The thing that drew me to Sheffield, if I’m being truthful, was the prospect of cheap drinks. My palate has evolved somewhat over the last four-and-a-half years (goodbye vodka-Irn Bru, hello vermouth cocktails) but I’ll always love a pint or three in a beer garden, shivering in a denim jacket that’s far too thin for the weather. Now that global warming looks like it’s granting our wish of hotter days, I’ve compiled a (non-comprehensive) list of some of the best places to drink in Sheffield when the weather gets warmer.
Bar One and Interval are obvious contenders, but they’re deserving nonetheless. The downside is the fact that they fill up quick, but get there early enough and you’ll definitely secure a seat, and some of the drinks are the cheapest in Sheffield. The beer gardens get enough sun to last you the afternoon, and I don’t need to mention the food, do I? I grant them both three beers out of five.
If quieter pubs are more your speed, then Doctor’s Orders and The Gardeners Rest are solid choices. The former has good beer gardens in the front and back (automatic grant of three beers for maximisation of space) and the latter has the benefit of not being anywhere near a big student area, so tends to be a little quieter than anywhere in Broomhill, Crookes or Crookesmoor. Doctor’s Orders can be a little pricey, meaning it can only get three beers; Gardeners Rest gets four for being cheaper and selling Tunnocks Teacakes behind the bar.
Wetherspoons, as always, deserves an honourable mention. I’m not going to rate it out of beers, because everyone knows and loves Spoons, but my two personal favourites are Francis Newton and Sheaf Island. As a side note, Sheaf Island was the first place I ever tried Henderson’s, so it’s got that going for it.
Not a fan of the outdoors? Is your hayfever hellish? Do you and sunshine just not get on? You sound like my boyfriend. The best pubs and bars for those who are indoors-inclined are, without doubt, Bungalows and Bears and Public. Yes, they’re expensive, but that’s the price one pays for refusing to take lukewarm tinnies to Weston Park like the rest of us. Bungalows and Bears gets four beers out of a possible five for opening their floor-to-ceiling windows on hotter days, simulating being outside while avoiding sunburn. Public is the priciest on this list, but given everybody else will be enjoying the sun, it’s bound to be empty. It gets three beers, for being expensive but worth it for the ‘gram.
Honourable mentions: The Riverside (I’ve never been, but it looks neat and it’s right on the river); Fox and Duck (four beers; student deals and a nice beer garden); Forum (not cheap, but not too expensive; four beers for cheap pizza and being right on Devonshire Green).
Image: Simon Cocks