Sheffield’s growing reputation for being one of the most influential cities in the North is not without warrant. Playing host and home to some of the biggest musical talent of the UK such as Pulp and The Arctic Monkeys, it is also a centre for some of the most renowned street artists of the genre, home to the World Snooker Championships, and, of course, the birthplace of the beloved personification of Yorkshire, Sean Bean so what better than me creating a list of the top ten bars in Sheffield.
Built on a backbone of steel and resurrecting itself out of the ashes of the brutal dissolution of industry in the 80s, Sheffield’s civic pride and down-to-earth ‘no nonsense’ warmth is what keeps the punters returning to its welcoming embrace. As the infamous Park Hill flats still stand testament to Sheffield’s staunch pride and continuing regeneration, generations of locals, students and graduates still maintain and relive the city’s resolutely active atmosphere within its bustling centre.
Being Sheffield alumni myself I have frequented many of the best social spots in the area. Here are my top 10 bars to visit in Sheffield. And most within stumbling distance of each other!
The Frog and Parrot
Located in the centre of the student-favoured Division Street, The Frog and Parrot offers a day-time welcome for families and visitors as well as transforming into a centre for live music and DJ sets in the evening.
If you’re looking for a more typical drinking experience which is above par from your regular franchise-cloned establishments but still with reasonably priced drinks then this is your place!
A perfect location for day-time socialising, particularly when the sun is shining. Being situated on the corner of Division Street and Devonshire Street and overlooking Devonshire Green The Forum houses a spacious beer garden and a relaxing indoor area. But what is a light and airy site during the day becomes a brooding, hip and trendy scene for youthful clientele at night.
Bungalows and Bears
A hipster-wannabe venue with a fun-loving atmosphere Bungalows and Bears offers a great, affordable menu of your pub favourites and a good selection of real ales and cocktails.
Sited in the busy heart of Division Street it is a key location, and with the airy acoustics of the old fire station building it occupies it also often hosts gigs and DJ sets of both established and up-coming names of various music genres, but tends to favour the more underground or indie act.
You may even spot a local celebrity enjoying a tipple as I myself once saw the lead singer of The Arctic Monkeys, Alex Turner, and friends socialising over a jar or two.
For a real pub vibe with a welcome for the genuinely alternative and characterful, the local and down-to-earth, or just for the casual and non-affectatious. The Washington is about as relaxed as you can get. With its original structure and a ‘Best Room’ and ‘Tap Room’ you really get a sense of belonging as though you’re already one of the regulars.
Intrinsic to Sheffield’s musical history, this pub was one of Jarvis Cocker’s favourite haunts when he lived on nearby Division Street and still plays host to some brilliant local live acts.
The Old House
For a sophisticated yet friendly environment The Old House is a great location for the more mature and established drinker. With a fine selection of cocktails it is the perfect place to impress a date without pretention but still in a classy setting.
Housing a warm ambience and atmosphere this bar is very popular during both night and day, and does not forget about those trudging home after a hard day’s work. Pop in during happy-hour from 5pm – 9pm for discounted cocktails and be sure to try a ‘Toblerone’ or ‘Not Terry’s’ – a must for any chocolate addicts out there!
The Devonshire Cat
This pub is a must for lovers of real ale. From stout stouts to citric ciders The Devonshire Cat boasts over 100 bottled beers and over 25 draft beers from all over.
Found in the heart of the Devonshire Quarter of Sheffield and close to the bustle of Division Street this pub offers a comfortable and vibrant environment for everyone, whether meeting for a catch-up with friends or a part of a big night on the tiles.
For a change from the usual pints of lager The Devonshire Cat is the perfect spot to sample some of the finest (and sometimes strongest) beers of the world.
One for the LGBT community the OMG gay clubs have taken the UK by storm and have now graced Sheffield with its presence. Although being part of a chain of OMG clubs the Sheffield branch does offer a well deserved retreat for the dwindling LGBT scene but also welcomes party-goers of all genders, and being situated on Sheffield’s busy West Street it’s only a hop, skip, and a jump away from any favourite bar.
The Rutland Arms
A little bit off the beaten track, in the Cultural Quarter of Sheffield stands The Rutland Arms – a traditional pub with a cosy beer garden and real hearty food.
Being located in the Cultural Quarter the area is a prime spot for some of the most famous street art murals and commissioned and non-commissioned pieces of the scene. With Yorkshire’s own artists’ Kid Acne and EMA, studio situated just across the road, and with Phlegm’s mural encasing The Rutland Arms itself, one might think that this pub would be one of artistic pretentiousness, but it is far from that. It welcomes everyone with a homely atmosphere and a friendly environment, just as a real pub should.
The Wick at Both Ends
For a more modern pubbing experience The Wick at Both Ends is an innovative and casual bar and lounge which offers a wide range of cocktails and beers as well as deliciously affordable dining. With things hotting-up from 5pm each day this bar is the perfect escapism for those that work hard and play hard.
Located on Sheffield’s West Street, running parallel to Division Street, The Wick is in a prime position for revellers of all kinds.
If heading into the busy strips of Sheffield’s centre is not your thing then near the famed Hunters Bar area stands The Lescar. This spot can provide you with that homely pub feeling complete with a variety of entertainment each week such as pub quizzes, live music, and The Last Laugh Comedy Club, which has seen some of the biggest names in comedy such as Peter Kay, Jimmy Carr, Dara O Briain, and Johnny Vegas. Every Thursday you could be watching a new comedy star of the future!
There is no doubt that Sheffield is a fun night out; whether you are a student, out with friends or visiting the Steel City for an exciting night then this list of top ten bars in Sheffield will help you make the most of your night!
By Stephanie Bognar