Quirky, creative and oh-so-cool – have you checked out these indie shops yet?
If you haven’t visited these 11 indies yet, you’re missing out. Why? Because they’re some of the coolest shops in Leeds. From leafy plant emporiums to Japanese gift shops stacked with specially imported goodies, each one is a unique treasure trove that breaks the mould – and that’s what makes them so darn cool. So next time you’re planning a shopping spree, pay them a visit – you won’t regret it.
OK Comics is a nationally renowned comic book store that’s even been nominated for prestigious Comic Con awards. They have every comic and graphic novel title you can imagine here. Superheroes? Check. Fantasy? Check. Rare editions and lesser-known titles you can’t find anywhere else? Check and double check. But what makes it one of the coolest shops in Leeds is their free lending library. They want everyone to read the very best comics, so you can take home classics like Avengers Vs X-Men, Batman: Year One and Fables: Legends in Exile, without paying a penny.
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.
Colours May Vary
Nestled in Munro House is Colours May Vary, a colourful, artistic shop that sells an array of eye-catching prints, stationary and books. The walls are decorated with bold geometric artwork, while the shelves are lined with cool non-fiction titles that cover everything from Parisian architecture to Japanese graphic design. Don’t miss the rare vintage magazines either. Stationary-lovers won’t be disappointed as there’s plenty of quirky notebooks, pencils, pens and calendars to browse. Tucked behind the shop is an events space, where they often host art exhibitions and author talks.
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.
West Yorkshire Cameras
West Yorkshire Cameras is a camera shop with a difference. They’re analogue camera and film specialists, so you won’t find anything digital here, just good old fashioned vintage gear. Big brands like Nikon, Olympus and Canon are all sold and each camera is lovingly re-stored to ensure it’s in tip-top condition before you get snapping away. They sell a whole range of accessories and if you need any advice, the team’s expertise is second to none.
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.
If you want to do a spot of record shopping in Leeds, make a beeline for Released Records. It’s a laid-back little shop where you can browse records, kick back in comfy armchairs and groove to regular in-house DJ sets. Their collection covers a real mix of genres, with everything from classical music to the latest d&b. They champion underground artists so you can also find lesser-known electronica, funk, hip-hop and jazz cuts. In fact, they don’t just sell underground music, they produce it through their own label. That means you can get your hands on the latest vinyl releases from up-and-coming talent.
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.
Yellow Sunrise is an ethnic-chic boutique, filled with trinkets and treasures from across the world. Step inside and you’ll be met with a wonderful aroma of incense and scented candles, while Indian tapestries cover the walls and butterfly chains hang from the ceiling. They sell an array of bohemian home accessories and gifts, including Himalayan salt lamps, healing crystals, scarfs, ornamental carvings and oriental tea sets, all sustainably sourced.
Yellow Sunrise, Central Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DX. They have hand-sanitiser at the door and a one-way system in place.
The Plant Point
The Plant Point in The Corn Exchange is a paradise for plant-lovers. It’s a jungle of a shop, with thriving green plants covering almost every surface. They’ve got all the house-plants you could ever dream of, with delicate little cacti, succulents and terrariums alongside large Swiss Cheese plants and the ever-growing String of Pearls. It’s run by a team of green-fingered fiends who will be happy to give you tips on how to help your plants flourish. You can also pick up colourful bouquets and small gifts if you want to treat a special someone.
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.
All Blues Co.
All Blues Co. is an alternative menswear store that puts a modern take on heritage fashion and classic cuts. It’s known as one of the coolest menswear shops in Leeds, thanks to their slew of UK exclusives that are specially imported from around the globe. You can get your hands on Resolute jeans from Japan, Padmore Barnes loafers from Ireland and Le Laboureur work jackets from France. They’re fashion experts and always in tune with the latest trends, so if you want to inject your wardrobe with a whole dose of cool, stop by on your next shopping spree.
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.
Little Leeds Beerhouse
Little Leeds Beerhouse is a small but mighty bottle shop nestled in Brownhill & Co. A huge array of craft beers line the shelves, with local favourites from Northern Monk alongside cool creations from further-afield, like New York’s Finback Brewery. They also have growlers and an ever-changing selection of beers on draught, so you can get tap-fresh beer to enjoy at home. Want to meet other like-minded beer lovers? They hold tastings, talks and food pairing events throughout the year.
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.
A shop run by skaters, for skaters, Welcome is the place to go if you want to kit yourself out with all the latest skating apparel. The ground floor is dedicated to clothes. They have jeans from Levi’s, hoodies from Thrasher and kicks from Converse. Head upstairs and you’ll find loads of cool decks stacked up in racks, with Welcome’s own original designs alongside the latest from big brands like Cliche and Polar. They also have all the accessories you’ll need to keep your board in top condition.
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.
Village Bookshop is a bright and modern indie bookshop. They have a carefully chosen selection of publications on art, culture, politics, fashion and photography as well as special-edition novels. But it’s not just books – they also have an awesome collection of zines. In fact, it’s the only shop in the city where you can find such an eclectic mix of self-published zines from internationally-acclaimed and emerging artists. Just add a gallery space where they regularly host art exhibitions, and it’s easy to see why this is one of the coolest shops in Leeds.
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.
Giant Kitten is unlike any other shop in Leeds. It celebrates all things kitsch and kawaii from Japan. Step inside the jam-packed store and you’ll find everything from plush chibi toys to eye-catching fashion and rare Asian-edition records. There’s a whole host of weird and wonderful Japanese treats too, including apple pie Kit-Kats and Pokèmon pop. It’s a real mish-mash, but well-worth rummaging through for all the cool and quirky Japanese gems you might find. Lots of their products are specially imported, so this is the only place you’ll find them 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.Cover image: © Copyright Leeds-List 2020 by Max Wailes