City guide: Cocktail bars to sample in Leeds

Have your say

Sometimes you want something a little more sophisticated from a night out, so here are four Leeds bars where you can sip a cocktail to remember.

The Maven

Billed as ‘prohibition with a modern twist’, this place is open from 5pm-4am six days a week and until 6am on Wednesdays (so, technically, that would be Thursday morning).

Their website purrs: “Pull on your brogues and take a stroll down Call Lane in the centre of Leeds and keep an eye out for the entrance without a sign. Follow the hidden staircase to the doors emblazoned ‘M’ and you’ll enter a room concealed behind darkened windows. And, as you peer through the subdued lighting, you’ll find possibly the worst kept secret in Leeds nightlife – welcome to The Maven.”

They run masterclasses here, showing just how they make some of the best looking cocktails this side of 1920s New York.

East 59th

Styled on a New York Rooftop Bar & Grill, right here in Leeds. During the day it’s a celebration of contemporary American dining, and in the evening it’s a sophisticated Manhattan-style rooftop bar with top quality drinks and cocktails.

They do a posh Sunday lunch noon-5pm until September 10 and if you want to try a cocktail, there’s Dead Rabbit (£7.50), which combines Jameson Whiskey, Contreau, Amaro Montenegro, apple and essence of vanilla, or why not go traditional with a Smokin Almost Old Fashioned (£9).

Thewlis Cocktail Lounge

Named after prominent Leeds-born architect Joseph Thewlis who designed the striking frieze that adorns the building, Thewlis Cocktail Lounge has taken over the entire ground floor of Kenneth Hodgson House.

Thewlis mixologists will offer guests over 40 unique cocktails from strong to sweet, fruity to sour, smoking to sparkling and we promise each one will come with its own little piece of theatre. There’s even a bookcase-style ladder for bartenders to climb to collect the ingredients for your drinks.


This is one of those bars which always seems to be open when you need it, thanks to its 3am closing time (4am on a Fridays/Saturdays). It’s built up a formidably reputation. Renowned for its cocktails and understated sense of style.

Try the Syllabub (£8), made from Akashi-Tai Plum Sake, cane syrup, almond foam and pistachio. Or if you’re with a group and want to share, go for Fish House Punch (£18), which combines Appleton VX Rum, Le Reviseur VS Cognac, Briottet Peach Liqueur and lemon juice.