Every Monday during term time, come rain or shine, a foodie extravaganza takes place outside the union: it’s the Monday Farmers Market. From piping hot hog roasts to handmade hummus, continental crêpes to seasonal soups, whether you’re craving savoury or sweet there’s something for you.
At Honest Edibles, a newcomer this year and offering gluten-free options, everyone can indulge in an ethically-sourced, nutritious salad or vegan-friendly dessert, such as vegan cheesecake. A range of juices and smoothies is on the agenda for the future, and keep your eyes peeled in Essentials as their produce will soon be stocked in there too!
Over at Oliviccio, you can get a taste of the Mediterranean with a vast selection of hand-stuffed olives and homemade hummus to choose from, many of which are vegetarian-friendly.
For those needing to satisfy a sugar craving, pursue the homemade baked delights at Cottage Cakes. For just £1.20, a slab of pear and ginger tray bake or a wedge of smarties brownie could be yours – or get three for £3. They have a wide selection of fruit-based and chocolate-based sweet treats, alongside loaves which range from the traditional date and walnut to more unusual combinations, and flapjacks.
Crêpe connoisseurs should visit Rich’s Pancakes, which has an incredible selection of sweet and savoury delights, all of which cost less than£5. On the sweet side, besides the standard options of chocolate and maple syrup, there’s a whole range of desserts converted into crêpes; think Eton mess, lemon meringue and black forest gateau. If you prefer something savoury, they offer a selection including ratatouille, spinach and feta cheese and – in ultimate student style – baked beans and cheese.
If you loved Oktoberfest, why not snap up a pretzel at Gerhard’s Pretzels? Most of the pretzels are vegan-friendly (with the obvious exception of the cheesy pretzel), all allergens are clearly labelled and they’re all free from artificial nastiness.
A hog roast sandwich, complete with apple sauce and sage and onion stuffing, from The Travelling Pig will set you back just£4. Be sure to head down early to see the hog in all its splendour, as it’s a popular choice.
Seasonal soups and fresh breads from Thistlemist Farm provide the perfect winter-warmer food for the ever-decreasing temperatures of Leeds. The freshly baked loaves, including seeded spelt and honey and multigrain, are the perfect accompaniment to their soups, which include roast pumpkin and ginger and broccoli.
Last, but by no means least, Calverley Beekeepers offer a range of honey, jam, jellies and pickles to suit anyone’s tastes. They keep their own bees, and alongside their range of edibles they also sell beautiful beeswax candles.For an extra-special sweet or savoury spread, this stall is where to go; their products would also make ideal gifts.
If you haven’t already been, don’t miss your opportunity to sample the delights of the Leeds University Monday Farmers Market this year: there’s something for every taste and every budget.
Image: The Gryphon.