5 Independents You’ve Probably Never Tried (But Totally Should)

· Ali Turner · Culture

Ready to try somewhere new?

The Brew Society

If you haven’t been to these independents yet, now’s the time…

Undiscovered gems await! Coffee-beer combos, shops that double as holistic therapy centres, cafes that make wellness a priority – these are the independents you need to know about. They do, perhaps, fly under the radar, but that’s why they have to be sought out. So make it your mission to try something new, to explore the unknown and broaden your horizons.

The Pink Room

The Pink Room

Credit: Stu Hansom

Quite literally one for the ladies, The Pink Room is a safe space for women (both cis and identifying). They champion mental, spiritual and physical health through the products they sell in their shop and the holistic therapies they offer in-house. It’s one space with two purposes – the shop opens on weekends, so you can choose from a range of homeware and wellbeing products, then their practitioners takeover during the week to offer everything from acupuncture to massage and glass cupping.

The Pink Room, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.

Brew Society

The Brew Society

Coffee shop by day, bar by night, Brew Society is a favourite with the in-the-know of Leeds. Start your day with North Star’s famous single origin coffee, or if you prefer, a refreshing bottle of ChariTea – green or red, you decide. Later on, when you fancy something stronger, you can make a natural (and oh-so-brewlicious) move to their handpicked beers. They have 13 rotating micro brewed beer lines, with even more in the fridges, including a rather spectacular selection of wine for the non-hop inclined.

Brew Society, 26 Aire Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4HT.

The Bookish Type

The Bookish Type Book Shop

The Bookish Type began life as a series of pop-up bookstalls but it’s evolved into the city’s only queer indie bookshop. Here, you’ll find an incredible selection of queer literature – you can introduce the little ones to the wonderful diversity of life with their children’s and young adult books or explore new realms yourself with everything from memoirs to poetry and graphic novels. LGBTQIA+ authors get dedicated shelf space because they know, like we do, that everyone should be able to see themselves in print.

The Bookish Type, The Merrion Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.



© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ali Turner

Decor-wise, not a lot has changed since Wen’s took over Hansa’s. It’s simple, laidback and ridiculously down to earth – they let the food do the talking and it’s screaming ‘eat me’! Belly pork is sautéed with chilli oil and stir-fried lamb is coupled with garlic and coriander, while pan-fried dumplings promise the gooey delights of minced pork, chicken and beef. It is, fundamentally, not what you expect from a Chinese restaurant, but should you need the comfort of the classics, they’ll whip them up for you, quick smart.

Wen’s, 72-74 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.

Better Days

Better Days Wellbeing

An independent bar with a whole new approach, Better Days is a child of the pandemic. It’s a wellness bar that puts mental health front and centre. Come to talk, come to eat, come to take a time-out from the stresses and strains of everyday life. As well as the live entertainment – they do everything from comedy to open mic and acoustic nights – you can partake in yoga, de-desk stretches and women’s wellbeing clubs. Plus, they have a dedicated table packed with all the info you need on local support services.

Better Days, Grand Arcade, Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.