Take time out amidst the chaos of the sale season with these pitstops no one else will think of…
Come sale season, the world and his mother will be out in Leeds, especially now that Victoria Gate has opened, because Leeds is officially the third best shopping destination outside London. So where can you go for a quiet drink despite the crowds, and how can you grab a bite without wasting precious shopping time? The answer is simple – by visiting these fantastic sale pitstops.
It’s so new that barely anyone knows about it, which makes Assembly Underground the perfect choice for a post-shopping pit stop. It’s a street food Mecca filled with unusual eats. Falafel guys have set up shop here with their famous bowls and wraps (try the halloumi and chicken shawarma), but you can also chow down on loaded burgers and fries at Slap & Pickle or Punjabi curries at Jah Jyot. Refreshments come courtesy of Hebden’s Vocation Brewery, but the selection spans from their own Bread & Butter to Zapato’s Doom.
Assembly Underground, 12 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AL.
The city’s original secret cocktail bar now has another string to its bow. Inside, you’ll find their brand new restaurant – it has the same pre-prohibition vibe, the same cool as heck style and the same dedication to quality, but here they serve up an eclectic menu of tapas dishes inspired by owner Nino Lopes’ travels. Expect steaming bowls of seafood cataplana alongside chargrilled rump steak with red peri glaze, sherry dried tomato and chargrilled sweet corn. Wash it down with one of their original cocktails to celebrate those bargains.
The Maven, 1 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.
Sometimes the obvious choice is the one everyone forgets – which is why we’re sending you straight to Victoria Gate Casino. It’s in the shopping centre, so you won’t have to stray far from the shops, and no one really thinks to go there, so you can be in and out in no time. They serve up a mix of British classics done well and creative dishes that take their inspiration from far-flung shores, so you can tuck into the likes of baked cod with roast chorizo and harissa marinated rump of lamb.
V Restaurant, Victoria Gate Casino, 26 Eastgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7JL.
Outlaws Yacht Club
New York Street is a 2-minute detour from the new Victoria Gate shopping centre, and yet most people forget about it. The result? A fantastic, down to earth drinking den where you can indulge in local ales, expertly made cocktails and heart-warming mugs of hot chocolate. They’ve created a fabulously welcoming venue that the kids will love as much as you, with games to keep the whole family entertained, and if you get hungry, you can chow down on salads, sandwiches, Yorkshire cheeses and cured meats.
Outlaws Yacht Club, 38 New York Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY.
Sous le Nez
Hidden away beneath the Quebec Hotel, no one else will think of Sous le Nez. It’s a French bistro, with an impressive wine menu perfect for post-shopping tipples, and a food menu that will make you want to stay for all three courses. Tuck into tempura king prawns with tomato chilli jam before moving onto coq au vin or a gateau of fillet steak stuffed with shallots, mushrooms and garlic – and all in a cosy, rustic venue.
Sous le Nez, The Basement, Quebec House, 9 Quebec Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HA.
Right, the trick here is to go on the weekend, because Cuckoo is the perfect mid-shop pitstop. You can nip in for a drink and get a free slice of pizza with it – that’s their thing, you see. They cook up stone baked pizzas, both sweet and savoury, and you can get a free slice with every drink you buy before 9pm. On the weekend, they’re open from 12pm, so you can pop back every time you get peckish – try the roast tomato, pepperoni and spiced cheese or go veggie with peppers, tomato, spiralizer veg and halloumi.
Cuckoo, 37 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
After all that rich Christmas food, perhaps you want something a little bit lighter, like sushi. And if that’s the case, there’s no better place to go than Sushiwaka. It’s minutes from the shopping heartland, with oodles of space and a menu that’s all class. You can have all your favourite dishes here, alongside some of the more unusual finds – be sure to try the scallop sashimi, and if you’re feeling adventurous, the oysters.
Sushiwaka, 28 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.