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: 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.
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:
|Monday||4pm – 10pm|
|Tuesday||4pm – 10pm|
|Wednesday||4pm – 10pm|
|Thursday||4pm – 10pm|
|Friday||Noon – 10pm|
|Saturday||Noon – 10pm|
|Sunday||Noon – 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
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:
|Tuesday||1pm – 8pm|
|Wednesday||1pm – 10pm|
|Thursday||1pm – 11pm|
|Friday||1pm – 11:30pm|
|Saturday||1pm – 11:30pm|
|Sunday||1pm – 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
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:
|Monday||11am – 11pm|
|Tuesday||11am – 11pm|
|Wednesday||11am – 11pm|
|Thursday||11am – 11pm|
|Friday||11am – Midnight|
|Saturday||Noon – Midnight|
|Sunday||11am – 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
Grayston Unity Address: 1-3 Wesley Court, Halifax HX1 1UH, England (next to Halifax Town Hall)
Number 4: Dubbed the smallest music venue in the country, the Grayston Unity is in the 1860s County Court as seen by looking at the crest on the corner of the building. The bar is in the area that was used as the carriage entrance.
Typically, the Grayston Unity has a choice of 7 cask ales, 5 crafts beers, 2 quality lagers and a cider. To the left of the bar area is a very intimate music venue, the smallest in the UK. The Grayston Unity is In the UK’s top 10 of pubs with live music (The Guardian). There is a small outdoor seating area with an outdoor cinema. The toilet is worth a mention, decorated with original Sunday magazine advertisements of the 1970s. Groovy.
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 membership of the IVW has enabled him to increase the capacity of the Grayston Unity during the pandemic era from 18 to 50. They were the UK’s smallest music venue which undoubtedly brought them to the attention of BBC 6 Music radio station.
Also, check out the adjacent magnificent Halifax Town Hall and all its Victorian architectural detailing and proverbs, quietly and proudly located within yards of the front of the bar – the architect was Sir Charles Barry who also designed the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. The postbox outside is painted gold to honour Halifax-born Para Olympian Hannah Cockroft.
Pies and vegetarian samosas are available.
Grayston Unity Opening Hours:
|Monday||Closed (although available for private hire)|
|Tuesday||4pm – 8pm|
|Wednesday||4pm – 8pm|
|Thursday||4pm – 10pm|
|Friday||2pm – 11:15pm|
|Saturday||12:30pm – 11:15pm|
|Sunday||1:30am – 7pm|
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.
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 have 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
|Tuesday||Noon – 10pm|
|Wednesday||Noon – 10pm|
|Thursday||Noon – 10pm|
|Friday||Noon – 10pm|
|Saturday||Noon – 10pm|
|Sunday||Noon – 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
|Monday||3pm – 11pm|
|Tuesday||3pm – 11pm|
|Wednesday||3pm – 11pm|
|Thursday||3pm – 11pm|
|Friday||3pm – 11pm|
|Saturday||Noon – 11pm|
|Sunday||Noon – 11pm|
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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!