Leeds has a new pop-up and it’s damned tasty. Introducing The Veg Out Cafe…
You might have noticed The Veg Out Cafe on Lands Lane, in the former Candy Hero unit, but from the outside, it’s hard to know what to expect. It’s the city’s latest pop-up, and it’s something of a hybrid – part vegetarian cafe, part art space, and that makes it very special indeed. It is, however, only here for a limited time, so if you want to check it out, you’ll have to go before it closes on Sunday 13th August 2017.
The cafe-cum-shop is a result of a collaboration between Dan Palmer of the Veg Out food and drink festival, Raf Bogan of &/or Emporium and Helen Russell-Brown of Arctic Bazaar. After a meeting over a few drinks, a plan was hatched to take over one of the empty units in the city centre to create a unique cafe for the summer. The inspiration? It was their ‘love of greens, and a recognition of the wealth of creative and artistic talent in this city.’
It’s the food and drink offering that will grab your attention first, and Dan told us why, “It’s mainly going to be cake, and lots of it! We’ll have massive range of gluten free and vegan goodies from local cake witches and wizards alongside a breakfast and lunch menu from The Grub & Grog Shop. Homemade vegan crumpets and gluten-free pea flour pancakes for breakfast and freshly made sandwiches, salads and more crumpets for lunch.” And his top tip if you don’t know what to pick? “The crumpets with locally grown organic tomatoes, greens and herbs, incredibly tasty and good for you.”
They serve toast, crumpets and pea flour fritters all day long, with toppings that turn a breakfast staple into an adventure. Try the melted cheese and chutney, a delicious way to start the day, or go for something sweet like yoghurt, fruit compote and cinnamon.
They’re just as tasty at lunchtime, but by then, you’ll be able to delve into their selection of sandwiches, salads and vegetable soups, which change on a daily basis. And for afternoon tea? They have a huge array of homemade treats, with plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options – fingers crossed for the lavender cake.
To wash it all down, they’ve got coffee from North Star and loose teas from Birdhouse, who’ve also provided a detox cold brew. And if that’s not your cup of tea (see what we did there), you can treat yourself to a whole range of ethical soft drinks, with homemade cordials, mocktails, iced teas and coffees to boot.
But it’s not just food that’s on sale here – it’s art too. The Veg Out Cafe has invited local artists to display and sell their work for free, which means you can you can pick up something from the likes of Joanna Simpson, Suzie Cichy and Katie Emeny Ceramics.
Dan told us how they made this part of The Veg Out Cafe happen, “We teamed up with our good pals &/or Emporium, an arts network that has been supporting local artists in Leeds for the past few years through creative events. We’re offering local artists and makers a brilliant opportunity to have their work displayed and indeed sold to the public in a prime city centre location, as well as opening the space up to ideas and suggestions for special events, workshops, exhibitions and installations. It’s meant the space is filled with a diverse range of art and wares, from artists at different stages in their careers.”
The cafe will also be hosting a series of workshops and events before it closes. Think screen-printing workshops with Mode of Expression and upcycling events with Darn It. They’ll have a series of collaborative exhibitions too, designed to engage you in art activities, alongside live music evenings and food takeovers.
The Veg Out Cafe is open now at 38A Lands Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LB until Sunday 13th August 2017. It’s open on Sunday and Monday 10am until 4pm, Tuesday to Friday 8am until 7pm and Saturday 10 until 7pm.