It’s time to hit the shops and discover why Leeds’ independent stores are so well-loved.
With such a vibrant shopping scene, it’ll come as no surprise that you’ll find swathes of cool, quirky independent shops in Leeds. Each one is unique, different to anything else you’ll find in Leeds, or further afield, and they all have something amazing to offer. So whether you’re after vintage jewellery, proper Yorkshire tea or the latest record, start working your way through this list.
One of the best things about the independent shops in Leeds is that they often provide a platform for people’s creativity – Chirpy in Chapel Allerton is a fine example of that. As a design store, you can pick up unique accessories for the home, but you can also join in their regular workshops, learning skills of your own on anything from calligraphy to jewellery making.
Chirpy, 148 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4NZ.
2. Retro Boutique
Retro Boutique is a vintage treasure trove. The two-storey shop in Hyde Park brings together a medley of vendors, so there’s always something new to find. They’re famed for their pre-loved furntiure, which has often been lovingly restored, but you can also find all sorts of homeware, trinkets and even fashion here.
Retro Boutique, 8-10 Headingley Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2AS.
3. Aladdin’s Cave
Aladdin’s Cave opened over 25 years ago, but they’re still going strong today. They’ve earned a reputation for selling beautiful vintage and antique jewellery, with personal service to make the experience even more special. They specialise in antique gold and silver jewellery, as well as period diamond, jet and gemstone pieces.
Aladdin’s Cave, 19 Queens Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LF.
4. OK Comics
OK Comics is famous, not just here in Leeds, but in the global comic book community. In 2014, they were the only European finalist of Comic-Con International’s annual Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award – and with good reason. This little independent shop stocks an impressive selection of classic comics and graphic novels, more importantly, they really know their stuff, so they’ll be able to help you choose and even source those rare finds for you.
OK Comics, 19 Thornton’s Arcade, Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.
5. On the Wall
Whether it’s classic film and music posters, decorative prints or trendy t-shirts, On the Wall on Boar Lane is the place to go. They have a huge range of artwork for you to choose from, as well as their own framing service, so you can turn your walls into a canvas. Look out for the selection of keyrings, mugs and postcards too.
On the Wall, 12 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6EN.
6. Village Bookstore
Tucked away in Thornton’s Arcade is Village Bookstore. It’s gained a reputation as one of the coolest independent shops in Leeds thanks to its impressive collection of self-published zines, alongside a range of art, design, fashion and photography magazines and books. If you’re looking for inspiration, new trends and unexpected stories, Village is the place to go.
Village Bookstore, 3 Thornton’s Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.
Welcome is the only dedicated skating shop in the city centre. Based in Thornton’s Arcade, it’s run by skateboarders, for skateboarders, so you know you’re getting the best gear on the market. From the ultimate skate fashion brands like Thrasher, Vans and Emerica, to the boards themselves, with the likes of Anti-Hero, 5Boro and Palace, they have everything you need.
8. Twit-woo Vintage
A Leeds Corn Exchange favourite, Twit-woo Vintage is the shop to visit for quirky and classic old school finds. They have a bit of everything for both men and women, with collections dating back as far as the 1930s. Pay them a visit for pre-loved dresses, shirts, jackets and even accessories like gloves, scarves and bags.
Twit-woo vintage, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
9. Culture Vulture
Culture Vulture is a unique store, full of off-beat pieces and counter-culture delights. Think American sweets and drinks, alongside cult TV merchandise, kooky accessories for your home and their own range of jewellery – but that only really scratches the surface. You’ll have to nip in to get the full Culture Vulture experience.
Culture Vulture, The Concourse, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
10. West Yorkshire Cameras
The world has gone digital crazy, but there’s one independent shop in Leeds that’s bucking the trend. West Yorkshire Cameras specialises in analogue equipment, so whether you’re after a vintage gem to give your snaps old school charm or just prefer the look of film, this is the shop for you. They now have their own dark room, so after you’ve taken your new camera out, you can get the film developed.
West Yorkshire Cameras, Unit 2, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
11. ID Aromatics
You’ve probably walked past ID Aromatics without even realising it’s there. It’s just past Latitude on New Station Street and they’ve spent the last 34 years learning everything there is to know about essential oils and aromatherapy. Nip in to browse the collection or ask for their advice, they’ll be only too happy to help and they have everything from oils and burners to creams and cosmetic bases. They also make their own products and you can even request your own special creams, oils and lotions if you have something specific in mind.
ID Aromatics, 12 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.
12. Little Leeds Beer House
The Little Leeds Beer House has become a haven for craft beer drinkers since opening up in Corn Exchange in May 2015. They source some of the finest beers from all over Yorkshire, the UK and beyond, giving you a marvellous selection to choose from. You can also get growlers filled with fresh beer on tap, so you can have a proper pint at home. Keep an eye out for their special tasting events too.
Little Leeds Beer House, Corn Exchange, Leeds, West Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
13. Colours May Vary
Stocking everything from influential books and magazines to beautiful stationery, giftware and journals, Colours May Vary stands out on its own as one of the best indies in Leeds. Why? Because every piece of stock is hand-picked by the team, they’re pieces they believe in and appreciate themselves – a recommendation well worth taking.
Colours May Vary, 1a Munro House, Duke Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AG.
14. Jumbo Records
When it opened fives ago, Jumbo Records was the shop to find your next favourite record in, and to this day that’s still the case. Now based in Merrion Centre, they’ve got a huge selection of vinyl across a whole host of genres, as well as CDs and tickets for local gigs. Now with a dedicated live music space and local coffee to enjoy while you browse, there’s a reason why Jumbo has become something of a Leeds institution.
Jumbo Records, 1-3 Merrion Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.
15. Beer Ritz
Beer Ritz is one of the best independent shops for the beer-loving folk of Leeds. They opened in 1998 and stock a little bit of everything, with beers from Britain, Belgium, America and beyond. It’s one of the reasons why craft beer and real ale is so well respected in Leeds – and long may it continue.
Beer Ritz, 14 Weetwood Lane, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5LX.
16. Simcha Gallery
Everything you see in Simcha Gallery is a one-off. Whether it’s their selection of jewellery, all carefully crafted by owner Stephen Roper, or one of their pieces of art, you’ll find something at Simcha you just can’t get on the High Street. If you’re looking for something bespoke, they’ll be happy to help, and they can even turn old pieces of jewellery into something new.
Simcha Gallery, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
17. The Traditional Shaving Company
Beards are definitely the trend of the moment, but The Traditional Shaving Company are offering a way out. Whether you need the kit for an old school wet shave or want someone else to do the job for you at their in-store barbers, they’ve got you covered. And if you can’t bear to part with your beard, they have all manner of male grooming products to help you tame it.
The Traditional Shaving Company, 20 Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
18. Little Pink Wardrobe and Jewellery House
Little Pink is a dual pronged force of fashion in the Corn Exchange in Leeds. These independent shops offer the complete outfit – at the Wardrobe you can bag yourself some stunning pieces from renowned brands and local designers, before popping over to the Jewellery House to add a bit of sparkle and finesse to finish the look.
Little Pink Wardrobe, The Concourse, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
19. Ham and Friends
Friends of Ham has been a long-time favourite of ours – and now you can enjoy their brilliance at home thanks to their new Grand Arcade venue, Ham and Friends. Not only does it have a wine bar and restaurant, it also has a food hall where you can pick up wine, cured meats, cheese (they have a walk-in cheese room by George & Joseph) and deli items.
Ham and Friends, Grand Arcade, 7 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.
20. Noiseisforheroes Records
The opening of Noiseisforheroes has been a long time coming for owner Chris Coulthard. He’s been selling vinyl and memorabilia for years at record fairs, but he’s finally taken the plunge to open up his first permanent shop. From hip-hop, indie and grunge to rock, soul and soundtracks, you’ll find a little bit of everything here – and Chris is the expert to talk to if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
Noiseisforheroes Records, 75a Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
21. The Hip Store
The first word in cutting edge men’s fashion for the best part of three decades, The Hip Store is the place to go if you want to look your best. They stock famous brands like Barbour, Clarks, Levi’s and Penfield, as well as introducing new brands to the city before anyone else – check out the likes of A.P.C and Filling Pieces next time you’re on Vicar Lane.
The Hip Store, 84-86 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7JH.
22. Tall Boys Beer Market
This is one for beer lovers – Tall Boys Beer Market specialises in quality craft beers and ales from around the globe. You can pick up a bottle or two to take home, but they also have a unique twist – buy your chosen beer downstairs, then for a small corkage fee, sit upstairs in their delightful beer cafe and enjoy it at a snip of what it’d cost in a bar.
Tall Boys Beer Market, 17 Thorntons Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.
23. Blackbird Vintage
Finding the right vintage furniture and retro accessories for your home isn’t easy, but there’s one independent shop in Leeds that takes the hassle out of it for you. Blackbird Vintage lives on Stainburn Parade in Moortown and has plenty of eye-catching items, from old Chesterfield sofas to Art Deco tables and even church pews.
Blackbird Vintage, 7 Stainburn Parade, Moortown, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 6NA.
24. Nautical and Nice
Bringing a taste of the coast to Leeds, Nautical and Nice offers a wonderful selection of seaside themed trinkets. Step inside and you’ll find everything from compasses to globes, model boats and telescopes. It’s the perfect place to pick up gifts, but you can also add a touch a style to your home with nautical-themed cushions, coasters and art.
Nautical and Nice, Unit 3, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
One of the most intriguing additions to Meanwood in recent times, Tandem has something for everyone. First and foremost, it’s a gallery with work from local artists, but it’s also a lifestyle shop with home and giftware from the city’s makers and shakers. Once you’ve shopped yourself out, stop by the cafe where you can pick up locally-sourced grub and a cuppa before you leave.
Tandem, 574 Meanwood Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4AZ.
26. Baa Ram Ewe
Knitting is back in vogue and one independent shop in Chapel Allerton has plenty of wool to keep you going. Baa Ram Ewe sells the best Yorkshire-made, British breed yarns around, and they also run their own workshops, so you can learn a new stitch or two. They’ve become so popular that they’ve now opened a second store in Harrogate.
Baa Ram Ewe, 180 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4NZ.
27. All Blues Co
All Blues Co. is at the cutting edge of menswear in Leeds. They offer up the best classic, heritage fashion they can find from around the world. Expect an impressive list of brands with a focus on modern trends. With coats from Le Laboureur, boots from Red Wing and shirts from Outstanding Co. – they’ll help you whip you wardrobe into shape.
All Blues Co, Unit C3c, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
28. Our Handmade Collective
Grand Arcade has become a hub for independents, and Our Handmade Collective is one of them. A gift and homeware shop, they stock the work of over 70 designers, so you’re not just supporting one independent when you shop there, you’re supporting a whole host of them.
Our Handmade Collective, 19 Grand Arcade, Vicar Lane, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
Latitude Wine and Liquor Merchants is the first and last word in finding the perfect bottle of wine, no matter what the occasion. Whether you need a bottle for dinner, or something that little bit more special, their expertise is unrivalled, as is their selection. Not a wine drinker? They have a carefully curated collection of craft beers and spirits too.
Latitude, 5 Cherry Tree Walk, The Calls, West Yorkshire, Leeds, LS2 7EB.
30. Lambert’s Yard
Lambert’s Yard has found a modern use for an old building that’s absolutely loaded with character. It’s a unique retail destination that brings together young fashion designers and exclusive brands from Yorkshire, the UK and beyond. As well as the shopping, which is great, they also hold a series of cultural events and foodie pop-ups here.
Lambert’s Yard, 162-163 Lower Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LY.
31. Blue Rinse
Local success stories don’t get much more impressive than Blue Rinse. Since opening their first independent shop in Leeds in 1997, they’ve taken their vintage threads to Manchester and online. What’s more, their Re-made in Britain makes old threads cool again. Whether it’s plaid, denim, leather or whatever else retro you can think of, Blue Rinse lead the way.
Blue Rinse, 9-11 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.
The deli is obviously popular come lunchtime, but Millies is also one of leading independent health shops in Leeds. By focussing on quality local produce and organic products, they’ve gained respect as a one stop shop for the health-conscious folk of Leeds. Stop by for everything from vitamins and minerals to vegan cosmetics and organic bread.
Millies Fresh and Organic, 109 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PJ.
33. Crash Records
Crash Records lives and breathes the independent spirit of Leeds – and has done for over 30 years. With racks and racks of the best in indie, rock and metal vinyl, as well as tickets and CDs, The Headrow wouldn’t be the same without it. Even more so since it welcomed second-hand specialists, Wall of Sound Records into the basement.
Crash Records, 35 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU.
34. Global Tribe
Global Tribe is a hidden treasure worth seeking out. It’s filled with weird and wonderful finds that will brighten up your home and help you find balance. They specialise on crystals and minerals, if you’re looking for a bit of a spiritual direction, but they also have jewellery, trinkets and incense sticks. Once you’re done shopping, head upstairs to their vegetarian cafe for a bite to eat.
Global Tribe, 18 Swan Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LG.
35. Aquarius Antiques
If you want to go vintage furniture hunting, you’ve got to go to Aquarius Antiques. Not only do they have a huge warehouse filled with everything from desks and dining chairs to wardrobes and dressing tables, but they offer their own expert restoration service, so you can make original pieces look new again.
Aquarius Antiques, Abbey Mills, Abbey Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3HP.
36. The Great Yorkshire Shop
That’s quite a name isn’t it? The Great Yorkshire Shop, as you can imagine, sells all kinds of goodness from creators and producers right here in Yorkshire. Pick up everything from Henderson’s Relish to cushions decorated with the Yorkshire rose, loose leaf tea from Sheffield’s Birdhouse Tea Company and natural skincare products from Whitby’s Sweet Cecily’s.
The Great Yorkshire Shop, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
The original craft store, Fabrication brings together a hoard of local creators, all in one place. The shop is surprisingly big and they’ve packed it full of as many vendors as they can, so you can pick up a little bit of everything. They’ve got art, cushions, stationery and more, all handmade by their network of Yorkshire crafters.
Fabrication, A20, The Light, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
Positioning itself at the forefront of modern men’s fashion, MKI is one of the best shops in Leeds if you’re looking for cool threads. It’s filled with cutting edge designers like Comme des Garçons and Novesta, alongside their own extensive collection, so you can create a head-to-toe look, without going all over town.
MKI, C4 Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorksahire, LS1 7BR.
39. Raynville Superstore
Raynville Superstore is the holy grail for beer lovers. It’s a family-run convenience store based in Armley and it has a jaw-dropping selection of craft and world beers. There are over 500 to choose from, and many of them are hard-to-find, in fact, Raynville is the only place in Leeds where you can get some of these brews. They also have a four line draft beer system, so they can fill up your growler to take home.
Raynville Superstore, 14-16 Raynville Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2TF.
Best have made a real success of their vintage store on Newmarket Street, so much so, that they’ve opened up two more shops in Newcastle and Liverpool. They sell pre-loved threads, but also re-tailor and re-fashion retro clothing in their own style, to keep up with modern trends – something that has gone down pretty well with the fashionable folk of Leeds.
Best, 22-24 Newmarket Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DG.
41. Yellow Sunrise
There’s nowhere else quite like Yellow Sunrise. It’s a mishmash of inspirations from around the world, so you can pick up anything from Killim rugs to Japanese sake sees, Thai jewellery and Moroccan pouffes. No matter how many times you visit, you’ll always find something new you want to take home.
Yellow Sunrise, Call Lane, Corn Exchange, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
42. Accent Clothing
There aren’t many Leeds independents that have been going as long as Accent Clothing. For over 30 years, this family run store in Queens Arcade has sourced the finest brands for men, women and children, all the while retaining a sense of local independence. Expect personal service alongside big brands like Belstaff, Replay, Scotch and Soda, True Religion and Armani Jeans and Luke 1977.
Accent Clothing, 11-20 Queens Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 6LF.
43. Ryan Vintage
Sandwiched between Pieminister and Five Guys on Duncan Street, vintage lovers will adore Ryan Vintage. It’s become one of the most popular shops for pre-loved finds, stocking everything from 60s-style dresses to plaid shirts, football tops and leather jackets. It’s a small store, but one you can easily lose an hour in as you rummage through racks of vintage treasures.
Ryan’s Vintage, 13 Duncan Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DL.
44. Outrage Jewellery
For over 25 years, Outrage Jewellery has been a shining example of Leeds’ independent shopping scene. They specialise in hand-crafted jewellery, with a focus on eye-catching gems like Tanzanite, Obsidian and Moonstone, alongside the traditional rubies and diamonds – it’s no wonder Outrage has become one of the city’s most popular jewellers.
Outrage Jewellers, The Concourse, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
45. Chevin Cycles
Chevin Cycles has been a leading light for cyclists for over 40 years. It’s a bike store run by cyclists, so you know the advice comes from hands-on experience. They have a huge range to choose from, including renowned brands like Bianchi, Boardman and Pinarello. As well as the bikes, they have all the accessories and cycle wear you’ll need. They’re also a bike fit specialist and have a dedicated service centre in-house.
Chevin Cycles, The Showrooms, Gay Lane, Otley, Leeds, LS21 1BR; Hydro Retail Park, Ripon Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 2BF; 11 High Street, Skipton, West Yorkshire, BD23 1AJ.
46. Armadillo Toys
Some toy shops are better than others, as any kid will tell you, but Armadillo might just be the best in Leeds. They have two independent shops, one in Horsforth and one in Chapel Allerton – both stock a vast array of traditional toys and modern favourites, including Steiff teddy bears, Scleich figurines and even Playmobil.
Armadillo Toys, 112a Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4NY; 20 Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 4RJ.
47. Abbey Homebrew
If you want to take your craft beer experience to the next level, Abbey Homebrew is the place to go. They’ve got everything you need to start brewing your own beer with a huge selection of kits, taps and fermenters. The owners are CAMRA members and are keen to support local breweries, so you know they can be trusted to get you on your way.
48. The Cave
The Cave in Horsforth is all about one-offs. It’s a homeware and furniture shop that sources the quirkiest and most unusual items it can find to make your home or office stand out. From the vintage Chesterfield sofas to the retro suitcases and the eye catching ornaments, you won’t find anything they stock on the high street – which means it’s well worth a rummage.
The Cave, 122 Long Row, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 5AA.
ArtOfficial is one of the coolest shops in Leeds. Set up by famous street artist Bretski, they have everything you need to create your own works of art – think spray paint, Posca pens, canvases and more. But it’s not just materials. They also have art, vinyl and t-shirts on sale, for those of you who share more than just their love of graffiti.
ArtOfficial, 28 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DR.
50. Northern Acoustics
Northern Acoustics is not your usual guitar shop. They only deal with acoustic and electro-acoustic guitars here – it’s a no Stratocaster zone. In fact, they specialise in the work of Martin & Co, Sigma Guitars and Faith Guitars, which they ask you to come in and try before you buy. If you need accessories, they’ve got them too, from capos to cases, pics and straps.
Northern Acoustics, Balcony Level, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.