Leeds is famed for its shopping but there are some stores that even the most seasoned shoppers might not have been to…
You may know every shop on Briggate, but what about those easy to miss places hidden off the beaten track? The ones you can’t believe you’ve never heard of and the fresh faces that will become your new favourites. We’ve rounded up ten of the best hidden gems, so you can hunt out the must-visit shops that have been hiding in plain sight all this time.
The Corn Exchange has always been the home of the more exciting new kids on the block and Fabrikk is no exception. Here, you’ll find a high-end blend of wearable tech and sustainable fashion. The eco cork ‘leather’ handbag is one of their standout pieces – no more fumbling for your keys at night thanks to the LED lighting built into the lining that lights up on opening. Their collection also includes a range of hats and jewellery, all beautifully made with a price tag to match the high quality.
Fabrikk, Leeds Corn Exchange, The Balcony, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
Nong Fern Thai Supermarket
Calling lovers of Thai food – the city’s biggest Thai supermarket is waiting to be discovered. Whether you love cooking Thai food or just eating it, Nong Fern will not disappoint. Selling everything from traditional fresh fruits and vegetables to curry pastes, sauces, noodles, rice and drinks, it’s the ultimate one-stop shop for big flavours. If you’re new to Thai cooking, their pre-made seasonings for classics like Tom Yum soup or Pad Kra Prow are guaranteed to earn you big brownie points at the dinner table. Why not give it a try?
Nong Fern Thai Supermarket, 97-99 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PJ.
You’ve probably already heard of Kilo. They’ve been a favourite on the vintage scene for a while with their much-loved pop ups, but now they’ve opened a permanent shop. For those new to Kilo, they offer a sustainable and affordable way to shop for clothes, believing in ‘using the clothes of the past to protect the future’. You pay for your vintage finds by weight, making every visit a budget-friendly treasure hunt. Pick up dreamy denim staples, statement shirts and iconic brands in classic designs.
Kilo, The Merrion Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.
If you’re looking for ways to live a greener lifestyle, EcoTopia is a zero waste and refill shop that makes it easy to introduce small changes that have a big impact. Products that normally come wrapped in hard-to-recycle plastics are sold in their raw form so you can cut out the plastic altogether. Refill reusable containers with 100s of everyday products, from washing powder and dishwasher tablets to pastas, nuts and a massive range of herbs and spices. You can even save time and money with product subscriptions delivered to your door.
EcoTopia, 8 Central Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DX.
Whether you want a new statement piece or to rock retro-chic every day, Chinese Laundry has it all. Genuine garments from the 60s to the 90s sit alongside artfully reworked pieces, as well as their own label accessories and tees. Shop classic leather jackets and eccentric chunky knits or try their fabulous collection of sunglasses and berets. The shop front alone will pull you in with its big yellow door, disco lights dancing on the floor and classic hits drifting outside, all cluing you up to the treasures inside.
Chinese Laundry, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
George & Joseph Cheesemongers
George & Joseph has ventured into the city centre with a pop-up deli every Saturday through 2022. This is a cheese lover’s paradise, and these guys really know their stuff. Even the most adventurous cheese connoisseur will find their palate transported to new heights. Cheese tastings and wine pairing will take your appreciation to a new level, while a selection of crackers, chutneys and other accompaniments elevate the experience even further. Try the oozy Baron Bigod Brie or the sharp yet creamy Colston Bassett Stilton.
George & Joseph, 62 Brussels Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AB.
The Bookish Type
Ray Larman and Nic Hargrave have been running their queer indie book shop in various forms since 2019, but their bricks and mortar shop only landed in 2020. You can discover authors and books with queer themes and characters across fiction, children’s books, memoirs, poetry, short stories, non-fiction, colouring books and graphic novels. Check out Second Hand Sundays and help raise money for local grassroots LGBTIQA+ groups or join them for one of their Queer History Tours around Leeds.
The Bookish Type, 58 Merrion Centre (upstairs), Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.
The Pink Room
The Pink Room is a shop and therapy studio that supports all things female, from championing female-owned enterprises that create products designed specifically for women to running therapeutic practices like yoga and body positivity workshops to promote mental, spiritual, and physical female health. The Pink Room works with top female talent from around the city to provide a unique and exciting offering to its customers. They also offer memberships for exclusive content, shop and workshop discounts and early event access.
The Pink Room, The Balcony, The Corn Exchange, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR
This is your chance to discover new artists who reimagine day-to-day objects in infinitely more interesting ways. Think coasters and cushions that look more like works of art, as well as jewellery, artisan chocolate and candles. Their stock changes regularly so there’s always something new to pick up and the staff are super knowledgeable about all their artists. Simply put, Indie Makers the ideal place to find a unique gift for that person in your life who seems to have everything – or simply to treat yourself.
Indie Makers, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
The Health Food Co.
Once found within Millies, The Health Food Co. has now gone solo and can be found on Ludgate Hill. This haven of health stocks a huge variety of ingredients and branded goods all geared around your wellbeing. You’ll find everything from the more mainstream supplements, dried foodstuffs and health products to niche ingredients and an amazing selection of tea. Their friendly staff are on hand for your questions, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, they’re even happy to source it for you.
The Health Food Co, 16 Ludgate Hill, George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HZ.Cover image © Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson.