Despite Leeds having undergone something of a foodie/craft beer revolution in the past couple of years, the Adelphi pub near Brewery Wharf has remained consistently popular. It falls squarely into the ‘proper pub with proper beer’ category, with its cosy Victorian architecture and interior, and many snug rooms with seating branching off from its narrow atrium. As well as the normal range of lagers, there are an eyebrow-raising 17 speciality draught beers and ciders available at any one time, as well as six real ales.Food wise, the Adelphi specialises in traditional pub meals, where the focus is very much on getting the basics right.
No matter how many once-dingy bars get refurbished and grungy areas become gentrified; there will always be those who prefer to sequester themselves into the comforting and shabby embrace of a scuzzy boozer. With its cheap pints, live music and friendly welcome, The Fenton is one of the last establishments around the city centre not to have succumbed to the lure of the gastro-pub makeover, and has instead retained its rock ‘n’ roll attitude and favour among students for many years.
A key calling point on the legendary ‘Otley Run’ bar crawl route, The Library on the corner of Woodhouse Moor has been a favourite student haunt for years, combining the tried-and-tested formula of cheap drinks, lots of seating, occasional bands and the quintessential jukebox for loading up ‘90s throwback tunes. The Victorian boozer was part of the grungy Scream pub chain for years, but it’s recently had a light refurbishment to give it a more upmarket feel without losing any of its original appeal. There’s plenty of food to try out, which promises to remedy all manner of ills, from hangovers to long-haul dissertation slogs, with the standard burgers, chips and hot dogs substantial enough to slay the sudden carb cravings of varsity life.
Don’t let the mock-Tudor exterior convince you otherwise – the Hyde Park is dirt cheap and frequented by either skaters from the park opposite, or students dressed as superheroes, Disney characters or the ‘Breaking Bad’ duo. Situated at the heart of its student namesake, the welcoming establishment caters to the community’s needs, whether it’s a Tinder date, an icebreaker for new housemates, a post-exams slap-up lunch, or a birthday party launchpad before the nightclubs in town. There’s loads of seating indoors and out, as well as a pool table and large sports screens.
Located in the less well-travelled North Western quarter of Leeds, among the boutique stores, law courts and hospital buildings, is one of Leeds’ most underrated drinking establishments. And following its relaunch under the ownership of the Market Town Taverns chain, it has grown into one of the best pubs for food in Leeds. It has earned its reputation on the back of doing simple things well and inexpensively. As an eatery, Veritas offers pretty much the full panoply, from breakfast through to dinner, and with all manner of snacks, sandwiches and bar food to back it up. Most reviews of the food have been positive, and with a very reasonable fixed-price menu (two courses for £10.95 and three courses for £13.95) it won’t hit your wallet too hard. In terms of drinks, it stocks a respectable range of wine in addition to a decent selection of local and cask ales, and continental and world beers.
God knows how this solid metal boat got plonked down by a ring road overpass, but the Dock is the natural first port (sorry) of call when it comes to spending a night out in Yorkshire’s largest city. Unashamedly unclassy with week-long drink deals on varsity favourites such as Jägerbombs and Strongbow (no grog, unfortunately), the hull gets pretty packed on term-time weeknights and weekends. As well as recently upgraded retro diner-style booth seating, there is a handy top deck smoking area where you can bellow a tipsy cry of ‘Merrion Centre ahoy!’ while slugging down snakebite.
Old man boozers will always make the average twentysomething or student feel uneasy, but when they have gig listings as strong as the Fox & Newt’s it is hard to stay away. Located near the university and within spitting distance of one of the city’s largest blocks of student accommodation, Fox & Newt hosts an eclectic clientele, from gig-going musos and local regulars to adventurous students, and perennial bottle-gazing drunkards. Leeds’ last remaining City Centre Brew-Pub, Fox & Newt now plays host to Burley Street Brewhouse, and a recent conversion by the new owners has seen the unused upper floor transformed into a brand new fully equipped live music and comedy venue.