Before moving to Leeds, I was unaware that so many food and drink festivals existed, let alone how many were hosted in Leeds each year. With an eclectic mix of festivals offering a wide variety of cuisines and alcohols, it’s a great idea to attend a few and get a good idea of the city’s vast culture. The prices at some of the festivals can be quite steep, but the experience alone is enough to enjoy without having to fork out for some artisanal almonds. Helpful tip: most of the festivals that host alcohol stalls offer free tasters, so you can either grab a friend and head on down or go alone for some nice lonely free alcohol. With that in mind, here is a rundown of some of the best food and drink festivals held in the city during the year.
Yorkshire Post’s Yorkshire Food and Drink Festival – Millenium Square – June – Over 100 exhibitors. Live cookery from local chefs, cocktail bars, ales, artisanal foods, local restaurants serving their dishes, street foods of the world. Free to the public in the heart of Leeds.
Leeds Indie Food Festival – The country’s biggest festival for indie food and drink culture. Establishments from all over the city participate, ranging from cafes to fine dining restaurants, offering tasters of their dishes.
The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival – 17th June 2018 – The UK has seen a 1500% increase in veganism over the last 12 months, and this becomes apparent when you experience Yorkshire’s largest vegan festival that takes place each year at town hall. Over 100 stalls offering a variety of delicious vegan foods ranging from cakes and treats to takeaway foods. The festival offers free samples and great discounts. Also hosts numerous live talks, cookery demonstrations and debates. All proceeds go to animal welfare charities. £5 entry
Leeds Winterfest Vegan Festival – Town Hall – 26th November 2017 – Over 150 indoor stalls offering products for Christmas products and gifts. Something for everyone.
Camp Hill Sausage and Beer Festival – If your tastes are a bit more on the dead animal side, the Camp Hill Sausage and Beer Festival is for you! Over 20 different local butchers are showcasing their delicacies, all offering samples. There are over 15 local ales on offer to help you wash all the sausage down. In terms of entertainment, the festival offers music and sausage making demonstrations
North Leeds Food Festival – Roundhay Park – Over 85 stalls offering more than 20 different cuisines. Several local independent bars are present to offer their wares. All proceeds this year went to Leeds mental health charity Mind.
Pizza and Prosecco Festival – Canal Mills – 17th November – Twenty different types of prosecco to try, sparkling prosecco cocktails, soft blankets and heaters for when you get drowsy from all of that wine and cheese. Live music all day. Wider array of pizza pop ups. Bit pricey. A relatively xlassy event in one of the least classy venues in Leeds.
Image Credit: DrinksFeed, CampHill, Leedsinspired