Leeds isn’t short of a place to get a good pint. Craft beer, easy drinkers and the UK’s best beer bar, the city’s got it all. As the centre continues to expand, so does the options of beer bars in Leeds – classic venues that have kept up with competition and the newest openings making a name for themselves and quenching the thirst of beer fans in the LS postcodes. 

The Otley run continues out of the centre and while there are some great bars that form the route, if you’re looking for a truly great beer and somewhere to set up, we’ve handpicked the best options to do just that on Otley Road. Down the fancy dress and explore the better offerings for a great pint in Headingley and beyond. 

The originals 

The greatness that is Leeds isn’t a new thing. There have been aces around for quite some time, owning what they do or tweaking bits here and there to keep up with the new crowd. 

First up on where to get beer in Headingley has to be Beer Ritz – OK, so it’s not somewhere you can sit down and catch-up with your mates, but the beer selection behind the unassuming shop front is second to none. There is something for every single taste lined up on the shelves, from local to international, the best limited releases and some very knowledgeable staff to fill in any info you’re needing. Thinking of getting a few in to start or end your night? This is 100% the venue you should be doing it at. 

Starting the jaunt out of the centre is LS6 Cafe, starting from small beginnings years ago, they’ve kept their must-visit status for locals and visitors alike. An expansion to the original shop has them filling seats throughout the day, from breakfast to tea and into the night as the bar fills up for their regular live music slots. An excellent place to start out, pairing your pint with some delicious grub – the taps are populated with national favourites like Camden Brewery to local brews from Ilkely Brewery, plus so many more. Keep your eye on their events calendar for an excuse to visit – if you need one. 

Another local favourite to Headingley is Arcadia. Bookending the strip of chain shops and restaurants along the Arndale Centre is a proper pub, with a modern facade. The bar is neatly tucked into the back corner, topped with a mural of all things Leeds, with seating spread over two floors and beer crate lighting draping from the ceiling. As for the beer, you’ll find a Timothy Taylor tap a mainstay, supported with seven other casks. Arcadia are a big part of the Leeds beer scene so expect local breweries to always be available, as well as a regularly changing line-up of cans and bottles in the fridges. 

Modern classics

While their store fronts may not date back by tens of years, the newer offerings dotted along Headingley Lane and Otley Road have earned their place with us. Some we’ve no doubt you’ll have already set-up for the night in, for the rest that you haven’t, now’s your time to explore them. 

You’ll almost definitely have clocked the bright red front of Hyde Park Book Club, even if you haven’t made it through the doors. The former petrol station merged into one of Leeds’ favourite fancy dress shops and has since regenerated into a restaurant, bar and events space, still housing a concentrated version of the fancy dress offering. By day, The Vegetarian Butcher heads up the food offering, creating a fully veggie and largely vegan menu. Into the night, events take up any spot available, from the basement to the main room, all this as well as the main room lined with a great bottle shop. The beer on offer is largely local (featuring favourites like North Brew, Northern Monk and Magic Rock) as well as guest imports from across the world, served fresh from the bar fridges or following a bottle shop browse. This is a personal favourite for late brunch and a couple of beers on a Sunday, before walking it off through the park. 

Sitting in or taking out, Growlers has the answer in their beer selection. The bottle shop and bar pack in a lot of options for a small space, with fridges lining the walls and a DJ usually taking residency in the window. As is seemingly standard, the ever-popular local favourite breweries are no stranger to this place, but expect a whole host of options, including easy drinkers and some more unique flavours to work your way through. Keep your eyes on their Instagram for new beer and music announcements, or head in to work your way through your own picks. This is the ultimate weekend spot, so get down early to get a good seat for the afternoon.

It’s seemingly never been easier to track down good beer in Leeds. From the host of local breweries hosting drinkers in their tap rooms, to the bars dotted through the city centre and far beyond making for enough pit stops to facilitate your walk home, no matter where you’re based. It’s hard to put a foot wrong when finding your next pint, but let us know if you need any further advice, we’re always happy to do the research when it comes to good beer.