Before Bundobust burst into existence, Leeds city centre already had a master purveyor of quality vegetarian Indian food. For two decades Hansa’s have been cooking Gujarati goodies lapped up by the city folk. Until there were Bundobust’s bhajis and masala dosas, there were Hansa’s bhajis and masala dosas – and indeed there still are, and they’re still great! With appetite whetted, others have come along since to provide more excellent Indian veggie cuisine to Leeds, most notably the marvellous Manjit’s Kitchen in Kirkgate Market. This friendly and tasty street fooder even give Bundobust a run for their money on everybody’s favourite vada pav.
Other places have combined curry with craft beers, and whilst not vegetarian restaurants, dedicate large chunks of their menus to meatless dishes. The Corner Cafe on Burley Road has been, on and off for forty years, a local favourite, the kind of secret that everyone knows about. Now the menu has more veggie options than otherwise, and offers local breweries’ bottles of ale to wash it all down with.
The small plates trend which Bundobust was at the Leeds forefront of is now regularly seen in restaurants from all nations. Spanish tapas is widely considered the original version that we are used to seeing in the UK, and the sharing nature of such eating is evident at venues such as Iberica, a stunning space with a buzzy atmosphere and sophisticated regional cuisine. New to Leeds, Stuzzi is another glorious interior with a relaxed vibrancy and high quality Italian small plates providing that perfect social ambience.
Of course, many a visit to Bundobust is for the bar and not always for a bite to eat. There are no shortage of pubs playing the craft beer game nowadays, but few do intriguing changing ales with such aplomb. Ones in Leeds that are also on top of this include Tapped and its countless lines of brilliant beers, and Friends of Ham with its wisely selected taps. Combining similar laid back cool vibes with ace ales are northern quarter trio North Bar, The Reliance and The Brunswick. And having comparative success with expansions into Manchester and beyond, Northern Monk Brewery have fittingly brewed beers together, and could even be seen to be Bundobust’s soulmate.