My pretty city of Leeds just keeps getting better. New buildings appear from nowhere and there's yet to be weeks that pass without a new place opening. Whilst I have my old time favourites, some of the newbies make it past the first visit and are added to my long term recommendations and repeat visits.
2017 wasn't short of new openings, some of which have come and gone already, others have lasted their first few months and have also made it into my favourites. These are my favourite Leeds discoveries of 2017, not all brand new to the city, but brand new to me last year, how many have you ticked off?
The Leeds indie food scene is next level, the variation of vendors means that no matter what food festival or foodie pop-up you're at, you'll find something for your taste buds. Eat North was a summer food festival, taking up residence at North Brewing Co. every weekend through the summer. Such an easy fix to get your weekend lunching in, staying for the tasty brews of The North. Not already on your radar? Here's exactly what Eat North is all about.
My tried and tested easy-fix for an A+ charcuterie and one of my favourite wines. Two options for Veeno in Leeds city centre, the Wellington Place option is always pretty quiet and the staff know their stuff. Get the full run down on why Veeno has earned it's stripes.
Leeds street art
With a bid for City of Culture 2023, Leeds had new artwork covering any blank wall in the city. Whilst Brexit might have negated any chance for official culture title, the artwork still remains. The Athena Rising piece is my favourite piece to pop-up in 2017 and you can see my other favourite corners of the city in my Leeds eye view post.
One of many new chains to grace Leeds with their presence in the past couple of years, but for me, this one goes under the radar of most as it might not be the household name of Nando's and the similar. Comptoir was one my favourites before it came to Leeds, having previously gone out of the way to go to the London branch by the Natural History Museum. It's Lebanese cuisine, think hummus, falafel, kofta and rice dishes - I've yet to try one filler dish (or get a full review on the blog).
Water Lane Boathouse
When Boathouse first replaced one of my old locals of The Pour House, I was sceptical. Another industrial looking blank slate that had replaced a cosy favourite of mine. It's now become a pretty regular haunt and whilst it's not my favourite for drinks - typically pretty expensive and not a ton of beer rotation - the food is reason enough to visit. The sourdough pizzas are incredibly light and freshly made onsite, the chips are amongst the best in Leeds and the beetroot veggie burger has turned me into a beetroot fan. Come summer, bag a seat on the terrace outside, or get first dibs on the window seat for some prime people watching over Granary Wharf. You can have a read of my full foodie thoughts if you need more buy-in.
Friends of Ham
Can you believe that I'd lived in Leeds for over two years without trying Friends of Ham? I don't know how it happened either, but I like to think I made up for that last year with the amount of times I visited. Put briefly, this is the ultimate stop for a charcuterie in Leeds. This is my favourite restaurant in the city for the best meat and cheese platters and small plates as well as their rotating beer menu with some unique stuff to try. Go for nibbles and drinks or the full serve, you won't be disappointed. Still yet to get my thoughts on this gem up on my blog, watch this space 👀
Magic Rock Taproom
And a sneaky finisher, not in Leeds, but worth the 20 minute train into Huddersfield. The Magic Rock Taproom was one of my favourite discoveries of 2017 without a doubt. A Huddersfield based brewery with the cutest branding and a taproom to while away the weekend in. Head over to the full post to read about my afternoon working through their taps. Leeds locals, take the time to visit. I couldn't not include it.
I've already got my ear to the ground when it comes to at least a couple of exciting launches coming to Leeds this year. You'll no doubt hear about it on here when I get to experience even more of the greatness that Leeds has to offer. What were your favourite finds last year, new or old to the city?