One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about moving to Leeds is learning about new places to eat and buy great kitchen stuff and I wanted to share them with you. So if you’re visiting the nearby area, why not drop in at some of these places. Got a recommendation? Leave it in the comments section – I am only a newbie to Leed so please suggest!
Where to eat, during the day
Art’s Café, 42 Call Lane
Peckish for a lunchtime snack? The cosy and always busy Art’s cafe bar serves a lovely selection of sandwiches the size of doorstops, plates (ploughman’s) and salads – from the local to the mediterranean, there’s something here to suit everyone’s tastes. There’s no chance of leaving here still hungry, because dessert’s also on the menu and it’s looking sweet (just don’t calorie count!)
Try: The Yorkshire plate, Chorizo & potato salad, baby spinach, poached egg & red pepper aioli and the polenta chips with aioli.
Price: About £8-£9 per person with a drink (no pudding).
Website: Art’s cafe bar
OK, so technically this is chain, but it’s a small one and it actually started in Leeds. Many of the locations are dotted in and around Leeds city centre. The bagel’s are wonderfully light and moreish (not like the one’s you get in the supermarket). There’s so much choice, from the bagel itself to the fillings and won’t break the bank either. They also have fat free frozen yoghurt and you can choose lots of tasty toppings to go on top.
Try: Hot salt beef on an onion bagel, homous and falafel on a multiseed bagel.
Price: About £5 per person with a drink.
Website: Bagel Nash
Where to eat, in the evening
Little Tokyo, 24 Central Road
I’ve already written a review about this place, which you can read here. I can’t recommend it enough and there’s a great selection of cocktails too.
Try: The teriyaki beef bento box
Price: About £20 per person, with a starter and alcoholic drink
The Reliance, 76-78 North Street
Chris has assured me this a great place to eat (I haven’t eaten there myself) but with main courses such as “Roast wild boar belly with sweet potato rosti, buttered spinach & a rhubarb & mustard, seed chutney” on the menu, it sounds like good grub to me, especially as all the meat is reared here in Yorkshire.
Try: The sausage and mash.
Price: About £16 per person, with an alcoholic drink
Website: The Reliance
Red Chilli, 6 Great George Street
I’ve had some good chinese food in my time, but this really pips the others at the post. The restaurant is huge, but you won’t be left waiting for your food too long. There’s loads of selection and I love that the set banquets have cute names like “First Date” and “True Love” etc. The waiters and waitresses have always been very good at recommending dishes to go together too. I only wish I had a bigger stomach so I could try more things with each meal.
Try: Their star dish, stir fried Shredded pork with red chilli
Price: About £15 per person, with an alcoholic drink
Website: Red Chilli, Leeds
Mumtaz, Clarence Dock
The best indian food I’ve had since I lived here, Mumtaz is provides an excellent range of dishes to eat in and take away!). I love the atmosphere of this restaurant and most evenings you can listen to live piano while you eat. Can’t get to Mumtaz, you can buy from their online shop, and they even do baby food!
Try: Any of the curries! (Tip:If you like hot, go for medium!)
Price: About £16 per person, with a drink (No alcohol is served here)
Where to shop
It goes without saying that anyone who visits Leeds should visit Kirkgate Market. I feel so lucky to finally have a proper market again, we didn’t have one like this in Portsmouth. You can buy everything here: meat, fresh fish, huge free range eggs and a huge selection of fruits and vegetables. From curry to quiche, you’ll find what you’re looking for here. My highlight was finding they sell cashel blue , my favourite stilton here.
Kirkgate market is in trouble, help save Kirkgate market by liking their facebook page and signing the petition.
Millies, 109 Vicar Lane
I’d always avoided this place, but I’m so glad I went in. From the outside it looked a bit too “health food shop” for me, but inside there’s an amazing range of delicious organic and healthy foods including foods for people with special dietary requirements. They have a mouthwatering array of cakes and and breads, ready meals and meats. I also found they sell my favourite cheddar, Snowdonia Red Devil
Website: Millie’s Fresh & Organic.
Wing Lee Hong, Vicar Lane
A bit further down Vicar lane you’ll find the best asian supermarket in Leeds. I’ve found everything I need for my Tom Yam soup in here, including frozen (not dried) kaffir lime leaves and galangal. They have a huge range of dim sum and you’ll never find me leaving the shop without a pack. My mum found some sweets in there she hadn’t had since she lived in Singapore and I found they sell Bulldog sauce which I ate a lot in Japan. If you need anything asian, this is your one stop shop.
I’d walked past this place so many times and never even noticed it. Now I’ve been in I want everything in the shop! William Morris famously quoted “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” but with this shop you don’t need to choose between them. Peter Maturi in days of yore made cutlery (I believe) and his shop has been around for over a hundred years. They still sell their own brand of stylish cutlery, as well as having an extensive selection of kitchen knives like Wusthof, Josef Josef kitchenware, the stunning Kitchenaid coffee maker and all things WMF (I had to convince Chris he didn’t need to spend £15 on a tin opener). They also have a range of homemade cards from local designers.
Website: Peter Maturi website and online shop
Simpsons, 28 Dock Street
This place is like a grocer and local shop rolled into one. With all the look of farm shop, Simpsons has a wonderful range of foods, including Yorkshire Outdoor rind on bacon, stuffed olives, plus healthy tasty frozen meals. Well worth a visit, plus it’s open until 11pm on a Friday and Saturday.
Simpsons has now closed it doors, we’ll keep you posted.
And a bit further afield…
Salts Mill, Saltaire
Chris was so excited to take me here and now I know why. The Mill has been turned into a beautiful shop and restaurant. The huge rooms boast David Hockney art alongside art books and paintings, and then on the floor above you’ll find the bookshop. The shop boasts a good range of books, but it was the culinary collection I was most interested in. There’s so many books to look at, I could’ve spent all day perusing. Then through the restaurant, you’ll find the homeware. Designer and stylish, if you want to make a statement kitchen, this is the place to shop.