The Hidden Gems of Leeds

In your first year, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with the city, and what better way to do it than seeking out some of the city’s most illusive spots. So, here’s a rundown of a few of Leeds’ best hidden gems.


1. The Domino – 7 Grand Arcade, Leeds, LS1 6PG

Slotted in the middle of the Grand Arcade just off New Briggate, The Domino is a classy jazz bar with a cosy, rustic feel to it. Cast in low light save for the neon signs, this stylish bar hosts live acts every night from 9pm-10pm. Open till late, this bar is great to go for a few hours to relax from uni, or just to enjoy the music.

2. Global Tribe Café – 18 Swan Street, Leeds, LS1 6LG

A cosy eatery tucked away just off the Headrow, Global Tribe boasts a variety of locally sourced vegetarian and vegan meals. If you’re in the mood for breakfast foods, delicious cakes or vegan and vegetarian twists on classic dishes, this café is not to be missed. While a bit on the pricey side, it’s worth the extra cash.

3. Viva Cuba – 342 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, LS4 2DS

Situated out of the city down on Kirkstall Road, it’s unlikely that you’d stumble upon Viva Cuba in your first year. Offering a large food menu and an even larger drinks menu, Viva Cuba is a great place to go to share tapas and cocktails. With an authentic Cuban feel, the restaurant also displays a genuine Fidel Castro signature that was collected by the owner’s grandmother when she lived in Cuba.

4. The Maven Restaurant and Bar – 1 Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7DH

The first and only place on this list that is an intentionally-hidden gem. The Maven’s unmarked door is neatly tucked between a piercing shop and an amusements. Through the door and up the stairs, you will find a prohibition era bar, and a new restaurant. The elegant class of the décor comes through in the menu, which offers small but delectable portions. This hidden spot is a great place to go with friends or parents if they come to visit.

5. Smokestack – 159A Lower Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6LY

Another gem with a lot to offer, Smokestack takes up two floors down by the rail arches. With an eclectic mix of great cocktails and great music alike, the bar hosts a mix of DJs and live bands showcasing jazz, soul and funk music. The understated ambience of the place makes for a very relaxing evening that should not be missed.



Charlie Green

Image: Wikimedia Commons