Shops, cafes and restaurants also add to the multicultural vibe, with Abu Bakr and Grove Cafe just two examples of great places attracting mixed ethnicities and enhancing the area; Retro Boutique appeals to students and more with their eclectic array of vintage; May’s Thai Malaysian Cafe and Bangkok Cafe offer Eastern delights; Oranaise, Le Cafeti?re, Popina’s and Chichini cook up dishes of British breakfasts, North African delicacies and Mediterranean dinners between them; and LS6 Cafe is a hangout uniquely decorated with all kinds of clocks, serving all day food, coffee and beers.
Unsurprisingly for an area filled with students, there are plenty of other establishments also pouring the booze. The Hyde Park and The Royal Park are uncomplicated pubs, welcoming of students and locals alike; The East Village arrived a few years ago to add a New York feel to proceedings, with great cocktails and cool music; Hyde Park Book Club then came to put on vital underground gigs and laid back vibes in a former petrol station; and most famously, The Brudenell has transformed itself over the years from a regulars social club to an inclusive bar and hip music venue that is acknowledged as one of the best in the country, attracting cult acts and international stars, whilst somehow maintaining its traditional charm.
But perhaps Hyde Park’s most recognisable landmark is one of its most historic; the Hyde Park Picture House opened in 1914, and this stunning building still stands in its original form, a rarely preserved and ornate spectacle from outside and in. Far from living in the past, the cinema operates superbly in the modern day, by showing a mix of independent art house films, select blockbusters, and other uniquely curated events. A must visit, indeed.
So there you have it; this characterful piece of Leeds is one of its most diverse and vibrant, and as a lengthy google search of ‘what to do in Hyde Park Leeds’ will eventually discover, it is home to many great independents, some essential names, and above all, thousands of people that make Leeds, Leeds.