Kirkgate follows down the hill from the pedestrianised hub which is Briggate, to a more calm street which has recently been reinvigorated by exciting local businesses.
A little community unto itself, the once-shabby road has become a bit of a hipster hotspot, in the most inclusive way. Kirkgate is the perfect street to start a weekend wander, with barbering, great food and drink, record shops, and art shops to keep you occupied!
“A little community unto itself, the once-shabby street has become a bit of a hipster hotspot, in the most inclusive way.”
Fred Aldous is an arts shop for people who don’t do art. And for people who do, too! It is a fascinating space, full of all sorts of items to tickle your fancy, from cards to games to homeware to stationery to gifts. You’re likely to go in for a browse and come out with stocking presents for everyone on your Christmas list. It stocks the best quality art supplies too, with oil paints from Daler Rowney, Winsor & Newton and Bob Ross, quality papers from the likes of Fabriano, and a massive range of brushes, both synthetic and hair, amongst many more useful art goods and tools.Address:Fred Aldous Ltd, 34 Kirkgate, Leeds LS2 7DR
Artofficial is the unofficial home of Leeds’ urban street art scene, stocking spray paint, markers, pens, mags, clothing and books. With street art finally garnering the credibility it deserves, and decorating many walls and interiors around the city, Artofficial makes a real space for these artists. The shop is run by Bretski, a street artist who has worked on massive projects such as Trinity Kitchen’s wall art.Address:28 Kirkgate, Leeds LS2 7DR
Blue Collar Barbering
This isn’t just a barber shop, but also a social hub where you can swing by for a chat. Forget your phone and take it old school, sitting down for an old-fashioned convo with the guy next to you - or the very friendly (and mostly very tattooed) team of talented barbers who will be sorting your mop out. With beard trims on the menu too, one hour spent in Blue Collar could turn you into the tidiest, most hipster you you could be!Address:90 Kirkgate, Leeds LS2 7DJ
Wapentake is an artisan cafe, bar and bakery that really embodies the local spirit of Kirkgate. It’s the sort of place that has locals, but is always welcoming to new faces too. After a hearty brunch (their straight-forward winner of a menu is mostly stocked from the butchers in Kirkgate market, just over the road, and features a spam butty alongside more modern classics like smashed avocado on toast), enjoy some of the great bakes they serve up. Choose from 8 beer lines - 4 cask, 4 keg - that showcase the best local beers from breweries like Northern Monk and Kirkstall Brewery.Address:92 Kirkgate, Leeds LS2 7DJ
Doghouse is a great combination - bar and record store. With a commitment to great Belgian beers, they have Vedett, an Extra Blonde Lager and Extraordinary IPA as permanent features on the bar, as well as Amstel as the house pour. There are then 3 rotating cask lines too, as well as a back bar of spirits, wines and soft drinks. They do a menu of foodie nibbles too, so your stomach doesn’t get too rumbly mid-pint. Think vegetarian samosas with sweet chilli jam, scotch eggs, and pork pie with piccalilli - as well as cracking triple chocolate or salted caramel brownies for that sweet tooth. Head to their record store for a browse whilst you’re in, and keep an eye on their event page for DJ sets and live music events instore.Address:93 Kirkgate, Leeds LS2 7DJ
Tribe Records is a great independent store for a browse, and the place to head to pick up some new sound. It’s been at the beating heart of Leeds’ thriving electronic scene since it opened two decades ago now (although it has been housed in 6 different venues so far)! If you want to delve into Leeds’ music history, there are few better places to do it.Address:28 Kirkgate, Leeds LS2 7DR