BA.
For some of the best views of Leeds, ascend to the roof terrace of Angelica. Some of it’s covered, some of it isn’t, but there are blankets and heaters aplenty to keep you warm throughout all seasons. It’s also pretty spacious, so there are plenty of seats and tables for everyone. The huge drinks list here is a winner, with contemporary cocktails, a separate Champagne list, fab wines and an exhaustive list of spirits. You can snack up there too, so order up a charcuterie board or Padrón peppers with chilli salt to accompany your bubbles.
Angelica, Trinity Leeds, 70 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.
In search of a Leeds bar with heaters for when the mercury plunges? Look no further than East 59th. Make the most of the south-facing view over Leeds in covered comfort, with outdoor heaters and blankets to set temperatures rising. The terrace is astroturfed for that urban garden feel, while the menu serves up brunch classics such as Eggs Royale, silky with smoked salmon, or perhaps you can share an extravagant seafood platter heaped with lobster, prawn and tempura crab. Add cocktails or fizz for real al fresco heaven.
East 59th, Issho, Victoria Gate, George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
Water Lane Boathouse
There’s no need to abandon your canal-side table with water views when it gets a bit chilly at Water Lane Boathouse. The heaters come on and there’s plenty of cover too. In winter, they even erect a giant tipi for those lucky enough to get inside it. Heat yourself up further with slices of brilliant pizza from their Small Victories oven – the burgers and sandwiches are worthy of your attention too. Wash them down with an ever-changing craft beer selection, a hand-picked wine list and gin galore.
Water Lane Boathouse, Canal Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5PS.
A Nation of Shopkeepers
One of the best Leeds bars for covered seating, A Nation of Shopkeepers has options for you if you want to eat and drink outside. There’s a courtyard with umbrellas, heaters and covered huts, as well as a separate covered area that straddles the line between inside and out. You can order to your table via an app – get stuck into a Golden Rum Highball, any of the massive beer range or a perfect serve of gin. Food runs from classic pub sharing snacks to excellent chicken wings, pizza and bold burgers.
A Nation of Shopkeepers, 29 Cookridge Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AG.
Lamb & Flag
There’s a lovely big courtyard at the back of the Lamb & Flag, with a generous helping of tables and heaters to keep you comfortable. Should it rain, sleet, hail or, heaven forbid, snow, then you can retreat to one of the covered areas to take shelter. It’s a boozer that serves up decidedly superior pub grub – think Leeds Best battered haddock and chips or a vegan oyster and chestnut mushroom pie. They’re the perfect accompaniment to the Leeds Brewery range of beers on tap and a wine list with some real gems on it.
Lamb & Flag, 1 Church Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HD.
Perhaps the most celebrated pub in Leeds, Whitelock’s doesn’t just have a gorgeous interior and original features, it also has one of the city’s great drinking courtyards. Long and thin, it’s decorated with benches and tables that are safe from the elements thanks to retractable canopies. There are push-button heaters, so you can warm up if it feels cold, but they’re not throwing out wasted heat when it’s not. Warm up further with the beef and ale pie, well-kept pints of cask ale and craft gems such as Five Points Pale.
Whitelock’s, 4 Turk’s Head Yard, off Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HB.
Restaurant Bar & Grill
Sat in a prime spot in City Square, Restaurant Bar & Grill has a series of tipis along its outside stretch, complete with a bar and numerous heaters. In other words, you won’t be exposed to the cold or the rain here, so take up a prime people-watching position and take your pick from one of the many menus. They tick all the boxes here, with separate offerings for coeliacs, vegetarians, vegans and kids. Feast on tamarind-glazed heritage beetroot, oysters or sashimi and sup from a huge wine list.
Restaurant Bar & Grill, The Old Post Office, 3 City Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2AN.
Take your pick of two terraces at Headrow House, one spilling out from cocktail bar Redondo Beach, the other – Kennedy Meadows – up another flight of steps. Both have plenty of covered areas, as well as heaters to take the edge off the cold. Get your groove on to DJs on the lower of the two terraces, before making your way up the stairs with cocktails, craft beer and the wonderful tank-fresh beer from Pilsner Urquell. Fill a hole with the Spitz kebabs from the Ox Club kitchen – the doner meat here is a cut above and there’s a vegan one too.
Headrow House, 19a The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU.
You’re really spoiled for choice in Leeds when it comes to terraces with views, and the one atop The Alchemist is yet another doozy. The wrap-around terrace faces some of the grandest buildings in Leeds, is heated and has the added bonus of huge umbrellas. This is also the home of crafty cocktails, such as the Flash Gordon with Glenmorangie X, King’s Ginger and Magic Fire. You’ll have to find out if they’re serious with such ingredients as ‘magic’, ‘purple rain’ and ‘fairy liquid’. The all-day food is worth a try, with wondrous wings and waffles.
The Alchemist, Trinity Leeds, Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.
Next to Restaurant Bar & Grill in the stately surrounds of The Old Post Office, the central Leeds branch of Banyan has both indoor and outdoor seating. The latter features a tipi and is – winter weather bonus – heated. That means you can relax in comfort as you indulge in 2-4-1 cocktails, such as the Banyan Iced Tea and Pineapple and Coconut Mojito. There’s food all day and all week, roaming from Bang Bang Chicken Skewers through to Sunday roasts, pub classics and modern vegan dishes like the Roast Cauliflower Malayan Curry.
Banyan, 2 The Old Post Office, City Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2ES.
Dakota Bar & Grill
One of the finest hotels in Leeds, Dakota also plays host to a couple of brilliant bars. The place to be is upstairs in Salon Privé, which has its own entrance and sits above bustling Greek Street. It’s got a heated, covered terrace with table service – relax in your seat, listen to the music and soak up the vibe as your signature cocktail is delivered to you. Try the Black Bird, a Negroni-esque blend of three rums and three amaros. There are five different Champagnes by the glass and bar snacks such as smoked salmon bagels and a Caesar salad.
Dakota Bar & Grill, Greek Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RU.
Chow Down – in both its winter and summer guises – has loads of covered and heated areas for you to enjoy. In summer, you might luck out and get a dry, sunny day perfect for the uncovered tables, but we all know what the British weather is like. In winter, you’ll want the cover and heat of their tipis for sure – gather round the campfire, bag a spot near a fire pit or grab a heated snug in the Ski Lodge. Once you’re ensconced, it’s time for craft beers, cocktails and street food from the tempting array of vendors.
Chow Down, Temple Arches, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5QG.
Does steak taste better outdoors? Put that theory to the test by reserving a table at Blackhouse’s conservatory. This year-round spot has a retractable roof, so there’s cover when you need it and natural light when the sun is out. There are heaters too, keeping you cosy while you tuck into beef brisket pasties or a platter of oysters. Steaks range from classic cuts to premium fillets and huge sharing slabs for double dining delight. There’s a wine list broad enough to make food matching a breeze.
Blackhouse, 31-33 East Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5PS.
There are two floors of tables inside, but those who love to feast outside will need to be quick to grab one of the outdoor tables at Franco Manca. They might be few, but they’re fabulous – covered, heated and right next to an external bar. It’s also great for people watching, sat next to one of the entrances to Trinity Leeds. After a starter – we’re talking burrata with ‘Nduja, aubergine parmigiana – take your pick of eight sourdough pizzas, with dough made fresh daily. The salami with chilli oil will kickstart your tastebuds.
Franco Manca, 1 Trinity Street, Trinity Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AP.
The Whitehall Restaurant & Bar
Small but perfectly formed, the wrap-around terrace at The Whitehall is decked out with umbrellas and it’s also heated – heavenly. They do a superb Sunday roast, along with set lunch and early evening menus. The a la carte is all about modern British food – crispy belly pork with a Rioja-braised pig head croquette or flat iron steak with Yorkshire blue cheese sauce. The desserts are not to be missed, including a classic white chocolate and Mason’s Raspberry Gin cheesecake.
The Whitehall Restaurant & Bar, Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4JY.
Hard benches and uncomfortable seats don’t cut the mustard at Issho. Instead, you’ll sink into ultra-deep cushioned chairs and sofas, the wooden-floored terrace dotted with pretty plants and, worry not, heat lamps. It all adds up to one of the finest covered seating bars anywhere in Leeds. Gaze out at the skyline, with Kirkgate Market’s proud domes in the foreground, while eating bao buns, a gourmet sushi platter or charcoal-grilled tiger prawns dressed in chilli butter. The wine list is exemplary, the cocktails drawing inspiration from Japan.
Issho, Victoria Gate, George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.Cover image credit: Tom Martin