There’s something truly special about the local spirit in Leeds and the way people rally around to support small businesses, both through the good times and the bad. And after the struggles that local businesses have faced over the last few years, it’s great to see so many new openings popping up in the city in 2022.
From the city centre to the suburbs, empty outlets are being transformed at this very moment, ready to become your new favourite spot for a bite to eat or a long drink after an even longer day. As opening dates draw closer and anticipation grows, the independent buzz of our city has never been stronger, and this year Leeds is welcoming a whole host of new eateries, bars, and shops to its impressive collection.
As always, we’ve taken on the challenge of checking out what these new businesses are all about, so we won’t keep you waiting any longer. Here’s some amazing new places to add to your list of independent spots in and around Leeds…
Malcolm Michaels Butchers
We’re starting off our list with a familiar face – hailed as the city’s most famous butcher, Malcolm Michaels is a local institution that’s been delivering quality produce since 1993. After 40 years of trading in Kirkgate Market, Malcolm Michaels Butchers have taken the difficult decision to move their business elsewhere. But while they’ll be truly missed in the city-centre market, you won’t have to travel far to find them in their two – yes, two! – new homes on Kirkgate and in Crossgates. The Kirkgate store is set to open on the 9th of May, while the opening date for Crossgates is set to be announced very soon.
We’ve all dreamt about having our favourite cocktail on tap, ready to be poured at just a moment’s notice, and now this concept has finally been brought to life. Sitting just around the corner from Greek Street, SALT Craft and Cocktails recently opened its doors, serving up a huge range of cocktails and craft beer from their very own brewery in Saltaire. Make sure to take advantage of their 2 for £10 cocktail deal, which this generous lot have made available all day, every day!
If you’re anything like me, the urge to find coffee can spring up at any moment, and Humbl are helping to deliver the goods in places you might not expect. Serving up incredible coffee from their colourful converted trailer, the team behind Humbl can often be found slinging lattes in Meanwood Park at the weekend. But that’s set to change, with Humbl recently announcing that they’re planning to open their very own store in Meanwood which would provide the team with a permanent home. To make this possible, they’re asking for support through a crowdfunder, offering up some special coffee and tote bag bundles in return. Make sure to look out for the battery powered trailer next time you’re in Meanwood Park and do your bit to support this incredible local business.
Decked out in gorgeous pastel hues and plenty of rattan furniture, this new addition to Kirkgate is a hidden paradise just moments away from the centre of Leeds. Step inside and you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve just strolled off the beach somewhere much warmer, ready to sit back and enjoy some much needed holiday-vibes. With a cocktail menu full of exciting innovations and unexpected ingredients (we’re looking at you, pancetta) there’s never been a better escape from the day-to-day grind of city life. So next time you find yourself wandering down Kirkgate, look out for the bright blue building – it’s very hard to miss.
It’s hard to miss the bright neon signs of Pizza Freak on Kirkstall Road, and even harder to resist the urge to stop what you’re doing and step inside. Created by the owner of established local legends Simpatico, this joint was designed to deliver authentic New York pizza to the people of Leeds, and it does not disappoint. Everything is made in-house with the highest quality ingredients, resulting in a delicious slice of the big apple without having to leave the city. Open from Wednesday to Sunday each week, head down to their cosy spot to sit-in or take-away, or even get Pizza Freaks delivered to your door from your go-to delivery app.
After having incredible success up in Newcastle, Meat:Stack will be bringing their famous American burgers down the A1 to Leeds in 2022. They’ll be opening up an exciting new burger joint on Boar Lane, just seconds away from the station and city centre, and we’re sure it won’t be long before they’re a big hit with the locals. Dishing up a wide range of juicy burgers, loaded high with delicious toppings and sauces, you’ll be salivating before your food even hits the table. Meat:Stack is expected to open in Spring 2022, so keep your eyes out for an opening date very,
Underground Bakery made their name supplying baked goods to cafes and delis around Yorkshire, but now it’s finally their turn to take the limelight with their own outlet in Otley. Opening for the first time on Easter weekend, the bakery has been long anticipated by locals and they’ll be rushing to get their hands on the delicious cruffins, buns, brownies and chocolates on offer. Make sure you visit next time you’re in the area – but be quick, we’re sure they’ll be selling like hot cakes!
House of Koko
Chances are you may have heard of this brunch hotspot before, thanks to its hugely popular Chapel Allerton venue. But House of Koko aren’t stopping there – they’ve recently opened their second branch in Oakwood, where they’ll be serving up their famous brunch menu alongside small plates, wine, and cocktails on Friday and Saturday evenings. Delivering fine dining with a friendly face, the cosy atmosphere created by the HOK team is the perfect place to unwind at any time of day.
George & Joseph
If you’re a fellow cheese lover, then prepare to get excited about this new spot from legendary cheesemongers George & Joseph. They’ve recently opened their very own mini-market on Brussels Street – just a short walk from Kirkgate and the Corn Exchange – where they’ll be selling some of their best produce alongside artisan bread and pastries from other local independents. The stall will be open every Saturday from 10 until 2, giving those of us from the south and centre of the city the perfect opportunity to stock up without trekking out to Chapel Allerton (even though we’d like to).
The Savvy Baker
Savannah, the baking sensation behind The Savvy Baker, saw her business take off almost overnight when she began making treats for her friends in lockdown. Since then, The Savvy Baker has gone from strength to strength, creating incredible bakes and cakes that always sell out online, and now they’ve opened up their very first cafe on Lidgett Lane in Roundhay. From gooey brownies and cookies, to perfectly baked cakes and tarts, you’re almost guaranteed to find something delicious in store – make sure you get something to take home too!
The Green Room
Coming soon to Wellington Street, this plant based bar and eatery is set to make waves in the city this summer. Featuring a huge rooftop terrace, The Green Room is guaranteed to become a new favourite for city centre crowds, ready to soak up the summer sun with a refreshing drink in hand. The entrepreneurs behind this new venture, Will and PJ, were inspired by the need to introduce more sustainability into the hospitality industry, and this began by preserving many of the original features in their historic building. So be sure to head down to this incredible green venue and check out what they’re all about once they open later this year.
It’s great to see local businesses grow from humble origins into local institutions, especially when it happens so quickly. Wing Club began serving their hugely popular chicken wings from their back garden in 2020, and fast forward two years – they’ve opened up their very own shop in Harehills. Already proving a huge success, there’s no doubt Wing Club is destined for great things, and it won’t be long before everyone knows all about this place. So make sure you get down to sample the incredible flavours on offer before everyone else, you won’t want to be late to this party.
Hive Hair Salon
After an incredible 8 years in the city centre, this ethical eco-salon is upping its roots and heading to a brand new location on Otley Road in Headingley. Hive is powered by its incredible team, and they’re always striving to push the boundaries of their craft while delivering outstanding cuts, colours and styling to all of their loyal customers. Welcoming and friendly, Hive’s stylish salon is designed to make everyone feel at home while the team gets to work. Get yourself booked in for a much deserved hair refresh at their new home from May 2022.
Images: The Green Room, Humbl Coffee, SALT Bar, PASTEL, George & Joseph, Hive Hair Salon