10 of the best no-frills pubs and bars in Leeds

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Elaborate cocktail concoctions and glamourous décor may be in fashion, but the traditional boozer still holds timeless appeal.

If you’re looking for a laid-back drink in a cosy setting, these pubs and bars are just the ticket.

Whitelock’s Ale House

As the oldest public house in Leeds, you can’t get more traditional than Whitelock’s.

Its wooden clad interior (complete with cosy leather seating and a roaring fire) perfectly preserves the rich history and charm of the pub.

On top of that, the tempting array of classic British dishes, real ale and craft beers make it feel just like home.

Visit: Turks Head Yard, Briggate, LS1 6HB

The Grove Inn

With a welcoming atmosphere and a grand selection of cask ales and delicious homemade food,

The Grove Inn has all the essentials for a great afternoon or evening out.

The pub also hosts live music nights on most evenings and is home to a lively folk club which has been running since 1962, so it’s the place to be if you’re in the mood for a sing-song.

Visit: Back Row, LS11 5PL


With its no-nonsense food menu of burgers, wings and fried chicken, and a vast variety of cocktails, Mojo is a relaxing spot to eat, drink and unwind.

And if you feel like making a night of it, the bar becomes a rocking music venue as the sun goes down.

Visit: 18 Merrion Street, LS1 6PQ

The Scarborough Hotel

Expect character, charm and quality in droves at this historic tavern.

Famed for its eclectic range of real ales and gins, the pub also offers a superb collection of blended and malt whiskies, along with an excellent choice of pub food for anyone feeling a little peckish.

Visit: Bishopgate Street, LS1 5DY

Crowd of Favours

Tucked away next to the Leeds Markets, this no-frills pub hosts regular live music and cinema nights.

Their homemade, seasonal dishes are all locally sourced, and their range of beers, spirits and wines will ensure you won’t go thirsty.

Visit: Harper Street, LS2 7EA

The Cross Keys

If there’s one word that springs to mind when entering The Cross Keys, it’s ‘cosy’. With its twinkling fairy lights, roaring open fire and romantic lighting, this smart gastropub will instantly win you over.

And if the ambiance isn’t enough to make you want to stay, the food certainly will be. Serving traditional British dishes using locally sourced produce, the hearty menu has something for everyone.

Visit: 107 Water Lane, LS11 5WD

The Library

Nestled on the edge of Hyde Park - adjacent to the main University of Leeds campus - The Library pub has long been a beloved haunt among students, but that’s not to say it doesn’t hold wider appeal.

Their huge selection of craft beer changes regularly, so you’ll always find something new and exciting to try on every visit. Food is served from morning until night, so you’ll be well catered for no matter when you choose to pop in.

Visit: 229 Woodhouse Lane, LS2 3AP

Bower’s Tap

Offering a tasty range of great quality pub grub (from juicy burgers and cheesy pizzas to a satisfying Sunday lunch) this traditional pub combines great food with affordable prices.

Ideal for a quick bite to eat at lunchtime, casual after-work drinks, or for spending a lazy weekend watching sports on one of their nine screens, a relaxed and friendly atmosphere awaits.

Visit: 157-158 Lower Briggate, LS1 6BG

The Midnight Bell

Blending a winning mix of traditional and contemporary features, this light and airy pub is Leeds Brewery’s flagship venue and prides itself on its diverse drinks selection and ever-evolving seasonal menu.

Simplicity, service and quality are at the heart of this venue, and with more than 50 different tipples on offer, you can’t knock it for choice.

Visit: 101 Water Lane, LS11 5QN

Old Bar

A firm favourite among students, staff and the general public since it first opened in 1939, this traditional old pub housed in the heart of Leeds University Union is still going strong today.

You’ll find a huge range of craft ales, local and international beers, and an extensive food menu with all the pub classics, including their now famed Yorkshire burrito, all for a very reasonable price.

Be sure to visit during the week to take advantage of their two for a tenner deal on classic meals.

Visit: Leeds University Union, Lifton Place, LS2 9JZ