Halifax Pubs – 6 of the Best

BBC Radio 6 Music calls Halifax the Shoreditch of the North. Halifax in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, England has a flourishing craft beer, real ale pubs, coffee, cocktail bar, food, record shops, live events, and music scene with a reputation for ‘cool’. The Guardian and Telegraph newspapers soon became followers. And, central Halifax has the 18th-century Piece Hall with its Italianesque piazza, independent stores, eateries, and bars to further explore.

For our Halifax Pubs – 6 of the Best, we’ve curated mostly those atmospheric niche Halifax venues who try a little harder to please rather than the national chains.

Unlike Shoreditch, though, Halifax has a mass of truly stunning pre-industrial, Georgian and Victorian architecture and a beautiful backdrop of the steep Beacon Hill, clothed in trees.

Halifax Pubs
Craft Beer
Real Ale

Halifax Pubs: The Victorian Craft Beer Café

Number 1: We recommend to you that the Victorian is a must-visit pub when in Halifax, with many different atmospheric areas throughout its layout, including an upstairs minstrel’s gallery. Typically, there are 8 cask ales, 2 ciders plus 12 keg craft ales on tap. The Victorian has 100 bottled and canned beers on chill, including a large selection of Belgian beers – and the single malt whisky selection is reputed to be the best in the area.

Opened in 2014, the Victorian, with its emphasis on craft and cask ales has been an important part of a wider transformation, putting Halifax and Calderdale on the map, both nationally and internationally, as a heritage and cultural destination.

Halifax Pubs: The Victorian Craft Beer Café

The pork pies and coffee are good and you’ll find they have a large selection of teas, soft drinks & wine too…

The Victorian Halifax Opening Hours:
Monday4pm – 10pm
Tuesday4pm – 10pm
Wednesday4pm – 10pm
Thursday4pm – 10pm
FridayNoon – 10pm
SaturdayNoon – 10pm
SundayNoon – 10pm

The Victorian is very near to Halifax’s splendid Harvey’s independent department store, Alibi (a boutique bar, terrace and restaurant at the magnificent Georgian architecture Somerset House, facing you at the end of Powell Street), the Victoria Theatre & the Circle Lounge cocktail bar.

Walking directions to the Victorian from The Piece Hall Halifax:

Leave the Piece Hall at West Gate (the highest gateway). Walk towards and through the magnificent glass-roofed Westgate Arcade in front of you, turn left at the top and continue up Alexandra Street, towards the Victoria Theatre. The Victorian Craft Beer Café is directly behind the Victoria Theatre and Harvey’s department store, on the corner of Powell Street.

The Victorian Craft Beer Café address: 18 – 22 Powell St, Halifax, HX1 1LN, England.

Halifax Pubs: Meandering Bear

Meandering Bear Pub Sign Halifax

Number 2: The Meandering Bear with its informal setting is located close to the Piece Hall Westgate entrance and offers a great range of cask & keg ales & lagers, cocktails and spirits. Typically there are 7 cask ales and 6 keg craft beers, a niche premium lager, and a craft cider.

You’ll find food too, with meat and cheese boards, toasted sandwiches – food to complement the drinks and setting. The majority of their suppliers are from Calderdale, which helps the local community survive and grow.

Meandering Bear Halifax Opening Hours:
Tuesday1pm – 8pm
Wednesday1pm – 10pm
Thursday1pm – 11pm
Friday1pm – 11:30pm
Saturday1pm – 11:30pm
Sunday1pm – 9pm
Walking directions to the Meandering Bear from The Piece Hall Halifax:

Leave the Piece Hall at West Gate (the highest gateway). Walk towards Westgate Arcade in front of you but turn left onto Union Street rather than walking through the arcade. The Meandering Bear is a few yards on Union Street, past the fish and chip shop on the left.

Meandering Bear address: 21-23 Union St, Halifax HX1 1PR, England.

Halifax Pubs: KØBENHAVEN Halifax

KØBENHAVEN Halifax Halifax Pubs
Halifax Pubs Real Ale
Halifax Pubs Craft Ale

Number 3: Established by the team behind the award-winning Victorian Craft Beer Café, KØBENHAVN is a craft beer bar in the centre of Halifax near to the Piece Hall, located under the glass roof of the buzzing Westgate Arcade, where they have a substantial seating area.

KØBENHAVN has 24 beers on tap and 6 handpulled ales. There are some interesting sour beers, fruit beers and lagers to be found amongst the array of pale ales and IPAs and it is one of the few bars in the UK to stock Mikkeller products.

KØBENHAVN has a function room upstairs, available for parties and meetings, and is free to use.

KØBENHAVEN Halifax Opening Hours:
Monday11am – 11pm
Tuesday11am – 11pm
Wednesday11am – 11pm
Thursday11am – 11pm
Friday11am – Midnight
SaturdayNoon – Midnight
Sunday11am – 11pm
Walking directions to KØBENHAVEN Halifax from The Piece Hall Halifax:

Leave the Piece Hall at West Gate (the highest gateway). Walk towards and through the magnificent glass-roofed Westgate Arcade in front of you. Walk past La Luna restaurant and you’ll find the KØBENHAVEN near the top of the arcade on the left side.

KØBENHAVEN Halifax address: Shop 2&3 , 4-6 Westgate Arcade, Halifax HX1 1DJ England

Halifax Pubs: Grayston Unity

Number 4: In October 2023, The Grayston Unity moved from Wesley Court by Halifax Town Hall to bigger premises on Horton Street, nearer to the Piece Hall, Westgate Arcade and Halifax Railway Station.

The Grayston Unity Horton Street Halifax Smallest UK Music Venue

There is easy access to Horton Street and the Grayston Unity from inside the Westgate Arcade through the Westgate Arcade Car Park passage opposite the La Luna restaurant on the arcade’s KØBENHAVN side.

The Grayston Unity has doubled in size, now covering three floors. Owners Michael and Jess Ainsworth are still laying claim to The Grayston Unity being the “Smallest Music Venue in the UK” thanks to the tiny space on the top floor which has just enough room for a band and a handful of audience members.

Michael Ainsworth, the owner of Grayston Unity and the Meandering Bear has been involved in music promotion in Halifax for five decades and is a Member of Independent Venue Week (IVW) and the Music Venue Trust and is driven by his desire to add to the cultural life of the town of Halifax.

The top floor space of the Grayston Unity is in addition to a much larger room on the lower floor that has plenty of space for a stage and a bigger audience, and another room across the ground floor bar area.

Fans of The Grayston Unity’s former home at Wesley Court by Halifax Town Hall will not be disappointed by the new premises of The Grayston Unity at 8 Horton Street, as Jess’s eye for detail has created a familiar charming, quirky feel – there are 1930s theatre seats, the gent’s toilet has original and nostalgic 1960s and 1970s magazine advertisements adorning the walls, chintzy armchairs and a splendid new bar as it instantly feels like The Grayston Unity of old, but even more so.

Shelby Cobra GT Original Advert and J&B Rare Whisky Original Advert at Grayston Unity Halifax

Typically, The Grayston Unity has a choice of 7 cask ales, 5 craft beers, 2 quality lagers and a cider.

Become a member at The Grayston Unity Halifax
The Grayston Unity Member Discounts. Blackboard with white chalk writing

The Grayston Unity has a membership card offer should you wish to take advantage of lower prices.

The Grayston Unity Address: 8 Horton Street, Halifax HX1 1PU

Pies and vegetarian samosas are available at The Grayston Unity

The Grayston Unity Opening Hours:
MondayClosed (although available for private hire)
Tuesday4pm – 8pm
Wednesday4pm – 8pm
Thursday4pm – 10pm
Friday2pm – 11:15pm
Saturday12:30pm – 11:15pm
Sunday1:30am – 7pm
Grayston Unity Halifax Opening Times

Halifax Pubs: Dukes Halifax

Number 5: Dukes, located in an entrance to the Victorian Halifax Borough Market, is named after the historical local Halifax Speedway team who last saw action at the Shay Stadium in 1985. The owners, Sean Pattison-Walker and his wife Elly opened Dukes bar on April 15, 2021.

Halifax Pubs
Real Ale Halifax
Halifax Borough Market Dukes Pub

There’s a great art vibe about the place with regularly changing paintings adorning the colourful walls throughout the downstairs and upstairs areas. There’s a cycling theme too, as Dukes has an internal safe cycle storage area for your bike and their own premium Dukes x Paria cycling jersey.

Dukes serves an ever-changing selection of 5 cask ales, 15 craft beers on tap, wines, cider, and a wide selection of spirits.

Dukes have two lines dedicated to gluten-free beers and there’s a massive selection of the finest 17 alcohol-free beers. Ask for advice from Sean when the mood takes you, or if you’re driving or riding home – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how the market is maturing. Why choose Coca-Cola (and fill their multinational pockets) when you can be enjoying the products of skillful brewers?

Dukes Halifax Opening Hours
TuesdayNoon – 10pm
WednesdayNoon – 10pm
ThursdayNoon – 10pm
FridayNoon – 10pm
SaturdayNoon – 10pm
SundayNoon – 8PM
Dukes Halifax Address: Market Arcade, Halifax HX1 1NX England

Halifax Pubs: Three Pigeons

Number 6: Built 1932 in the Art Deco Style by the local Webster’s Brewery, The Three Pigeons is now owned by the much-acclaimed independent Ossett brewery. There are usually two guest beers from local and regional microbreweries, as well as Ossett’s own stable of pub-based microbreweries such as White Rat.

An octagonal-shaped communal area forms the sensitively refurbished hub (take a look at the ceiling) which leads directly to five characterful rooms. The Three Pigeons is the meeting place for many attending the Halifax Shay football and rugby league stadium and also for many societies and clubs throughout the week.

Walking Directions to The Three Pigeons from Halifax Railway Station

From Halifax Railway station doors, walk straight along the cobbled car park to the end where it meets the road at the traffic lights. Turn left there and walk along Church Street/South Parade without turning off – you’ll reach The Three Pigeons on your left in 4 minutes (also known as the 3 Pigeons).

The Three Pigeons Halifax Opening Hours
Monday3pm – 11pm
Tuesday3pm – 11pm
Wednesday3pm – 11pm
Thursday3pm – 11pm
Friday3pm – 11pm
SaturdayNoon – 11pm
SundayNoon – 11pm
Three Pigeons Halifax Opening Times
The Three Pigeons Halifax Address: Three Pigeons, Sun Fold, South Parade, Halifax HX1 2LX England.

Halifax Pubs – 6 of the Best – Real Ale and Craft Beer Interactive Location Map

The Grayston Unity - Halifax Location  Flyer
The Grayston Unity – Halifax Location Flyer
Meandering Bear - Halifax Location Flyer
Meandering Bear – Halifax Location Flyer

Also – Real Ale and Craft Beer at the Piece Hall, Halifax

Vocation Brewery’s Heart & Soul, a session IPA, and Vocation Pilsner are on draught at the Trading Rooms Restaurant and Bar, located in the corner of the Piece Hall to the back of Anne Lister’s statue.

Real Ale Halifax Piece Hall - The Trading Rooms - Anne Lister Statue
Anne Lister’s Statue at the Piece Hall – Vocation Brewery’s Heart & Soul, a session IPA, and Vocation Pilsner are on draught at the Trading Rooms Restaurant and Bar at the Piece Hall.

Vocation & Co Halifax Bar

At Vocation Halifax, on the ground floor, there is the cask ale and craft beer Tap Room Bar with its giant New York-style pizza slices Wonder Wheel servery; upstairs there is the Vocation Projectionist Cocktail and Craft Beer Lounge and on the roof, there is the roof terrace. Opened on 24 November 2022, Halifax Vocation is a very welcome addition to the already brilliant Halifax pub scene.

Vocation Pub Halifax 13 to 17 Alexandra Street Halifax
Vocation Bar Halifax

Vocation Halifax Upstairs Craft Beer Cocktail Bar

Vocation Halifax Roof Terrace

The Vocation Roof Terrace opened in June 2023. The Vocation roof terrace offers a great view of the building opposite – the splendid Alexandra Hall which opened in 1931 and was built by the Halifax Building Society whose HQ building was adjacent. Halifax Building Society used the hall for their meetings. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was used as a concert venue and the Halifax wrestler Big Daddy was a bouncer.

Vocation Roof Terrace Alexandra Street Halifax

Craft Beer Shop Halifax Market

The Hop In Craft Beer Shop opened in Halifax Borough Market on Saturday, May 21, 2023. You’ll find it in Units 30 & 31, opposite All Pizzetto. The owners are beer connoisseurs who say they have curated a unique selection of the finest craft beers and ciders from around the world to make The Hop In Craft Beer and Cider shop in Halifax Market the perfect place to discover a new favourite beer or cider.

Hop In Craft Beer and Cider Shop in Halifax Borough Market

To watch the PlanPlacestoVisit.com video Visit the Piece Hall – Things to do in Halifax – enjoy the Piece Hall Shops and Piece Hall Bars click here

If you’re in the Calderdale area, take a look at our informative post on our choice of good pubs in Brighouse and the Best Beer and Bars Hebden Bridge Ale Trail, and also see our informative 15 Happy Valley Country Pubs – they are all worth a visit – enjoy!