Great pubs and cafes near Leeds’ arcades

By Paul & Ian, founders of Treasure Hunt Leeds. Updated May 2022.

In our treasure hunts, we always try to recommend places for our players to relax and take a break. The half-way point of Treasure Hunt Leeds is by three of Leeds' magnificent arcades: County Arcade, Queens Arcade and Thornton’s Arcade.

We took it upon ourselves to thoroughly explore the pubs and cafes in the area. We snuck down hidden alleyways and strolled down amazing arcades, all in the name of research 🥂

Whether you’re after a coffee, a glass of wine or a bite to eat, there are some great places to eat near Leeds' arcades. Read on for our recommendations!

A map showing some great pubs and cafes new Newcastle Quayside The White Swan Simpatico Pizza Olive & Rye Angel Inn Headrow House The White Swan Simpatico Pizza Olive & Rye Angel Inn Headrow House

A dish of pork belly on salad at Olive and Rye. Recommended by Treasure Hunt Leeds.

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Olive & Rye

A gorgeous independent cafe tucked away in the beautiful Queens Arcade. Specialising in local ingredients, it’s a great option for brunch or lunch. There’s a varied menu with options for veggies and vegans. People particularly rave about the hot smoked salmon, belly pork and mushrooms on sourdough.

They’ve got great coffee and they’re licensed too, so if you fancy a cheeky half-way cocktail, you’re in luck!

Olive & Rye website

Queens Arcade (Google Maps )

The smart exterior of Simpatico Pizza, with their delicious pizzas in the window. Recommended by Treasure Hunt Leeds.

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Simpatico Pizza

Part coffee shop, part pizza joint, part bar, Simpatico is definitely worth a mention.

Also tucked away inside Queens Arcade, it has a fun atmosphere and reminds us of the bustling cafes you can find in Italy.

Pizza is served by the slice so you can try a variety of delicious different toppings. Special mention to the goats cheese and spinach which is very popular.

Although it’s mainly pizza, they also have delicious cannoli for those with a sweet tooth.

If you’re really going for it, check out for the bottomless brunch. Start with an Italian anti pasto platter and move onto unlimited pizza slices. Wash it down with bottomless prosecco, aperol spritz, G&T and peroni too. Check the website for times.

Simpatico Pizza website

Queens Arcade (Google Maps )

The outside of The White Swan pub on Swan Street in the sunshine. Recommended by Treasure Hunt Leeds.

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The White Swan

A cosy pub with great decor and a lovely atmosphere, the White Swan is tucked down Swan Street off Briggate.

You’ll find it right next to the famous City Varieties Music Hall so you can check that out at the same time.

One of a handful of pubs by the excellent Leeds Brewery, the White Swan has a fantastic selection of local ales as well as wines, ciders and gins.

The food is homemade and uses local produce where possible. People wax lyrical about the Sunday roasts as well as the fish and chips.

This is a great option for a cozy pint, with friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere.

White Swan website

Swan Street (Google Maps )

The Angel Inn, tucked away at the back of Angel Inn Yard. Recommended by Treasure Hunt Leeds.

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Angel Inn

Fancy a hidden gem? Look no further!

The Angel Inn pub has been going since the 17th century, and before that a pub was on this site for another few hundred years.

Your first challenge is to find the pub as it’s tucked down the tiny alleyway called Angel Inn Yard.

Once you’re in, you’ll be treated to a very traditional pub vibe. Solid wood bar, exposed beams, you get it.

Bear in mind it’s a Samuel Smith’s pub. As with all of their pubs, bear in mind:

  1. The beer is very cheap
  2. Phones are banned!

So if you fancy somewhere with a bit more character, where you can chat and have a drink or two without screens getting in the way, the Angel Inn might just be for you.

Tripadvisor page

Angel Inn Yard (Google Maps )

People enjoying the evening sun on the roof of Headrow House. Recommended by Treasure Hunt Leeds.

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Headrow House

This recommendation’s a bit of a wildcard, but if the weather’s good, it’s the place to be.

Situated just north of the arcades on the Headrow (hence the name), the reason to visit this place is the stunning roof terrace.

Enjoy the sun and a stunning view of the city with a cold G&T, cocktail or a cheeky pitcher.

It can get quite busy, and they put on events from time to time. Best to call ahead and check the roof terrace is open to avoid disappointment.

Headrow House website

The Headrow (Google Maps )

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“A really fun and interesting way to be introduced to the area! Having never visited before it was an exciting and informative way to see the city. We did it as a pair and enjoyed following clues along with stopping at suggested shops and pubs. Lots of fun!”

—Catherine H, Tripadvisor

Telephone: 0113 519 7210
Text us: 07380 309380

Arcades and Alleyways starts from:
Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AA