Foodie Hot Spots around Welcome to Leeds ‘Trail of Light, Art and Magic’ #christmasinleeds
From now – 3rd January Welcome to Leeds invite you to explore 15 art and light installations around Leeds City Centre, ‘A Trail of Light, Art and Magic’. Here are our recommendations of how to keep yourself fed and watered as you explore the trail’s various stops.
View Trail Map
Stop 1 & 2 – Park Square
See: Five statuesque trees wrapped with 20,000 LEDs and Alison M Smith’s ‘Texture of Winter’ sculptural lighting, that will be reminiscent of the evolution of ice formations.
La Bottega Milanese Espresso Bar
Their mantra is ‘if it’s not from Italy it’s from Yorkshire’. Start the day here with one of the best coffees in Leeds that’s roasted in Yorkshire, fresh pastries, granola and sour dough toast. Or if you’re visiting later treat yourself to a slice of cake, their Italian imported fine meats or pastas cooked using Italian produce.
2 Bond Court, Leeds LS1 2JZ
Wolf Italian Street Food
Enjoy one of Wolf Street Food’s traditional Italian ‘Piadinas’, the ultimate modern, Italian street food. Our favourite; ‘Steak Parmesan Alfredo Piada’ a thin, hand-rolled Italian wrap, baked on a stone grill. Filled with marinated and chargrilled British steak, mushrooms and courgettes, and covered with flavoursome Parmesan alfredo sauce.
8a St Paul’s St, Leeds LS1 2LE
Stop 5 Wellington Place
See: Festive light projections that will animate the historic lifting tower in Wellington Place.
Buca di Pizza
Visit for a pizza that incorporates exciting flavours from around the world, you’ll never look at pizza in the same way again. Our pick: The Snake Charmer ‘Goan coconut curry sauce, chili glazed paneer, lamb koftas, onions bhajis, fresh carrot, beetroot slaw & mint yogurt’.
27 Wellington Street, Leeds LS1 4EA
Stop 4 Central Square Leeds
See: David Shearing’s immersive experience, set in a 4×4 box, offers a moment of stillness in the midst of the festive chaos. Sited in Central Square Building on Wellington Street, the installation will house festive dining scenes acted out by Heydays volunteer group, with calls to action on social media to encourage participation from the general public.
White Cloth Gallery
A unique space for established artists to exhibit their work. Try one their specialty cocktails or a swift one from Leeds only Schooner Bar (two thirds of a pint) try more beers, enjoy them cooler and pay less!
24-26 Aire Street, Leeds LS1 4HT
Stop 7 & 13 Leeds Train Station
See: NEWSUBSTANCE’s SPIRIT huge ethereal figure installation, hovering above commuters. Also see Leeds Institution Northern Ballet’s Beauty & the Beast inspired Christmas tree.
Stop here for Indian Street Food with an extensive selection of the world’s best craft beer.
6 Mill Hill, Leeds LS1 5DQ
Friends of Ham
Meat, cheese, raclette, craft beer and wine – yes please! Serving some of the best charcuterie and cheeses from around the world, small plates of the French classic raclette, to Spanish boquerones. Not to mention an expertly curated list of some of the best wines and craft beers for their ever growing loyal following.
4-8 New Station Street, Leeds LS1 5DL
Stop 15 City Square
See: The colossal Christmas Tree with pop-up Christmas performances, including brass bands and choirs to brighten up the chilly Leeds streets.
Sous le Nez
Enjoy French cuisine and their extensive wine list in this full of atmosphere award-winning basement bar and bistro.
The Basement, Quebec House, 9 Quebec St, Leeds LS1 2HA
Or go for the Italian – Gusto’s Greek Street restaurant feels like you’ve stepped into one of the grand cafes of Europe. Decorated with parquet flooring, plush leather booths and beautifully lit olive trees throughout, their restaurant is full of atmosphere at this time of year. Enjoy their a la carte or festive menu alongside one of their Christmas inspired cocktails.
10 Greek Street, Leeds LS1 5RU
Stop 12 & 10 Trinity Leeds
See: Towering at a monumental 60ft in the middle of the Trinity Centre, The Kissmas Tree will see how amorous Leeds is with its kiss counter. Also visit Holy Trinty Church which will be illuminated by a cascading waterfall of lights.
For a sophisticated dining experience with views across the city, visit Craft House for their regularly changing seasonal British menus and outstanding desserts from their in-house pastry chef. The giant profiteroles are to die for!
Level 5 Trinity Leeds, 70 Boar Lane, Leeds LS1 6HW
Get out of the hustle and bustle of Briggate by nipping down one of its small narrow passages to the stylish Turks Head. Enjoy independently sourced beer from over 14 taps, artisan spirits, delicious cocktails and simple British dishes done well.
Turk’s Head Yard, Leeds LS1 6AH
For a quick casual bite visit Trinity Kitchen and choose from an array of international street food. Our choice ‘The Cauldron’ serving unreal lamb shoulder wraps with homemade slaw and halloumi (until 11th December).
Albion St, Leeds LS1 5AT
Stop 8 St Johns Centre
See: The Wishing Tree, positive messages are written on seeded paper and hung from the tree, which will bloom into flowers when they are gathered and planted in the New Year.
Offering 60 beers from around the world, Headrow House’s Beer Hall features the North of England’s first Pilsner Urquell tank installation. Every Saturday in December enjoy beer steins, pretzels, sausages mulled wine, live bands and more. Or do Brunch (weekends only) or dinner in their Michelin Guide recommended Ox Club restaurant.
Bramleys Yard, 19 The Headrow, Leeds LS1 6PU
Ham & Friends
Visit Friends of Ham’s new location, ‘Ham and Friends’ as they treat us to a taste of what’s to come at their ‘All the Trimmings’ Christmas pop-up. Set in a beautiful setting upstairs in the Grand Arcade, events are taking place throughout December such as a wreath making workshop, pop up cinema showings with paired wine, local craft beer supplier take over and more. You can also just pop in browse their food hall, wine shop, Christmas Shop, products from their ‘friends’ such as George and Joseph and Enkelhed store and enjoy a glass of wine, portion of raclette with a side of Salami or even just a can of Magic Rock.
Grand Arcade, Merrion Street, Leeds (around the corner from Zaap)
Stop 6 O2 Academy
See: The audio visual experts at Lumen create a light projection, highlighting the stunning architecture of the 02’s Grade II-listed gothic window façade.
The German Christmas Market has a new pop-up in the form of a Viking themed tipi bar. Once inside you’ll find cosy log fires, twinkling lights & Christmas cheer in abundance. Feast on wholesome Winter fodder, from outdoor BBQ’s, washed down with Ales, Mulled Wine, Hot Cider, Hot Chocolate, Prosecco and much more.
Victoria Gardens, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 3AA
Stop 14 Merrion Centre
See: Visit Santa’s post office to post your letter, watch the dancing penguins, sleeping polar beer, Christmas elves and real reindeers!
Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen
Music, art, film, food and good vibes spread across three floors. On 10th December catch their Belgrave Christmas Feast as the North’s finest street food vendors join them for some festive fun.
1-1A Cross Belgrave St, Leeds LS2 8JP
Indulge in authentic Thai food, in My Thai’s lively and informal setting. Always popular, they offer Thai food that’s cooked fast and fresh. Choose from over 100 tasty dishes on the menu!
Merrion Centre, 43 Wade Lane, Leeds, LS2 8NJ
Stop 11 Harvey Nichols
See: Harvey Nichols’ window display, inspired by the English/Italian relationship, BRITALIA takes inspiration from a famous scene in a Luigi Pirandello play. Created from 1,300kg of paper, as well as UV lighting, chandeliers and cumulus clouds.
Tall Boys Beer Market
Located in Thornton’s Arcade Tall Boys Beer Market is a bottle shop, beer café and coffee spot with over 350 beers from around the world. Pop in to pick up some Christmas presents or enjoy breakfast or lunch in their upstairs space ‘The Noonshine Café’, a collaboration between Tall Boys, the infamous Grub & Grog kitchen and Leeds Bread Co-op.
17 Thorntons Arcade, Leeds, LS1 6LQ
Coffee and cake sound good? Visit the quirky and cosy Mrs Atha’s, a family run coffee shop with an amazing selection of cakes, delicious breakfast menu, lunch options and specials. A favourite with coffee lovers.
Central Road, Leeds LS1 6DE
Man Behind the Curtain
Leeds only Michelin Star restaurant, the experience itself is as impressive as the food. Their lunch Menu Rapide is £45pp or multi-course Tasting Menu £75pp.
Top Floor Flannels, 68-78 Vicar Lane, Leeds LS1 7JH
Stops 3/9 Corn Exchange
See: A creative exploration of the Aurora Borealis, representing cross-national unity beneath the natural wonder of the Northern Lights. Also see ‘The Murmuration Cloud’, clusters of light swirl and float across a suspended cloud high above the people of the Corn Exchange.
Just a stones throw from the Corn Exchange on one of Leeds oldest streets, you’ll find the lovingly restored Wapentake. Serving up an impressive selection of artisan breads all baked in house, amazing sweet treats, local gins and cask ales and a seasonal and homely menu all sourced from Leeds Kirkgate Market.
Wapentake, 92 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DJ
This year Kirkgate Market has seen some great changes, including the addition of permanent street food traders. Visit British Street Food Award Winners Manjit’s Kitchen for delicious vegetarian Indian street food, Fat Annies for hand-made sausages in artisan bread with their own amazing pickles, or Bánh & Mee for authentic Vietnamese street food, from Hanoi to the streets of Leeds.
28-34 George St, Leeds LS2 7HY
As you head back to the train station pop into Distrikt’s intimate underground bar and restaurant for some Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Tapas from their award winning chefs. Runners up in October 2016’s Observer Food Monthly (OFM) Awards for Best Places to Drink, you can wash it all down with a cocktail, craft beer or wine.
7 Duncan Street, Leeds LS1 6DQ
Welcome to Leeds & The Yorkshire Food Guide
A Trail of Light, Art and Magic #christmasinleeds