The ultimate Leeds nightlife guide, with the skinny on the best bars, clubs, regular nights and after hours eats
With a population of over 750,500 people and three universities, it’s not hard to see why Leeds is famed for its nightlife. For students and non-students alike, the city has a wide range of bars, clubs and nightspots that you shouldn’t miss out on.
There are loads of late bars to choose from, but here are some of the best in Leeds for a genuinely fantastic night.
Best bars: drinking dens with character and atmosphere
Call Lane Social
38 Call Lane, LS1 6DT, 0113 247 025, www.calllanesocial.co.uk
Known for its great music and atmosphere, Call Lane Social is infamous in Leeds. It has two levels; downstairs draws you in with loud music and cool décor, and you won’t have to pay extortionate prices for your drinks. Upstairs you ascend to a Tiki-style bar, a 1950s styled tropical paradise, with fun fruity and creative cocktails on offer. It exudes a laid-back atmosphere, and with the décor featuring motifs of palm trees, dazzling prints and Fifties pin-ups, it’s perfect for some escapism in the city. They now offer a cocktail making class for £25 which includes three cocktails, which you create and drink yourself. Open until 4am, it’s a tempting spot to start your night – and you might just end it there too.
46 Woodhouse Ln, LS2 8PL, 0113 244 9009, website
This movie and TV themed establishment is not to be missed for those seeking something a little more alternative. Comic art, movie props, glowing lights and a disco ball – you can’t go wrong with a bar that plays homage to cult TV and movie heroes! There are always deals on for thirsty money-savers, and fun themed events (such as the super geek quiz every Sunday) that are well worth a look. Open on some nights as late as 3am.
The Stone Roses Bar
9 Lower Briggate, LS1 6ER, 0113 2346704, www.stonerosesbarleeds.co.uk
In the centre of town, nestled under a railway bridge you can hear the thumping of a bar that is the ideal indie music lover’s haven. Named after the legendary Mancunians, this bar’s atmosphere is always lively, there’s a great sound system, cheap drinks and it’s as open as late as 6am on Fridays and Saturdays. Come here for great tunes and late nights, and a bar that always keeps it real.
18 Merrion St, LS1 6PQ, 0845 611 8643, www.mojobar.co.uk
Described as ‘clean and dirty at the same time’, MOJO is where the coolest residents of Leeds reside late at night. Always busy, it plays the best rock and roll music in town spanning five decades. Their cocktails are amazing and the bar staff are friendly and fun. The décor is quirky rock and roll, and the atmosphere is electric – arguably the best in town. Open Mon-Thurs until 3am, Fri-Sun until 4am.
Best clubs: late night hangouts to keep the party going
If you’re looking to carry on the night at some of the best clubs in Leeds, here are a few options where your night definitely won’t be wasted, with all sorts of fun that to carry on until the early hours.
Cardigan Fields Kirkstall Road, LS4 2DG, 0113 275 6000, www.gotocontrol.co.uk
With a capacity of 3,000 and a brand new building, it’s hard to see any other big clubs that rival this place. With rooms like the ‘Geodome’ where you dance below glowing blue shapes, and even bigger rooms next door with all the lasers you could want, it’s a raver’s paradise. The brand new sound system is epic, the surroundings modern and flashy, and there’s always well known and up and coming house and dance DJs playing here. If you like your nights out BIG, then this is the place to go.
The Warehouse, 19 – 21 Somers Street, LS1 2RG, 0113 234 3535, www.theleedswarehouse.com
Although much smaller than Control, this club’s sound is equally as good, and it boasts an immense range of DJs and styles. The Warehouse is always popular with students, and has dance and house guest DJs weekly, and cheap drink deals. Get down to their ‘Sticky Feet’ night to dance until your feet hurt. The organisers know what a club night needs and although it gets really packed some nights, you’re guaranteed a good time with some like-minded people.
The Basement Hirsts Yard, Duncan Street, LS1 6DL, 0113 246 1030
This club is small but packs a punch – it’s trendy and its nights are always busy. Providing house , funky house and urban music until late, it’s had a refurbishment, so the lighting and décor adds to the cool vibe of the place, and Tuesdays are always the best night for cheap drinks until 4am.
2A Call Lane, LS1 6DN, 0113 234 0980, www.wireclub.co.uk
An intimate basement club, Wire’s a great choice for those seeking an alternative club scene in town. The music is alternative underground, but in an accessible and friendly setting. It’s the perfect place to continue a night out after trawling Call Lane’s bars, as it’s just around the corner. Check their website for the events of the week, and see what all the fuss is about.
Canal Mills, Brandon Street, Armley Road, LS12 2EB, 0113 200 2780, website
For something completely different, experience Leeds culture in this new space created from an 18th century textile mill with high ceilings, exposed brickwork and wooden beams to surround you. It’s used for a combination of art and music , food and crafts, and hosts weekly events. From electronic music events to fashion shows, there’s always something going on in this exciting new playground of art.
St. Peter’s Square, LS9 8AH, 0113 383 8800, website
Head down the other side of town to The Wardrobe, to attend a gig event that’s intimate and fresh, with an eclectic mix of music from students to signed artists. With a busy calendar, there’s always something going on at this exciting venue. Their drinks menu has been crafted by the boys and girls of MOJO , and has a delicious selection. Great for a weekend of live music with some good friends.
Regular nights: best weekly and monthly events
For a reliably good time, try one of these regular nights in Leeds city centre…
FUNKSOULNATION at HiFi
Friday nights, the HiFi Club, 2 Central Road, LS1 6DE, 0113 242 7353, website
For under a fiver (and free for students with an NUS card before 12am), this night encompasses the cool sounds of funk, soul, disco and hip-hop – so it’s readymade for a boogie! It’s a fun night that you should definitely add to your calendar if you’re seeking something with a unique atmosphere for a night out.
Pet Sounds at 02 Academy
Saturday nights, O2 Academy, 55 Cookridge St, LS2 3AW, website
Replacing the ever popular Propaganda nights, Pet Sounds is always a favoured night with indie fans. They also mix it up with some club bangers, urban classics and rock and roll, making it the perfect place to go if you want a big club night with plenty of variety. The 02 Academy is a huge venue, and promises a loud night of good music and value for money beers until 3am.
After-Hours Eats: late-night takeaways and pig-out spots
As the night winds down, you’re going to need some food to tackle the hangover the next morning, and these eateries are the perfect pre-emptive antidote.
Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen
1-1a Cross Belgrave Street, LS2 8JP, 0113 2346160, website
This independent music/art/film/food venue offers amazing slices of home made pizza and other street foods until late seven nights a week. If you’re in the venue or if you just happen to be in the area after a night out, be sure to grab a slice. This place also holds a street food event every second Saturday where Leeds’s best food vendors and artists come together in the space to provide an enticing mix of delicious food and exciting art.
81 Kirkgate, LS2 7DJ, 0113 244 4496, safranleeds.co.uk
For some delicious late Mediterranean-style Persian dining, head on down to this unassuming restaurant, which from the outside doesn’t scream ‘fine dining’ but the food is worth a taste. They’re open until 11pm meaning it’s perfect for a last minute meal that’s good value for money and tasty too! Be sure to try their Persian tea.
162a Woodhouse Lane, LS2 9HB, 0113 245 3058, website
For the ultimate late night greasy kebab, there’s always Flames. This is just your typical kebab with a wide menu of evil delights, but sometimes that’s all you need. Flames will do the job, and it’s pretty good value for money. The chicken is pretty good, and it will taste even better when you’ve just stumbled half way home from a night out.