Banyan, City Square - Carl Milner Photography


Al Fresco Dining in Leeds

10th May 2022

It’s official – summer is on its way and what better way to soak up the sun rays than relaxing with a meal or your favourite drink in the company of friends or family? Listed below are just a few of the many restaurants, pubs and bars boasting flourishing gardens and lively outdoor dining areas to help you make the most of the good weather on your next visit to Leeds.

Drinks with a view 

Trinity Leeds sits conveniently beside the Station, where you can shop to your heart’s content. Whether you come just for the view itself or a well-deserved rest, Angelica is the ultimate destination for locals and visitors alike. With its bright and airy design, the skilled mixologists at the spectacular pewter bar are concocting exciting drinks and serious cocktails for the spritz fan and the spirit novice. 


All the city vibes 

Sitting just a stone’s throw away from Leeds Station, neighbouring restaurants The Restaurant Bar and Grill and Banyan are prime spots for catching the sun rays in the warmer seasons. Based in the former Post Office building in City Square, there is plenty of outdoor seating and heaters handy for the breezy evenings, and an atmosphere that cannot be missed. 

A Thai oasis just down the street from Trinity Leeds, Chaophraya bring together classic Thai and distinct signature dishes, including vegan and gluten free options, accompanied by a fantastic range of cocktails, wines and beers. In the summer months, visitors can lounge on the first-floor terrace with a coffee or cocktail in hand. 

The New Conservatory boasts a mahogany bar and matching bookshelves, offering a unique mix of old-world grandeur, lounge-bar cool and continental chic. The independent gastropub has a long and distinguished history as one of Leeds’ oldest and abiding favourite bars, serving beer brewed near and far, great coffee and cocktails, and a variety of world cuisine – right on Albion Street. 

Level 2 of Headrow House is home to Redondo Beach, a cocktail bar that serves a wide range of original and traditional cocktails, as well as a variety of bottled beers and Pilsner Urquell. Redondo Beach leads out onto a huge roof terrace which features a kitchen, outdoor bar and sheltered areas with plenty of seating.  

Shears Yard delivers a fresh and seasonal menu of intriguing ingredient combinations, all sourced from local suppliers. The building dates back to the 19th century, formerly owned by rope and canvas manufacturers. The decor has retained many of its industrial features, creating an atmosphere that is modern and intimate, allowing diners to reminisce on the industrial past of Leeds while enjoying the sun. 

Take your pick of Lost and Found’s two Leeds cocktail bars and restaurants. For more intimate affairs, opt for the curb side seating on the legendary Greek Street, or for a sunny brunch with plenty of bubbles, head to Leeds Club on Albion Street and take in the city’s vibrant shopping streets and historic architecture at the Grade 2 listed building. 

The Blackhouse Grill on the Square is one of Leeds’ favourite spots for all things steak and seafood. There’s not one but two outdoor dining areas; one at the front looking out to East Parade, and the other an all-year-round conservatory looking out onto Bond Square, with heaters to keep it toasty and a retractable roof for going fully al fresco.

True al fresco

A walk down The Calls is a must for every visit to Leeds. Italian family-owned restaurant Ciao Bella is located among the former mills in Brewery Wharf. Blending Leeds’ heritage with a contemporary European feel, this independent offers a little bit of Italy with true al fresco dining.  

Born out of the lockdown, Bomba Paella is switching things up from home delivery to industrial chic, serving authentic tapas at The Foundry, just a short walk from the city centre. Lunchtime refuel, early evening beer, or full three course meal and a bottle of wine – what will it be? 

Brasserie Blanc offer a classically French menu created by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc. Inside, exposed brick and metal joints of the former mill are contrasted by polished silverware, whilst the benches outdoors get plenty of sunshine.

Where to catch the sun 

With views over the canal, Water Lane Boathouse is a local favourite, and for good reason, boasting a wide range of drink options and a menu to suit everyone and anyone.  

Casual and well-loved Headingley restaurant, Heaney & Mill, offer every meal of the day on their street-facing terrace. So, whether it’s avocado on toast or pancakes, an Aperol spritz or beef wellington, you can do it all in the sun. 

Situated in the modern newly developed Wellington Place and with a name that says it all, Sociable Folk are propping up their outdoor chairs and benches, so you can enjoy your cappuccino, beer or wine in the light filled area and absorb the vibe of the city.


Cool and easy

Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen lies a short walk away from Briggate and the Leeds Grand Theatre, with several floors of food and drink, it plays host to some of the hottest events in town. The rooftop offers a cool space for getting together with good friends, good food and plenty of drinks. 

The courtyard at local brewery-run tavern The Midnight Bell is one of the most sought-after destinations for pints of British classics and their very own brand cask ales. They’re constantly evolving their food menu, devising seasonal plates prepared using some of the freshest and finest ingredients Yorkshire has to offer. 

The Tetley is an integrated space dedicated to art and continuing the legacy of what once was the Tetley brewery. Its outdoor beer garden is a lesser-known treasure, and we can’t think of anywhere better to enjoy a pint of Tetleys! 

In the Civic Quarter you can find the ever-popular A Nation of Shopkeepers. Pouring up pints of craft beer, perfectly mixed poured cocktails, classic ale and so much more, you can enjoy the rare gem that is the courtyard – a glorious open space in the heart of the city centre. 

It was at The Cross Keys where engineer Matthew Murray first made his name developing steam engines, textile machinery and the very first locomotives. Step into this piece of Leeds’ history – one of Leeds’ last few genuine free houses, with plenty of outdoor benches where you can spend your summer days. 

Riverside gastropub, Stew & Oyster, offers a large outdoor terrace nestled right next to the water, as well as a balcony that houses a two-seater table – perfect for those after something slightly more intimate. Hearty meals and fresh seafood are all the rave here, plus you can catch a view of the brilliant ‘You & Me’ street art mural. 

Lamb & Flag are switching up outdoor dining and drinking with a colourful balcony and inviting courtyard decorated with ambient lighting. You’ll find a wide range of Leeds Brewery beers behind the bar, complemented by an extensive range of draught lagers, wines, spirits, and soft drinks, as well as a menu comprised of locally sourced, freshly cooked food. 

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