The Leeds nightlife scene is constantly expanding, and these days it’s bigger and better than ever.
With every pub, club and late night eatery stepping up their game, we’ve decided to put together an update on our last Leeds nightlife guide to keep you in the loop with the best and most current nights out the city has to offer.
The best bars: Watering holes with loads of character
— North Bar (@NorthBarDrinks) May 3, 2016
Relaxed, friendly and downright awesome, North Bar is a much loved institution in the city, with a beer selection that’s as famous as it is delicious. They specialise in hard to find beers, serve over 90 different spirits, and have great bar staff that also happen to be a right laugh.
One of our favourite things about this place (besides the fantastic booze selection) is the photo booth in the corner – so you can remember the brilliant night out even if you do drink too much IPA.
24 New Briggate, LS1 6NU – northbar.com
Another regular stop for Leeds locals who know where the best nights are, this Call Lane classic is always a winner. Oporto has bags of character, and the fun bar staff aren’t afraid to offer you a cheeky complimentary Jäger shot now and again if you become a regular and are smart enough not to ask for one. Think dark and candle lit, neon signs, exposed brickwork and rock and roll. Go for the atmosphere, stay for the drinks, class tunes, and mad dancing – and pop in for the occasional gig while you’re at it.
33 Call Lane, LS1 7BT – oportobar.co.uk
Whitelocks Ale House
If you’re a newbie to Leeds, it’s vital you put this watering hole on your list. It’s ideal for the traditional pub-goer, but absolutely anyone will undoubtedly enjoy a visit here. This place is actually over 300 years old, so it’s practically criminal to not pop in and see this pub for all its glory.
Whitelocks offers a unique perspective into what the Leeds drinking scene used to be like, with its stained glass windows and traditional decor adding a depth of character. It regularly fills up with the nicest locals in town, so grab a table, get chatting, and meet the people that make this city great.
4 Turk’s Head Yard, LS1 6HB, – whitelocksleeds.com
Sela is a haven for live music, and it’s great for weekly events and fantastic drinks too. The in-house pizzeria here is a great added bonus to an already brilliant establishment. The bar staff are friendly, the clientele lively, and their events calendar is full of great nights.
Try their Reggae night on Wednesdays – it’s pretty famous in Leeds – and test out the ever-changing cocktail list. You can hide away among the quirky wall art, sipping a cocktail and listening to some world class music.
20 New Briggate, LS1 6NU – selabar.com
Relatively new to the Leeds scene but very popular, this former textile mill is the product of a multi-million pound investment, so you know the owners were serious. Check out the German-inspired beer hall, with its huge copper tanks of beer – it’s a really unique sight. There’s also an outdoor bar with food (hog roast, anyone?) and a roof terrace with incredible views to chill out on in the summer.
Bramleys Yard, 19 The Headrow, LS1 6PU – headrowhouse.com
Carrying on the party: Late night bars and clubs
Picture: Neon Cactus
As you ascend the staircase, the steady flow of funk, soul, blues and jazz you’ll hear will make you want to start dancing immediately – trust us, it’s addictive. Smokestack also offer some amazing classics on the cocktail front (try their Mojitos) and they do some great gins and whiskeys.
With a heart that resonates old New Orleans, the mixed vibrant crowd it attracts will make you want to stay all night, so bring your friends here if you want to impress. They’re even open as late as 4am on some evenings.
159A Lower Briggate,LS1 6LY – smokestackleeds.co.uk
If you’ve got of those friends that always suggests tequila shots on a night out, then for goodness sake take them here. Neon Cactus manages to stand out really well on Call Lane, and for good reason. This Mexican themed bar comes alive at night – prepare to watch the bar staff start swinging the overhead lamps, singing, dancing and trying to sell you the best very tequila. You’re guaranteed to get sucked straight into the great atmosphere this place offers.
35 Call Lane, LS1 7BT – neoncactus.co.uk
Open until 4am Thursday to Sunday, if you’re a real music lover looking for an honest good time, head up Merrion Street to MOJO. It’s a great mix – a dive bar and late night cocktail joint in one. MOJOs are fiercely proud of their music playlist, which usually includes the likes of Pulp, The Strokes and even some lashings of Elvis. As their website suggests: ‘Want house and dance? Go find the door’.
18 Merrion Street, LS1 6PQ, – mojobar.co.uk
The Wire Club
For the late night clubber, The Wire Club offers quality underground music in a personal, intimate setting. Long gone are the days of big, generic clubs taking over the scene – Wire has been a Leeds classic for a long time. Wire has hosted big name DJs, and plays various music genres, including techno and alternative dance music. They also have an amazing selection of club nights to chose from, including Fuzzy Logic on Thursday nights – the longest running alternative music night in Leeds.
2-8 Call Lane, LS1 6DN – wireclub.co.uk
The Hifi Club
Established in 2000 and Wire’s sister venue, you’ll be smiling all night whilst you’re at Hifi. It’s an eclectic venue, with live music events, hosted DJ events and even weekly comedy on Saturday nights, if you fancy a something different. Hifi tends to mainly attract a student crowd, but everyone is welcome and the club guarantees a great night out until the early hours.
2 Central Road, LS1 6DE – thehificlub.co.uk
Eateries: The best places to grab a late night bite
Friends of Ham
This independent business is thriving in Leeds right now, and it’s an ideal place to get some amazing food, paired with some fabulous beers and wines. Friends of Ham know their meat – sourced fairly and ethically and their charcuterie and cheeses are some of the best in town. Try the Beenleigh Blue cheese if you don’t believe us.
They don’t take bookings here, so be sure to get in a little early for a good seat on weekends and during busy periods.
4-8 New Station Street, LS1 5DL – friendsofham.co.uk
Bundobust is the perfect place to visit on a night out. It’s not a restaurant, but a bar that sells Indian street food, so the atmosphere is super relaxed and fun. Influenced by the city’s vibrant street food scene, Bundobust offers gorgeous hoppy Indian ales to wash down your meals with, as well as wines and cocktails. All the food is vegetarian with vegan and gluten free options, but even hardcore carnivores won’t feel like they’re missing out on anything, making it an ideal place to take your meat-free mates.
6 Mill Hill, LS1 5DQ – bundobust.com
New to Leeds and self proclaimed as ‘Inclusive but not exclusive’, Mr Nobody is one of the city’s most exciting dining experiences. Providing some gorgeous dishes, relaxed pickings in the form of tapas dishes and tasty cocktails, this is a great place to combine drinking with your friends and eating until you can’t eat anymore. From Tuesday to Saturday, head to their Cellar Restaurant for food served until 10pm.
163 Lower Briggate, LS1 6LY – mrnobody.co.uk
This place is burger heaven. There, we said it. Really, though, Almost Famous is fun, exciting, unique and just amazingly delicious. You’re treated like a friend here, as you’re casually sat down with a huge roll of kitchen paper on the table (you’ll need it) and the best burger in Leeds is placed in front of you.
Their burger combos are second to none, even the fries have been carefully thought out. Try the Phoenix Fries and thank us later. It’s the perfect place to grab a low-key late night bite, as they serve until 10pm.
23-25 Great George Street, LS1 3AL – almostfamousburgers.com
Belgrave Music Hall
Simply the best place in town for a drunken late night feast. You can grab a fresh slice of hot pizza (provided by Dough Boys) for a decent price during your night on the town here. You can count on there being at least six different varieties available, and they always offer vegan options. As well as serving up tasty pizza, Belgrave is also a great bar and event venue that you’ll want to visit again and again.
1-1a Cross Belgrave Street, LS2 8JP – belgravemusichall.com