Vintage emporiums, expert jewellers and handmade craft shops – it’s never been more important to support your local independents.
It’s official. Leeds is open for business, which means you can go back to your favourite independent shops. These wonderful one-offs bring the city to life, giving it a unique personality you won’t find anywhere else, so go on, give them some love. You can pick up everything from rare records to handmade jewellery and vintage fashion. Not sure where to go? We’ve got it covered with a list of 42 must-visit indies. Welcome #BackToLeeds!
The Plant Point
The Plant Point is like a jungle, every surface is covered with lush greenery and their hanging baskets are overflowing with leafy vines. They specialise in indoor plants, with a vast collection of succulent terrariums, baby cacti, aloe vera and much more. You can also get freshly cut flowers and beautifully arranged bouquets, so if you want to treat someone special, this is one of the best shops in Leeds.
The Plant Point, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place.
For vintage fashion that won’t break the bank, head to Ryan Vintage. This compact shop is chock-full of stylish clothes from past decades. They have loads of retro sportswear, with everything from old American football jerseys to retro Nike jumpers. But that’s not all because you can rifle through racks of designer gear from Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Burberry too. It’s all pre-loved, so you can get these big names for cut-rate prices.
Ryan Vintage, 13 Duncan Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DC. They are limiting numbers inside, have hand-sanitiser in the shop and a one-way system in place.
As one of the longest-running independents in Leeds, Accent Clothing has been selling casual designer wear for over 30 years. It’s a family-run business and they take style seriously, so you can get the very best designer gear from names like Barbour and Valentino. This is the place to go for denim, they really know their slim-fits from their boot-cuts and they have a vast selection from the likes of True Religion, Scotch & Soda and Replay.
Accent Clothing, 11-13 Queens Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LF. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place.
If you’re looking for a new guitar, make a beeline for Northern Acoustics. It’s a family-run, independent music shop that specialises in all things acoustic. Musos flock here for top-quality guitars from brands like Martin & Co, Sigma Guitars and Faith Guitars, but you can also pick up ukuleles and accessories. They know the ins and outs of every instrument, so if you’re in need of advice, their knowledgable staff will be happy to help.
Northern Acoustics, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR. They are limiting numbers inside, have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place.
Released Records is a small but mighty vinyl shop that lives and breathes music. They don’t just sell records, they produce them through their own record label. Underground dance and hip-hop is their speciality, but if you have a rummage through the racks, you’ll also find records from Motown greats and classical composers. They have regular in-store DJ sets, so you can groove to the hottest new tracks as you shop.
Released Records, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR. They are opening for appointments only, hand sanitiser is available and gloves and masks are mandatory.
Colours May Vary
Colours May Vary is one of the coolest independent bookshops in Leeds, but you won’t find many novels here. Instead, their shelves hold an unrivalled collection of art and design publications. Pop in and you’ll find coffee table worthy books on architecture, photography and typography alongside beautifully illustrated publications that cover everything from tarot readings to Japanese fairytales. Their rare vintage magazines are also well worth checking out.
Colours May Vary, Munro House, Duke Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 8AG. They have hand-sanitiser and gloves at the door. Perspex screens have been installed and they are limiting numbers inside during busy times.
The Vinyl Whistle
The Vinyl Whistle is a record shop run by a Premier League referee Jon Moss. He loves music as much as football, so he’s opened a store with an extensive collection of vinyl – you’ll find everything from 70s rock to modern dancehall inside. A self-confessed indie addict, Jon’s dedicated a whole section of the shop to indie icons like Oasis and Pixies. There’s a cafe nestled at the back, so you can enjoy a cuppa while you browse.
The Vinyl Whistle, 39 Otley Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3AB. They have hand-sanitiser and gloves at the door. Only four people are allowed in at one time.
Little Leeds Beer House
Little Leeds Beer House showcases quality craft brews from around the world at Brownhill & Co. Inside, 150 different cans and bottles line the shelves – there are local favourites from North Brewing Co. and Northern Monk, but you can also pick up everything from Belgian fruit beers to American wild ales. This is one of the few shops in Leeds that sells growlers, so you can get your beer fresh from the taps, and they hold regular events to share their know-how.
Little Leeds Beerhouse at Brownhill & Co., 30 Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DE. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and only three people are allowed inside at one time.
Our Handmade Collective
A treasure trove of unique gifts and homeware, Our Handmade Collective is one of the best independents in Leeds. Everything they sell has been lovingly handmade by 70 local crafters, giving each piece a personal touch that you just can’t find at high-street stores. There are ornaments, cushions, prints, jewellery and more, so if you’re out to do some gift shopping, you’re sure to find something special here.
Our Handmade Collective, Grand Arcade, Leeds, LS1 6PG. They have hand-sanitiser at the door, a one-way system in place and only four people are allowed inside at one time.
The Green Yard
Tucked away behind HEART in Headingley, The Green Yard might take some finding but it’s well-worth seeking out. Swathes of leafy vines fill their shed-cum-shop, sprawling out into the courtyard to create an urban garden of sorts. They have a thriving collection of outdoor plants to choose from or you can spruce up your home with succulents, snake plants and jades. Each one comes with tailored plant care tips to help it flourish.
The Green Yard, HEART, Bennett Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3HN. They have hand-sanitiser in HEART and all plants are kept outside where you can socially distance.
Beer Ritz was the city’s first craft beer megastore and it’s still one of the best. Their team of beer-lovers keep the shelves well stocked with real ale, craft beer, imported lagers, stouts, gluten-free cans, fruit beer and more. In fact, there are over 800 different drinks to choose from. You can get British beers from the likes of Verdant and Magic Rock, but if you’re after something more adventurous, they also have rare finds like Japanese rice lager.
Beer Ritz, 14 Weetwood Lane, Far Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5LX. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and only two people are allowed inside at one time.
The Little Bookshop
The Little Bookshop is the only independent children’s bookshop in Leeds. The team here are keen bookworms and their aim is to get every youngster reading. They have a vast collection with picture books for toddlers, short stories for kids and YA novels for teens. If you’re not sure what to choose, they’ll help you find the perfect book, keeping your little ones interests and reading ability in mind. They also host workshops, author talks and storytime events.
The Little Bookshop, 47 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 3PD. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and only four people are allowed inside at one time.
Chirpy is a design-focussed gift shop where you can buy unique home accessories. They put the personal touch back into gift shopping, so they only sell products made with genuine love, care and craftsmanship. They work with local Leeds designers and crafters to bring you a colourful range of printed tees, quirky ceramics and delicate ornaments, all packed with personality. You can even get involved with crafting yourself at their regular workshops.
Chirpy, 148 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4NZ. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place. Only two people are allowed inside at one time and there’s a green light above the door to let you know you can go in.
Love Japanese culture? You can shop all things cute, cuddly and kawaii at Giant Kitten. This quirky independent shop offers an eclectic mix of plush toys, Japanese-inspired fashion and limited-edition Asian candies. Not to mention rare Japanese edition vinyls from the The Beatles and Wet Wet Wet. Many of their products are specially imported, so you won’t find them anywhere else in Leeds.
Giant Kitten, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place.
A family-run bike shop, Woodrup have been making bespoke cycles in Leeds since 1949. Their steel frames are all custom made and tailored to you, so whether you’re after a hardy mountain bike or light-weight race cycle, you’ll ride away happy. They stock well-known brands like Pinarello and Bianchi and have all the accessories you’ll ever need, so this is a one-stop shop for bikers. Got a flat? Their repairs & spares service will get you back on the road.
Woodrup Cycles, 345-347 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2HD. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place.
OK Comics is one of the best comic book shops in the world, they’ve even been nominated for Comic Con’s Best Comics Retailer Award. You’ll find an extensive collection of comics and graphic novels here, so whether you’re a Marvel fan or a DC fiend, you won’t be disappointed. What sets this shop apart is its range of lesser-known titles like the supernatural horror Outcast and the teen-comedy Giant Days. They want everyone to be able to enjoy comics, so they’ve introduced a free lending library, stocked with an eclectic mix of titles.
OK Comics, 19 Thornton’s Arcade, Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-in, one-out system in place during busy times.
The Great Yorkshire Shop
The Great Yorkshire Shop is a celebration of all things Yorkshire. Everything here has been designed, produced and made in God’s Own Country, so it’s full of local charm. Cosy homeware and cool art prints rub shoulders with scented soaps and male grooming products, all inspired by the region. It’s also hard to resist their range of scrumptious treats from Choc Affair, Farrah’s of Harrogate and Lottie Shaw’s.
The Great Yorkshire Shop, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and are limiting numbers inside during busy times.
Village Bookshop is an indie bookstore nestled in Thornton’s Arcade. It’s one of the only shops in Leeds where you can find self-published zines by internationally-acclaimed and emerging artists. They also have a curated collection of books on art, fashion and design, so you’ll always find something new to flick through. If you love a good novel, they also have special-editions of classic fiction – and that’s just the first floor. Head upstairs to explore their gallery, which showcases the work of emerging artists.
Village Bookshop, 3 Thorntons Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ. They’re now open on an appointment-only basis, so email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 246 9801 to book a slot.
Vintage and antique jewellery lovers have been flocking to Aladdin’s Cave for over 40 years. Inside, it’s a treasure trove of preloved finds, with case upon case of rings, pendants and bracelets, all set with rare stones like pearls and diamonds. You can even find old-school pocket watches that date back to the Victorian-era. Whatever you’re looking for, their expert team is on hand to help you find that special piece.
Aladdin’s Cave, 19 Queens Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LF. They have hand-sanitiser and gloves at the door. Only one person is allowed inside at one time.
On The Wall
Want to add a splash of colour to your walls? Check out On The Wall, a specialist print and poster shop tucked away in the Corn Exchange. Huge art prints cover the walls and everything you can see is for sale. Have a flick through the racks and you’ll find posters of everything you could imagine, from natural history to French film, music legends and fantasy worlds. You’ll have a choice of large or small prints – and if you fall in love with a print, you can get it framed with their bespoke service.
On The Wall, The Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR. They have hand-sanitiser at the door, perspex screens at the counter and are limiting numbers inside at busy times.
Welcome Skate Store
Welcome is a one-stop-shop for all your skateboarding needs. It’s run by skaters, for skaters and they only sell products that their team would buy, so it’s all top quality. On the first floor, you can kit yourself out with the latest apparel from big brands, including Thrasher hoodies, Levi jeans and Carhartt jumpers. They also do classic skate shoes from the likes of Converse and Vans. Head upstairs for skateboards in every colour and all the accessories you could need.
Welcome Skate Store, 22 Thornton’s Arcade, Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ. They have hand-sanitiser and gloves at the door. Only four people are allowed inside at one time.
Jumbo Records is one of Leeds’ best-loved independents. They’ve been plying musos in the city with records since 1971, and they’re as popular today as they’ve ever been. You’ll find a huge selection of records inside, covering everything from classic rock to blues, modern indie and 70s disco. But that’s not all – they have music books, magazines and merch. After gig tickets? You can snap them up here too.
Jumbo Records, Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG. They have hand-sanitiser and gloves at the door. They’re limiting numbers inside at busy times.
Yellow Sunrise is a treasure-trove of exotic finds from around the world. It’s got a bohemian feel, decked out in colourful Indian tapestries and Mexican wall hangings. You can pick up all kinds ethnic chic trinkets here, like Japanese incense burners, oriental tea sets and elephant carvings, so if you want to brighten up your home, there’s no better place to go. Yellow Sunrise is an ethically-minded store, so everything has been sourced sustainably.
Yellow Sunrise, Central Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DX. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place.
Armadillo Toys is a colourful toy shop with over 50 of the best-loved kids brands on the shelves, so why not treat your little ones? You can find something for all ages and there’s a real mix of modern and traditional toys on the shelves. They have Orange Tree’s old-school wooden toys, the latest Playmobil sets and quirky Lottie Dolls. Of course no good toy shop would be complete without Disney figurines, and they’ve got everything you could want.
Armadillo Toys, 112a Harrogate Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4NY. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place.
Best is a vintage clothes shop that specialises in up-cycled designer wear for men and women. They’ve got an in-store workshop where their expert designers breathe new life into tired threads from brands like Ralph Lauren and Levi. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, so you won’t catch anyone in the same dress as you. It’s not just re-worked fashion though, you can also pick up original clothes from their own label Best Originals.
Best, 22-24 Newmarket Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DG. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and are limiting numbers inside during busy times.
Little Pink Wardrobe
Little Pink Wardrobe is a chic women’s fashion boutique. They work closely with local female designers to seek out stunning pieces with plenty of personality. There’s bedazzled heels and quirky printed scarves alongside tartan-print dresses, handbags, gloves and shoes to match. Pop over to their sister store Little Pink Jewellery House to complete your outfit with jewel-studded bangles and brooches.
Little Pink Wardrobe, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place.
Ace Jewellery is a small independent jewellery shop that specialises in wedding and engagement rings. You’ll have to climb a winding staircase to find it, but it’s well worth seeking out for the personal service you’ll get inside. Their expert jewellers know how important engagement rings are, so they’ll talk you through all the different settings, cuts and grades, so whether you want a marquise or a princess cut, you can have it made just the way you want it.
Ace Jewellery, 1 Lands Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AW. They have hand-sanitiser at the door, perspex screens at the counter and a one-in, one-out system in place.
West Yorkshire Cameras
West Yorkshire Cameras are vintage camera and film specialists. There’s no modern photography equipment here, you’ll only find classic analogue gear in their Grand Arcade store. They have old-school Canon, Nikon and Olympus cameras, alongside exclusive collectors items. With all the lenses and accessories you’ll ever need and enough film to keep you stocked up for life, it’s a must-visit for the city’s photographers.
West Yorkshire Cameras, Grand Arcade, Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG. They have hand-sanitiser at the door, glass screens at the counter and a one-in, one-out system in place.
ID Aromatics has been the go-to-shop for aromatherapy in Leeds for over 30 years. They’re experts in essential oils, floral hydrosols, burners and creams, so you’ll be able to get informed advice on what’s best for your skin type. Why not treat yourself to one of their luxurious spa products? The Frankincense & Mandarin bubble bath will leave you feeling zen, while the Geranium & Lime shower gel will invigorate your senses.
ID Aromatics, 12 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and are limiting numbers inside at busy times.
Noiseisforheroes is an independent record store run by vinyl expert Chris Coulthard. He’s a punk junkie, so you’ll find hardcore records from the likes of The Damned, Napalm Death and Venom weighing down the shelves. But that’s not all he has. The shop’s collection spans everything from hip-hop to indie, rock to reggae. If you’re on the hunt for a specific record, Chris can and will help you track it down.
Noiseisforheroes Records, 75A Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and are limiting numbers inside at busy times.
The Hip Store
The Hip Store first opened in 1987, and while it’s moved around Leeds over the years, it’s always offered an incredible selection of menswear. They hand-select each piece, so you’ll find a carefully curated selection of threads inside. Big names like Stussy and Carhartt rub shoulders with little known labels like A.P.C. They also have a range of specialist men’s grooming products to help you look your best.
The Hip Store, 49-51 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DS. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and are limiting numbers inside at busy times.
If you’re after delicious health food, there are few better shops in Leeds than Millies. They stock everything from organic veggies to protein powder, gluten-free snacks and vitamin tablets. But the food isn’t the only reason to visit – they also have a professional beauty salon that offers a full range of treatments and they sell natural, cruelty-free beauty products from the likes of Dermilogica, Antipodes and Weleda.
Millies, 109 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PJ. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place.
Latitude Wines & Liquor
Latitude is a wine and liquor merchant. Owner Chris Hill really know his grapes and he’s gathered a trusted team of wine experts to help you find your new favourite vino. They only sell vintages that they’ve personally tried and enjoyed – there’s over 1,300 different bottles on the shelves, from rich Pinotage to crisp Sauvignon Blanc. If wine isn’t your tipple of choice, they’ve also got a host of top-quality craft beers, gins, vodkas, tequilas and rare spirits.
Latitude Wines and Liquor, 5 Cherry Tree Walk, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EB. They have hand-sanitiser and although they’re open, you have to order from the counter at the door as the shop is too small to allow people in.
All Blues Co.
The folk at All Blues Co. are menswear experts, bringing you the finest classic, heritage and Americana threads they can find. They source exclusive labels from places like Japan, Korea and USA, so you can get everything from Outstanding & Co tees to Paraboot Shoes and FallBreak vests. They know all the ins and outs of the men’s fashion industry here, so if you’re looking to spruce up your look, they’ll be happy to help.
All Blues Co., Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and are limiting numbers inside at busy times.
Tandem is a gallery, shop and cafe all rolled into one. Enter into this warm, rustic gem and you’ll find a wonderful selection of original gifts and homeware pieces from local designers. There are cosy wool scarves, terracotta ceramics, printed throw pillows and incense burners. Artwork from the latest Leeds talent is displayed across the space and it’s all up for sale. After you’ve had a browse, put your feet up with a hot cuppa from the cafe.
Tandem, 547 Meanwood Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4AZ. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and only two people are allowed inside at one time.
Crash Records has been a central part of the city’s buzzing music scene for over 30 years. They’re indie, alternative, rock and metal specialists, so you can pick up vinyl records and CD’s from all the greats. But if you’re a fan of new music, they proudly support local artists with the latest discs from the region’s up and coming talent lining the shelves. They also regularly host in-store concerts and sell tickets to the hottest gigs in town.
Crash Records, 35 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and only 4 people are allowed inside at one time on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s pick-up only the rest of the week.
A mecca for crystals and incense since 1999, Global Tribe is the go-to independent shop for spiritual healing in Leeds. They have a huge collection of tumbled stones, rough crystals, herbs and candles, alongside a selection of books that cover Chinese medicine, moonology and even witchcraft. Everything from the crystal jewellery to the coffee in their cafe is ethically sourced, so you can shop guilt-free.
Global Tribe, 18 Swan St, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LG. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and are limiting numbers inside at busy times.
Fabrication is a gift shop and social enterprise that supports local craftspeople, so you’re supporting 70 independents, not just one. There’s a truly eclectic mix of things to browse, with colourful porcelain jewellery from Coco Wild, intricate dreamcatchers from Dreamwork and quirky sculptures from Drifting DownTime. They also run craft workshops throughout the year, so you can try your hand at everything from felting to embroidery.
Fabrication Crafts, 79 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AP. They have hand-sanitiser at the door, perspex screens at the counter and are limiting numbers inside.
You’ll find one of the biggest craft beer shops in the country right here in Leeds. Raynville Superstore is a family-run convenience store that sells over 500 types of craft beer. Favourites from Northern Monk and North Brewing Co line the shelves, as well as hard-to-find cans from across the globe. They hunt out limited-edition brewery collabs like the Home Alone Double IPA from Brouwerij Frontaal and Verdant, so if you love new and experimental brews, this is the shop for you.
Raynville Superstore, 14-16 Raynville Rd, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2TF. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and are limiting numbers inside at busy times.
Chevin Cycles is one of the best independent bike shops in the country. They’ve been selling high-quality cycle gear in Leeds for over 35 years. Step inside their impressive showroom and you’ll find a huge range of bikes from big names like Trek, Cannondale and Whyte. There’s also a dedicated section of specially-tailored women’s bikes. In need of cycle wear? You can kit yourself out with the latest from Endura.
Chevin Cycles, The Showrooms, Gay Lane, Otley, Leeds, LS21 1BR. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place.
Abbey Home Brew
Abbey Home Brew is a one-stop-shop for beer makers. They know everything there is to know about starting your own miniature home brewery, so they’ll be happy to help get you started. They have such a wide range of kits, taps and fermenters on offer, you might just be spoilt for choice. You can brew your own versions of local beer like Linthwaite Light and Yorkshire Terrier or go all-out with a hefty 7.5% Evil Dog American Double IPA.
Abbey Home Brew, 8 Commercial Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3AQ. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-in, one-out system.
Johnsons of Leeds
Johnsons of Leeds is an army supply shop that sells real military-grade gear. All of their goods are surplus from the army and they get them direct from the government, so if you’re looking for high-quality camping gear, this is the place to go. They have sleeping bags, penknives, rucksacks and trangias. Military buffs can also get their hands on official combat vests, fully-functioning radios and rare artefacts from the war.
Johnsons of Leeds, Unit 2 Vulcan Foundry, Haigh Park Road, Leeds, LS10 1RT. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and are limiting numbers inside at busy times.Cover image credit: © Leeds-List 2020 by Max Wailes