Feel like we’re always telling you about new openings? That’s because we are – there have been 47 of ’em so far this year.
There’s always somewhere new to try in Leeds. In fact, there have been so many openings over the last six months or so, that you might well have missed a few. But fear not, because we’ve rounded up 47 of our favourites, with everything from bars and restaurants to shops and galleries for you to explore.
1. Ten Bar
Ten Bar is a cool new cocktail bar on Duncan Street. It takes its name from its address, you’ll find it at number 10, but that’s not the only link – you can choose from 10 vodkas, 10 gins, 10 rums and 10 cocktails, enough to give you options, but not enough to overwhelm. If that’s not your bag, they’ve also got beer, cider, wine and champagne that you can enjoy across two floors, both of which are decked out in chic industrial decor.
Ten Bar, 10 Duncan Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DL.
2. Ham & Friends
Ham & Friends is a venture from a Leeds institution – and it’s got just about everything you could want. First up is the food hall – they have more than 200 wines, a walk-in cheese fridge from George and Joseph and homeware from local makers. There’s also a wine bar where you can enjoy some of the best bottles from around the world, and a kitchen, featuring an ever-changing menu of inventive dishes. Think Pig’s Cheek Blanquette, Butter Beans, Jerusalem Artichokes and Pickled Shitakes.
Ham & Friends, Grand Arcade, Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
3. Cafe Sylva
Set amongst the trees, this eye-catching timber frame houses a cafe and bar that’s open from morning to night. Head into Cafe Sylva for breakfast, with everything from pastries to a full English, or nip by for sandwiches, platters and salads at lunch, followed by a latte from Limini Coffee. If you fancy something a little stronger, the bar’s got an array of lager, wine and cocktails, with a particular focus on gin – and you can enjoy it out on the terrace, in the sun.
Cafe Sylva, Louis House, Princes Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2FA.
4. Noiseisforheroes Records
After 15 years of selling records and memorabilia at record fairs around the country, Chris Coulthard finally bit the bullet in 2017, opening his own permanent shop in Leeds. Noiseisforheroes is the result and it’s got just about everything you could want, whether it’s classic pop, rock and indie or hip-hop, dance and soundtracks. He’s also got a selection of second hand record players if you want to kick start your collection.
Noiseisforheroes Records, 75a Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
5. Chida Cantina
Chida Cantina has taken the place of old favourite Sandinista. It’s a Mexican-inspired cocktail bar that’s already made a name for itself, thanks to a stellar combination of margaritas and tacos. Choose from three types of margarita, including one that’s frozen, and couple them with authentic tacos, filled with the likes of pork belly, caramelised pineapple and xi ni pek (Mayan salsa). Oh, and don’t miss their agave spirits, they’ve got a truly impressive selection of mezcal and tequila.
Chida Cantina, 5 Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Refresca is a labour of love for founder Mark Frankland. He wanted to recreate the continental coffee experience he’s so often enjoyed on his travels, and so he opened a cafe that brings together quality coffee, premium service and ethical produce. He’s teamed up with Baildon coffee supplier Casa Espresso to serve up a fantastic brew using beans they roast in house. The food is worth shouting about too, whether it’s Smashed Avocado on Toast for breakfast, one of their ciabatta sandwiches for lunch or a sweet treat from The Baking Biker to go with your cuppa, Refresca has the lot covered.
Refresca, 1 Tredgold Avenue, Bramhope, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 9BS.
7. Victoria Gate Casino
2017 saw Leeds welcome the biggest casino in the North and the third biggest in the UK as Victoria Gate Casino flung open its doors. At a humongous 50,000 square foot, it’s got everything you need for a great night out – think 140 slot machines, 75 electronic gaming terminals and 24 gaming tables, as well as a poker room that can hold up to 100 people.
Victoria Gate Casino, Victoria Gate, Eastgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7JL.
8. The Soap Factory
The Soap Factory has opened in the ground floor of the new Novotel at Whitehall Quay. It takes its name from its predecessor, Soapy Joe’s Soap Works, which stood on the site from 1861 to 1987 (although by then it had become Elida Gibbs). The venue is a minimalist affair with concrete walls, leather couches and huge glass panels. Choose from wine, beer and cocktails before tucking into a menu of American classics, like Pulled Ham Bonbons, Soapy Joe Burger and Pickin’ Lickin’ Chicken Wings.
The Soap Factory, 4 Whitehall, Whitehall Quay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4HR.
9. George’s Great British Kitchen
The Light’s latest addition is George’s Great British Kitchen in Leeds. It’s been decked out in seaside chic, so take a pew in their Yorkshire themed beach huts and prepare for an almighty feed. They’re renowned for their gourmet fish and chips, but that’s not all you can look forward to. The menu features everything from George’s Runny Yolk Scotch Egg to Wild Ocean Hake in Onion Bhaji Batter and Slow Cooked Caramelised Pulled Lamb.
George’s Great British Kitchen, 52 The Headrow, The Light, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8EQ.
10. The Domino Club
There’s a hidden jazz club in Grand Arcade and it’s called The Domino Club. Look for Lords Barbering – there’s a staircase in the back that will lead you down to the bar. Decked out in parquet flooring, wood panelling and leather booths, it’s a cool find you’ll want to come back to. They have 24 different cocktails for you to choose from, as well as a host of premium spirits – ask for their cost-price whisky to try something new for less. And the music? They have their own in-house band playing everything from jazz to blues, funk and soul.
The Domino Club, Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
11. The Place
The Place is a cool little bar, kitted out in industrial style. They’ve got an extensive wine list for you to work your way through, with tipples from all over the world, as well as a slew of beers and spirits. Hungry? They serve a simple food menu, full of easy dishes to fill a hole, think Classic Sausage and Mash, Fish Finger Butty and Chilli Con Carne.
The Place, 6 Wellington Place, Whitehall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4AP.
12. The Cave
New shop, The Cave, specialises in one-off homeware and furniture. They hand-pick cool, quirky items to help you brighten up your home or office. Head into their store to browse an eclectic mix of stuff, with vintage Chesterfields, retro storage boxes and arty sculptures, alongside all manner of ornaments, trinkets and luggage. There’s plenty to rummage through, so take your time.
The Cave, 122 Long Row, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 5AA.
13. Marco’s New York Italian
The Merrion Centre has been through some changes in recent years and one of the big new additions is Marco’s New York Italian. With a menu from celebrity chef, Marco Pierre White, it brings together the best American-Italian cuisine – tuck into the likes of Baked New York Italian Meatballs, Penne Arrabiata and Hickory Smoked Baby Back Ribs.
Marco’s New York Italian, The Merrion Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NJ.
Great George Street is now home to a Scandinavian-inspired cafe. Fettle is a bright, airy cafe with trendy light fittings and long wooden benches. Head in before 11:30am to take advantage of their breakfast menu – the Full English is an instant winner, but we’ve been persuaded by the Smashed Avocado on Sourdough too. Come lunchtime, they switch over to a menu of tasty treats, like Saffron Cream Pasta and Rainbow Beetroot and Avocado Salad. Oh, and let’s not forget the cakes from Tarte and Berry.
Fettle, 73 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
15. Taco Bell
It’s finally here. American fast food giant Taco Bell has opened in St Johns Centre and it’s going to be a popular little spot. They specialise in quick and easy Mexican food. Tuck into tacos stuffed with seasoned beef, slow cooked pork or spicy chicken, before topping it off with the likes of pico de gallo, Mexican rice and guacamole. Want more? From the fajita burrito to the churros with chocolate dipping sauce, Taco Bell is your one-stop Mexican fast food favourite.
Taco Bell, St Johns Centre, Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8LQ.
Sisters Cassie and Alex Rogerson have opened a new pizza bar at Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley. Grumpy’s has earned rave reviews and it’s easy to see why. They serve up great coffee or if you’re after something a little stronger, they’ve got a great line-up of craft beer, wine and spirits. The cherry on top, however, is the food menu, which offers up an array of delectable 10″ Roma style pizzas as well as cheeseboards, bar snacks and desserts.
Grumpy’s, 2 Sunny Bank Mills, Paradise Street, Farsley, West Yorkshire, LS28 5UJ.
17. Sugar Cane’s Rum Hut
Sugar Cane’s Rum Hut is a Caribbean influenced rum bar that’s taken over the empty unit between Belgrave and Chida Cantina. The venue will transport you across the Atlantic with its mix of whitewashed wood and corrugated steel, but it’s the drinks menu that will have you pining for warmer climes. There are over 40 different rums to try, from Havana Club 3 to Abelha Silver, but if you want to mix it up a little, you can delve into their menu of 13 cocktails.
Sugar Cane’s Rum Hut, Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Ian Hargreaves has transformed the old Pickled Pepper in Holbeck into a new lunchtime hotspot for the local business community. He’s working with the likes of Maude Coffee, Leeds Bread Co-op, Swillington Organic Farm and Love Rouge to give you a right good feed. Choose from a selection of sandwiches, salads and hot dishes at lunch, or grab a cake to get you through the afternoon slump.
Taste, 3 Butcher Street, Saw Mill Yard, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WH.
19. Live Bar
The city’s newest (and arguably best) sports bar is Live Bar – and you’ll find it in Victoria Gate Casino. There are 12 HD screens above the statement circular bar, so you’ll never miss another goal – and that’s not even the best bit. Their main screen is 32ft wide, and because it’s made up of 21 55-inch screens, you can watch multiple games simultaneously. They’ve got all channels, with Sky, ESPN, BT Sports and At The Races, so whatever you’re into, you can watch it 24/7.
Live Bar, Victoria Gate Casino, Victoria Gate, Eastgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7JL.
20. Bluebird Bakery
Bluebird Bakery added Leeds to its list of Yorkshire venues in 2017 with a new unit in Leeds Kirkgate Market. They pride themselves on making ‘real’ bread, using long-fermentation methods and local ingredients to impressive effect. They’ve got everything from sourdough to rye, wholemeal and white, with bloomers, baguettes and granary loaves on the shelves too. Hell, they even serve up cakes if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
Bluebird Bakery, Kirkgate Market, George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.
21. Bengal Brasserie
On the back of hugely successful venues in Burley, York and Harrogate, Bengal Brasserie has now taken up residence in the city centre. It’s another addition to Merrion Centre, with its 120 cover restaurant feeding the city’s curry-loving masses. Delve into their selection of Indian and Bengali dishes, including everything from Lamb Sylheti to Naga Chilli Chicken, Multani Chicken and Murg Mohoni.
Bengal Brasserie, 11 Merrion Way, Merrion Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8BT.
22. Be at One
Leeds now has a second Be at One with a new bar on Boar Lane following on from Millennium Square. The menu is absolutely huge, so you’ll never have to have the same cocktail twice. Choose from 150 different concoctions, with classics like the Singapore Sling alongside new creations like the Tang Dynasty and the You So Sake. It’s cocktail heaven.
Be at One, 19 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6EA.
Manahatta now has a second venue on Greek Street. Taking its inspiration from the Big Apple, it’s got an extravagant feel, with sweeping booths, neon lights and a statement bar. Throw in an incredibly tempting cocktail menu, with the likes of New York Elixir, and a food menu featuring everything from Miso Marinated Cod to the Broadway Burger, and you’ve got an instant winner.
Manahatta, Minerva House, 29 East Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5PS.
24. Howl Bar
Vicar Lane’s newest bar is Howl, an alternative drinking den that plays the best of punk, rock and goth music while you’re sipping your drinks. They have a slew of top beers on the bar, including Brooklyn Lager, and rather fittingly, Iron Maiden’s Trooper ale. This is a no frills venue where you can get a decent drink and enjoy decent tunes.
Howl Bar, 112 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
25. Stage Espresso & Brewbar
Stage Espresso and Brewbar is the brainchild of two coffee-obsessed brothers, Martyn and Matt Jakeman, who’ve brought single origin coffee to Leeds. It’s a small but welcoming little cafe that forgoes blends in favour of beans from individual or a small group of farms. You can taste the difference in their latte or the split shot, which is a single shot espresso paired with a single shot cortado. Topped off with a range of handmade sandwiches and Tarte and Berry cakes, this is one for the coffee lovers.
Stage Espresso & Brewbar, 41 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BB.
26. Water Lane Boathouse
Water Lane Boathouse has taken the place of the old Pour House venue. It’s now owned by the people behind Headrow House and Belgrave Music Hall, so don’t be surprised if it feels familiar. They’ve stripped it back to the original brickwork, coupling it with a minimalist decor and a bar full of craft beer. Small Victories have taken over the kitchen, and they’ll be dishing out delectable pizzas, sarnies and salads.
Water Lane Boathouse, Canal Wharf, Water Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5PS.
27. Shedload of Vinyl
Shedload of Vinyl isn’t your standard record store. It’s actually tucked away in the back garden of owner Mick Carter – he’s transformed his shed into a mini vinyl emporium. It’s only open Saturdays, so you have a small window to go and delve through the racks of vintage LPs. There’s everything from rock to hip-hop, soul and punk tunes here – you could spend hours trawling through them.
Shedload of Vinyl, 5 Wells Road, Guiseley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS20 9AE.
28. Hyper Reality Experience
The team behind Tick Tock Unlock has launched the first ever virtual-reality-powered game experience. Hyper Reality Experience can be found in Trinity Leeds and it promises 15 minutes of mind-blowing fun. Using virtual reality, you’ll be transported to a different world, but it’s not just the headsets that create the world – they have actors and props in the room with you, as you set out on an adventure with your team.
Hyper Reality Experience, Trinity Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5ER.
One of three venues in Victoria Gate Casino, Curve is the city’s newest champagne bar and it’s a cracker. They’ve got 150 premium spirits and champagnes behind the bar, so take a seat on their 36 foot S shaped sofa and enjoy the view. Be sure to look up while you’re here, because the ceiling creates an optical illusion, making you feel like it’s moving.
Curve, Victoria Gate Casino, Victoria Gate, Eastgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7JL.
Weetwood Hall has a brand new restaurant. Convive is a high end Mediterranean restaurant from Martin Pickles, the former owner of the original the Flying Pizza. The bright, airy restaurant offers up Sea Bass Gremolata, Iberico Pluma and Confit Duck Legs, alongside a menu of pizzas, pastas and risottos. Why not wash them down with something from their impressive wine list?
Convive, Weetwood Hall, Otley Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5PS.
Hessian is a smart, minimalist cafe in Oakwood. The menu of contemporary British food is worth tucking into. Try their cheese board, it’s packed with halloumi, mozzarella, mac & cheese and melted goat’s cheese. You can stop by for drinks in the evening, with wine, spirits and cocktails to choose from, just be aware that you need to order food too, even if it’s just a small plate.
Hessian, 466 Roundhay Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HU.
Parapark is one of the original escape games – and it’s arrived in Leeds. They’ve brought one of their most popular games to the city. 9th Gateway will see you team up with your mates to see if you can escape the room, solving a series of interactive clues and puzzles along the way. You’ve got 60 minutes to get out – can you pull it off?
Parapark, 110 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
33. Pizza Fella
From street food truck to a permanent venue, Pizza Fella has made itself right at home on Vicar Lane. They’ve got a simple venue, decked out in old wooden tables and cork-board walls that will welcome you in. Browse the menu of eight Neapolitan pizzas, taking you from the classic Margherita to a tasty mix of ‘nduja sausage, caramelised onions and cacaocavallo cheese.
Pizza Fella, 114-116 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
34. Cantinho do Aziz
Name one thing Lisbon and Leeds have in common – Cantinho do Aziz. Earlier this year, they opened their second restaurant, and it’s a fair distance from their first in the Portuguese capital. You see, they’ve set up shop in Beeston, where they serve up a slew of Mozambican inspired dishes, from Moqueca to Frango a Cafrael and Yuca Miamba, you’re in for a treat here.
Cantinho do Aziz, 350 Dewsbury Road, Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 7BU.
It’s the club Leeds has been pining for – Popworld has finally opened in Leeds. They’ve transformed the old Baa Bar venue on Millennium Square into a 90s loving treasure trove. It’s all about indulging your guilty pleasures here, so get ready to boogie on down to classics from Spice Girls, S Club 7 and 5ive, while drinking cheap and cheerful cocktails until the early hours. It’ll be like the past decade never happened.
Popworld, 43-51 Cookridge Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AW.
Cantina is the latest addition to The Old Red Bus Station – and it’s the city’s first 100% vegan cafe. Run by Billy Collins, the brains behind popular street food concept Honest Edibles, it offers up a menu of totally vegan eats made with ethically-sourced, local produce. Tuck into a surprisingly diverse menu, with small plates like Quinoa Falafel Bites, Chorizo Albondigas and Black Bean or Creamy Daal.
Cantina, The Old Red Bus Station, 104 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
With views across the gaming floor of Victoria Gate Casino, V is a restaurant with a difference. Stop by for a bite to eat before you place your bets or come for the food alone – they serve a menu of British classics and Asian fusion dishes that will make it worth your while. Whether you’re tucking into Szechuan Spicy Beef or Steak and Ale Pie, it’s all made with Yorkshire sourced produce.
V, Victoria Gate Casino, Victoria Gate, Eastgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7JL.
Chop’d has opened in Central Square and it’s their second opening outside of London. The focus here is on food that’s tasty but good for you. There’s a range of freshly prepared salad boxes and hot dishes, but you can also build your own salad or pasta dish, choosing from their fresh bar filled with meat, cheese, veggies, toppings and sauces. And if that’s not enough to tempt you, they also offer an array of stews, sarnies, protein packs and breakfast items.
Chop’d, Central Square, Whitehall Road East, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4HG.
39. Dakota Deluxe Hotel
Down came the old stacker car park and in its place stands a swanky new hotel from Dakota. It has 90 luxurious rooms spread across 10 floors, and it’s just a stone’s throw from the train station, so you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s going to be popular. The new hotel also has its own grill restaurant and bar on the ground floor, if you fancy having a nosey without staying the night.
Dakota Deluxe Hotel, 8 Russell Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RN.
40. Edo Sushi
Sheffield favourites Edo Sushi have brought their authentic Japanese cuisine to Candlebar. They’re famed for serving up premium sushi, specially sourced and hand-prepared by their chefs. Tuck into the likes of Scallop Nigiri, Dynamite Rolls and their signature Godzilla Rolls (prawn tempura, grilled eel, flying fish caviar, spring onions & two different sauces). Not up for sushi? They have a menu of Japanese street food, including Pork Gyoza, Chicken Katsu and Marinated Aubergine.
Edo Sushi, Candlebar, Candle House, Granary Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4GJ.
Tattu has finally opened in Minerva House and it absolutely oozes cool. It blends new and old, in a dark, but atmospheric setting. The menu is incredibly diverse. Want dim sum? You got it. Fancy trying a few small plates? No problem. Ready to try a classic Chinese dish, with a twist? That’s their speciality. Think Teriyaki Pork Ribeye, Caramel Soy Beef Fillet and Salt and Pepper Lobster.
Tattu, Minerva House, 29 East Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5PS.
Limeyard has made its way to Leeds, opening up a new restaurant in White Rose Shopping Centre. It’s their first outside London, and their all-day Californian kitchen will give you a taste of the laid back West Coast lifestyle in Leeds. The menu is jam-packed with tempting dishes like Buttermilk Chicken, Coca-Cola Glazed Ribs and Grilled Swordfish. You can also head over for breakfast before you go shopping, or for drinks after.
Limeyard, White Rose Shopping Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 8LU.
Issho is a brand new concept from D&D London. They’ve taken over the rooftop venue at Victoria Gate and turned it into a cool, modern restaurant that takes inspiration from Asia. Led by Executive Head Chef Ben Orpwood, it promises everything from Sushi to Duck Breast with Pickled Nashi Pear and Spring Onion Sauce, fusing together Japanese flavours in new ways. It has an open kitchen, its own Kori bar and a 700 square foot roof terrace, making Issho a very welcome addition to Leeds.
Issho, 3rd Floor Rooftop, Victoria Gate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
44. Kaspa’s Gelato and Dessert House
Got a sweet tooth? Make a beeline for Kaspa’s. It’s a national brand, and one that’s earned the adoration of dessert lovers across the country. They do everything from sundaes, milkshakes and smoothies to crepes, waffles and cakes. Whether you’re celebrating or just want a delicious challenge, try the Birthday Extravaganza – a giant platter that comes with 15 scoops of ice cream on a bed of waffles with whipped cream, syrup, sprinkles and wafers.
Kaspa’s Gelato and Dessert House, The Core, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6JB.
45. Hemingway’s Bar and Kitchen
The old Sandbar has been transformed into a Cuban bar and cantina, named after one time Cuba resident and literary genius Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway’s will give you a little taste of Cuba in Leeds – the menu centres around street food and grills, but trust us when we say that you’re going to want to try their cocktails. Throw in live music, and you’ve got Horsforth’s new go-to bar.
Hemingway’s Bar and Kitchen, 15 Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 5LJ.
46. The Lock
The City Cafe is no more and in its place stands The Lock. It’s had a complete makeover, and now boasts an industrial-style decor. The food menu is packed full of classics, from Sea Bass Fillets to 8oz Hanger Steaks, Grass-fed Beef Burgers and Salmon and Cod Fishcakes. They’ve got loads of craft beers too, with wine and cocktails to boot.
The Lock, DoubleTree by Hilton, Granary Wharf, 2 Wharf Approach, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BR.
47. Colby’s Coffee
Right behind Leeds Town Hall is a new cafe called Colby’s Coffee. It’s a pretty straightforward affair, with plenty of seating and free wifi. You can get everything from espressos to a affogatos if you need a caffeine boost, with a range of regular, fruit and herbal teas on offer too. Hungry? They do sandwiches, paninis and platters with a hot special that changes everyday.
Colby’s Coffee, 40 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3LA.