There is so much going on in Leeds, and quite a lot of things you may not know about. It’s easy to hit Tripadvisor to find the most well-known attractions, but there are plenty of hidden gems that require true insider knowledge to find. Here are ten of the best in Leeds.
The historic hidden pub
Whitlock’s is a 300-year old institution to Leeds locals, but as it’s hidden down an alleyway it’s very easy to miss. It’s hardly changed in all the years it’s been here, and as well as local history there are also plenty of great Yorkshire ales and quality British food on offer.
Visit Whitelock’s at Turk’s Head Yard, Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HB.
Traditional pizza by the slice
Although fairly new to the city, Simpatico has already made its mark with its ‘pizza al taglio’. It sells pizza by the slice in the traditional Roman style – rectangular slices with a fluffy base and crunchy bottom. The toppings change every day with flavours including the popular prosciutto and parmesan or the more unusual asparagus and pumpkin on offer. You’ll find Simpatico in one of Leeds’ historic arcades, so have a visit and try a slice.
Visit Simpatico at Queens Arcade, 28 Land’s Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LF.
A taxi with a difference
Have a journey on the water with the Leeds Water Taxi. It’s used by many locals and is definitely worth a go – and even more so because it’s free! You can make a day of it by boarding the boat at Granary Wharf and taking a beautiful ride to Leeds Dock, where you can visit the Royal Armouries before hopping back on board for your return trip.
Visit The Water Taxi at Clarence Dock, Chadwick Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1PJ.
The hidden park
Another local favourite, Park Square is hidden away in the city’s business district. Surrounded by interesting buildings and townhouses, this Georgian square is perfect on a sunny day. It gets busy at weekday lunchtimes, but in the afternoons, evenings and weekends it becomes an island of peace and quiet in the busy city.
The secret cocktail bar
To find this cocktail bar you have to find and walk through Lord’s Barbering hairdressers in the Grand Arcade and continue down the back stairs. At the end of your journey you’ll find the Domino Club, a speakeasy style bar with live jazz and blues, where you can enjoy reasonably-priced whisky and expertly made cocktails. Evenings at the Domino Club see the band replaced by a DJ so you can dance the night away.
Visit The Domino Club at 7 Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
A theatre in the shadow of its neighbour
The Grand Theatre in Leeds is famous throughout the country, but less well known is the Howard Assembly Room – even though they’re both in the same building. Originally opened a year after the Grand Theatre in 1879, it has since been lovingly restored into a beautiful, unique space. Their programme is incredibly varied, from classical concerts to indie rock, opera, world music and folk.
Visit Howard Assembly Room at 46 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
An independent brewery-bar
Leeds’ very own independent brewery North Brewing Co. is a working brewery, but opens its doors Thursday to Sunday to serve one of the freshest pints in the city. As well as their firm favourite beers you can also try some of their exclusive short test run brews and a choice of guest pints. In summer they even put on a street food market that’s definitely worth checking out.
Visit North Brewing Co at Unit 6, Taverners Walk Industrial Estate, Sheepscar Grove, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 1AH.
An arts venue bursting with cool
Live Art Bistro is a theatre, but not as you know it. Their programme includes all types of performance art, from circus acts, to dance shows, visual arts and even cinema experiences. It’s one of the coolest, most creative venues in Leeds and has become a hub for the city’s artists.
Visit Live Art Bistro at 1-2 Regent Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7QA.
A pay-what-you-feel theatre
Hidden away in Holbeck is the HUB. This theatre operates a pay-as-you-feel scheme, so you can pay whatever you’re able to. This is the place to go if you want to see some of the newest and most thought-provoking work from independent companies, resulting in an ever-changing performance programme.
Visit The HUB at 67-71 Bath Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9UA.
The easily-missed city-centre café
Although it’s located in the heart of Leeds city centre, Mrs Atha’s is often missed by people not familiar with the city. It’s a local favourite though, and is so popular you may have to wait for a table. But it’s worth it – the interior aesthetic is charming vintage chic with retro crockery and exposed brickwork. You’ll also love their food and drink – try their signature Maude Coffee along with one of their tasty cakes and sandwiches.
Visit Mrs Atha’s at Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DE.