There have been loads of new openings in 2021, so many, in fact, that you might have missed a few…
2021 has been a year of ups and downs, but many of the positives in Leeds have come from the sheer wealth of new openings across the city. There are more great new places to shop, eat, drink and do than ever, from craft beer bars to axe throwing venues, vintage shops to cool karaoke lounges. But that’s just the start so, without further ado, let us introduce you to the new openings you need to check out.
Nam Song Caphe
You can’t miss the bright orange decor, you won’t want to leave the bustling atmosphere and you sure as heck haven’t lived yet until you’ve tried Nam Song’s amazing Vietnamese eats. Split over two floors with cushioned floor seating and a truly eclectic decor, this new addition to Merrion Street packs a punch on the eyes and the palate. Snaffle their Vietnamese fry-up to start the day, chow on a fragrant banh mi at lunch and plow into pho for tea. Yum.
Nam Song Caphe, 57-59 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JD.
House of Fu
Got the ramen urge? House of Fu’s arrival on The Headrow will make all your dreams come true. It’s a smart, laid-back dining room, covered with artwork and neon signs, the perfect place to get your slurp on. The Original Fu is their classic, but if you want to see them in their pomp, the Yuzu Chicken is a palate-pleasing must. Don’t want ramen? Try their rice bowls, super bowls and gyozas. Throw in cocktails, karaoke and a hidden music lounge and you need go nowhere else.
House of Fu, 15-19 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU.
Flight Club has done the impossible and brought darts into the future. Their concept is ‘social darts’ – you don’t have to be Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor to be victorious because their foolproof games, trio of oche lengths and electronic scoring make it accessible to everyone. But it’s about more than great arrows – it’s a swish bar with a slightly dystopian, circus-themed decor. They have decent beers and classic cocktails to pair with sharing platters and pizza.
Flight Club, Sovereign House, 1-2 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5QL.
The Old Woollen
One of the coolest live music and arts venues in Leeds, The Old Woollen is the new sister venue from the folks behind The Constitutional and Trouble at the Mill. It’s taken over part of the historic Sunny Bank Mills and transformed it into a 600-capacity events space with a truly diverse programme. You can look forward to poetry nights, comedy clubs and touring theatre groups, alongside a rich live music offering, which has already included the likes of The Futureheads.
The Old Woollen, Sunnybank Mills, 10 Town Street, Farsley, West Yorkshire, LS28 5UJ.
The Crown Hotel
The Crown Hotel was once the jewel of Boston Spa, but it took nine years for it to reopen, now under the faithful stewardship of the team behind The Beck & Call. They’ve given this old gem a sympathetic makeover, retaining all its old-world character interspersed with stylish modern touches, from the artwork to the sleek furniture. Food-wise, it’s pub grub done well, from burgers to fish and chips, and it’ll all go down smoothly with local beers, cocktails and wine.
The Crown Hotel, 128 High Street, Boston Spa, Wetherby, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS23 8BW.
Saint Jude might be the patron saint of lost causes, but there’s no desperation to this new bar and kitchen in the former home of Farsley Physiotherapy. A sister venue to the much-loved Grumpy’s next door, this is an all-day affair. Kickstart your day with one of their brunch bagels – their French toast twist is a revelation – go for a lunch version, burgers or loaded fries through the rest of the day. Cocktails, coffee, beer, juices – hunger and thirst, sated and quenched.
Saint Jude, 69 Town Street, Sunnybank Mills, Farsley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 5HX.
After years serving quality coffee at events and festivals, Presto Coffee have put down roots in Headingley. They’ve created a cosy caffeine-quaffing spot right in the centre serving up cup after cup of ethically-sourced Italian coffee and fresh loose leaf teas. But it’s not all about the supping, you can get a decent feed here too. From breakfast sandwiches to lunchtime pasta salads, smooth Italian gelato to homemade sweet treats, there’s a little something for everyone.
Presto Coffee, 39 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3AB.
From the people who brought us Fika North, Bottle Chop is one of the coolest new openings in Leeds in 2021. It deals in multitudes – it’s a natural wine cellar, beer shop, micro deli and bar, all rolled into one. They take huge pride in sourcing quality goods, whether that’s from local breweries, up-and-coming vineyards or artisan producers. You can pop in to enjoy their wares right there or get it to take away – their refill bottles for wine and beer are a must.
Bottle Chop, 14 Weetwood Lane, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5LX.
It’s not often a new independent bookshop opens, so Truman Books is to be savoured. This Farsley gem shows how these oases of literary adventures can thrive in the 21st century – take your time to explore the shelves, racked up with all the big fiction and non-fiction reads, but also keep an eye out for the works of lesser-known authors and publishers – this is what they do best. They even have a cafe where you can break into your latest read.
Truman Books, 95 Town Street, Farsley, West Yorkshire, LS28 5HX.
A former gym is now the coolest little eatery in Bramley. L’Eclair Patisserie is a French-inspired bakery, but with an eco-edge – they’ve used recycled pallets and crates to create the cafe’s furniture. But more important than its look is what it offers. Award-winning pastry chefs create delicious desserts, cakes, tarts and afternoon tea patisserie, alongside a host of artisan buns and breads – think loaves of roggenbauer and walnusswecken.
L’Eclair Patisserie, Unit 3/4, Swinnow Grange Mills, Stanningley Road, Bramley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS13 3HZ.
Poppy’s Potting Shed
Having started out in a small Armley shop, Poppy’s Potting Shed needed to get bigger, so they’ve moved to a 1,000-square foot unit off Kirkstall Road. You can pick up all kinds of eye-catching plants, from the silver-striped prayer to oodles of trailing greenery. Don’t know where to start? Check out their menu board to see what they have in. And that’s not all – they’re going to host a series of events and workshops to help you get the most out of your plants.
Poppy’s Potting Shed, Burley Place, Burley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2AR.
Do you yearn for Football Italia Sundays? Can you recall Baggio’s finest goals? Do you dream of Weah’s slaloming runs? Well, Golaccio is the new sports bar for you. It brings the golden age of 90s calcio fever into the 21st century. Images of greats like Maldini, Costacurta and Vialli adorn the walls next to vintage football shirts. HD screens show old games when live ones aren’t on, the bar is chock full of craft beer and you can play games like pool, darts and vintage consoles.
Golaccio, 65 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BB.
The Pink Room
Leeds Corn Exchange is now home to The Pink Room and it’s unique. It’s been designed as more than just a shop – it’s a safe space for women, led by Ella Norman and her team of female-focussed holistic practitioners. It’s an empowering space for women to meet, chill and shop. They stock everything from beauty products to literature, alternative medicines to gift boxes, all from indie female makers. They also have a wellbeing studio for alternative holistic therapies.
The Pink Room, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
Louisa Halliwell is the brains behind Cafe Yoga, a little dose of peaceful sanctuary in the heart of Horsforth. This boutique yoga studio offers a host of classes for whatever stage of your yoga journey you’re at. From beginners to vinyasa, sport stretch to parent and baby, there’s something for everyone. But it’s not just classes – they also have a cafe where you can relax with a cuppa before or after your session and they also run craft workshops through the year.
Cafe Yoga, 2 Back Lane, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4RF.
Tapas and Tunes
Small plates and live music are the name of the game at this new Otley opening. Tapas and Tunes is a bar and restaurant inspired by fine Spanish fare. You can devour pintxos like boquerones with a pint of Estrella, before tucking into a menu of tapas classics, from tortilla espanola to calamares fritos. They also do special brunch and lunch menus, but it’s not all about the food. They have an events space upstairs for open mic nights, film screenings and salsa classes.
Tapas and Tunes, 50 Kirkgate, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3HJ.
There’s a new day space centre in the heart of Leeds city centre. You’ll find Dragonfly Skin in Central Arcade and it’s the realisation of a dream for beauty therapist Kristine Kosareva. She’s put together a menu of luxury treatments that include everything from a facial to a Swedish massage, flotation therapy and 10-hour body sculpting sessions. In all her treatments, she uses a series of cruelty-free, sustainably sourced and 100% natural products from Eve Taylor.
Dragonfly Skin, Central Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DX.
Hello Music Lounge
House of Fu is hiding a little secret. Next to its main entrance is another, unassuming doorway with a buzzer – hit it and you’ll be let up the staircase which leads you to Hello Music Lounge, one of the coolest new bars in Leeds. There are karaoke booths on one floor and, above, you’ll enter a little cocktail den – a hidey-hole of boozy joy, with original cocktails, twists on classics, local craft beer and a stellar soundtrack of old school jazz, hip-hop, funk and soul.
Hello Music Lounge, 15-19 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU.
The Little Waxing Company
The Little Waxing Company does one thing only and it does it better than the rest – intimate waxing. It’s for this reason it’s a unique addition to the health and beauty offering in Leeds. The Brazilian is their forte, but they also offer underarm, G-string and Hollywood treatments. Founded in Wakefield but now expanding into Chapel Allerton, you can look forward to expert treatments from skilled professionals in a welcoming environment.
The Little Waxing Company, 192a Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4NZ.
If you visited BrewDog’s North Street bar in early 2021, you may well have devoured one of the delicious kebabs coming out of their kitchen – they were Sqew kebabs and they’ve just opened their first permanent home in the former Veeno wine bar on Duncan Street in Leeds city centre. Get ready to stuff your face with heaving pitas stuffed with everything from chicken shawarma to fresh falafel, or loaded fries covered in salad and lamb shawarma.
Sqew, 7 Duncan Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DQ.
The former Rudy’s Bar didn’t stay closed for long. It’s been taken over by a trio of local couples who worked day and night to give the old place a much-needed makeover. The result is bang on-trend – wooden panels, industrial lighting and mis-matched furniture. Pudsey’s newest watering hole will cater to all – they’ve got loads of local beers, oodles of Yorkshire spirits and an exciting menu of classic cocktails. What are you waiting for?
Hideout, 57 Lidget Hill, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28 7LJ.
Blue Collar Boys
If you love vintage clothing, you’re going to love Blue Collar Boys. They’ve set up shop in the former Farah menswear store in the Victoria Quarter and they’re going to help you refresh your wardrobe with pre-loved gear that’s added to almost daily. American sports jerseys, 90s sweaters and 70s jackets sit alongside old school tracksuits, retro denim and snazzy accessories – these are the finest throwback threads, perfect for the stylish folk of Leeds.
Blue Collar Boys, 20 King Edward Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AX.
The Little Monk
The folks behind Horsforth’s Woodside Micro Pub have added a second venue to their arsenal by opening The Little Monk in the former Pizza Express on Town Street. It’s a restaurant and bar that takes its cues from the finest Belgian and German food and beer. Share away with small plates like ham hock bon-bons and Yorkshire bratwurst or tuck into big plates like the fennel-crumbed schnitzel and Flemish waterzooi – paired with a fresh weissbier or kriek, you’re all set.
The Little Monk, 4-6 Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4RJ.
Boodles is a luxury British jeweller who’ve taken over a 4,500-square-foot unit in Victoria Leeds. They’re one of the leading retailers of fine diamond jewellery in the UK and their new townhouse-style shop is a truly luxurious space where you can browse their incredible collections of rings, earrings and necklaces. But it’s about more than all things that sparkle here – they have a dedicated lounge on the second floor which hosts private dinners and special events.
Boodles, Victoria Quarter, 112-114 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BG.
Kuala Lumpur Cafe
Headingley favourite Kuala Lumpur Cafe opened its second restaurant, this time in Horsforth. It’s a quaint, cafe-style eatery that will take you on a culinary adventure around Malaysia with their menu of fragrant, authentic dishes. You can tuck into rarely seen dishes like Masak Kicap (slow-simmered soy-marinated chicken), but you can never go wrong with the country’s staple dish, a heaving bowl of coconut rice topped with sambal, peanuts, anchovies and egg.
Kuala Lumpur Cafe, 8-10 Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4RJ.
North Brewing Co. has a new HQ. Springwell is a state-of-the-art, 21,000-square-foot brewery in Meanwood, complete with a massive taproom and huge outdoor area. It allows you to enjoy their quality brews mere meters from where they’re made – they have 24 keg and cask lines on at any one time, including favourites like Piñata and Sputnik, alongside creative collaborations and one-offs. Hungry? Little Bao Boy’s buns and Kerbside Kids’ burgers hit the spot.
Springwell, Buslingthorpe Lane, Meanwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 2DF.
Hush is an exclusive members-only bar that’s opened above Mook on Hirst’s Yard. Open on Friday and Saturday nights with capacity for just 70 people, it’s the hottest ticket in town. The bar is ready-made for a feeling of luxury, with plush furnishings, mood lighting and a no social media rule. To get in, sign up by visiting the venue and once you’re inside, all your needs will be taken care of, from table service for your own cocktail menu to bespoke playlists – lap it up.
Hush, Hirst’s Yard, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NJ.
One of the leading brands in vintage clothing, Chinese Laundry has set up shop in Leeds Corn Exchange. They’ve been dressing cool folk in Hull and York for years and now you can see what all the fuss is about. It stocks a vast array of retro threads sourced from Europe and the US, so you can get your fill of colourful jackets, baggy jumpers and old school sportswear, alongside gems from their own collections of upcycled and branded clothing.
Chinese Laundry, Leeds Corn Exchange, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
A fixture in the local crafters world for years, Bellwether Yarns have opened their first permanent home in Leeds Corn Exchange in 2021. It’s an independent hand-dyed yarn and fibre shop. They offer a variety of essential products for a host of crafts like knitting, crocheting, spinning or weaving, but it’s not just about what you can buy. They will also be putting on events with guest dyers and will welcome small producers to sell their own wares.
Bellwether Yarns, Leeds Corn Exchange, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
Number 8 Cocktail Bar
Forced to leave their Manchester home earlier in the year, the people behind Number 8 opted for a homecoming by crossing the Pennines and opening a cool new cocktail bar in the heart of Meanwood. They’ve given the old Hungry Bear a makeover, all industrial-chic style and comfy furniture, complete with an epic mural. Cocktails are what they do best, with a mix of classics and originals, and they’ll pair perfectly with a menu of vegan street eats.
Number 8 Cocktail Bar, 10-14 Stonegate Road, Meanwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4HY.
If you love Japanese culture, Miniso is your new one-stop-shop. This brilliant arrival at Trinity Leeds celebrates the Land of the Rising Sun in all its forms. You can get the latest toys, gadgets, fashion and stationary from Japan quicker than ever before, but they also do a series of lifestyle, homeware and beauty lines that you wouldn’t usually find in Leeds. Keep an eye out for the collaborations too – they have partnerships with brands like Disney, Marvel and We Bare Bears.
Miniso, Trinity Leeds, 18 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HX.
Burgamoré is a culinary culture clash that sees classic American burgers go for a fumble with authentic Italian street food. Found in Trinity Leeds, you can enjoy a few small plates, from panzerotti to arancini, try one of their 8-inch sourdough pizzas or devour classic ravioli, but it’s the burgers that steal the headlines. The Italian is a beef patty topped with radicchio, prosciutto, Gorgonzola, tomato salsa, basil leaves and green pesto – that’s Burgamoré!
Burgamoré, Trinity Leeds, 18 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AY.
Modern spectacle makers Cubitts have arrived in the Victoria Quarter and for the bespectacled folk of Leeds, it’s a game-changer. They only use the finest materials, from Japanese titanium to Italian acetate, to create frames that are designed to last – in fact, most of their frames end up being repaired rather than being replaced. They have even created a special collection inspired by Leeds, as well as serving Northern Monk beer and North Star coffee for customers.
Cubitts, 23 County Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BW.
La Bottega Milanese at Park House
Spacemade have taken the Pizza Express at Park House and transformed it into a modern co-working space, with its very own La Bottega Milanese cafe in the corner. Whether you’re working at one of their flexible hot desks or not, you can pop in and enjoy a well-earned coffee break. It’s the same incredible cuppas they’ve built their reputation on, made using 100% ethically-sourced, speciality-grade Arabica beans – perfect with a piscina or pastel de nata.
La Bottega Milanese, Park House, Park Square East, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2PW.
Jake’s Dog Treats
Who’s been a good boy or girl? Well, if the answer is your pooch, then a trip to Yeadon is in order. That’s where you’ll find Jake’s Dog Treats, a new independent doggy shop. This is a family-run business and they pride themselves on sourcing only the finest natural dog treats for all types of canines, even those with allergies or intolerances. From buffalo rolls to meat pizzas, lamb trotters to paddywack sticks, they’ve got you and your pal covered.
Jake’s Dog Treats, 34 Town Street, Yeadon, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS19 7EQ.
Sakku promises authentic Japanese fare at an all-you-can-eat pace. This vibrant restaurant, all bright indoor trees, mood lighting and plush booths, has a smart vibe, but it’s the food that does the majority of the talking here. It’s a large menu, full of Japanese classics – jump from chicken and seafood yakisoba to special fried rice, cured duck breast and beef tataki. And that’s not to mention the almost endless sushi list – gorge on uramaki, devour nigiri, what a delight.
Sakku, 5 St. Peters Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AQ.
The Assembly Garforth
After two years in the works, The Assembly’s second home has opened in Garforth. It’s a bar and bottle shop with an old-world, almost speakeasy feel to it – think Victorian trinkets and dark mahogany furnishings. They have put together a tastemakers’ choice of craft beer, wine and spirits, all of which you can drink in or get to take out. Don’t leave hungry, mind, their charcuterie boards, pies and brownies are the perfect bar snacks.
The Assembly, 67 Main Street, Garforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS25 1AF.
You can enter a world of Asian fusion flawlessness at Oba Kitchen. This new bar and restaurant in the Merrion Centre comes from the same folk behind Hang Sing Hong Asian supermarket. They’ve used their produce expertise to create a menu that brings together traditional Korean dishes like the kimchi tomato soup and bibimbap salads with sushi platters and Japanese classics. Wash it all down with soju or sake in an airy, colourful dining room.
Oba Kitchen & Bar, Unit 2, Wade Lane, Merrion Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.
Since opening in the Philippines in 1978, Jollibee has become one of the biggest fast-food outlets in the world. Now you can delve into their spectacular fried chicken, with its South Asian twist in tow, right here in Leeds. Their hallmark is the Crispy Chicken Burger, which comes piled up with lettuce, bacon, cheese and that unique slice of pineapple. Not your thing? Beef burgers, rice bowls and their famous sweet-style spaghetti give you more tasty options.
Jollibee, 92 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NP.
It was an end of an era when Sandinista shut its doors in 2016, but five years on, it’s reopened and with even more shenanigans to be had than before. It’s in the exact same venue, with vintage posters on the walls and that rebellious feel palpable – Sandinista 2.0 is like it has never been away. This late-night hideaway offers up cool craft beer and boozy cocktails that will force you onto the dance floor to boogie the night away to indie, rock, hip-hop and soul tunes.
Sandinista, 5 Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Get Baked are Leeds legends and they’re back after a few years’ break. You’ll find them in Headingley dishing up all manner of indulgent sweet treats that you know aren’t good for you, but you have to tuck in to regardless. From the Bailey’s Irish Creampie to the chunky brownies, doughy cookies and the 12-layer Bruce chocolate fudge cake, this is grub to sort hangovers, brighten up your day and put a smile on your face. Just don’t get them started on illegal sprinkles.
Get Baked, 3 Gateway House, 15 North Lane, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3HG.
If York Place
If has added its third coffee bar with the opening of their new York Place home. It’s just as cool as their Call Lane original, with tiled walls and comfy booths, but it’s not just the decor that’ll have you coming back for more, it’s the food and drink. North Star coffee and loose-leaf teas are the perfect accompaniment to brunch favourites like pancakes and waffles, which sit next to lunchtime toasties. You can even get buns, bread and brownies from their on-site bakery.
If York Place, 18 York Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2EX.
Humbl is North Leeds’ cafe on wheels. Their bright blue trailer can be found outside Headingley Station through the week and around Meanwood on weekends serving up caffeine-laced goodness. You can get a cup of their very own roasted coffee, Yorkshire tea or hot chocolate to go or to sit at one of their al fresco tables. If you get peckish, devour one of their savoury pastries and home-baked sweet treats such as doughnuts, brownies and biscuits.
Humbl Coffee, Headingley Station, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3LD.
Donut masters Doboy are dishing up the deliciousness at Cardigan Mills. They make them fresh in-house every day and keep things exciting by switching up the flavours so you always have something new to try, whether you’re visiting their Burley bakery or getting them delivered. Take the Lucky Charms – it’s a chunky ball donut, deep-fried, stuffed with sticky marshmallows and covered in vanilla fudge icing before it’s sprinkled with Lucky Charms cereal.
Doboy Donuts, Cardigan Mills, Lennox Road, Burley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2BL.
If you love Italian food, put Semolino high on your list to try if you haven’t already. They’ll take you on a gastronomic journey from North to South, whether you’re eating in or taking away. Start with their tasty antipasti combinations, before you choose from their mains. Classic pasta dishes like ravioli all’astice sit alongside meaty favourites like pollo alla romana and salmone semolino. On the go? Their pizza by the slice is a must, with daily-changing specials.
Semolino, 3 Newton Parade, Potternewton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4JA.
Looking to give your living quarters a new lease of life? Pay a visit to JYSK. It’s a Danish home furniture shop, not a world away from its Swedish counterpart IKEA. It’s the place to go to transform your home with stylish but affordable wares. From sofas to dining room furniture and everything in between, they’ve got all bases covered. They’re also sleeping specialists, so you can sleep easy with the quality of their mattresses, duvets and bedroom furniture.
JYSK, Unit 7 & 8, South Retail Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 2BB.
It’s one of the most popular indie coffee shops in Liverpool, and now you can get your fill of 92 Degrees’ spectacular beverages over by Queen Square. All exposed brickwork, industrial furniture and cosy sofas, it’s a cool space to kick back for an hour. Whether you’re a latte lover or an Americano aficionado, you can sate all your coffee urges, all made using beans from small-batch, hand-production methods. Hungry? Cakes, sarnies and pastries do the job.
92 Degrees, 100 Clay Pit Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8EU.
Leeds Refills is a zero waste shop nestled on Hyde Park Corner. It’s eco-friendly to its very core – it started out doing bicycle deliveries through lockdown while they got their shop kitted out. Now fully open, you can take your reusable containers down there and fill them up with a medley of weigh-and-pay delights. Rice, pasta, potatoes – oh yes. Soap, shampoo and toothpaste – you bet. You can even get recycled utensils and laundry products.
Leeds Refills, 5 The Crescent, Hyde Park Corner, Woodhouse, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2NW.
Better Days Wellbeing Coffee House
Vicky Fytche is a mental health coach who wanted to create a safe space in Leeds city centre for people to talk about and improve their mental and physical health. Enter Better Days. It’s a cosy, welcoming space where you can join in one of their classes, workshops or support groups. But that’s not all. It’s also a coffee shop where you can relax with a cuppa and a slice of cake or, later in the day, pop by for a few of their cocktails and craft beers.
Better Days Wellbeing Coffee House, Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
The bright yellow facade will immediately grab your attention, but it’s the food that will keep you coming back for more at Scoffs. It’s a cheap and cheerful meat-free cafe run by a vegan mum and her daughter. Their burning passion for plant-based food runs right through the menu – start the day with their Scoffalot full English and come back for a lunchtime sarnie, burger or one of their famous meat-free sausage rolls. Gluten-free? They have a dedicated menu for you.
Scoffs Feel Good Food, 86 New Road Side, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4LZ.
Having impressed at past Leeds Fashion Week events, Leeds-based Japanese fashion designer has opened his first permanent boutique in Thorntons Arcade. He takes inspiration for his designs from both his time growing up in Japan and his experiences travelling around Europe. His first collections feature garments for both men and women, and include modern takes on kimonos, stylish suit jackets and vibrant shirts in all manner of colours.
Masato Jones, 5 Thorntons Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.
Ethiopian Organic Coffee
Terefe Tadesse Teklemariam and Denenesh Gossaye Rufa are the husband and wife team behind this charming, rustic cafe on the edge of the city centre. They’ve brought the organic coffee of their home country direct to Leeds. It’s got a laid-back feel, with wood panelling and floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can take five with one of their fine brews in peace. The medium-roasted Ethiopian Limu is their speciality blend, but they also do one-off roasts too.
Ethiopian Organic Coffee, 1 Cypress Point, Leylands Road, Sheepscar, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7LB.
Big Buns Burgers
The brothers behind The Falafel Guys haven’t been happy to just keep dishing out Arabic wraps – they’ve mastered the art of the burger too. Big Buns is now the resident in The Brewery Tap’s kitchen and they’re pushing boundaries. You can expect game-changing combinations like the Take The Volcano – this is a massive stack of two 28-day aged beef patties, house sauce, onion rings, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, cayenne pepper and American cheese, yum!
Big Buns Burgers, The Brewery Tap, 18 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.
It’s the outdoors shop seen around the world, now Leeds finally has a Decathlon to call its own. Their new flagship Trinity store sees two floors jam-packed with all the kit, gear and equipment you could need for any outdoor activity or pursuit. From waders to snowboards, hockey sticks to bicycles, you name it, they’ve got it, and from high-quality brands to boot. Don’t know where to start? Their expert staff will help you find what you’re looking for.
Decathlon, Trinity Leeds, 49 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5EL.
Dope burgers are the order of the day at this Armley diner. They’ve arrived in Leeds after earning legions of fans in their Hull hometown and it’s not hard to see why. Their oh-so-dirty burgers arrive in front of you stacked high and filled with all kinds of goodness. If you want to get messy, the Fondue Burger is the only way to go, packed with oozy cheese. Or, if you can handle the heat, get into the DFC Scotch Bonnet – you might need one of their milkshakes after!
Dope Burger, 260 Tong Road, Armley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 3BG.
Brew York Taproom
Brew York’s first bar outside of its hometown opened on New Briggate this year. An old restaurant has been transformed into a cool-as-heck craft beer temple with a bespoke metal bar that’s home to all manner of hopped-up potables. There are 20 keg and cask lines which will pour out many of Brew York’s own fine brews, alongside limited-edition collaborations, guest selections and Hoptail beer cocktails. Pair yours with Yuzu Street Food’s bao buns and dumplings.
Brew York Taproom, 72 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
The Fat Hippo
It’s been years in the making but The Fat Hippo has finally arrived in Headingley. Skip breakfast, because their ginormous burgers are for the hungry. Beef, chicken or vegan, they’ve got all the patties that matter and they come in doubles as standard. Top yours with all the classics, from bacon to tobacco onions, but if you want to see them at their finest, try the PB&JJ – smoked chilli jello, chunky peanut butter and bacon jam make this an oozy delight.
The Fat Hippo, 8 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2AD.
Get ready for Chinese food as you’ve never experienced it before. Mi’s Noodles is from the same people behind Oba Kitchen and this informal cafe-style eatery brings the unique flavours of the Yunnan province to the Merrion Centre. Cold dishes like poached chicken and sliced beef shin sit alongside classics like beef brisket soup, tempura prawns and duck spring rolls. Feeling brave? Try one of their proper traditional dishes – pig intestine with pickle beans, anyone?
Mi’s Noodles, Merrion Centre, 21 Merrion Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8BT.
Leeds is now home to the biggest Ninja Warrior park to date. This fun-filled obstacle course centre is inspired by ITV’s hit programme and you can do all the things you see on the show, safely. Their expert staff will show you how to climb, jump, balance and swing across a host of different obstacles using your amazing ninja skills. It’s also home to the famous Warped Wall and a huge inflatable airpark with loads of bouncy fun for all ages.
Ninja Warrior, Ramshead Approach, Seacroft, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS14 1NH.
Former owner of The Watermark, Filippos Filippopoulos, has opened a new Greek and Latin inspired cafe bar. Tabula Rasa is a stylish joint, all dark green walls and luxurious furniture. The back bar shows you the type of joint you’re in with its copious amounts of spirits suggesting cocktail lovers will be in paradise. Add in charcuterie platters and sharing boards, as well as coffee and pastries earlier in the day and Tabula Rasa is the perfect city centre joint.
Tabula Rasa, 8 Eastgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7JL.
Mozza is mad for pizza and it’s arrived in the White Rose Centre. This open-plan pizzeria allows you to look into their kitchen so you can see their expert pizzaiolos at work creating authentic Neapolitan pizza. There are 16 different combos to choose from, like the award-winning 5, a triumphant blend of ‘nduja, mozzarella, spianata Calabrese and ricotta. You won’t have to wait long either – each pizza is cooked in just 60 seconds in their roaring wood-fired oven.
Mozza, 102-103 Upper Level, White Rose Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 8LU.
Headingley’s Trad Collective is leading the way in sustainable, on-trend fashion. They have a shop complete with its own studio – it’s here where owners James and Jo take garments and up-cycle them for their Wanner Label brand. All their pieces are available to buy in the shop, where you can also pick up ethically-sourced vintage clothes and new products from sustainable brands. Need to fix old gear? They have a mending and alteration service to make old new again.
Trad Collective, 4 Headingley Central, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2UE.
Leeds Dock owners, Allied London, have teamed up with hospitality group WePop to open a unique bar and restaurant on the waterside. The Canary is a pair of shipping containers, one yellow, one black, with big open windows, a terrace and stylish decor. Pop in for a couple – they have local beers, spirits and signature cocktails. And if you’re hungry, they’ll transport you to warmer climes with a Mediterranean-inspired menu of salads, wraps and mezze.
The Canary, The Dockside, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1EG.
It’s big time boujee at Canal Club. This vibrant little spot next to Granary Wharf changes with the clock. During the day, you can come for brunch classics and small plates perfect for sharing, teamed with a menu of signature cocktails – try the Haig Highball, with it’s mix of whiskey, orange, lime, cinnamon and pineapple soda. When night falls, it becomes one of the coolest new party joints in town, with fizz flowing and tunes spinning until the early hours.
Canal Club, Little Neville Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4ED.
Buy Nowt LS6
Buy Nowt LS6 is a unique new opening in Leeds this year. They’re a community group who’ve created a ‘library of things’ – it’s essentially a repository for useful items and works in a very similar way to a book library. But, instead of D.H. Lawrence, you can get step ladders, instead of Oscar Wilde, you can loan a welding torch. Sign up for an account and you can then borrow things on a pay-as-you-feel basis for a period of 7 days, or longer if needed.
Buy Nowt LS6, Methodist Church Centenary Room, Chapel Street, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3HZ.
Taking over the old Tiger Tiger, Cargo has had big shoes to fill, but fill them they have. It’s like the party times never went away, because Cargo is carrying on from where the old place left off, but souped up for a new generation. It’s home to four rooms, each with its own soundtrack, from hip-hop to house, pop tunes to techno anthems, but that’s just the start. The bar is heaving with top-class spirits and the gaff is filled with LED lighting and a state-of-the-art sound system.
Cargo, The Light, 117 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8DY.
Ready, Steady, Bake It
If you love The Great British Bake Off, this will be one of the most exciting new arrivals in Leeds. Ready, Steady, Bake It gives you the chance to be the star baker amongst your friends and family. Book a session and you’ll get 90 minutes to make your own showstoppers, based on a theme set by the venue each month. Once you’ve nailed your bake and polished your decoration, it’ll be judged just like Paul and Prue do. The best bit? You can take your bake home!
Ready, Steady, Bake It, 8 St Paul’s Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2LE.
If you’re going for a walk round Roundhay Park or visiting Oakwood, Oscada is the new place to go and get your caffeine kick. It’s the brainchild of Leeds Rhinos teammates Dominic Crosby and Luke Sutcliffe – they’ve transformed an old interiors shop into a cool-as-heck cafe, all pastel colours and their very own cartoon characters on all the walls and windows. You can grab a cup of locally-sourced coffee or loose-leaf tea, paired with brunch classics or sweet treats.
Oscada, 478 Roundhay Road, Roundhay, Oakwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HU.
As part of the iconic Queens Hotel’s makeover, it got itself a snazzy new bar and restaurant. Grand Pacific is a collision of two worlds – the outdoors-indoors leafiness amidst 1930’s-style furniture and fittings. Take a seat in a plush booth and set about a tantalising cocktail menu or the champagne list. Hungry? Their fusion menu of Asian flavours and British classics is truly unique. It’s also home to Cafe Pacific, a laid-back spot for a mid-shop coffee or an afternoon tea treat.
Grand Pacific, The Queens Hotel, City Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 1PJ.
After the huge success of HOME and The Owl in Leeds city centre, renowned chef Liz Cottam has opened her third venue, this time in Boston Spa. CORA is a light and airy bake house, dining room and wine cellar. You can get freshly-baked breads, cakes and pastries to eat in with a brew or to take away, but that’s just the start. They offer a series of special dining menus from a brunch experience to full tasting affairs, paired with hand-picked wine and cocktails.
CORA, 62 High Street, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS23 6BW.
Meat Is Dead
This vegan bar and restaurant takes its junk-free goodness seriously. Meat Is Dead is an all-day affair aiming to provide nourishing plant-based grub packed with flavour. It’s open for brunch, so you can get your fill of avocado, scrambled tofu and cinnamon pancakes, before their lunch ’til late small plates menu sees you dive into butternut gnocchi, baba ghanoush and sprout bhajis. Cocktails, craft beers and natural wines to boot, you’ll be living the good life at Meat Is Dead.
Meat Is Dead, 231-239 Kirkstall Road, Burley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2AS.
Film buffs rejoice, your next night out can include the city’s first movie-themed bar. Santiago’s Dave Holmes and colleague Paul Handley have transformed this New Briggate venue with rare film posters, original film cells and huge screens playing classic flicks. Paired with craft beer aplenty – Northern Monk is on tap with global brews in the fridges – or North Star Coffee, you’re all set. Throw in brunch classics and grilled cheese sarnies, why go anywhere else?
Grindhouse, 22 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
Amity Brew Co. Taproom
Russ Clarke has worked in Leeds’ beer scene for years and now he’s out on his own as Amity Brew Co. This new craft brewery at Sunny Bank Mills comes with a 2,500-square-foot taproom that opened in 2021. It’s an eye-pleasing medley of exposed brickwork and industrial-chic decor with an extensive terrace for the summer drinking. There are 10 keg and cask lines on the go, pouring tipples like their Festoon Helles Lager and Waterpistol Pale as fresh as fresh can be.
Amity Brew Co., Sunny Bank Mills, 83-85 Town Street, Farsley, West Yorkshire, LS28 5UJ.
Urban axe throwing is a modern phenomena that Whistle Punks do brilliantly. They’re in Millennium Square with lane-after-lane of wooden target boards at one end and a lengthy oche at the other – you don’t want to be too close! After a safety briefing, you get a few goes to nail your throwing technique before you compete against pals. Ring the bell loud if you hit the bullseye and when you’re done, and only then, you can head to the bar for cocktails and pizza.
Whistle Punks, Millennium Square, D, The Electric Press 4, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AD.
The Plant Collection
Did you know there’s now a jungle, a mighty jungle, in Crossgates? You’ll find it inside The Plant Collection, the new plant shop that’s created a leafy getaway where you can find all kinds of greenery to takeover your home. All the plants on display are available to buy, whether you want an Alocasia Amazonica or the Monstera Deliciosa. Don’t leave once you’ve found your perfect plant, though – you can grab a cup of locally-sourced coffee and a slice of cake from their cafe.
The Plant Collection, 22 Station Road, Crossgates, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 7JX.
Punk by name, punk by nature – this new city centre pizzeria promises ‘anarchy in the oven’ and how. They give you the control to ‘punk up’ your pizzas in this New York-style diner joint. You can load up a double-fermented sourdough base with all the toppings in any combination at no extra cost. Choose your sauce, pick your cheese, then really push your imagination – black pudding, rum ham hock and jalapeños? Anchovies, ‘nduja and capers? Hey, it’s your call.
Pizza Punks, 37 Bond Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5BQ.
Having opened their first takeaway restaurant in Rotherham back in 2018, it’s been a meteoric rise for Yoh Burger, and much of that through a pandemic. Now they’ve arrived in Leeds with a small shop next to St James’ Hospital and it’s doing a roaring trade in all kinds of patty-based goodness. Choose one of their ready-made burger combos or build your own. One or two patties? Brioche or charcoal bun? Grilled egg or turkey rasher? Your wish is their command.
Yoh Burger, Unit 5, Dolly Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7NN.
It’s been a long time coming – they originally planned to open back in 2017, no less – but Copenhagen’s Flying Tiger has finally landed in Leeds. Head to the White Rose to find this incredible labyrinth of cool and unusual gifts. It’s like IKEA, but much smaller and focusing on lifestyle and homeware items with a creative, carefree and value for money approach. Grab a basket, weave your way around their one-way store and fill it up with everything from toys to kitchenwares.
Flying Tiger, White Rose Shopping Centre, Dewsbury Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 8LU.
The brains behind The Beehive and Chophaus, Dale Wynter has teamed up with acclaimed interior designer Ellen Price to take over the ground floor of 34 Boar Lane as The Collective. This is a laid-back cafe-bar that doubles up as a shop. So you can pop in for brunch and lunch, enjoy a couple of cocktails, then have a mooch for some special pieces. All the fixtures, fittings and furniture are made by British designers and available to buy for your own home.
The Collective, 33 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DA.
Matt Healy is back! After The Foundry closed in December 2020, the MasterChef star spent 2021 transforming an empty unit in his hometown of Horsforth into the coolest new all-day eatery in the area. You can look forward to simple, yet delicious classic brunch fare from 9am until 3pm, Monday to Saturday, but from 5pm, Thursday to Saturday, it transforms into a wine bar, with hand-picked plonk paired with local cheese, charcuterie and small plates.
The Forde, 7 Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 5LJ.
Oakwood is now Oakwoof because it’s home to this cool, independent pet shop. It’s a colourful, welcoming store, run by real animal lovers who’ve chosen everything to provide something a little different to your big pet shops. There’s all kinds of ethical, natural dog and cat food, a doggy snack bar and all manner of treats, but that’s just the start. Find their new bed, get them some new threads and even treat yourself to their human clothes – yes, you read that right!
Woof, 460 Roundhay Road, Roundhay, Oakwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HU.
Who loves pies? Dave loves pies. So what better way for Mr Knowlson to show that off than with his own pie cafe and real ale bar on Kirkstall Road? It’s only small – the definition of a micro pub – but with all the hallmarks you want, from Victorian-style tiling to stained-glass bar panelling and a rich mahogany bar top. You can sup a host of local cask ales on tap and even more from fridges, but whatever you do, don’t leave without trying their divine homemade pork pies.
Dave’s Pies, 350 Kirkstall Road, Burley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2HQ.
Roberto Authentic Gelato
Having reached the UK final of the Gelato Festival World Masters in 2021, the good news for Roberto Authentic Gelato keeps rolling in. They’ve arrived in Leeds Kirkgate Market with their incredible sweet treats. You can try the flavour that won owner Roberto Culivicchi a place in the final, the lemon and basil, but that’s not all. By the cup or cone, devour everything from vanilla to blueberry muffin, alongside semifreddo gelato cakes and Sicilian cannoli.
Roberto Authentic Gelato, Leeds Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DT.
Glas by The Plant Point
Having wowed flora-loving folks in the Corn Exchange, The Plant Point added a second home in Leeds this year and it’s a totally new concept. Glas can be found in Trinity Leeds and it’s a celebration of the marriage between greenery and glass. Of course, there are a host of small indoor plants for you to buy, but they sit alongside all of their terrariums, arrangements and other glass-based products, as well as a vast selection of succulents.
Glas by The Plant Point, 27 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AT.
There’s a new way to shop local in Leeds. Head to the Corn Exchange to visit Indie Makers – this is a one-stop gift shop for arts, crafts, gifts and all kinds of creative goodness from local and UK-based independent makers and artists. No two visits ever have to be the same, because the stock changes on a regular basis, but you’ll always find something to pique your interest. From prints to candles, greetings cards to wrapping paper, it’s indie heaven.
Indie Makers, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
Miles & Co
Husband and wife team Tom and Ellenor Griffin have taken over a small pocket of Kirkgate Market to open one of the coolest indie cafes in Leeds. Miles & Co is a real gem, a lifelong dream for Tom who’s run much-loved cafes in the city for years. It’s only small, but beautifully turned out, with deep-green matt walls set against floral tiles. As good it looks, it’s all about the flavours – Dark Woods coffee is beautifully made and their grilled cheese sarnies are to die for.
Miles & Co, Leeds Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DT.