The Best Cocktail Bars in Leeds

Here at Leeds Food Tours, we're partial to a respectable cocktail or two, and over the past few years have been scouting out our favourite spots for a cocktail that makes you feel sophisticated whilst drinking. We've combined some of our go-to places for just the occasion, in honour of World Cocktail Day on Monday 13 May, stay tuned for the best cocktail bars in Leeds...

Neon Cactus

Mexican street food and bar, Neon Cactus are one of our go-to faves in Leeds for a cocktail. They have a huge selection of Tequila and Mexcal and there's also the option to get classic cocktails, or 'Cactus Originals', which are their creations. If you like a late one, they're open until 4am Monday-Saturday, providing fabulous drinks and music. Our favourite here has to be the classic margarita, you really can't go wrong- until you've had too many...

Image taken from Neon Cactus

Power Corruption and Lies (PCL)

A moody-lit bar for a drink, PCL are situated at the top of Call Lane, making it the perfect stop off for a night of drinking. We also love visiting earlier on in the day for their Asian-inspired menu (the Roasted Pork Belly is a must-order). On a night, expect banging tunes (we've danced in here to Abba a few more times than we would like to admit), making it the perfect all-rounder for whatever time of the day. For any coffee cocktail lovers, this is different and you may like or may be too sweet, the 'Canton Coffee'; Amaretto, condensed milk (BIG yum from us!), coffee, black cardamon bitters and vanilla bitters.


Image taken from Power Corruption and Lies

The Maven

A speakeasy style bar, almost so secret, we walked past it twice without spotting it, hint; look for the 'M'. We think The Maven is one of the best places for a cocktail in Leeds due to its extensive list and setting, making it perfect for a friends catch-up, or a romantic date night. The staff here are super friendly, and were on hand when we needed a recommendation that 'wasn't too sweet, or sour', they had all the patience for us when we THEN couldn't choose between their suggestions. We tried something new here, from memory it looks to be the Sparkle Sour, Vanilla vodka, passionfruit, Pineapple vinegar, lemon, prosecco, and egg whites- familiar flavours blended together to create a sharp yet sweet drink.


Image taken from The Maven.

North Bar

A great location, and extremely popular, we don't think we've ever been in and it has been quiet! Quoted one of the original pioneers of the Leeds bar boom, they have a rather large selection of craft beers, ranging in percentages to suit any session. Make sure to tie in a visit when you're hungry, their resident Little Bao Boy is worth a visit for their famous bao's and loaded fries. For non-beer drinkers, they have a great selection of cocktails, wines and spirits, with a focus on their Tequila Verdit. Its an industrial feel venue, friendly staff and well priced. We can't lie that our most popular order from here is an Aperol, be warned - not all can make a good-balanced Spritz, but North Bar seems to have their measurements spot on!


Image taken from North Bar.


Our Digital Marketing Manager's favourite place for a cocktail in Leeds, Farrands is a gorgeous little spot towards the bottom of town. Some of the nicest girls keep this place feeling special every visit without fail. There's an extensive cocktail menu, mixes of spirits of which we've never heard of, and there's also the classics - yet they even manage to make these feel special down to the quality of alcohol that they use. We're desperate to go to one of their exclusive wine-tasting sessions here, so we will provide an update when we finally go! It may be worth booking here if there's more than a couple of you, as it's an intimate venue. More often than not, we're ordering an Amaretto Sour here, as they do it just perfect.


Image taken from Farrands.

Below Stairs Bar

Fine wines, craft beers, but more famously known for cocktails that tell stories. Their house-created cocktails aim to replicate emotive and sensory stories, for people who aren't alcoholic masters, like you and me! You'll sense a theme here throughout this list when it comes to hospitality, but yet again the staff are kind, knowledgeable and accommodating when requesting or questioning menu items. Once ordered, you receive a sample size to try of one of the cocktails on the list, which we think is always a nice touch! We once tried a drink here that was rum, banana, and coconut-ey, on their sample menu they have one similar called the Ban'oco Fruit- if that's your kind of flavour, we recommend that!

Image taken from Below Stairs Bar.

If you like our recommendations...

Why not come on one of our food tours? Both our guided and self-guided food tours stop at six venues, and have food included at every stop.

They're a fabulous idea for a gift, a birthday, or an event, click here for more information.

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