Our 10 best bars for students!

06/11/2011

Being a student entails many things, not least of which is going out and having a blast. We want your student experience to be the best it can be, therefore we'd like to share with you our recommendations for the top 10 bars where we think you'd have a great night out:

1. If you're a student and you're into sport, The Box in Headingley is the place to be. It's loud, friendly, and trendy. American-style menu filled with burgers and pizzas, well priced. The obvious choice if you've got a student flat in Headingley or a student flat in Hyde Park.

2. The Nation of Shopkeepers is situated in the centre of Leeds, and is a fun and quirky place to have a drink or two. It's a large venue, with an 850-capacity, and is undeniably focussing on the indie crowd; there's plenty of arty-type stuff on the walls to look at. The staff are friendly, and strongly resemble the punters. It's not for everyone, but if it's your thing, you'll probably love it.

3. For a cheap night of loud music and raucous dancing in Leeds City centre, Bourbon is what you need. Look out for their special promotion nights, where you can expect deals such as a pound-a-pint. Not recommended if you've got an early start the next day.

4. Small, lively, and filled with black leather seats, Doctor Wu's is an interesting place you might like to check out. It's a grungy little place with a fantastic choice of drinks that plays alternative music, and quite often hosts live music events.

5. Have you ever been drinking on a boat? We don't recommend drinking and sailing because that probably wouldn't end well. We do, however, recommend you experience Dry Dock, the bar that is a boat, situated opposite Leeds Met on Woodhouse Lane (a fairly short walk if you've got a student flat in Hyde Park). It's worth it for the gimmick alone, but the cheap drinks and relaxed atmosphere make this a really worthwhile place to wet your whistle.

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One of the many advantages of having a Student Flat in Hyde Park

6. The Angel Inn may not be what immediately springs to mind as a student bar, but the fact remains that they provide one of the cheapest pints you'll find in the city centre. It's quite a drab little place with no music, and you have to pass through a dark alleyway that conjures images of rats and Jack-the-Ripper, but that's all part of the experience! Once you get inside and actually find that you can both drink and have a conversation with your mates, you'll be glad you came.

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7. Just because you're a student doesn't mean you have to go in search of the cheapest drinks around every time you go out. In order to enrich your palette and develop a broader knowledge of Leeds watering-holes, you've got to go someplace new once in a while. For just those occasions, try out the Fox & Newt, located on Burley Road, just across from Park Lane College. You've got no excuse not to if you've got a student flat in Burley (read our survival guide here) or a student flat in Burley Park. What makes this place unique is that it is the only authentic brew pub in Leeds. That is, it brews its own beer under the Fox Brewery label. They take their beer seriously, and the staff are knowledgeable enough to help you pick your poison.

8. With a New Orleans vibe, Smokestack is one of the coolest bars in Leeds. The upstairs attic space - The Roost - plays host to some of the best funk & soul DJ's in the city. Couple this with the amazing cocktails and the laid-back atmosphere, and you've got yourself a seriously good night out.

9. Okay, so this place isn't cheap, but this classy American-style pool bar offers a lot more than your average pub with sticky tables and broken cues. We're talking 14 high-end pool tables and top quality equipment. Also, as one of the more long-standing music venues of Leeds (whose history adorns the walls) you can often see some excellent live local music acts.

10. I'm sorry, but again, this place isn't the cheapest bar you can find in Leeds. All I can say is that chart-music is not my thing. Mojo, found on Merrion Street, is a rock n' roll bar, blaring out the likes of Rolling Stones, is different to just about every other bar in Leeds. It's a tiny place, and there are no drinks on tap, but it's filled with good people, good music, and good cocktails. Good times are pretty much guaranteed.

Clearly, Leeds is not lacking in drinking establishments. This is by no means a definitive list, as there are dozens more places you're sure to frequent. It doesn't really matter where you go so long as you enjoy yourself.

Written by Tom; our alcohol expert!

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