So, for me, these are three of the best independent bars in Leeds.
Okay, so these aren’t unknown. Plenty of us spend as much time as possible frittering away our dearly earnt coins on tasty beers at these places…
But I just wanted to take a second to highlight some out-of-the-way (and some newcoming) bars and restaurants in Leeds. These are only three of what I consider the best independent bars in Leeds, and there are so, so many more. We all walk past stuff everyday, but these require possibly a little more effort to get to (repaid in heaps when you arrive). This list *may* be slightly swayed by my current vegan status…because they’re all welcoming and have something on the menu I can eat/drink. However, I will be coming back as much to all three (more, if anything, to make up for the meats I’ve missed) after Lent. Because we’re so lucky to have so many independent, ace places. Three cheers for Leeds! So, without further ado…
3 of the best independent bars in Leeds (in my humble opinion…)
Brewery Tap at North Brewing Co.
So I went to the launch of this ace place on Thursday, and it was fab. North Brewing Co is a great brewery that’s supplying venues across the city (like Headrow House, Belgrave, Further North, Sheaf St Cafeteria) and they just opened up to us. It feels MILES away from Leeds; it’s located on the industrial state (Taverner’s Walk) just behind the Bagel Nash factory as you head out towards Chapeltown / Chapel Allerton. In reality, you are being a complete wuss – it’s like a 10-15min walk from the centre. (With plenty of excellent spots to stop for food/drink along the way….Belgrave, Shuffledog, Hansa’s, The Reliance and The Brunswick to name but a charming few!)
This is the brewery itself, so you’re in this great big industrial warehouse with a shiny bar and happy beerguardians to teach you the ways of the brew. The Brewery Tap is only open Friday and Saturday nights, from 4pm-10pm and 2pm-10pm respectively – but if you’ve got mates coming up who you fancy having a good chat with over some brilliant beer, this is the place.
Full Fathom 5 whacks you over the head with coffee/coconut dark flavours, and the Brett’s that was on had that great Belgian beer taste (Brettanomyces, I’m assuming…). Depends on your tastebuds, but I reckon there’s something for everyone (except you, Smirnoff Ice drinker. Leave at once).
- You can bring your own food if you want! Pizzas ahoy!
- The staff know the brew process, and can tell you the (several!) beers that are vegan
- You can hire this place out for events.
Not just a bar, The Brunswick do ACE food as well. Wander out away from Belgrave and you’ll be there in the shake of a lamb’s tail. The Brunswick is small enough to feel like your local, but without the old people talking about the war and stuff. It also has art on auction every week, DJs, a monthly jazz club and general relaxed goodness happening frequently. Never fear, my entirely underwhelming imagery does not do this cosy place justice. I promise, you’ll like it. Here’s some steaky pie I ate there before Lent. I liked it too much to remember to take a picture before I’d nearly finished it. Sorry.
The chips. Seriously. Also, the people are really nice (not to eat).
There’s an art draw on Thursdays. They are good at vegan too if that floats your boat (this wonderful, fine picture of my herb chowder is *slightly* underwhelming, but you get the gist…)
The Grub and Grog Shop at Northern Monk
I make no bones about this – I love Grub and Grog. Their food is constantly unusual, exciting and friendly (caters for meat eaters, veggies and vegans in just as exciting ways. Also the brunch….AMAZING).
Above the Northern Monk brewery, Grub and Grog is a relaxed, share-a-table kind of venue with great Northern Monk brews on draught, great food and great everything, really. Upstairs there’s free ping pong to keep the more active entertained, whilst they have a stack of ace cookery, brewing and art books to keep those of us who like to sit down busy (if you are alone, or with sociopathic silent friends who hate to make conversation. Or your partner. Whatever).
The food is always all great. Well-sourced, hearty and unusual.
The menu is really navigable for a vegan, as are the beers and wines on offer.They host lots of fun events, do Sunday roasts and offer 2 vegan meals for £10 on a Tuesday.
These are just my current favourites. Got any suggestions?