Just outside of the city centre of Leeds lies Meanwood, a little bustling suburb that is finally bouncing back after what has felt like a long and tiring 18 months. Pre-covid, the town was finally being brought to life and was recognised by people from near and far as the newest up-and-coming suburb, the ultimate place to be. And even through the midst of a global pandemic, tier systems, lockdowns and business closures, Meanwood only went from strength to strength and is back and better than ever. 

This residential area outside of Leeds is a well-connected hub between Chapel Allerton and Headingley and has become a melting pot of independent businesses. With everything from bars and restaurants to refill stations and gift shops, Meanwood now has everything on offer you could ever need, all right on our doorsteps. It’s time to show the suburbs some love and introduce you to some of the quirky and incredible independent businesses you can find there.

Terminus Tap Room & Bottle Shop – Terminus Tap Room is otherwise known as The Meanwood Brewery. All located within the same building, the brewery was established in 2017 by brothers Baz and Graeme, and introduced the world to Terminus the following year in 2018. Terminus offers customers the finest craft beers, wines, ciders and cocktails from the best local producers and beyond. Combining their love for great bars and a great local community, the brothers love to experiment with different styles from around the world to master the classic flavours and push the boundaries of what The Meanwood Brewery can do. You may even spot some of their beers in bottle shops and bars across Leeds or at festivals around Yorkshire. 

Tandem – Tandem opened in Meanwood back in 2017 by owners Hannah and Hetty, who created the shop of their dreams and transformed the space into a lifestyle and homeware heaven. With the aim for anyone to visit and walk out with something they love, Tandem is filled with so many beautiful products such as candles, jewellery, diffusers, an array of houseplants, furniture and interior pieces and their newest addition, a refill station. The first of its kind in Meanwood, you can fill up on all your kitchen and cleaning essentials, but keep an eye out as their station will be expanding to fit more products soon. After reinventing themselves several times throughout the pandemic, their initial concept of a lifestyle shop still remains strong and it’s the perfect place to browse as the Christmas season is approaching. 

Boot and Rally – Boot and Rally was born three and a half years ago from a strong love of beers and Yorkshire. Owner Will carefully selects the finest beers from across Yorkshire based breweries to showcase in Boot and Rally, and set up a welcoming space for people of all ages and backgrounds to visit and enjoy. By rotating all eight taps at the bar at least twice a week every week, it keeps the customers in for a surprise because you never know what you’ll end up trying next. And as winter has quickly appeared, new seasonal drinks will take over and you’re going to love it. If you’re a sucker for a good quiz, Boot and Rally are excited to hold their Christmas quiz later this year and they also regularly hold live music gigs.

Flavour Like Fancy – Flavour Like Fancy opened in 2019 by owner and curator, Tasha. This independent gift shop was born from the idea to support local makers as there are so many amazing creatives in our local area. With so many unique areas of specialism, you can find anything and everything in-store from handmade jewellery and baby clothes to prints and ceramic pieces. With over 48 stockists in shop at the moment, curators and artists are encouraged to approach Flavour Like Fancy and become one of their stockists in-store and online. One of their most popular products is their ‘Yorkshire Pantone’, an A4 print inspired by the themes a Northerner would be able to identify with, e.g. Yorkshire Pudding, Tetley Bitter and Wensleydale Cheese, by Anna Turner. 

Skar Organics – Skar Organics began back in 2019 and is the first company to sell and manufacture certified organic candles in the UK. After selling their products online, Skar Organics opened in Meanwood only a few weeks ago in October. As their candles are made with organic beeswax and essential oils, you’re guaranteed to be buying the best of the best in the candle industry. Treat yourself or someone else to one of their aromatherapy candles, their beeswax range or their newest Christmas candles that will certainly put you in the festive spirit. And luckily, over the next few weeks owner Fraser will be running a 30% discount on their candle range, perfect in time for Christmas.

Junction – Junction (literally on the junction in Meanwood) is a family run bar that opens early in the morning. Acting as a hub in the suburb, Junction has become a place for people of all ages to meet during the day or evening, to drink, catch-up and grab a little bite to eat. If you love a cosy and friendly space to enjoy your evening in, Junction is the ideal place for you as people as young as students to people in their 70s, 80s or 90s are all welcomed here. Opening only in May 2019, Junction certainly felt the hit of covid but are bouncing back better than ever so keep an eye out for any events coming soon to their space in Meanwood. And even better, they regularly sell pizza by the slice from none-other than Simpatico pizza found in Leeds city centre. 

Wildcraft Bakery – Wildcraft Bakery began four years ago from the idea that celiacs and people with dietary issues can’t eat all the lovely things everyone else could eat. Originally starting as a bakery and selling a few loaves of bread, Sam and Mina finally opened their cafe/ shop where everyone can come and eat together and not worry about dietary restrictions. Selling everything from bread to cakes and savouries, everything you find at Wildcraft Bakery is gluten-free. If you have any allergies or intolerances, they’re more than happy to accommodate you. From what started as a team of two to now a 15-20 man team, Wildcraft Bakery is thriving and bringing the community of Meanwood together every day.

Zucco – Zucco is one of Meanwood’s longest standing independent businesses, opening back in May 2013. This small-plate Italian restaurant is a very family-orientated eatery that simply serves good quality food and friendly service to their loyal and new customers. Not like any other ordinary restaurant, Zucco’s like to experiment with different dishes and use fresh seafood, depending on what they can get in. And with meat, they like to mix it up too. As well they have seasonal menus so you’re really spoilt for choice with their menu any day of the year. But book yourself in quick as their books are filling up fast, and as Christmas is approaching, there’s limited tables left to trial and taste their delicious seasonal menu this winter. 

Alfred – Right in the centre of Meanwood is Alfred, another extension of the infamously known North Brewing Co. Alfred is the perfect hang out spot for people who love great beer, wines and ciders, and for those who only want to pop down the road for a good drink rather than trekking into the city. Opening back in 2011, Alfred has been leading the independent business scene in Meanwood for over 10 years and it just wouldn’t be the same without it. 

Kirby’s of Meanwood – There’s nothing better than some good quality fish and chips. Kirby’s in Meanwood is simply one of the best, serving up customers six days a week the best of British fish and chips. Freshly cooked, smothered in salt and vinegar, piping hot – the perfect dinner in these cold winter days. Serving the people of Meanwood since 1922, treat yourself to a traditional dinner such as haddock, scampi, spam fritters or fishcakes. Absolutely delicious!

Images: Boot and Rally, Tandem, Flavour Like Fancy, Skar Organics, Junction, Wildcraft Bakery, Zucco