Holiday Inn Express Leeds - East
2 Aberford Road, Oulton
LS26 8EJ
United Kingdom

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Our Leeds Hotel’s Guide to Quirky Bars and Restaurants in the City

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Looking for the best bars and restaurants in Leeds? We’ve got your back. If it’s something different you’re looking for, our city is chock-full of these great eateries.

From boozy brunches to eccentric evening cocktails, we have it all! Take a look, and maybe even try a few on your staycation.




Tucked away in a little corner of Trinity Leeds, make your way to the downstairs MeatLiquor restaurant. With dim lighting and bric-a-brac interior decor, this unapologetically punk, upmarket venue is sure to take you back to your younger days at dive bars. With hilariously named cocktails and succulent meat dishes, there’s something for everyone who has that carnivorous craving.


The Botanist


Trinity Leeds is a beautiful piece of modern architecture, meaning it has many tiny corners the perfect size for hidden gems. In one of these corners on Boar Lane, you’ll discover The Botanist. This gastropub is decorated from floor to ceiling with everything flora and handcrafted wooden furniture. Stop for an evening meal or a Sunday roast, where their wines pair magnificently. Or, take a dive into the ale inventory and stop for a cheeky cocktail or two during your shopping spree!


The Alchemist


Is botany not enough for your magical self? Leeds has you covered. Stop off at The Alchemist where the food is most delicious and the cocktails are nothing short of true Alchemy. Our favourite thing about The Alchemist is watching your bartenders make the drinks - we swear it’s better than the theatre! Vodka lovers should try The Colour Changing One, and those who live life on the edge might try The Legal One (we promise it’s legal, but it doesn’t look it!). Lush lovers may want to try the Bath Bomb, and those who like something a little more frightful might want to try the Dead Red Zombie, a cocktail that moves on its own in its glass like blood pumping through veins - a simile of blood has never sounded so tasty! (Disclaimer: We aren’t vampires - promise!)


East 59th


East 59th is one of Leeds’ best kept secrets. With an open rooftop bar, you can get one of the very best views of our city in the best possible way - with a cocktail in hand! Their A La Carte menu has some fantastic treats for any time of day, including vegan options for those plant-based lovers. Best still, for an extra £15 per person, you can additionally get free flowing bubbles or a Bloody Mary. Perfect for when you need the hair of the dog that bit you!


Headrow House


Headrow house is a favourite amongst students, drinkers and underground gig-goers alike. This five-storey venue has everything someone needs for a night on the town. Two rooftop bars for Instagrammable photo ops? Check. Beer hall to find independent beers from small breweries all over the UK? Check. Proper gourmet kebabs to carry the night on? Check. Beach party themed cocktails? Check. Up and coming gigs in the evenings? Check. What are you waiting for?




The Brudenell is hands down one of our favourite spots, and is a huge hit with the University students. Previously a working men’s pub, the Brudenell was bought out and turned into the best small-gig venue in Leeds. Their promoters attract so many underground artists with cult followings, there has to be something for everyone. Intimate gigs are when live music is at its best - so this opportunity really cannot be missed. Apart from the music scene, you can also enjoy some great craft beers from small, independent breweries around the UK.


East Parade Social


We’ve saved the best for last! East Parade Social is a massively well-kept secret among Leeds nightlife, and it’s all down to a secret. There’s a PIN number to get into the rooftop bar, which is regularly changed and can be found on their Instagram page. Once found, let yourself into a world of rooftop magic, with some of the best sights of the city as far as the eye can see. Come rain or shine, this covered rooftop bar literally has you covered.


We hope you enjoyed our blog on the quirky bars and restaurants near our budget hotel in Leeds - maybe try one or two and see if you stumble upon another hidden gem! There are so many here in Leeds!


Book your Great Escape with us here.


  • Holiday Inn Express Leeds - East 2 Aberford Road, Oulton Leeds, LS26 8EJ England United Kingdom
  • Phone: + 44 (0) 845 112 6039
  • Fax: + 44 (0) 113 393 4178
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Holiday Inn Express Leeds - East Reviews


Galway, Ireland

I stayed here for 2 nights in one of the disabled access rooms. I was staying alone as a wheelchair user, so a little worried about coping with things.

I had no problems whatsoever. The staff were extremely helpful and made my stay a pleasant and comfortable experience. I would certainly stay here again.



No kidding, but within 30 minutes of our arrival we had booked a further visit for later in the year. The surrounding area is very pleasant, the location appears quiet and is convenient for many local sites and attractions. The room, including bed was very comfortable, the staff most helpful.

Breakfast is included in your price here and much to choose from including bacon, sausage, egg, porridge, cereal, muesli, fruit, yogurt etc etc. I find this, for what we paid, hard to beat. We have family nearby so this is a good location and what we paid for what we received excellent value.



On arrival we were greeted by a lovely lady at reception who sorted everything out. Once we were checked in and got to our rooms, the room was all set out and was very clean. Beds very comfy and price was right, would definitely recommend.



I have had the pleasure of staying here three times now and it never fails to impress! The hotel itself is well kept, very clean and tidy. The staff are amazing and just can’t do enough to make you feel welcome.

Breakfast is always hot and fresh, be it yogurt and fruit or full English you will enjoy! Beds are really comfy and the room its-self is great with good blackout curtains.



I get to stay in a lot of different Holiday Inn's up and down the country, and this surely is one of the best. Great location, spotlessly clean and wonderful staff that couldn't do enough for you. Comfortable refurbished rooms and a great breakfast. What more could you ask for!


Melbourne, Australia

A friendly place to stay with nice rooms, good breakfast and most importantly great staff. Handy for Leeds and York with easy parking and a carvery nearby. What more could you want. Once again I want to stress the really good staff.



A varied group of 5 but the hotel met our requirements well. The bedrooms were clean and comfortable, great having free WiFi, and breakfast included. The staff were very helpful and we found it an ideal location for touring around Yorkshire.



Recently stayed at the Holiday Inn East Leeds. Lovely friendly staff and a nice warm welcome. Beautiful clean and cosy rooms. Not one fault with this hotel, free breakfast and a Toby carvery joined on to the hotel, perfect. Paid £55 per night. Well worth it. Will definitely recommend and will stay again.



Nice and spacious rooms, bathroom very clean, everything in working order and free breakfast!

Location about 25 mins from Leeds city centre, however worked well for us as just off the motorway so able to get to other locations quickly. Staff very friendly, would definitely come again.



Spent a couple of nights here. We stayed in an accessible ground floor room which was great. Very spacious. The bed was very comfortable and we slept really well.

Continental breakfast is included in the price which was very reasonable. Staff were lovely - sorting out our key card when it stopped working and finding me a nail file when I asked for one.

We went for a meal in Leeds one night and to a reception at Oulton Hall on the other. Staff arranged taxis both times without fuss. A small but perfectly functioning bar was welcome too!

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