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The Best, the Tastiest and the Most Scrumdiddlyumptious Events at Leeds Indie Food

· Joseph Sheerin · Food and Drink

Leeds Indie Food is back and it’s better than ever.

Fettle, Leeds Indie Food

From Thursday 9th to Monday 27th May 2019, the city's independents will come together to serve up a series of unique, unusual and downright tasty events. Don't miss out, start your foodie adventure...

Leeds Indie Food is a celebration of the city’s finest independents, taking you from one-off collaborations to street food extravaganzas.

Leeds Indie Food is one of the biggest events in the city and 2019 is going to be better than ever. There are 80+ scrumptious events between Thursday 9th and Monday 29th May 2019 and we’ve rounded up the very best to make it easier for you to decide what to do. Tickets are flying out already, so get yours now before they sell out.


School Diner, Leeds Indie Food

Credit: Ben Bentley

A host of popular events are returning to Leeds Indie Food this year. The School Diner promises two days of street food, craft beer and family-friendly entertainment at Chapel Allerton Primary School, while #EatNorth returns to North Brewing Co. with a trio of special street food celebrations in #SeaNorth, #VeganNorth and the Bank Holiday Special. Water Lane Boathouse will welcome the return of the Pizza and Prosecco Festival followed by the Bank Holiday Boathouse Feast. And this year, Sneaky Experience will take part with Feast & Fiesta at Kirkstall Abbey, a street food festival with a carnival vibe that transforms from a family-friendly day out to an adults only party.

There are loads of exclusive supper clubs and tasting menus across the festival too. House of Koko and MorMor will come together for an intimate 4-course Lebanese Supper Club and drinks pairing or you can tuck into Afsaneh’s Taste of Persia in a secret location. There are Indian delights to uncover as you explore Bundobust’s Origins with a trip to Prashad in Drighlington. You’ll get a 6-course menu paired with craft beer that’s inspired by the first ever Prashad X Sparrow collaboration back in 2014.

Eat North

Fancy something a bit different? Roll Off sees The Cardigan Arms compete against the brewery that owns it to decide who’s got the best sausage rolls, or you can head to Food for Thought, a series of five tasting dinners from The Real Junk Food Project focused on eliminating food waste at All Hallows Church. And then there’s your chance to delve into the world of pleasure-inducing food with the Hands On Sensuality tasting menu at Cafe 164. It celebrates female sensual pleasure through 10-courses served on different parts of the fingers, hand and wrist.

Veggies are well catered for at Leeds Indie Food. Knave’s Kitchen is hosting the Vegan Days Supper Club, a night of creative small plates at Oporto, while Plant Styles take over the kitchen at Laynes with their creative sharing plates menu. You can go WILD at Fettle, as the cafe explores the best foraged produce across 5-courses – or why not try Jane Lawson Loves Vegan Supper Club? The famous chef will show off vegan dishes inspired by the Mediterranean and the Middle East at The Little Bookshop. You can even indulge in Sugar Spun Sisters Vegan Diner, which brings classic American eats like mac and cheese balls with a marinara sauce to Sela Bar.


Grape Debate, Leeds Indie Food

Credit: Ben Bentley

Leeds Indie Food isn’t short of booze-centric events. Wine aficionados are spoilt for choice as The Grape Debate returns. This competitive wine tasting evening will pit The Decanter against Yorkshire Wine School. The latter will also team up with Master Sommelier Rich Higgins for Somme vs Cicerone, a night of wine, beer and food at Bundobust. Or why not head to Latitude Tasting Room x Ox Club’s wine and food pairing evening? There are more head-to-head battles in Grape vs Grain – Sheaf Street Cafeteria will bring the wine, North Brewing Co. will bring the beer and they’ll both be paired with dishes from Bread & Boar.

For more beery goodness, North Brewing Co. will team up with Salvo’s for a Beer Tasting Dinner with 5-courses of perfectly paired Italian food, while The Cardigan Arms will host a Veggie Bottomless Brunch washed down with 100% vegetarian brews from Anthology Brewing Company. There’s Beer and Brunch at Left Bank too, as Smak! serve up Polish classics with local beers and local DJs. Or you can head to North Bar for their immensely popular Beer and Doughnuts event with Porterhouse Cake Co. where you can tuck into four mini doughnuts matched with four beers and the start of their annual Magical Mystery Tour which takes you on a bus journey to each of North’s bars in Leeds, Otley and Harrogate.

Beer and Doughnuts, North Bar, Leeds Indie Food

Credit: Ben Bentley

Prefer cocktails? Head underground to Below Stairs as they collaborate with Bundobust to open the Bombay Speakeasy for one night only. You will get five cocktail and food pairings inspired by five distinct moments from the history of Indian food and drink culture. Or head to Outlaws Yacht Club for Caffeine, Cake and Cocktails with Copper Spoon Cakery, who will provide a trio of decadent desserts paired with expertly blended cocktails that are inspired by teas and coffees from around the world.

And if you’re on the wagon, you can head to Tea Under the Trees at This Green Moon. It promises a day of workshops in the great outdoors as you enjoy Yorkshire Tea on tap, cakes from Bake My Day and hot food from Swillington Organic Farm. You can grab a freshly made coffee as new micro roasters Echelon take over the machines at Laynes for a whole weekend too – owner Ben Craggs will be on hand to talk you through it, like a meet the brewer, but with coffee.


Bread for Your Head, Leeds Indie Food

Credit: Lucy Forrester

Alongside the feasts and the tastings, Leeds Indie Food has everything from cooking workshops to charity shindigs and film screenings, so if you want to fully immerse yourself, check out one of these. The Chef’s Hands Project will run throughout the festival. It’s an exhibition by Joakim Blockstrom at The Gallery at 164 that captures and celebrates a chef’s most prized possession – their hands. Next door, Cafe 164 is hosting one of the most important events of the festival – Bloody Big Brunch addresses period poverty by inviting people for a brunch with Bloody Marys in exchange for tampons and sanitary towels.

Want to learn a few new tricks in the kitchen? The Seitan(ic) Workshop at Oporto will show you how to make this versatile meat substitute from scratch. Or you can get to grips with The Mighty Coriander Seed at a special spice blending workshop at The Refilling Station. Elsewhere, you can join Honest Edibles for their Vegan Cooking Masterclass at The Greenhouse, you can Design Your Own Celebration Gateau at Flamingo’s Coffee House or you can go Around the World with Leeds Cookery School, an interactive globally-inspired meal you make yourself.

Leeds Cookery School

Grumpy’s have lined up three special All You Need is Less workshops. They’re teaming up with Seagulls Reuse to raise awareness about recycling by making you create something beautiful out of something broken – and they’ll feed you hand-stretched pizza while you do it. At the end of the festival, your works will be part of the Craftivism Exhibition at Seagulls’ HQ. For more family-fun at Grumpy’s, get down to Den Building with Scrap in their brand new outdoor area.

There are two big blockbuster film screenings as part of this year’s Leeds Indie Food. Royale with Cheese? gives you the chance to watch Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction while devouring food inspired by the film at Hyde Park Book Club. Or you can head to Courtesan au Chocolate and Coffee Cocktails to watch Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel while you eat cake and drink cocktails from the film. Want to get out and about? You can explore the Yorkshire countryside with pit-stops for food and drink at Bike, Brunch and Coffee or take a Walk on the Wild Side with a foraging food walk, talk, make, eat and take session from Seven Arts.

Want to do it all? Get your passport now!

With so many downright scrumptious events to choose from, you’re going to have a packed diary, so make sure you get a Festival Passport. For just £16.50, it’ll give you access to a host of tasty perks, from priority tickets to discounts, freebies and exclusives.

Cover image credit Ben Bentley.