City living during the course of my time at university has been one of the strangest and most exciting things I have experienced. When we first moved to our mini ‘London of the North’ we weren’t vegan, but just over a year ago I took the initiative and changed my life, with my partner following me not too long afterwards. Luckily for us Leeds’ vegan friendly shops, cafes, and restaurants had been going about their business the whole time we’d been wandering blindly around, and they were more than ready to accommodate two more vegans.
If you’re planning on moving to the city, or stopping by for the day, I’m going to share with you a selection of my favourite places to visit. If you’re in Leeds and have any secret vegan hotspots, make sure to let me know! For some pretty cool views of the city and a ‘real life’ look into the places I’ll be talking about, check out my minute and half long first attempt at vlog up above.
I have to start with Out of This World, because this shop has become our sanctuary. Okay, so maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but having a local health/organic/largely vegan friendly shop has been a real game changer. Although this place labels itself as healthy there are little pleasures to be had in their sweet treats, and so much tasty goodness in their selection of vegan deli counter items – I’ve just finished a slice of chocolate cake, and I am on cloud nine.
If you’re in the city and want to stock up on your Vego bars, coconut oil, or anything else vegan at all that you can think of, I’d definitely recommend trying Out of this World first. If you just want to pick up a quick lunch too, their deli offerings as wonderful. Our favourites are the tofu rosso and vegan cream cheese, and the falafel and hummus sandwiches. I would say that having this shop has made being vegan in Leeds much easier than perhaps it would have been back in the Potteries. However, if you are in a small town or somewhere that just hasn’t caught up with the demand for healthier and happier options, Amazon and other online retailers offer so many brilliant and often cheaper options.
In my post last Wednesday I put up a few pictures of places I loved to eat out at, and some of them can be found here in Leeds, Bar Burrito for one. However, our latest obsession was not featured on those pictures, and to be perfectly honest I doubt I’ll ever be patient enough to take a picture of the delights served there! I’m talking about Humpit, the place to go for hummus and falafel in Leeds. If you’re in Leeds you have to try it! Well, you don’t have to, but you should if you like good hummus. I always go for the falafel pita, it is lovely, but prepare to get it everywhere, unless you have some sort of clean eating superpowers, of which I have none. You can find Humpit in the Corn Exchange, a beautiful building, and one that always takes my breath away every time I visit.
Also in this beautiful building is a not so vegan place called Primos, however they do offer a veggie dog, which happens to be vegan friendly. That is the only thing suitable though, so it’s not perfect for a full meal. The Corn Exchange is opposite Out of this World as you look out of their huge back/side facing window. If you ever visit, do venture in, there are some lovely little shops too.
Leeds is full to the brim of coffee shops, and Pret a Manger is a great place to pick up lunch. I haven’t tried their drinks yet, but their vegan sandwich and selection of different soups are lovely. Cafe Nero, Starbucks, and Costa Coffee are just the big names that reside multiple times over in the city. I can’t forget Hand Made Burger Co either, the entire of January all of their vegan food was half pice, 50% off, with the mention of Veganuary and that have been pushed to last through to the end of February! Their vegan burgers are quite impressive, and they have a really good range.
To quickly mention takeaway food, our absolute favourite – and somewhere we’re sad to see the back of now we’re back on mission health – is Grove Cafe. Grove Cafe has a huge range of vegan pizza, and offers a vegan cheeseburger alongside many vegan curries and other Indian dishes. The only negative with this place is the time it take to get to you, but honestly the wait is well worth it. And now I’m hungry for pizza.
Leeds is an amazing city for shopping and dining, and once you’ve figured out the parking and one way system you’ll be set. That might take you a while if you’ve not driven here before, but luckily for those of us without a car or with a longing to sit back and watch the scenery there is a central train station, and there is a large bus station somewhere around here. This is also great for the days you need to escape and get some clean air – it won’t surprise you to know that the city air isn’t the best, and with the mass of smokers around here it’s even less surprising.
There is so much more I could say, and I will write more about this wonderful place in the city when I’ve discovered more. For now I will leave you with this essay of information, and do make sure to check out the video above for a little relaxing view of the city.
Thanks for reading and I shall see you next time.
With love from you BFF Vegan.