Leeds Shops You Might Never Have Been To

· Ali Turner · Lifestyle

Ready to expand your retail horizons?

Colours May Vary

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 the best hidden gems, so you can hunt out the must-visit shops that have been hiding in plain sight all this time.

Nong Fern Thai Supermarket

Calling all 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 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.

Colours May Vary

Colours May Vary

Credit: Justin Slee

Colours May Vary is easily one of the coolest shops in Leeds. Tucked away on the balcony of the Corn Exchange, this is a bookshop with a difference. Walk in and you’ll discover coffee table-worthy books on photography, typography, interior design and more, alongside illustrated publications that cover everything from mythologies to folklore. But that’s not all because you can also pick up a one-of-a-kind decoration for your home, a rare magazine or an artsy card for any occasion.

Colours May Vary, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.

The Cheesy Living Co.

Cheesy Living Co

Love all things cheesy? Then a visit to The Cheesy Living Co. is in order. They’ve gone from a cheese and charcuterie box delivery service to a full-blown shop in the stunning Leeds Corn Exchange, and it’s an absolute treat for any cheese fan. Whether you’re after a block of parmesan to top your pasta dishes with, a fondue-worthy gruyère, gouda or fontina, or something that bit more special for your cheeseboard, you can pop in for all your cheesy needs. They even have fresh British meats that act as the perfect partner.

The Cheesy Living Co, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.

Bellwether Yarns

Wool, yarn

If you’re into your fibre crafts, make a beeline for Bellwether Yarns. Crocheters, knitters and weavers will find all they need in this little Leeds Corn Exchange shop. It may be small but their yarn collection is mighty. We’re talking shelves filled to the heavens with every colour and shade of commercial or hand-dyed yarn and fibre, so you can pick up a ball or two and get on with that project. They also stock a curation of items from small makers, so you can pick up a handmade scarf or pin cushion too.

Bellwether Yarns, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.

Giant Kitten

Giant Kitten

Leeds Corn Exchange is home to a plethora of funky little shops, but did you know there’s one that specialises in Japanese goods? Giant Kitten is jam-packed with the kitsch, quirky and kawaii. From fashion you won’t find on the high street to plush toys of everything you can think of, plant pots with faces and an array of wonderful Japanese treats (matcha KitKat, anyone?), it’s an eclectic mix of one-off gems. Lots of their products are specially imported, so this is the only place you’ll find them in Leeds.

Giant Kitten, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.

Hold Fast Books

Hold Fast Bookshop, Leeds Dock

© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ellie Hodgson

Hold Fast is a bookshop at Leeds Dock. No, literally, this is a bookshop on a boat! Step aboard this historic barge and you can explore their large selection of books and find your next great read, whether that be a Japanese manga or a thrilling crime novel. Once you do, you can even make use of the sun deck if the weather permits, or snuggle up by the fire in the cosy hull when it doesn’t. It’s not all books, they have prints and cards by local artists and an ever-changing line-up of plants too.

Hold Fast Books, Leeds Dock, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1JB.



If you’re looking for ways to live a greener lifestyle, EcoTopia is a zero-waste, 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.

The Bookish Type

The Bookish Type Book Shop

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 LGBTQIA+ 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.

Indie Makers

Indie Makers, Corn Exchange

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 is 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.