As any Leeds-ite will know, Headingley is the university haunt of 15 years ago. Although house prices have now pushed the students further out into Hyde Park, they still frequent the host of bars and pubs that line Otley Road. Here are a few of the best and brightest, hand-picked by moi.
An old classic. Right in the middle of Headingley, anyone who’s been on the Otley Run can testify to the dirt-cheap drinks, often offering 2-4-1 on cocktails and pulling £2.80 pints.
Unwind with a game of pool whilst you watch the game- if it’s on, The Skyrack will be playing it. A proper old-school pub. No-one cares how you’re dressed or what you order.
HEAD DOWN FOR: The Thursday poker night, where they pull out massive tables in front of their cinema-style screen.
BEST IF: You’re after a pint and a chiller. Comfy jumper compulsory.
THE ORIGINAL OAK
Skyrack’s slightly more sophisticated older sister. Just across the road, it’s hard to imagine there’s not some kind of rivalry between the two.
A beautiful duck-egg blue, The Original Oak wins on decor.
Outside, and in!
Homely and buzzing, The Original Oak has a lot of cute touches, like the fact that they donate £1 of all of their bottles to charity, and the crackling enamelled fireplaces.
HEAD DOWN FOR: Their weekly comedy club, or the Monday night pub quiz.
BEST IF: It’s a sunny day. Because you can sit in their sprawling beer garden.
A different kettle of fish. Much more lively than The Skyrack or The Original Oak, this is more of a bar than a pub.
Downstairs is covered in TVs showing whatever sport is playing. If there’s two fixtures on, they just play them side by side.
Expect clientele to be cheering on their horse at the Grand National whilst sipping £3.70 pints (and keeping their other eye on the West Brom vs Man City score).
Upstairs is another issue. The music is louder and the punters much drunker; migrate there after your first few drinks, or have a shot at the pool or foosball tables.
HEAD DOWN FOR: Pub quiz Mondays, complete with discounted drinks.
BEST IF: It’s a sport-filled day and you can’t decide what to watch.
A cutesy cafe by day that morphs into an achingly cool bar by night.
Considerably more expensive than it’s neighbours The Skyrack and The Original Oak, but worth it if you’re after the upmarket feel that comes with bottled craft beers and fairy lights galore.
HEAD DOWN FOR: Their raft of live music, events and DJs.
BEST IF: You’re trying to impress. Maybe a first date. Or you’re just treating yourself.
After you’ve ruined tomorrow morning, head over to Charlie Brett’s.
Eat in or take-out, hands down the best fish and chips in Headingley (at least within stumbling distance of the pubs).
Just make sure you’re there before the upsettingly early close.
Love, fish and chips,
The NCLinsider xx