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Five new food and drink venues open now or coming soon to Leeds

Written by
Shaun Curnow

Yes, the news that Keighley in West Yorkshire is now home to Mr. Crisp – England's first crisp sandwich cafe – is very exciting.

In fact, the reception to a menu that allows you to order (amongst other curious creations) a butty filled with Hula Hoops drizzled in Galaxy chocolate sauce has been so overwhelmingly positive that Mr. Crisp predicts two more shops could be opened before the end of the year. Might Leeds be next, perhaps?

While you think on the possibility of that, here are some other eating and drinking venues a little closer to home that have opened recently or will be opening soon.

We can't promise any of them will sell you a Monster Munch and peanut butter sandwich but we still think they're definitely worth keeping an eye out for...

Turtle Bay  


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Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay has opened an impressive number of eateries in quick succession, with new venues popping up in Walthamsatow, Cheltenham, Manchester, Bournemouth and Derby this year alone.

Next on the list is Leeds, where Turtle Bay will be taking over the space previously occupied by the O'Neill store in The Light shopping centre. We've yet to see a confirmed opening date but as its already hiring staff, we predict some time later this summer.

Like the other venues, you'll find a menu packed with Jamaican-style cuisine, including tasting dishes (think sweetcorn fritters, chicken wings and roti flatbreads) spicy Caribbean curries and authentic jerk BBQ meats. There will also be an extensive selection of rum-based cocktails.

Turtle Bay, The Light, The Headrow, City Centre, Leeds LS1 8TL.

The Alchemist 


Yes, we know what you're thinking – there is already an Alchemist, on the second floor of the Trinity Centre. Even so, just five years after opening its first cocktail bar and restaurant (in Manchester), a recent £12m equity investment means there are already plans for a second Alchemist in Leeds .

The new bar will be just one of several ventures that is hoped will revitalise the once-popular Greek Street. For example, the new Alchemist will adjoin a new Dakota hotel, a five-star boutique hostelry which is expected to be completed mid-2016.

The Alchemist, Greek Street. Exact location tbc. 

Kith & Kin

Kith & Kin

Yorkshire-based bar operator Arc Inspirations is responsible for a many drinking and eating spots around Leeds, including The Box, The Pit and Arc in Headingley, as well as Manhatta, Napa and Kobe. 

As one of the first places the company opened outside of Headingley, the Zed Bar in Chapel Allerton has held a special place for Arc Inspirations. Which may explain why it has been treated to a £350,000 refurbishment and rebranding.

The newly-named Kith & Kin bar and kitchen will source its food from local suppliers and is scheduled to open mid September. It will also feature a pleasant outside seating area.

Kith & Kin, 16/18 Stainbeck Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3QY.

7 Greek Street Social


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This underground bar on Greek Street opened just a few days ago but it won't just let anybody in: first you need to dial the correct code on a specially-installed phone box to gain entry.

Once inside, you can expect to enjoy what '7' call 'pretentious drinks made in an awfully unpretentious manner'. These have been created by a team of expert mixologists from Leeds, London and Chester, who have been invited to curate their own bespoke cocktails for the menu.

This include the Daiquiri Royal (Cointreau, Havana Club, Gancia Prosecco and lime wedges), Cold Toddy (Buffalo Trace, Grand Marnier, Grenadine, lemon wedges and egg) and the Soleros! (Passoa, Midori, passion fruit puree, orange juice, pineapple juice, vanilla syrup, cream, milk and sugar).

7 Greek Street Social, 5-7 Greek Street, Leeds, LS1 5RW.   

Smoke Barbecue

Smoke BBQ

You want the meat sweats? Because this is how you get them. Following the first restaurant in Sheffield, Smoke Barbecue and its slow cooked, Texas-inspired grub is penciled to open at the Merrion Centre sometime in September, making another addition to the burgeoning 'BBQ scene' in Leeds.

Hungry diners will be able to choose plates or ribs or brisket, a range of burgers and several epic mixed grill platters. There are a few veggie options too, but we suspect that those who opt for them will be in the minority.

Smoke Barbecue, Unit 6, Arena Quarter, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG. 

Have we missed any other new venues that you think we should know about?

Find more great restaurant in Leeds with some of our recommendations.


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