Oporto, Leeds: lively Call lane bar perfect for a laid-back start to the night

Oporto has been around for over 20 years, and its homely, alternative vibe has stood the test of time.

By YEP reviewer
Sunday, 1st August 2021, 4:45 pm
Oporto is a mainstay of Call Lane.
Oporto is a mainstay of Call Lane.

Being on Call Lane, Oporto faces tough competition from the array of bar options available down the popular Leeds strip, but with its laid-back, alternative atmosphere, it has no problem standing out from the crowd.

Low-lit, with neon signs and music posters plastered across the bare-brick walls, Oporto cultivates a cool dive-bar atmosphere without being pretentious, and feels welcoming for anyone looking for a more casual start to their night out.

Though we arrived early on a Tuesday evening, the bar was already relatively busy with a mixed crowd of different ages. An indie playlist - including the Arctic Monkeys and the Cure - was playing over the speakers loud enough to create an atmosphere without intruding on our conversation.

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The bar's neon lighting and casual atmosphere makes punters feel at home.

With Covid restrictions eased, bar service had resumed, and the novelty was clearly being enjoyed by punters as well as staff, who were easygoing and chatty when we ordered.

In terms of drinks, Oporto offers something for everyone, including the usual wines, beers, ciders and spirits alongside a cocktail menu featuring “Oporto’s own” and “classic” cocktails.

While there’s a cocktail menu, there was no specific menu for other drinks, so customers are best going up to the bar to ask what else is on offer.

Prices were reasonable for a city centre bar, with beer around the £5 mark and cocktails averaging around £8.50. There’s also a range of soft drinks available to anyone not drinking.

We ordered an aperol spritz and an espresso martini which were made in front of us at the bar immediately after ordering. Both were delicious and didn’t skimp on the alcohol or water down the drink with too much ice, and we immediately ordered more after finishing.

We took the drinks back to our table in a cosy corner of the bar, enjoying our conversation in the lively atmosphere. Though the stage was empty on the evening we visited, Oporto usually hosts music events throughout the week in an adjacent room, and the dim-lit, buzzing atmosphere made us want to come back again for a gig.

Though we only ordered a couple of drinks each before going home, Oporto’s homely vibe made us want to stay longer, and we left vowing to return for some live music. Overall, the bill came to around £30 for three cocktails and a beer, which felt reasonable given its location smack-bang in Leeds city centre.

Factfile

Address: 33 Call Ln, Leeds LS1 7BT

Telephone: 0113 245 4444

Opening hours: 12pm - 12am every day

Website: https://www.oportobar.co.uk/

Scores

Drinks 7/10

Value: 7/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Service: 8/10