Cool Cafes, an Iconic Gig Venue & a Skate Park – The Best Bits of Hyde Park

· Andrew Porter-Emery · Culture

See the very best of this ever-lively suburb.

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Just outside the city centre, Hyde Park is home to wonderful places to eat, drink and explore – how many of these have you been to?

With its legendary venues, cafes and undeniable energy, Hyde Park is one of Leeds’ most vital suburbs. Hop on the bus to visit and you’ll be able to wander the lively streets in search of tantalising Thai meals, perfect pubs and that famous park itself. Whether you live there or you’re just visiting, Hyde Park is always full of surprises and new openings bolstering the tried and trusted classics, so what are you waiting for?

Brudenell Social Club

Brudenell Social Club

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Max Wailes

A modern classic, the much-loved Brudenell is one of the most important music venues in the city, if not the north. It plays hosts to all manner of gigs, from up-and-coming acts across all genres to legends taking to the road. But it’s not just about live music – it’s also a damn fine pub, with a great range of ales, pool tables, live sport on and a bar that knows how to fuel its customers – hot pies and bags of Space Raiders.

Brudenell Social Club, 33 Queen’s Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1NY.

Hyde Park Picture House

Hyde Park Picture House

One of the most storied cinemas in the country, Hyde Park Picture House has been packing people in since 1914, and the interior still delivers a sense of the past. But that doesn’t mean they’re not bang up to date when it comes to programming. It’s currently being renovated and restored to its former glory, and while that takes place they’re taking themselves on tour to the likes of Leeds University Union and Sheaf St, before a grand reopening in January 2023.

Hyde Park Picture House, 73 Brudenell Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1JD.

Oranaise Cafe

Oranaise Cafe Tagine

Dressed in hues of burnt ochre, Oranaise transports you to the Middle East and North Africa through both decor and flavour, delivering a menu that consistently punches above its weight. It’s pretty much the perfect neighbourhood eatery, offering an array of tagines that are delicately scented. Couscous dishes are light but deep and there’s plentiful tapas and mezze which run from baba ghanouj to flawless falafel. The prices are a relative steal too.

Oranaise, 1 The Crescent, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2NW.

Lupe’s Cantina Mexicana

Lupe's Cantina

Credit: Marcus Macauley

In a humble but colourful location, Lupe’s has been turning out authentic Mexican scran since 2016. Arrive hungry, as they don’t scrimp on portions, which will make you happy indeed as you dive into Camarones la Diabla – prawns sautéed and served with an oh-so-plate-lickable creamy chipotle sauce. The tacos, tortillas and quesadillas are all present and correct, but there are some real tricks up Lupe’s sleeve – slow-cooked lamb in avocado leaves, anyone?

Lupe’s Cantina, 204 Cardigan Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LF.

Hyde Park Book Club

Hyde Park Book Club

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

Part bar, part cafe, part venue and 100% brilliant, Hyde Park Book Club is a hero of the high street. Pop by for an eclectic range of events, from comedy to new bands, open deck nights and quizzes, or just head there for vegan grub, such as sweetcorn fritters with sriracha or the ingenious roast broccoli Reuben. On fine days, spill out into the outdoor seating in the former petrol station courtyard and get the perfect panorama on Hyde Park life.

Hyde Park Book Club, 27-29 Headingley Lane, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1BL.

Nan’s Thai Malaysian Cafe

May's Thai Malaysian Cafe

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Max Wailes

Unpretentious and welcoming, Nan’s Thai Malaysian Cafe – formerly May’s – is a brilliant bring your own bottle option in Hyde Park. Looking for all the classics done right? This is the place for spicy fish cakes, deep-fried tofu, wontons, the rainbow of Thai curries and Malay staples, such as nasi goreng and nasi lemak. There are few surprises, but cooking this good at rock bottom prices is increasingly rare, which is why this staple is treasured by locals.

Nan’s Thai Malaysian Cafe, 215 Hyde Park Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1AH.

The Hyde Park

The Hyde Park Pub

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

A Headingley Lane landmark, The Hyde Park has been here in one form or another – and with the occasional change of name – for over 100 years. On weeknights, it’s a no-frills but neat and welcoming neighbourhood pub, serving up ales, lager, gin and cocktails, while on weekends it becomes a busy stop on The Otley Run. For those on the latter, the stone-baked pizzas, burgers and mac ’n’ cheese are seemingly heaven sent.

The Hyde Park Pub, 2 Headingley Lane, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2AS.

Friends of Food

Friends of Food

Opened by three student buds – hence the name – Friends of Food has become a real staple of Hyde Park. It’s a vegan takeaway that cooks up what are regarded in some corners as the best meat-free burgers in the city. Plant-based must-tries include The Signature, which pairs a Beyond Meat patty with smoked gouda ‘cheese’, house sauce, lettuce and pickles on a brioche bun. The Big B adds whisky BBQ sauce and vegan bacon to the mix for another lip-licking gem.

Friends of Food, 12 Hyde Park Corner, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1AF.

Rainbow Junk-tion

Real Junk Food Project

Credit: Tom Joy

A part of The Real Junk Food Project, Rainbow Junk-tion – the All Hallows Cafe – takes food destined to go to waste and turns its into delicious, wholesome meals, cooked and served by volunteers. It’s pay-as-you-feel, so it provides a great place for hungry people or those going through a difficult time, and it’s a beacon of light in the local community. Visit their Facebook or Instagram page for the latest menu, and they’d be delighted to find new volunteers.

Rainbow Junk-tion, 24 Regent Terrace, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1NP.

Slip’s Deli

Slips Deli

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

Long before the chains arrived, Slip’s Deli was the home of the sub sandwich in Leeds. They’ve survived the influx, still thriving after over 20 years and still serving up gargantuan sandwiches. Hot breakfast subs tick all the boxes, while the main menu is huge, covering everyone from peri-peri chicken through to numerous vegetarian and vegan choices. Halves start at £3.50 – go large for an extra £2, but make sure you’re hungry, because they’re humongous.

Slip’s Deli, 121a Cardigan Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LU.

The Royal Park Pub

Royal Park Pub

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Max Wailes

The ideal local, The Royal Park combines approachable pub at ground level with a programme of live music downstairs in the Royal Park Cellars. In search of somewhere to watch live sport? You can catch the big fights and footy matches here, accompanied by a solid range of beers, spirits and cocktails. On Tuesdays, it’s £1 in, but you can enjoy live entertainment and selected drinks for just £1.95 – perfect for students and those feeling the pinch.

The Royal Park, 39 Queens Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1NY.

Coffee on the Crescent

Coffee on the Crescent

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

Former Surrey cricketer Tim Linley swapped the crease for coffee at this community cafe in Hyde Park. It’s an award-winning venture with brilliant baristas and an array of perfectly brewed coffees on offer. Go on, treat yourself to a pastry – the cruffins, cinnamon buns and pastel de nata are all locally baked. There are frequent events on – an exhibition supporting local artists, perhaps – and provisions such as sourdough and local eggs to take home.

Coffee on the Crescent, 2 The Crescent, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2NW.

Woodhouse Moor

Woodhouse Moor

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Max Wailes

More popularly known as Hyde Park, Woodhouse Moor is the green heart and soul of the area, a 27-hectare park that provides plenty of places to chill out or work out. There are free tennis courts, a bowling green, a multi-use games area, skate and BMX park and, if you’re feeling active, there’s a free weekly 5K park run you can join in too. If you’ve got kids with you, there’s both a playground and loads of spots perfect for a picnic.

Woodhouse Moor, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1AY.

Left Bank Leeds

Left Bank Leeds

Credit: John Hope Photography

A sensitively restored former church, Left Bank Leeds is now a cultural space that might hold a gig or party one evening, a wedding the next. It’s home to workshops, art events, a cafe and bar, all making it an intrinsic part of its community. You can take the kids along to learn breakdancing, pick up bargains at a junkyard sale or paint your own nude wall hanging. Keep an eye on their calendar for the latest pop-ups, one-offs and regular events.

Left Bank Leeds, Cardigan Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LJ.

Grove Cafe

The Grove Cafe

The diverse menu at Grove Cafe has been filling a lot of tummies since it opened in 1994, first on Brudenell Grove and now on Cardigan Road. They take pride in catering for all, so there’s plenty on the menu for carnivores, vegetarians and vegans. In the mood for curry? A rogan josh with a peshwari will hit the spot. Craving pizza? The dough is made daily for treats such the Handi Wahlah – lamb with mince, coriander and mozzarella.

Grove Cafe, 133-135 Cardigan Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LJ.

The East Village

The East Village

Grab a seat at the boho-inspired East Village bar and you could be in the cool corner of New York it’s named for. Leather sofas line the walls, so you can take the weight off while the bar staff mix up classic cocktails, along with a few inventions of their own. The Mango Margarita is a refreshingly tropical twist on the original, while the refreshing Cheeky-Tiki is a rum-based winner. There’s beer on tap and bagged bar snacks – what more could you want?

The East Village, 47-49 Brudenell Grove, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1HR.

North South Vintage

Vintage Boutique

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Max Wailes

Home to the unique, the pre-loved and the up-cycled, North South Boutique is the place to unearth a retro gem. The clothing collection offers the best looks of the nineties and noughties, with everything from sports luxe to designer gear. It’s all authenticated and professionally laundered to give you a ready-to-wear gem with a pre-loved spin. And the shop itself? Expect a soundtrack of hip-hop and rap, with incense burning.

North South Boutique, 8-10 Headingley Lane, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2AS.

Popina’s

Popina's

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Max Wailes

Home of the one of the best slap-up breakfasts you’ll get in any suburb, Popina’s might be at the heart of where the students dwell in Hyde Park, but it’s popular with everyone. The standard brekkie is a no-brainer – bacon, egg, sausage, mushrooms, hash brown, beans, tomatoes and black pudding jostling for space on the plate. But if you want to go on their hall of fame, take on the Mega Breakfast. You won’t need to eat again that day.

Popina’s, 31 Brudenell Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1HA.

Woodhouse Moor Skate Park

Woodhouse Moor Skate Park

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Katie Nicole

Tucked away inside Woodhouse Moor – more commonly known as Hyde Park itself – this skate park is split into three different sections and is a popular hub for local skaters trying their best to be the next Tony Hawk. There are two street sections and a transition, with fastened smooth surfaces and nothing too challenging for amateurs. Ramps, quarter pipes and ledges await, and there’s a buzzing atmosphere when the park gets busy.

Woodhouse Moor Skate Park, Ash Grove, Woodhouse, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1AY.

Buzz Club Tattoo Studio

Buzz Club Tattoo Studio

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

One of the best tattoo studios in Leeds, Buzz Club is a fully-vegan spot that refuses to use any animal products. It’s a bright, nicely decorated studio, putting you at ease if it’s your first time getting ink. The trio of resident artists are more than happy to chat with you about your ideas and custom designs. They do trad tattoos as well as fine line, dot work and black work. For even better green credentials, they also use 100% renewable energy.

Buzz Club Tattoo Studio, 154 Hyde Park Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1AG.

La Cafetiere

La Cafetiere

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

The name might suggest that this is just an ordinary cafe, but La Cafetiere is anything but. Instead, it’s a local fave specialising in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. This informal eatery caters for all manner of dietary requirements and the menu is packed with classics. Grab a table in the morning for the Iraqi Breakfast – fried eggs with minced lamb, tomatoes, pepper and mushrooms – while the evening mezze, grilled meats and couscous never miss.

La Cafetiere, 6 The Crescent, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2NW.

Dukes Donuts & Coffee

Duke's Donuts

The freshly baked donuts at Dukes aren’t just a must for all sweet teeth, they’re also entirely vegan. That means anyone can treat themselves to a box of big hits such as the hugely popular Lotus Biscoff version, or the oh-so-dreamy Cherry Bakewell donut. The Homer donut is a sprinkle-tastic treat, and their coffees, milkshakes, frappes and smoothies are the perfect accompaniment. Good for your waistline? No. Good for your soul? Yes.

Dukes Donuts and Coffee, 148b Cardigan Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LU.

Jerk Express

Jerk Express Caribbean Chicken Curry

In-your-face flavours, spices that linger on the tongue and warm the belly – it has to be Caribbean street food. Jerk Express turn out some of the finest jerk chicken in the whole of Leeds from their Cardigan Road base, with bone-in and boneless options available. They’ve got plenty of other gems on the menu too – oxtail with rice and peas, ackee and saltfish, mutton curry, jerk wings, patties and dumplings.

Jerk Express, 159 Cardigan Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LJ.

Chichini

Chichini

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

Right on the north-west corner of Woodhouse Moor, Chichini is a cafe that may be humble and unassuming, but is heaven to the hungry. It does cheap eats perfectly, with solid fry-ups, excellent lunch sarnies and perfect panini where you can choose the cheese – mozzarella, brie or cheddar. Toasties, omelettes, wraps and cakes are all more than decent, making this a perfect snack stop-off. Fancy something different? Try the Canadian steak, it’s their speciality.

Chichini, 9 Hyde Park Corner, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1AF.