19 bars, restaurants, and markets new this month or coming soon
This month: resurrected boozers, Italian small plates, and the chance to eat your own face...
New this month:
Boundary-exploring fine diner Mr Nobody had its work cut out for it, occupying a Lower Briggate venue proven to be pretty inhospitable to restaurants (RIP Rare) and so it unfortunately ceased to be. The owners have had a rethink, and decided to switch the focus from food to cocktails, and launched the second iteration of their popular Bamboo Door bar in Sheffield.
Bucking the gin trend that’s dominated new bar openings for what feels like forever, Bamboo Door is a full-on tiki bar experience; sophisticated flavours and top-shelf liquors making fun, colourful, and unpretentious cocktails with pun-tastic names you won’t be able to resist ordering. Not Nececelery, anyone?
163 Lower Briggate, Leeds LS1 6LY
Headingley’s beloved family-friendly cafe and deli Sebby’s is expanding, turning its neighbouring venue into an event-space hosting a rotation (get it?) of guest pop-ups for special events, start-ups, growing businesses, and anybody else who might need a temporary space for parties, exhibitions, launches, or supper clubs.
80 Otley Road, Headingley, LS6 4BA
Fine at Fettle
Great George Street’s trendy Scandi-inspired cafe keeps daytime punters coming back with their menus of breakfasts, light lunches, and brunches - now it’s taken a leaf out of The Swine That Dines’ book, transforming into a full-on restaurant every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 6pm.
The evening menu features a similar commitment to great-quality ingredients and simple preparation as the daytime ones - salads of radicchio, hazelnut, and herbs feature alongside pan-toasted gnocci and pumpkni & sage tortelloni, as well as nods to Scandinavian inspo like Swedish meatballs with cream gravy.
73 Great George Street, Leeds, LS1 3BR
The Hepworth Cafe
The opening of a cafe in an art gallery wouldn’t usually be newsworthy - it might even bring back unpleasant memories of paying £7 for a weak tea and a sub-Mr Kipling packaged flapjack - but the cafe at The Hepwroth Wakefield (named Art Fund’s UK Gallery of the Year 2017) has just handed the reigns over to the people who brought us Chapel Allerton’s charming House of Koko.
They’ve brought with them all of their speciality teas, North Star coffee, and brunchy, light-lunchy dishes from the flagship like full English/vegan breakfasts and corn fritter and avocado stacks - all made fresh and worthy of an exhibition of their own.
The Hepworth Cafe, Gallery Walk, Wakefield WF1 5AW
Temple Coffee & Donuts
Red Temple Prayer’s fashion & homeware outlet/headquarters/ultra-instagrammable donut and coffee shop opened mid-October and became the biggest thing to happen to Kirkstall Road since that video of somebody canoeing to McDonalds during the boxing day floods.
Great news, but it also means that more often than not they get cleared out of donuts before closing time - booo - but they’re very considerate in announcing the sell-outs on their Instagram stories (which you should be following already to keep up with their daily donut specials)
Burley Wood Court, 462 Kirkstall Road, Leeds LS4 2AR.
The Cardigan Arms
Speaking of Kirkstall Road, it’s all been kicking off down there recently. The former Greene King-owned pub was sold to Kirkstall Brewery in May, who have spent the past few months restoring the five ground-floor vaults to their former glory.
The place has been decked out sympathetically in traditional period decor, as well as getting eight hand-pull cask lines, several keg taps, and filling the fridges with a selection of beers from Kirkstall Brewery and beyond.
364 Kirkstall Road, Leeds LS4 2HQ
Kirkgate Night Market
Over four thousand people jumped at the opportunity to attend Kirkgate Market’s first night market event, featuring over twenty market traders, street food traders, and stalls from local makers and sellers, proving that there’s a definite demand for expanding the accessibility of the market beyond its normal daytime hours.
The real test will be whether they can sustain this interest beyond the first event and over the next three months, if that turns out to be the case then who knows what the future might hold for what should be Leeds’ most treasured and celebrated retail institution.
Kirkgate Night Market takes place on Thursday 30 November, click here for full details
Probably the only ice cream parlour - sorry, artisanal gelato maker - with a “philosophy”, Amorino has opened its first UK store outside of London in the lavish setting of Victoria Gate shopping centre, just in time for winter. Their creations are churned daily, and made using traditional methods and all-natural ingredients. Plus, their gelato-rose creations look ace.
Victoria Gate, George Street, Leeds LS2 7AU
Opening in November:
London’s Martini-specialists are taking over the huge off-East Parade venue that used to be The Atlas, where they’ll be shaking and stirring dozens of versions of the classic cocktail. There’s one exclusive to Leeds as well: The White Rose Martini, featuring Harrogate’s Slingsby gin, rose syrup, egg white, and dandelion & burdock bitters. You can guarantee they’ll do a better job of it than when we tried to make it in the office:
Opens Saturday 18 November. 31 King St, Leeds LS1 2HL
After ten years, West Park’s highly-acclaimed Parisienne-influenced Dough Bistro is hanging up its cloche for the final time, and heading more towards the Med, reinventing itself as Aperitivo, serving stone baked pizzas, homemade cured meats, and Italian small plates with a touch of fine-dining flourish you’d expect from from exec chef Luke Downing (Vice & Virtue) and head chef Laura MacLeod.
Opens mid-November, 293 Spen Lane, LS16 5BD
The Ticket Office
Following a few setbacks pushing the opening from Summer to Autumn to now, craft cocktail and fine wine bar The Ticket Office is finally opening in Ilkley’s station plaza this month, giving a warm welcome and a fond send-off to the town’s visitors. Kind of puts Leeds Station’s Wetherspoons to shame, doesn’t it?...
Opens mid-November, 11 Station Plaza, Ilkley, LS29 8HF
Ever wanted to be immortalised as a statue, but had your dreams crushed by the realisation that you’re nowhere near important enough? For just £7 you can get your face 3D-scanned, mapped out, and carved out of chocolate. The only downside is chocolate is much more delicious than marble, so don’t expect it to last as long as the Venus de Milo. Full details here
Opens Friday 3 November to Sunday 26 November on the ground floor of Trinity Leeds
Christmas is only 1/6th of a year away, so it’s time to start preparing for the influx of lovely festive tat and pretty-decent sausages to Millennium Square. As with last year there’s less focus on drinking, so the beer hall is gone, but there’s still bars where you can drink responsibly, and the main stage is coming back to host live music and performances. The big news this year is that it’s actually going on until Christmas Eve, which makes sense. Full announcement and info here
Opens Friday 10 November, Millennium Square
Thor's Viking Tipi
Expanding the Christmas market's offerings both in terms of size and appeal, Thor's Viking Tipi returns to Victoria Gardens this year, just outside of Leeds Art Gallery. Its bar remains open until 10pm each night, but there's more of a focus on being an attraction for families, rather than drinking beer from vessels the size of your head.
A more discerning range of drinks will be available, including beers from local breweries, which can be enjoyed with their street food offering among the Nordic decor, around the table's open fire-pits. Full details here
Opens Friday 17 November at Victoria Gardens, on the Headrow.
The Smokin’ Bar & Kitchen
The ground floor of Headrow’s Bierkeller complex - which also consists of a basement beerhall where every weekend is Oktoberfest and a top floor sports bar - is becoming an old-west themed US barbecue restaurant, promising a “contemporary twist” on all kinds of sticky slow-cooked, smoked, and chargrilled meats.
The Smokin’ Bar & Kitchen opens Friday 1 December. 1 South Parade, Leeds, LS1 5QL
As we exclusively announced a few weeks ago, the London fried chicken specialists confirmed that they’re coming to Leeds (which they think is nicknamed “the toon”, aww) next Summer - full details here
Absurd Bird opens in Leeds - aka The Toon - next Summer
Drink On Ltd
Despite several people trying to crack the booze-delivery game, there’s never been a real market leader. We’ve got the technology now though which has made the previously-unthinkable a reality (did you honestly think you’d live to see the day McDonalds delivered breakfast?) so maybe this could be the big one. The license application for its industrial unit in Bramley will have to get past some objections from locals first, though…
Drink On Ltd might be coming to a delivery app near you soon.
The “food, drink, and leisure hub” in the behemoth of a unit that used to be Next is over a year behind schedule at this point, causing a few people to wander if the developers had lost confidence and abandoned ship. That’s not the case though - they’ve been grafting behind closed doors to bring us a multi-storey food court, and the first opening date has been set in stone.
Cosy Club falls into the “Posh Wetherspoons” category: a menu to make everybody happy enough without throwing in any curveballs to risk confusing your Mum, like small plates, or "that street food"
Cosy Club opens Tuesday 5 December. 53 Albion Street, LS1 5AA
Speaking of that place what used to be next, Chilango announced it was going in there ages ago, but they’re yet to announce a concrete opening date. Time Out said that theirs were the best burritos in all of London, and god knows Leeds needs somewhere decent to get one. Fingers crossed they won’t keep us waiting much longer than Cosy Club
Chilango (hopefully) opens Tuesday 5 December. 53 Albion Street, LS1 5AA