Think Call Lane, think epic night out – let’s take a journey down this legendary street so you can plan your next visit.
There are popular nightspots all over Leeds city centre, but none of them are quite as famous as Call Lane – and it’s not hard to understand why. For years, it’s been a thriving hub of rock & roll party bars, good-time cocktail joints and all manner of scrumptious restaurants. That’s not changing any time soon, so check out where you can go for food, drinks and good times on your next visit.
Out of sight, but never out of mind, The Maven is one of the finest bars on Call Lane. Find the unmarked door and climb the stairway to cocktail heaven – once inside, you’ll discover a medley of Prohibition-era style rooms and snugs, with a fitting soundtrack of cool soul, jazz and hip-hop tunes. The cocktails are the main reason to visit though – their menu of originals and twists on classics include the fruity, Prosecco-based Banoffee Bellini, but if you fancy something not on their menu, just ask – their bartenders know their Mojitos from their Juleps.
The Maven, 1st Floor, 1 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.
If you’re hot on the dance music scene in Leeds, a night at Wire is a right of passage. This teeny-tiny club brings big beats into a subterranean sanctuary for the latest and greatest underground sounds. The range of nights here show its ever-eclectic nature – there’s techno galore at Acetate, house heavyweights spinning at Butter Side Up, and a whole host of special one-offs from big name DJs passing through this Call Lane icon. Better still, they’re well known for their pocket-friendly prices – a cheap night at a legendary venue? Boom.
Wire, 2a Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DN.
Döner Summer will change how you think about kebabs forever. Yes, they’re still dirty, yes, it’s junk food of the tastiest order, but no – there’s no meat at all! It’s a vegan Vatican for all things doner, made with their own-recipe mock chicken and doner meat. You’ll get your choice of meats stuffed in Turkish pide bread, a garlic and coriander flatbread or atop one of their Teller trays, then it’s time for toppings. Our tip? The Bad Girl with its fiery combo of pink cabbage, peppers, cucumber, onions, tomato and their famous scotch bonnet & garlic chilli sauce.
Döner Summer, 10-12 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DN.
Red’s True BBQ
You can whip yourself into a meat-induced frenzy with a trip to Red’s True BBQ. It’s a place of pilgrimage for carnivores and their Call Lane home is the original, so where better to devour marvellous morsels of meaty mayhem? Their chicken wings are a fine place to start, covered with your choice of seven homemade sauces. Then you can move onto their 14-hour smoked brisket, their famous Jacob’s ladder rib or one of their jaw-stretching burgers – you’ll have sauce across your face and dripping from your hands, but every bite is worth it.
Red’s True Barbecue, 1 Cloth Hall Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HD.
Jake’s Bar & Still Room
A Call Lane mainstay for over 15 years, Jake’s is still one of the best bars in Leeds. Head down their staircase (careful on your way back up) and into an underground haven for cocktail lovers, before slinking into a booth as a soundtrack of dance anthems, classic hip-hop tunes and indie sing-a-longs plays out. They have their own Still Room, home to a copper pot still called Tabitha, which they use to make their own spirits and liquors that go into all kinds of unusual concoctions that refresh on a regular basis.
Jake’s Bar & Still Room, 29 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
One mention of Oporto and it conjures up images of bar-top dancing, endless shots and rowdy antics. Their tried-and-tested triumvirate of good music, good people and good drinks sums them up succinctly. You can look forward to boogying to a soundtrack of classic indie and rock anthems as you sup craft beers or cocktails. It’s not just a party bar though, they put on live music throughout the week and you can even grab a joyous bite of vegan indulgence from Knave’s Kitchen – smoked seitan hot dog and loaded fries, anyone?
Oporto, 33 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
You can get a taste of old-world Mexican cantinas right here in Leeds because walking into Neon Cactus is like stepping into the heart of Central America without even leaving Call Lane. It’s full of rustic charm, from the wooden furniture to the tiled walls, embellished by cool graffiti and artwork. During the day, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite with their tempting trays of tacos a must. But it comes into its own after dark – creative cocktails and a back bar of over 50 different tequilas go down smooth with its lively, party soundtrack.
Neon Cactus, 35 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
Known for its barmy cocktails and more bonkers decor, Cuckoo is a Call Lane mainstay well worth visiting on your next night out in Leeds. Depending on which part you’re in, you’ll find yourself sitting in a secret garden, passing through a Narnia wardrobe or wandering around an over-the-top fairground bar. You can sup craft beers, quaff twists on classic cocktails and eat delicious pizza – you get a 6-inch free with any drink before 9pm! And the fun doesn’t stop there, as you can also play a load of bar games, from giant Jenga to beer pong.
Cuckoo, 37 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
Roland’s is a little different to its partying neighbours – it’s more laid-back, more grown-up, just a little more sophisticated. And it’s only small, but makes the most of every inch, whether you’re admiring the stripped back, eclectic decor from one of their booths or revelling outside, up on the secret terrace. Roland’s loves its beer, with cool craft beers on tap and in the fridges, but you’ll never struggle for a cocktail – their Espresso Martini is top tier. Throw in a cool, soulful soundtrack and a menu of New York-style sub sarnies, this place is a dream.
Roland’s, 39 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
Northern Guitars Cafe Bar
If you’re a bit of a rock and roller, there’s one Call Lane bar you have to visit – Northern Guitars! First and foremost, it’s been here for decades as a shop and you can still browse their range in their first floor emporium. But the ground floor is a bit of a hidden gem amidst the bright lights of Call Lane. Reclaimed furniture, exposed brickwork and music paraphernalia adorn the walls, it’s the perfect place to kick back with quality local ales from the likes of Leeds Brewery while tunes by The Clash and David Bowie spin in the background.
Northern Guitars Cafe Bar, 41 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
Power, Corruption & Lies
Pan-Asian small plates, unusual cocktails and disco bangers – it’s a three-pronged attack from Power, Corruption & Lies. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a few laid-back drinks and a bite to eat during the day – the Korean-style pulled pork bao and cod karaage are almost too good to share. Then, when night falls, it’s time to whip out your finest dance moves as you groove to classic beats and sup on unique concoctions like the gin-based Blue Monday – their constant nods to New Order is an unsubtle hint at how good the soundtrack is here.
Power, Corruption & Lies, 36 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
Call Lane Social
Much like Oporto opposite, Call Lane Social is a hub of rock ‘n’ roll antics washed down with hard liquor, it’s the perfect 1-2 for your next night out in Leeds. They’ve perfected that dive bar vibe – think dark lighting, exposed walls and a quite alarming stuffed stag’s head on the wall. Get your boogie on to classic rock, soul and indie anthems until the early hours as you drink your way through their extensive bar menu. There’s craft beers aplenty, all the shots your heart desires and enough bourbon and whiskey to knock that stag out all over again.
Call Lane Social, 38 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
The wonders of Call Lane Social don’t stop there – at the back, you’ll see a black iron staircase. Take it and enter an exotic world inspired by a 1950s tiki paradise – this is the Tiki Hideaway. It’s a cocktail wonderland split across two red-lit rooms, both of which are lined with bamboo walls and Polynesian trinkets. Their concoctions are unforgettable. Not only does the Amputated Zombie taste incredible, but they also set it on fire in front of you. Once you’ve picked your poison, pootle over to the dance floor until you can dance no more.
Tiki Hideaway, Call Lane Social, 38 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
IF… At Night
Nestled on the same street as the original cafe, IF… At Night is a dive bar decked out in exposed brickwork, Chesterfield sofas and neon lights. Here, leisurely afternoon drinks give way to late-night revelry as DJs take to the decks, soundtracking your night until 2am. They serve a supreme line-up of classic and imaginative cocktails with garnishes like cloud-shaped candy floss and tangy orange slices. Try their epic Porn Star Martini, made with vanilla vodka, passoa, lime and sugar syrup, topped with passion fruit and served with a shot of Prosecco.
IF… At Night, 42 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
There’s often something calming about familiarity, but there’s nothing low-key about Revolution’s bars. They’ve been at home on Call Lane for aeons and it’s a partnership that’s served all well over the years. Pop in during the day and you’re in for a trusty feed – sourdough pizza, stacked burgers, loaded fries. You can wash yours down with popular beers, and a whole host of cocktails, some classic, some way out there. While it might not have the kudos of its neighbours, the party’s never anything other than on fire until the early hours.
Revolution, 48 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
Tucked under the tracks on Call Lane is Brooklyn, a New York-inspired sports bar. By day it’s the perfect spot to catch all the footy, boxing and baseball action in a lively atmosphere. At night, the mood changes as you enter hip-hop heaven with a dash of R&B. Don’t watch from the sidelines, get yourself to the bar to order old school cocktails like Wild Thoughts – a refreshing passionfruit twist on a Margarita topped off with lime. Or you might prefer Big Poppa, a rum-based Zombie jam-packed with pineapple and raspberry, inspired by Biggie himself.
Brooklyn, 50 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
The Backroom is a late-night bar that feels more like a club when it’s at its very best. It serves a different vibe than many of its Call Lane neighbours, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular – there’s a glitz and glamour to every part. Comfy booths and Art Deco furniture stretch across two levels that have more than a hint of 1920s speakeasy. This is the type of bar where you order up Grey Goose, Hennessy and Johnnie Walker by the bottle as an impressive line-up of house, techno and big beat DJs take over the decks until the early hours.
The Backroom, 50a Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
If you’re looking for a dose of luxury to end your night on Call Lane, head to Baracoa. Opulence is what they go for and what you’ll get. It opens as a bar where you can kick back with a few cocktails or beers to start your night, but by the time 9pm comes around, it transforms into a fully-fledged club. They have DJs on every Thursday to Saturday, playing the best in soul, funk, house, techno, R&B, electro and chart. They also have a secret – find the staircase and it might just lead you up to their hidden roof terrace overlooking Leeds.
Baracoa, 52 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
Revolución de Cuba
What do you get if you take Revolution and give it a Latin makeover? Revolución de Cuba, that’s what. Here, they focus on rum rather than their sibling’s love for vodka. That means a host of totally tropical cocktails, like the El Hombre, with its mix of El Dorado 12 Year Old rum, Chambord, cranberry, Angostura bitters and honey. Hungry? You can’t go wrong with small plates for sharing or burritos if you’re staying on your own but, for a simple life hack, do their bottomless brunch – it’s on every day until 2pm.
Revolución de Cuba, 52 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
The New Penny
The last Call Lane bar might be its most important. The New Penny is the oldest gay bar in Leeds and has been at the heart of LGBTQ+ life in the city since it opened in 1953 as The Hope & Anchor. You can expect quality beers on tap and a pocket-friendly cocktail menu, but it’s the atmosphere you come for, one that feels a lot like a traditional boozer, just without the miserable old fellas propping up the bar. Expect cheesy pop classics and dance anthems from DJs who are happy to take requests, and there’s drag acts and karaoke on regularly too.
The New Penny, 57 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.