The Canary Leeds review: Here's what I thought of the Leeds Dock bar housed in shipping containers

Residents of Leeds Dock watched with intrigue as two shipping containers popped up on the waterfront last autumn.

The stacked containers were soon transformed into a bar, The Canary, painted a vibrant yellow and opened just in time for Christmas.

The development was desperately missing ‘a local’ and the bar has come into its own this summer - packed with revellers enjoying a beer in the sunshine on the weekend - and I’ve been meaning to visit for months.

Split over two floors, The Canary is industrial yet still feels cosy - there’s a corrugated iron-style bar in the centre of the ground floor, but plenty of houseplants and wood accents.

The Canary opened in Leeds Dock at the end of last year

A pub quiz was in full flow downstairs, but as the sun beat down on a balmy evening we headed straight up to the good-size roof terrace with large wooden benches - which boasts a stunning view across the water.

There’s everything you could want behind the bar with four locally-brewed beers on tap, a wide range of spirits and a cocktail menu.

The bar opens at 9am and also serves as a coffee shop during the day, with a small all-day Mediterranean menu including greek salads, wraps and mezze.

Enjoying the Spiced Pear Fizz cocktail on the roof terrace

I opted for the ‘Spiced Pear Fizz’ with Bombay Sapphire gin, Xante Pear Liqueur, gomme, lemon, apple and cardamom, garnished with a flamed lemon twist. It was deliciously smooth, with the zing of lemon balancing the otherwise super-sweet flavour. I couldn’t taste the cardamom and was expecting more ‘spice’, but it went down very easily, nonetheless.

My companion opted for a pint of Northern Monk Brewery's Faith, as her favourite, Kirkstall Brewery's Virtuous, was out of stock.

We couldn’t pull ourselves away from the gorgeous view as the sun set, so went for another round - a Hendrick’s and tonic, served in a crystal glass and garnished with cucumber, and another pint of Faith. Our bill came to just over £28, competitively priced for the city centre.

At 10pm, we were politely asked to relocate indoors with our drinks - part of the bar’s licensing agreement - but we were getting chilly and winding down so didn’t mind.

It’s hard to pinpoint The Canary - it’s part local boozer, part city centre bar - and the crowd was equally as mis-matched. There was a couple on a date night, dressed to the nines, while we felt equally as comfortable popping in after work.

With its striking yellow design beckoning in the thousands of surrounding residents, I’m sure The Canary is here to stay.

It’s exactly what Leeds Dock needed.


Address: The Dockside, Leeds, LS10 1EG

Telephone: 0113 486 1951

Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-11pm


Drinks: 7/10

Value: 7/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Service: 6/10