Leeds is famous for many things, we’ve got a rich cultural heritage, incredible architecture, and plenty of amazing museums, galleries, and shops to visit. But one thing that stands out is just how great the nightlife is here, with bars and pubs to be found right across the city catering to all tastes and styles. But while we all have our favourite spots in the city centre, it’s important to support businesses right across the region.
In each and every suburb of our city, you’ll find incredible independent business working hard to bring us the very best food, drink, and general good times. In order to shine a light on some of these more local spots, we’ve put together a guide to our favourite places to drink outside of Leeds’ city centre. So next time you’re feeling a little thirsty, why not check out one of these bars, pubs, and venues? You never know where you might find your new favourite spot…
Just five miles from Leeds city centre, this picturesque market town is home to Victorian houses, beautiful parks, and a stunning Grade II listed town hall. Once famous for its role in the textile industry, Morley now boasts a vibrant local community, and this extends right through to its cultural venues and nightlife.
Starting on Queen Street, you’ll find the magnificent Eighteen90 welcoming customers into their beautiful stone building to enjoy their selection of cocktails, wine, and food. Just up the road you’ll also find Tipsy Cow, a venue that hosts regular events and boasts one of the largest drink menus in Leeds. As you stroll down Queen Street, you’ll pass two more incredible bars in the form of Westy’s and Cucina, both of which are worth a stop en route.
Once you reach Morley Bottoms, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice with the selection of independent bars to try, with a whole heap of new venues opening up their doors over the last few years. Oscars, Resident, Prospect, Bottle & Tap, Station Hop, Seven Hills, and Otto are all impressive venues in their own right, but with them all together it’s becoming hard to beat Morley Bottoms for a great night out in the suburbs.
Often cited as one of the most desirable postcodes in Yorkshire, it’s no surprise that the suburb of Horsforth is a really beautiful place to be. Filled with independent traders and artisanal coffee shops, the high street here has become a real hub for the community, and this extends right through to the drinking scene. A favourite among locals and visitors alike, The Old King’s Arms is a delightful pub based right in the centre of Horsforth. Championing a wide range of cask ales and craft beers alongside a rotating street-food residency in the kitchen, this local is a real gem in the suburb’s crown. Just across the street, you’ll also find The Little Monk, an authentic German and Belgian beer house boasting a list of over 90 traditional beers on the menu. Accompanied by a food menu inspired by the two countries, it’s the perfect place to gather around a table with friends and family and tuck into some great food and drink.
This north-east suburb gives off its fair share of leafy village vibes, but that definitely doesn’t mean it’s boring. Meanwood has become a real hub for independent businesses over the years, making it a rich and exciting community with plenty of great bars and hangouts to explore.
Slap bang in the middle of Meanwood you’ll find Alfred, a cosy local spot slinging out craft beers, wine, and cocktails, created by the genius lot down at North Brewing Co. If beer is your thing, it’s also worth heading over to the Terminus Tap Room and Boot & Rally Bottle Shop to sample some of the very best craft brews from both near and far. We also love Junction Social, the evening offering from the coffee shop of the same name, with great deals on bottles, cans, and pints from 4-7pm every weeknight.
Home to a wide range of independent restaurants, shops, and bars, it’s definitely no surprise just how popular Chapel Allerton has become amongst the people of Leeds. Perfectly located within ten minutes from the city centre, and conveniently close to the green open spaces of Roundhay Park, it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon in the sunshine or a Sunday mooching around your favourite independents.
When it comes to bars, Chapel Allerton certainly doesn’t miss the spot. One of the local favourites, Further North, is a neighbourhood hangout that makes you feel right at home with its cosy decor and style. Head down to sample some of North Brewing Co.’s very best craft creations and settle into one of the city’s cosiest bars for an evening. Another fantastic Chapel Allerton, The Woods, is set across three floors including a glorious garden area and a top floor balcony with incredible views out across the local area. Slinging out great drinks, pizzas, and even the odd Sunday roast or two, you’re missing out if you haven’t already tried out this local spot.
Located on Parliament Street in Harrogate, this newly opened cocktail bar is a twin branch of the Roland’s on Call Lane, Leeds. Roland’s will certainly deliver a cool, laidback vibe to your cocktail consumption. Even dogs are welcome, and tables can be booked in advance or walk-ins are welcome. The relaxed bar serves the classics including Bloody Mary, Martinis and a wide selection of draughts, wines, and spirits. As well, it’s well worth trying some of the tasteful cocktails and spritz menu, including the likes of the title drink Ronald’s Spring Punch, a Vodka, white wine, and soda fused with framboise and Simon Says, an amaretto sours mixed with Champagne syrup, Evena Williams Bourbon, and citrus. Be sure not to miss out on the monthly Espresso Martini offer, it’s as simple as following the link on their website and filling in your email address to receive a free Espresso Martini every month of 2022! Open from 4-11pm Monday to Thursday, from 2pm till 1am on Fridays, from 12 to 1am on Saturdays and from 12 till 11pm on Sundays, perfect for that post work relaxation, weekend wind down.
The Best of the Rest:
In Ilkley, head to the inimitable Friends of Ham to check out their delicious craft beer and charcuterie menu if you haven’t already. After proving a huge success in the city centre, the team opened up this local spot in 2015 and since then it’s become one of Ilkley’s favourite venues, which is no surprise considering just how great their food and drink can be.
If you find yourself in Farsley, head over to Saint Jude, a welcoming bar and kitchen that feels just as lively as anything you’d find in the city centre. Offering up wood fired bagels, burgers, cocktails and pints, it’s hard to imagine what more you could possibly ask for!
Finally, in Kirkstall, we can’t shout loud enough about Kirkstall Bridge Inn, a warm and independent pub owned by the team at Kirkstall Brewery. Sitting alongside the River Aire, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a slice of sunshine with a cold pint, but it’s just as lovely when cosying up inside when the weather’s not playing ball.
Photos: Eighteen90, Further North, Boot And Rally, Friends Of Ham