The best pubs in Leeds city centre
Leeds is renowned as one of the most fun cities for a night out in the UK – a reputation that we absolutely agree with – but what are the best pubs in Leeds to go to for a quick drink to start your night?
Maybe you’re just looking for a fun and friendly pub to have a quiet drink and a laugh with your friends, or perhaps you’re taking a pit-stop before heading off to the theatre? Well our four firm favourites offer everything you could need, so let’s take a look!
The White Swan – 5 Swan St, City Centre, Leeds LS1 6LG
If you’re looking for a nice homemade meal and a pint or two of craft ale (we highly recommend the Plum Porter) in a warm and friendly environment, The White Swan may just be the pub for you. It’s situated right next to City Varieties theatre, which obviously makes it a great place to pop in for a drink before heading to see a show.
Head of Steam – 12 Mill Hill, City Centre, Leeds LS1 5DQ
Head of Steam is definitely one of the best pubs in Leeds, with a great atmosphere, range of beers and ciders, and fantastic staff. With 30 keg beers and cask ales and 180 (yes, 180!) different bottled beers from around the globe, it’s a pub for the serious beer lover. CAMRA members can take advantage of the 20p discount per pint, and your dog is welcome to come along too!
Whitelock’s Ale House – Turks Head Yard, Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6HB
Whitelock’s has one of the best atmospheres of any pub in Leeds, and despite being as traditional as a public house gets, the clientele is completely mixed. It’s nearly always packed but not so much that you can’t move – just enough that the vibe is always buzzing – and the staff are attentive, knowledgeable and welcoming. As the oldest pub in Leeds, Whitelock’s has a lot to live up to… and it really does!
The Ship Inn – 71 Briggate, Leeds LS1 6LH
Tucked away on Briggate is The Ship Inn – a traditional pub with a decent selection of beers, local musical talent and a warm atmosphere. We love that you could almost miss the entrance tucked away next to Queens Arcade because it feels like discovering a secret hidden in plain sight! It’s a small pub so it doesn’t take many people to make it feel full and bustling, but the happy vibe never drops and you’ll definitely feel comfortable rather than claustrophobic.
If you’re eager to try out one or more of our choices for the best pubs in Leeds, remember that if you’re intending drinking, you can leave your car with us till the morning, as we’re a fully manned 24 hour car park!