Sarah Cotterill gives a rundown of Leeds' Bank Holiday offerings.

Weekends feel weird without Mondays off in May, am I right? We seem to be blessed with a home straight of three-day knees-ups at the minute. Cheers Charles, we ain’t complaining! Read on for six of the best ways to spend your royally earned downtime in Leeds this bank holiday weekend.

Canary Bar’s BBQ on the Docks

If you like a burger with a side of island tranquillity, this BBQ is the one for you. Perched high above the lapping waters of the Aire & Calder navigation, Canary Bar’s terrace is the perfect spot for sipping a cocktail in the sunshine. You and your pack of pals can choose from a classic beef burger topped with Swiss cheese, lettuce and mayo, a locally farmed sausage hotdog, or a portobello mushroom burger with all of the trimmings. And by trimmings we’re talking slamming sides. Think Spicy fries, Mexican corn cobs, posh potato salads, and creamy coleslaw. The new BBQ menu will be available throughout the Spring bank holiday weekend, and is available to book for larger groups and private hires for £25pp.

Open all weekend

2023 05 24 Leeds Bank Holiday Canary
Canary Bar in Leeds Dock Image:

Thiccc Sauce’s Big Birthday Bash

Like many of the fabulous young start-ups now flourishing in the city, Thiccc Sauce began with a scotch bonnet experiment in Luca’s Mum’s kitchen during lockdown. Three years on, and he’s secured shiny premises in Holbeck, where the production line has expanded dramatically. On Sunday 28th May between 11am and 8pm, you can celebrate their anniversary with a party like no other. It’s gonna be hot hot hot! Weather forecast aside, Leeds Indie Food have helped them curate a line-up of possibly the hottest street food traders around. There’s Neapolitan pizza, hummus, arancini, brownies, tacos, coffee, cookies - you name it! Plus don’t miss the official launch of new kids on the block, Koben’s, Po Boy subs and sarnies.


Sunday 28th May 11am – 8pm

2023 05 24 Leeds Bank Holiday Thiccs Birthday Bash
The lineup for Thicc Sauce's Big Birthday Bash Image: @thiccsauce

Veranda, Meanwood

It’s aperitivo time! Lean into that laid back Italian lifestyle at the new pop-up by Culto, on Stainbeck Road. Veranda Leeds are serving a sweet selection of beers, cocktails and wines alongside exquisite antipasti nibbles. Tuna, Tropea onions, cherry tomatoes, oregano and basil balanced onto neat Bruschettes? Deep-fried Italian mozzarella, coated in breadcrumbs, served with spicy ‘Nduja and Napoli sauce? Or Roman oval shaped pizzas slathered with homemade Pistachio cream, Fior di Latte, cherry tomatoes, rocket and crushed pistachios? Open Monday-Thursday: 12PM-2:30PM, 5PM-9PM and Friday-Sunday: 12PM-9:30PM. See you on the Veranda!


Open all weekend

2023 05 24 Leeds Bank Holiday Veranda 2
Veranda in Meanwood Image: @verandaleeds

Braizin’ Squad’s pop-up at Waterlane Boathouse

Waterlane Boathouse’s Summer Series returns with a fiery cook off courtesy of Braizin’ Squad, aka chef trio Jamie Marrion, Jordan Kaye and Michal Marud. Expect a flame grilled menu, 2 for £12 cocktails, and DJ’s spinning out on the waterside beer garden. Last time these guys fired up the BBQ we sampled Jerk Goat with corn & red onion relish, shallot crisps and spring onion, King Oyster Mushrooms with chimichurri, pickled red onion and shallot crisps and Steak Tartare with charred ponzu onion and chilli 'n' garlic egg creme. Wow. Get your tables booked ASAP!

@waterlaneboathouse @braizinsquad

Sunday 28th May – 1pm ‘til late

2023 05 24 Leeds Bank Holiday Waterlane Boathouse
Waterlane Boathouse Image: @waterlaneboathouse

IF Rooftop

Remember that secret code you had to tap in to get up to the roof of East Parade social? Well now it’s back, with a new weekly reveal via the @if_rooftop Instagram bio. With panoramic views over the Town Hall cityscape, the Avenue HQ venue has been refreshed and reinvented for 2023 by the team behind popular Call Lane hangout, If Up North. Toast to the start of Summer with local beers, boozy slushies and endless Aperol. Your rooftop rendezvous awaits!


Wednesday & Thursday - 4pm til Late

Friday, Saturday & Sunday - Midday til Late

2023 05 24 Leeds Bank Holiday If Rooftop Body
IF Rooftop in Leeds Image: @if_rooftop

Dance at Distrikt

If there’s anywhere in Leeds that knows how to throw a party, it’s Distrikt. Delve deep under the cobbled streets for three nights of unforgettable beats, raving like you’ve never raved before. Begin bank holiday Friday on the dancefloor with a Rendr records showcase, featuring Ibiza based DJ and producer, Kellie Allen. Slide into Saturday with Leeds lad Brawther taking to the main stage before a line-up of international artists whip up a frenzy of music and non-stop entertainment. Sunday night will bring the weekend to a close with a spectacular finale party and extended set from Praslea – the producer who knows exactly what the crowd wants, when they want it. For club anthems, VIP Packages and more, head to @distriktbarleeds

Doors open at 6pm on Friday and at 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.

2023 05 24 Leeds Bank Holiday Distrikt
Distrikt Image: @distriktbarleeds

Follow Sarah Cotterill

Read next - 'A banquet fit for a king' - Kunafa Tea, reviewed

Read again - Leeds Comedy Project add Tuesdays at Archive to the line-up of side-splitting laughter

Get the latest news to your inbox

Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email by signing up to our mailing list. This is one of the ways that Confidentials remains free to our readers and by signing up you help support our high quality, impartial and knowledgable writers. Thank you!