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3 Leeds Venues Where You Should Expect the Unexpected

· Ali Turner · Food and Drink

These venues defy convention, so expect the unexpected.

Vice & Virtue

These Leeds venues keep folk on their toes by never meeting expectations – only surpassing them.

It’s okay to have favourites, to order the same dish time and time again because you love it, but these three venues will push you to try something new with their ever-evolving menus and unique concepts. So even if you’re a regular, you’ll have to expect the unexpected.

Below Stairs

Below Stairs

It’s the city’s newest bar, but Below Stairs does things a little bit differently. When you see the ingredients they put into their cocktails, you’ll think they’re barmy, but when you hear the story behind them and finally take a sip – it’ll all make sense.

Imagine a walk along the Yorkshire coast – now what if you could turn that experience into a cocktail? That’s exactly what they’ve done with their 109 Miles to Filey. It’s made with seaweed distilled gin and wildflower eau du vie, so you’ll get a hit of fresh sea air. Then they whip up Islay Scotch, so it looks like the ‘sea foam’ created by crashing waves, and pop a chocolate pebble on the bottom. This is something else.

Below Stairs, 12 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5QS.

The Swine That Dines

The Swine that Dines

Credit: Thom Archer

The Greedy Pig’s weekend alter-ego is not your usual restaurant. The Swine That Dines is a small plates supper club that takes place on Fridays and Saturdays, with a menu that changes weekly.

They have a ‘nose to tail’ philosophy, which sees them make use of every part the animal, so expect rarely used treats like pork faggots and ox tongue, alongside a wide range of creative accompaniments, from sprouts and carrots to salsify and damson. They do a vegetarian menu once a month, and you can rest assured that they apply the same care and creativity to their veggie plates, as they do their meaty ones.

The Greedy Pig, 58 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.

Vice & Virtue

Vice & Virtue

First off, let us set things straight. We’re not talking about the restaurant. You kind of expect a fine dining joint to defy convention – what you don’t expect is for a cocktail bar to be serving a menu of mind-blowing bar snacks from the same chef.

Truth be told, it’s all about food pairing here, so take their advice and match your drink with your dinner. Try the fried tuna gyoza with wasabi mayo, pomegranate and pickled cucumber coupled with their Botanist Wasabi cocktail. Or go for lentil kofta, black bean hummus and beetroot chutney with a glass of Luigi Bosca Viognier. You can even do a 5-course tasting & drink pairing menu for £65 per person – and all in a cocktail bar.

Vice & Virtue, 68 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.