10 of the best Real Ale pubs in Leeds
best real ale pubs in leeds

Leeds beer blogger and food writer Leigh Linley has become something of a local legend thanks to his hit site The Good Stuff, so who better to pick out the best Real Ale pubs in Leeds?

From iconic bars to young upstarts, Leigh takes us through the city’s top places for a quality pint…

The Midnight Bell

101 Water Lane, LS11 5QN  www.midnightbell.co.uk

Leigh says: “Leeds Brewery’s flagship pub is the place to head if you want to enjoy flagship beer Leeds Pale in the sun-trap of a courtyard out back, or a quiet meal upstairs with a comforting pint of Midnight Bell. The food is excellent here, too, and is well worth the short walk out of Leeds Centre.”

The Adelphi

1-3 Hunslet Rd, LS10 1JQ  www.theadelphileeds.co.uk

Leigh says: “The Adelphi is a Leeds landmark – for a long time the unofficial tap of the now-demolished Tetley Brewery. Now it mixes period and modern decor to good effect, and is another popular spot with the after-work crowd. Still, it’s not all hipsters; the beer and food are both excellent. Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and Leeds Pale are always popular, and the burgers are among the best in the city.”

The Hop

Dark Arches, Granary Wharf, LS1 4BR  www.thehop-leeds.co.uk

Leigh says: “With a massive slant towards live music, The Hop is more than just a place to see local bands. Owned by Ossett Brewery, The Hop is a great location to try Ossett’s excellent range of beers – from the strong pale ale Excelsior to the rich and malty Big Red. Another pub with an outside beer garden to sit in during warmer months.”


4 Turks Head Yard, LS1 6HB  www.whitelocksleeds.com

Leigh says: “Whitelocks was rescued from becoming a footnote in Leeds’s pub history last year by Mason & Taylor, who have restored the somewhat dog-eared pub to former glory. With a strong focus on quality food, it’s not just a place to eat – there’s an excellent and diverse range of well-kept beers on offer from the likes of Four Thorns, Burley Street Brewhouse and Revolutions Brewing Co.”

North Bar

24 New Briggate, LS1 6NU  www.northbar.com

Leigh says: “North is a real Leeds institution; opening in 1997, it’s continued to champion beer from all around the world in a unique setting. The bar groans under the weight of beer  – which ranges from local heroes such as Kirkstall and Ridgeside, to beers from the US and further afield. Confused? You don’t need to be: North’s staff are the friendliest and most helpful in Leeds. Drop in, and do some exploring.”

The Cross Keys

107 Water Lane, LS11 5WD  www.the-crosskeys.com

Leigh says: “The elegant sister of North Bar, The Cross Keys combines award-winning food with great beer. Friendly staff and a good atmosphere complement the Real Ales (Kirkstall and Little Valley are regular), and there’s a great selection of beers from the US and Europe in the fridges. I can highly recommend the Scotch Eggs and Cheeseboards too.”

The Grove

Back Green, Holbeck, LS11 5PL  www.thegroveinn.com

Leigh says: “In the shadow of Bridgewater Place sits an unssuming little venue – The Grove. Famed for its commitment to Ale and Folk Music, it’s a perennially popular pub and one that has rightly survived the development that’s gone on around it. A cosy, perfect oasis of calm through the week, you can always count on quality beer from the likes of Acorn, Daleside and Moorhouse.”

The Victoria

28 Great George Street, LS1 3DL  website

Leigh says: “Another popular pub with a fantastic interior. Settle down in one of the snugs with a pint of well-kept Nicholson’s Pale Ale or a beer from one of the regular breweries such as Rooster’s, Thornbridge or Vale Brewery, and enjoy a quiet pint or a laid-back meal.”

Friends of Ham

4 New Station Street, LS1 5DL  www.friendsofham.com

Leigh says: “A relative newcomer to Leeds but already immensely popular, its mix of deli, wine bar and beer bar is a unique one in Leeds, and there’s plenty of room downstairs to enjoy local real ales from the likes of Revolutions Brewing Co and Hawkshead, or a bottle of something from further afield, with London’s new breweries (Kernel, Partizan, Beavertown etc) becoming something of a niche.”


43-47 Great George Street, LS1 3BB  website

Leigh says: “Veritas also houses a deli, which is packed with a great range of Yorkshire cheese, breads, preserves and meats – but is a great pub in its own right too. There’s a strong local theme on the bar, with breweries such as Rooster’s, Saltaire, Phoenix, Hawkshead and Ridgeside always popular.”

Find the best Real Ale pubs in Leeds with this map:

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Leigh’s first book, Great Yorkshire Beer, is published later this month. You can discover more from the beer blogger at The Good Stuff, and follow him on Twitter

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