There have been loads of new openings in 2019. So many, in fact, that you may have missed a few…
2019 is only just past the halfway mark, but we’ve already seen the flurry of new openings in Leeds. There’s everything from traditional pubs to axe-throwing centres, karaoke bars and the North’s first veggie fish and chip shop. But that’s just the start, so without further ado, let us introduce you to the new openings you need to check out.
Dough House is the new laid-back pizzeria and cocktail joint from the folk behind LIVIN’Italy. Bring a few friends because their pizzas are 20 inches wide. You have a choice of 20 different options, like the Maestrale, a mix of roasted butternut squash, smoked ham speck and fried sage. Can’t decide? Try their half and half. To go alongside your pizza, they have a massive cocktail menu, which takes you from Italian classics to boozy shakes.
Dough House, Cloth Hall Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HD.
The first 100% plant-based cafe in Pudsey, Alternatively Vegan is a must-visit if you’re looking for meat and dairy-free eats. It’s the brainchild of Angi Haist. She wanted to create a place in West Leeds that was fully vegan and the result is a welcoming little cafe with a tempting menu. You can start the day with Smashed Avocado on Sourdough, followed by Pie and Mash at lunch. And if you want a bite on Friday or Saturday evenings, they have a special menu of vegan pizzas from 4pm.
Alternatively Vegan, 118 Richardshaw Lane, Pudsey, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 6BN.
If you want a summer glow all year round, head to Blushtan. Dermatologist Natalia Spierings has brought the American tanning sensation to Leeds. It’s an all-natural product, and there are over 100 different shades, so you can get the perfect shade for your skintone. Their Original full body tan is rinsed in 12 hours and develops in 24 hours, but if you’re in a rush, you can speed it up with their Express or Super Express formulas.
Blushtan, 8b North Lane, Leeds, Headingley, West Yorkshire, LS6 3HE.
Yard & Coop
If you love fried chicken, you need to visit Yard & Coop. They’ve now got two floors of fried chicken goodness on Merrion Street – and theirs is special. It’s buttermilk chicken, brined for 24 hours to let the flavours soak right in. You can choose your perfect combo, from chicken breast in Dr Pepper BBQ sauce to drumsticks in buffalo sauce. It’s open late on the weekends too, so you can sup craft beer and cocktails until 4am.
Yard & Coop, 6-8 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.
Want never-ending sushi? It’s not a dream, just head to Blue Sakura. This an all you can eat Japanese restaurant, comes complete with a cool, modern decor and cherry blossom trees. From Salmon Sashimi to Black Dragon Rolls, they have loads of different types of sushi for you to choose from, but you can also tuck into Katsu Chicken Curry, Cod Fillet Teriyaki and Singapore Vermicelli. You have two hours to try everything you like and you can order up to five dishes at once.
Blue Sakura, 2-3 Merrion Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8BT.
Döner Shack is the newest resident in Trinity Kitchen and they’ve brought the classic German kebab to Leeds. You can tuck into a heaving pita stuffed full of classic lamb döner or chicken shawarma. Veggie? Try their vegan schnitzel. Pile on your choice of fresh vegetables and all kinds of different sauces to create your dream kebab. You can also swap the bread for chips and get a massive bowl of loaded fries or try out their take on the traditional currywurst. To wash it down, try a Fritz-Kola or a Berliner beer.
Döner Shack, Trinity Kitchen, Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5ER.
Hansa’s is gone, but taking its place is Wen’s, a new family-run Chinese restaurant. They’ve given the restaurant a subtle makeover and introduced a menu of Chinese favourites. Start with pan-fried dumplings or one of their small plates like the Five Spice Beef Tendon, then move on to the main event. They do all the takeaway classics alongside a menu of traditional dishes you’ve probably never tried. From Pork in Sweet Vinegar Sauce to Slow Stewed Beef Belly, Wen’s will definitely broaden your horizons.
Wen’s Restaurant, 72-74 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.
Tired of the lack of options nearby, Prime Studios have opened a cafe-cum-gallery below their Leeds HQ. Archive is a stylish eatery where you can tuck into Eggs Benedict for breakfast, with pizza slices, pancakes and sandwiches for lunch. Pair yours with a cup of coffee courtesy of local roasters Maude and Pump ’n’ Grind, or if you fancy a beer, try something from your favourite local breweries. It also has a 3,000 square foot event space at the rear, which hosts everything from exhibitions to film screenings.
Archive, 94 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 1HD.
Iroko is a cafe-bar from the people behind The Domino Club. It’s got a split personality. Head in during the day and you’ll find a laid-back cafe where you can enjoy breakfast and brunch paired with North Star coffee and low-alcohol cocktails. From 5pm, it’s all change. The venue transforms into a cool-as-heck bar. The sliding wall reveals a well-stocked back bar, so you can enjoy craft beer, cocktails and their weekly cost-price wine.
Iroko, 7 Duncan Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DQ.
Beck & Call
The folk behind Belgrave and Headrow House have done it again, but this time in the suburbs. Formerly The True Briton, Beck & Call is a new family-friendly pub in Meanwood. They’ve transformed it, inside and out, so it’s got a cool decor and an extensive beer garden with a children’s play area. You can tuck into a menu of classic pub grub designed by Ox Club’s Ben Davy with roast dinners all day on Sunday, washed down with craft beer and cocktails.
Beck & Call, Stainbeck Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 2NP.
Union Square Bar & Kitchen
Union Square is an NYC-inspired diner from the people behind Simpatico. It’s a fun-loving venue with an eclectic decor and a Big Apple-inspired menu. You can tuck into flat iron steaks, heaving burgers and sharing pizzas. Hell, they’ve even enlisted the help of Primo’s to serve hot dogs. In a rush? Head to their grab and go pizza slice counter, perfect for a quick lunch. Come the evening, it transforms into a party venue as you sup craft beer and cocktails to a soundtrack of classic pop and rock anthems.
Union Square Bar and Kitchen, Merrion Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.
Mog’s has re-opened in its old home on Kirkstall Lane. The vegan eatery closed last November but new owners Chris Beech and Courteney Hager have brought it back to life. They’ve streamlined the menu to focus on burgers and vegan chicken. Try the Big Mog, a vegan burger topped with burger sauce, vegan cheese, lettuce and pickles, or go for the Gravy Train, which brings fried vegan chicken together with southern-style thick gravy.
Mog’s, 55 Kirkstall Lane, Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3BE.
BLK BX is a conceptual retail space in Trinity Leeds. It’s a permanent unit that hosts an ever-changing line-up of brands. Founder Darren Rutland wanted to create a space where up and coming independent designers and online retailers could experiment with a physical store. Florence Blanchard, Raul 33 and Nicolas Dixon have brought the shop to life with their iconic artwork, both inside and out.
BLK BX, Albion Street, Trinity Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5ES.
Loop is a bar with a secret maze of karaoke rooms. You can enjoy local craft beers and classic cocktails in a cool graffiti-covered venue, before you challenge your pals to a game of beer or prosecco pong. Then it’s time to see who’s got the best voice because they have six private karaoke booths, all kitted out with the latest technology, so you can choose your favourite tunes from a library of over 100,000 songs. You don’t even have to leave to get drinks, because you can order them directly to your booth. There are big changes ahead too, as it’s set to turn into Roxy Arcade from August bank holiday weekend when they add retro gaming consoles to their karaoke offering.
Loop, 9 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.
Thai tapas anyone? That’s what York favourite Phranakhon has brought to Leeds. They’ve transformed the old White Rabbit bar into a rustic eatery where you can indulge in a bunch of Thai classics, all at once. They have all the classics, with everything from Thai Red Curry to Duck Spring Rolls, but you can also try unique creations like Phranakhon Salmon Tartare, which comes with red onions, egg yolk and a spicy lime dressing.
Phranakhon, 11 York Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2DS.
This new fitness studio has brought the Lagree Method to Leeds. It’s a high-intensity, low-impact workout for the whole body. You can use one of seven state-of-the-art Megaformer Machines, which you stay on for the whole 50-minute session, as you complete slow and controlled movements designed to engage different parts of the body and stimulate your fat burning muscle fibres.
Love Lagree, Unit 3 Gateway West, East Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8DZ.
Brownhill & Co.
It’s been 18 months in the making, but the big brother to Little Leeds Beer House has finally opened. They’ve brought their craft beer expertise from the Corn Exchange to Central Road to create a cool bar in the heart of the city centre. They offer table service all day every day, so you choose from a range of local favourites and rare international tipples, then relax as they bring it to you.
Brownhill & Co., 30 Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DE.
Slung Low has moved out of The Holbeck Underground Ballroom and into The Holbeck. They’ve taken over the day-to-day running of this old working men’s club, which is owned by the local community. It’s still open to the community, but now they’re running their whole operation there – from rehearsals to pay-as-you-feel performances and their Cultural Community College, this local landmark will now stay at the heart of the local community for years to come.
The Holbeck, Jenkinson Lawn, Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9QX.
JJ’s Vish and Chips
The first veggie fish and chip shop in the North has opened in Leeds. JJ’s Vish and Chips is the work of Jess Jones. She’s taken over The Great Yorkshireman chippy on Kirkstall Road, but instead of cod and haddock, she’s perfected battered banana plant blossoms, which are just like the real thing thanks to her special marinade and batter. The chip shop chips are as good as anywhere else and they also have a few extras, from vegan battered sausage to cheesy chips.
JJ’s Vish and Chips, 402 Kirkstall Rd, Burley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2QD.
Street food favourites Pizza Loco opened their first restaurant in Bradford last year and they’ve followed it up with another in Oakwood. It’s a stylish venue where they serve proper wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas made using their secret recipe dough. They’re topped with San Marzano tomatoes and a range of delicious combinations like fior di latte, guanciale, scamorza, pecorino, truffle, red onion, porcia cream and olive oil.
Pizza Loco, 484 Roundhay Road, Oakwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HU.
Matt Healy at The Beehive
The Beehive is Matt Healy’s third restaurant in Leeds and it’s a different proposition to everything he’s done before. This is a modern gastropub where you can tuck into a menu of classic dishes brought to life with Healy’s signature flair, paired with local ales and a hand-picked wine list. You can enjoy it in a welcoming local pub that’s been given a smart makeover with its own bar area.
Matt Healy at The Beehive, Main Street, Thorner, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS14 3DE.
Franco Manca Pizza has opened in Leeds. They’ve put their own mark on the venue, making it brighter and giving it a laid-back feel. It’s the perfect environment to enjoy their slow-rising sourdough pizzas. There are seven options on the menu and prices start from just £5. You can go for something simple like the tomato, mozzarella and basil, or mix it up with spicy lamb sausage, roasted aubergine and wild garlic pesto. And if you’re in a rush, you can order to take away.
Franco Manca, 1 Trinity Street, Trinity Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AP.
The Whitehall has brought refined food to the old Rosso’s Italian at West Point. You can dine in a bright, airy restaurant with a mixture of rustic wooden and sleek stone-topped tables. The menu is British with a twist, so expect a creative reinterpretation of traditional dishes, like Torched Hake with summer veg and giant couscous in a brown butter shrimp sauce. They’ve got pasta, pizza and steak too, and you can pair your meal with a bottle from their extensive wine menu.
The Whitehall Restaurant & Bar, West Point, Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4JY.
Rosa’s Thai Cafe
A firm favourite in London, Rosa’s Thai Cafe has come up north to takeover the old Cielo Blanco in Trinity Leeds. They offer a fresh take on classic Thai food, so you can tuck into all your favourites, from Pad Thai to Massaman Curry. Want to try something new? Try their Grilled Northern Style Sausage and Drunken Noodles. There’s an extensive wine list and an endless supply of Chang Beer to go alongside your meal, or you can try one of their creative cocktails.
Rosa’s Thai Cafe, Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre, 21 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AT.
Boomchikkaboom have put on family-friendly raves for years, but now they finally have a place of there own. Our Place is a 200-capacity venue in Chapeltown. It’s a one-stop shop for all their events, from the raves to workshops, cinema screenings and messy play sessions. They’ve also opened their own cafe, which you can visit throughout the week, and they’re opening their own flexible working space and inviting the local creative community to use the space for rehearsals, performances and celebrations.
Our Place, Unit 3, Buslingthorpe Green Industrial Estate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 2HG.
This new vegan eatery comes from the people who first brought us Mog’s. The Vege-Table is primarily an online takeaway, but you can dine in from 5pm to 11pm throughout the week at their new home in Temple of Boom. Tuck into everything from Indian-style faux Fish and Chips to Chimichangas, Vegan Kebabs and Mac ’n’ Cheese Balls. They also do a range of burgers, fruit smoothies and homemade vegan desserts – the Snickers Cheesecake is a must.
The Vege-Table, Byron Street Mills, Millwright Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7QG.
The Vinyl Whistle
Jon Moss is a Premier League referee, but in his spare time, he’s a music nut who loves vinyl records. He’s run The Vinyl Whistle online for a while now, but he’s finally opened his first shop in Headingley. It’s a treasure trove of second-hand vinyl, with racks full of indie rock classics, hip-hop hits and dance anthems. Whatever you’re into, you’re sure to find a few gems when you go crate-digging. They also stock new releases as soon as they come out.
The Vinyl Whistle, 39 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3AB.
The Black Horse
A traditional Victorian coaching inn in the heart of Otley, The Black Horse has been saved from closure by Kirkstall Brewery and the Brudenell Social Club. They’ve joined forces to give the place some much needed TLC – it’s retained that old world charm, but now has a cool, modern feel. They have all Kirkstall’s beers on tap alongside a menu of pub classics – come on Sunday to try their cracking roast dinner.
The Black Horse, 2 Westgate, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3AS.
TimberJacks is a new axe-throwing centre in Leeds. They have ten lanes, each kitted out with a target board, so round up your mates and see who can send an axe hurtling into the bullseye. You get five throws each and you have to get as many points as possible – the outside ring is worth one point and it increases by one point per ring until you reach the five-point bullseye.
TimberJacks, Flexspace Unit H, Burley Hill Trading Estate, Burley Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2PU.
You’ll find the city’s newest independent art gallery in Kirkgate Market. Cole’s Gallery is the work of North Yorkshire artist Joss Cole. You’ll find an impressive collection of paintings and prints inside, but depending on the artists he’s working with, they could have anything from ceramics to woodwork. You can see Cole’s own work on display, alongside pieces by an ever-changing line-up of British creators, like Helen Field, Jonathan Hooper and Martin Jackson. Like what you see? Buy it to take home.
Cole’s Gallery, Unit 16, Kirkgate Market, 34 George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.
If you love old school video games, Arcade Club is your new playground. The popular Bury venue has come across the Pennines to open a paradise of vintage arcade machines and games consoles. You have to pay a one-off fee of £16 for adults and £8 for kids, then you can stay and play for as long as you like. From their original 1972 Pong machine to 80s classics like Space Invaders and rare games imported from Japan, this is a gaming treasure trove.
Arcade Club, Unit 3, Abbey Retail Park, Savins Mill Way, Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3RP.
Tobacco Rd is the newest addition to the Northern Quarter. It’s a cool, rustic venue with exposed brickwork, finished steel and real wood. Here, you can sup one of their creative cocktails or try a rare craft beer as DJs spin classic rock and indie anthems until the early hours. During the day, you can grab a bite to eat, as Alley Cats have taken over their pop-up kitchen with an indulgent menu of grilled cheese sandwiches, sliders and mac ’n’ cheese.
Tobacco Rd, 5 Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
The Headingley Greengrocer
The Headingley Greengrocer is evidence of the good that happens when the local community comes together. R.K. Harris had been open since 1972, but when they retired last year, The Headingley Development Trust took the business over. It’s been given a stylish makeover and they now source the best local fruit and vegetables they can find. This is a minimum plastic shop, so bring your own bags and containers to get your shopping home.
The Headingley Greengrocer, 50 North Lane, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3HU.
Vital Punk is a new vegan cafe in the heart of Hyde Park. It’s more takeaway than restaurant, although there are a few tables in their wooden-panelled veatery. Their ethos is ‘vegan fast food without the junk’, and their menu is largely made up of burgers and pizza. Try The Peng Burger, which layers a jackfruit and plantain patty up with tomato, plantain chips, chilli guac and tamarind jerk sauce. Fancy pizza? Go for the Hoisin ‘Duck’, which is topped with pulled jackfruit, pickled cucumber, spring onion and coriander.
Vital Punk, 82 Brudenell Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1EG.
Stuzzi & Porco Rosso
Stuzzi is a seriously impressive Italian restaurant that’s come over from Harrogate. They’ve taken a spot in Grand Arcade, so expect vast arched windows, paired back walls and a real focus on the food. They serve an ever-changing menu of ‘stuzzicini’ small plates, inspired by their trips to the trattorias, pizzerias and bacari of Italy. They make their own pasta fresh each day and serve it alongside dishes like Venison and Salami Meatballs in spicy San Marzano tomato sauce. Upstairs, their bar, Porco Rosso, serves Italian craft beer, hand-picked wines and signature cocktails.
Stuzzi & Porco Rosso, 7 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.
Kuala Lumpur Cafe
Kuala Lumpur Cafe is the city’s first 100% Malaysian eatery. It’s a laid-back, cafe-style restaurant in Headingley where you can tuck a menu of Malaysian food, influenced by Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines. Nasi Lemak is their speciality and Malaysia’s national dish – expect a bowl of coconut rice with chilli sauce, peanuts, anchovies, boiled eggs and cucumber. That sits alongside a whole host of curries, from Rendang to Masak Cicap.
Kuala Lumpur Cafe, 2-4 Bennett Rd, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3HN.
The Brew Society
The old White Cloth Gallery has been transformed into The Brew Society. It’s an intimate cafe by day and a cool bar by night. Enjoy North Star coffee, freshly baked pastries and handmade sandwiches in the morning, before the afterwork crowds pile in for drinks. They have 13 rotating cask and keg lines dedicated to local breweries, as well as a permanent German lager. Want wine? They have a hand-picked list of wino that’s been put together with the help of Harrogate specialists Ake & Humphris.
The Brew Society, 26 Aire Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4HT.
Ego, the popular Mediterranean restaurant, has finally opened in Leeds. They’ve taken over The Wellington in Shadwell and given it a complete makeover to match their classic rustic-chic. You can start with Breaded Camembert, Grilled Goat’s Cheese or Calamari Fritti before you enjoy one of their mains. There’s pizza, pasta and salads alongside standout dishes like Iberian Belly Pork with chorizo, black pudding, pommes purée and red wine jus. Wash it down with cask ale, wine or classic cocktails.
Ego at The Wellington, Wetherby Road, Shadwell, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 8LZ.Cover image credit: Georgina Harrison