food & drink outdoor dining

Leeds boasts a vibrant alfresco dining scene with options like the scenic Water Lane Boathouse, the panoramic Angelica & Crafthouse, and the traditional Midnight Bell. Offering delicious food under the sun or stars, these venues cater to all tastes and occasions in the city known for its culinary delights.

What are the best alfresco dining spots in Leeds?

Leeds offers a vibrant alfresco dining scene with various options:

  • Water Lane Boathouse – River views, craft beers, and a versatile menu.
  • Angelica & Crafthouse – Panoramic views with a varied menu.
  • The Midnight Bell – Traditional pub garden with classic dishes.
  • Nation of Shopkeepers – Large beer garden with British-inspired cuisine.
  • Banyan – Sun-drenched courtyard to cozy Winter Garden, with great cocktails.
  • The Cross Keys – Craft beer and a comforting menu.
  • The Mustard Pot – Spacious outdoor area with a diverse menu.
  • The Woods – Tranquil rooftop garden and impressive food choices.
  • Kirkstall Bridge Inn – Riverside retreat with burgers and pizzas.
  • San Carlo Flying Pizza – Classic Italian on a tree-decked terrace.
  • Heaney & Mill – Relaxed patio perfect for brunch or Sunday roast.

Alfresco dining provides an exceptional experience that combines great weather, delicious food, and the company of friends in an outdoor setting. Leeds, known for its vibrant culinary scene, offers a variety of spots where one can enjoy meals under the sun or stars. This article navigates through the city’s top alfresco dining destinations, catering to all tastes and occasions.

City Centre Haven

Nestled in the heart of Leeds, the city centre presents an array of alfresco dining options worth exploring.

Water Lane Boathouse

Perched by the picturesque River Aire, Water Lane Boathouse stands out as a quintessential alfresco spot. Boasting a scenic beer garden complete with benches and essential weather accommodations such as parasols and heaters, it offers a versatile menu. Indulge in a comforting fish finger sandwich or switch to a halloumi burger garnished with avocado and chipotle mayo. The allure of this location is complemented by the availability of craft beer and classic G&Ts.
Sunshine Quotient: All day long!
Location: Water Lane Boathouse, Canal Wharf, Holbeck, Leeds, LS11 5PS

Angelica & Crafthouse

Reach new heights at Angelica & Crafthouse, where the glass lift escorts you to a breathtaking alfresco venue. Greenery, parasols, and heat lamps set the stage for a varied menu that includes Lindisfarne oysters, baked cod loin, and a delightful banana rice pudding. This panoramic dining experience is sure to captivate.
Sunshine Quotient: All day long!
Location: Angelica & Crafthouse, Level 5 & 6, Trinity, 70 Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 6HW

The Midnight Bell

For those seeking a traditional pub garden, The Midnight Bell offers just that amidst Holbeck’s industrial charm. The courtyard beckons with its picnic benches and an inviting menu of classics such as steak and ale pie and beer-battered fish goujon sandwiches, complemented by Leeds Brewery’s finest.
Sunlight Duration: Afternoon through early evening.
Location: The Midnight Bell, 101 Water Lane, Leeds, LS11 5QN

Outdoor Delights in Central Leeds

Exploring further, central Leeds continues to impress with its alfresco dining experiences.

Nation of Shopkeepers

Nation of Shopkeepers enthralls with its vast beer garden featuring a covered terrace and warmth for those cooler days. The British-inspired menu showcases sumptuous burgers, subs, and pizzas. Not to be overlooked are the Pay Day fries, a blend of bacon, parmesan, and truffle oil—a lavish treat to remember.
Sun Exposure: Throughout the afternoon.
Location: Nation of Shopkeepers, 29 Cookridge Street, LS2 3AG


Strategically situated by the train station, Banyan is an alfresco gem. Its courtyard transitions from a sun-drenched space to a cozy Winter Garden complete with a fire pit. The menu spans from breakfast to dinner, with the chicken fajita wrap being a lunchtime highlight. Pair your meal with a cocktail from their 2-for-1 offerings.
Sunlight Hours: Until early evening.
Location: Banyan, Toronto Square, 2 City Square, Leeds, LS1 2ES

The Cross Keys

The Cross Keys boasts a craft beer selection and a welcoming beer garden equipped with all the necessary comforts. The menu, albeit concise, delivers on flavor with Korean wings, Cumberland sausage, and parmesan truffle mash.
Sunshine Quotient: At midday.
Location: The Cross Keys, 107 Water Lane, Holbeck, Leeds, LS11 5WD

Sun-Kissed Suburban Retreats

Venturing out from the city centre, the suburbs of Leeds offer charming escapes for alfresco dining enthusiasts.

The Mustard Pot

Chapel Allerton’s The Mustard Pot graces diners with its spacious and inviting outdoor area. A Grade II-listed pub sets the backdrop for a menu with delights such as halloumi chips and a Ploughman’s board.
Sunlight Duration: Afternoon.
Location: The Mustard Pot, 20 Stainbeck Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3QY

The Woods

The Woods in Chapel Allerton charms with its rooftop garden, presenting a tranquil atmosphere. The menu is impressive, with options ranging from camembert to a succulent braised shin beef.
Sunshine Quotient: All day.
Location: The Woods, 5 Stainbeck Corner, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3PG

Kirkstall Bridge Inn

The expansive beer garden of Kirkstall Bridge Inn offers a riverside retreat, complete with lights and seasonal tipis. A menu full of succulent burgers and pizzas awaits, including a unique marmite rarebit option.
Sunlight Hours: Afternoon.
Location: Kirkstall Bridge Inn, 12 Bridge Road, Leeds, LS5 3BW

San Carlo Flying Pizza

San Carlo Flying Pizza has been a renowned spot for five decades. Its terrace, decked with olive trees and fairy lights, is an idyllic setting for enjoying classic Italian dishes and a glass of wine.
Sun Exposure: Afternoon.
Location: Flying Pizza by San Carlo, 60 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, LS8 2DQ

Heaney & Mill

With its comfortable patio, Heaney & Mill is a go-to in Headingley for a relaxed brunch or a hearty Sunday roast, complete with all the trimmings.
Sunlight Duration: Afternoon through early evening.
Location: Heaney & Mill, 50 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 2AL

The alfresco dining scene in Leeds caters to a variety of palates and preferences, offering memorable experiences for every diner. Whether nestled in the vibrant city centre or tucked away in the serene suburbs, each venue promises good food and great times beneath the open sky. Whether seeking the comfort of a pub garden or the sophistication of a rooftop terrace, Leeds’ alfresco dining spots do not disappoint.

  • Leeds offers a vibrant alfresco dining scene with various options: Water Lane Boathouse, Angelica & Crafthouse, The Midnight Bell, Nation of Shopkeepers, and Banyan.
  • Water Lane Boathouse stands out as an alfresco spot with river views, craft beers, and a versatile menu.
  • Angelica & Crafthouse provides a panoramic experience with varied menu options like Lindisfarne oysters and banana rice pudding.
  • The Midnight Bell offers a traditional pub garden atmosphere with classic dishes like steak and ale pie and fish goujon sandwiches.
  • Nation of Shopkeepers features a large beer garden with British-inspired cuisine like sumptuous burgers, subs, and pizzas.
  • Banyan offers an alfresco gem with a sun-drenched courtyard and a cozy Winter Garden, along with great cocktails.

By george