back to top

23 Places In Leeds You Must Visit Before You Die

Scratching the surface of Leeds' hidden city. Hidden rooftop bars, beautiful nature spots, and unassuming restaurants that foodies don't want you to know about.

Posted on

1. The Leeds Library

Flickr: 118118485@N05 / Creative Commons

You've probably walked passed this hundreds of times and had no idea. The Narnia-style doorway leading to this gorgeous, members-only library is next to Paperchase on Commercial Street. It's nearly 250 years old but most Loiners don't even know it exists.

2. Passion Supper Club in Carlton

Carlton is home to Yorkshire's famous forced rhubarb and secret supper club hosts Simon and Remmy. They host tables of ten in their cosy home with dishes like rack of lamb and (obvs) rhubarb-based puddings.


5. Below Stairs at Temple Newsam House

Via Facebook: LeedsMuseumsandGalleries

Under the grand Tudor-Jacobean stately home is a network of tunnels and rooms that are worlds apart from the fine decor of the house above them. Kitchen staff had to make their way across a huge 100ft tunnel to deliver food to wait staff back in the day. Crackers.

6. Mrs Atha's

The coffee froth patterns game is strong at Mrs Atha's. It's a lovely little cafe on two floors with lots of cosy nooks and crannies to sit in and tuck into some lovely home-made cakes. You can find it lurking behind House of Fraser.

7. Holbeck Cemetery

Flickr: stripeyanne / Creative Commons

If you're into history, you can go on organised tours of the ageing graveyard which is the final resting place for Victorian inventors, mayors, commonwealth war graves, and "guinea graves": headstones shared by poorer residents of the city.

8. Colours May Vary

Via Facebook: colours.mayvary

If you're a designer or an admirer of design this shop and printing studio is for you. The wares on show are clearly very carefully selected and it's the type of shop you can hang out in for ages. You can find it a few doors up from The Wardrobe bar.


9. Eccup Reservoir

It's ridiculously beautiful and walking around it on a fresh Sunday morning is lush.

10. The 212 Café & Bar

Facebook: the212bar

Whether it's named after the New York City area code or the bus to Batley is by the by. It's a nice little bar which will be welcomed by the city dwellers and office workers in the south of the city who usually have to walk for AGES to get to the nearest pub.

12. Meat Liqour

A meat-lovers paradise is hidden down an alley on Commercial Street. If you fancy washing down some 'Bingo Wings' with a Jägermeister milkshake you should probably head there right now.


13. Brewdog

Though the bar staff are super-serious about their beer, they won't hold it against you if you order a rum and coke. They're opening a second bar very soon in 'Leeds Northern Quarter' (or North Street to you and me).

14. Northern Ballet

This awesome building for an awesome purpose is shamefully tucked away in the East of the city behind the BBC. It's the stunnning, purpose-built home of Northern Ballet which we're so lucky to host in Leeds.

15. The Terrace at Everyman Cinema

Via Facebook: EverymanLeeds

Even though it's just above one of the busiest thoroughfares in Leeds, many people have no idea this huge terrace is upstairs in the Everyman cinema. So when everyone is squished together on Millenium Square as soon as the first ray of sun appears, you know where to head.

16. Beer Ritz

Every beer enthusiast worth their salt makes the pilgrimage to Headingely to buy obscure beers from this legendary shop.


18. Boss Burgers / Via

People in the know travel miles to taste these giant burgers. It's on Brudenell Road and is very reasonable with burgers starting at £5.


21. Maven Bar

The bar has a prohibition theme going on so there's no sign above the door. You can "Follow the hidden staircase to the doors emblazoned ‘M’ and you’ll enter a room concealed behind darkened windows." OR you can Google them and get their address which is 1-3 Call Lane.

22. Tasty's Karahi Restaurant


This place is a massive secret amongst proper curry fans. It's pretty dodgy-looking from the outside but people who've tried it rave about it. It's not for the feint-hearted so if you prefer a korma to a madras Tasty's is definitely is not for you.

23. And the best hidden treasure in the city: Whitelock's Ale House

Flickr: adambruderer / Creative Commons

Unless you've just landed in Leeds from the Moon you've probably heard of Whitelock's but chances are you forgot it was there with it being hidden down an alley. It's the oldest pub in the city turning 300 this year (that's older than America!).