The Insider's Guide: Discover Leeds with Sook

Sook Leeds in Victoria Gate
Thinking about popping up in Leeds' Victoria Gate? Get the lowdown on who the neighbours are, where to get a cup of coffee, and where to celebrate your pop-up success, courtesy of our resident expert, Sook Leeds concierge, Alice Rayner.

Meet the Neighbours:

The Victoria Gate shopping centre is home to lots of high-end brands and designers, including The White Company, Anthropologie, Peloton, Rolex, and &Other stories, as well as the John Lewis department store.

Best place for a morning coffee:

There’s a Pret directly opposite the Sook space, which is very handy if you’re in a rush to grab a coffee!

If you have a little extra time for breakfast, and fancy supporting a small local business, Mrs Atha’s cafe is only a few minutes walk away - 18 Central Rd, Leeds LS1 6DE - this is definitely a local favourite for Leeds residents who love their coffee, which you can drink in or take away, and the pancakes are to die for.

Favourite place to go for lunch:

There are tons of restaurants and cafes within a few minutes walking distance, so you have loads of options!

If you're into Thai food, I’d recommend Zaap, where they do traditional Thai street food -  22 Grand Arcade, Leeds LS1 6PG. Or for the best sourdough pizza in Leeds (and the best music), visit Pizza Punks - 37 Bond St, Leeds LS1 5BQ.

Tastiest place to grab a snack:

I love a cafe called Flamingos Coffee house - Central Arcade, Leeds, LS1 6DX - it’s an LGBTQ+ friendly cafe that’s open til late, and they have a really great menu. If you have a sweet tooth like me, they have a delicious selection of homemade vegan and GF cakes.

Coolest place to pick up a last-minute gift: 

I’d definitely recommend the Corn Exchange at the top of Call Lane, it’s home to a lot of cute and quirky independent shops. There’s literally everything there you could hope for - arts and crafts, a record shop, vintage or ‘one of a kind’ clothes and fashion shops, and a really lovely plant shop. Boujiest options for after-work drinks: 

Leeds is famously good for a night out, so you have a lot of options to choose from! If you’re looking for a classic setting, try the Ivy, just opposite the Victoria Gate shopping centre. If you’re a cocktail fan, I recommend the Alchemist on Greek Street - pretty much any of the bars on Greek Street can be described as boujie, but the Alchemist is a little edgier!

Local landmarks: 

There are often mini festivals and music events held in Leeds Millennium Square, it’s worth going to check out what’s on there.

You also definitely want to check out the Corn Exchange at the top of Call Lane, it’s a haven for local Leeds creators, full of independent shops and cafes, and is one of the coolest places to hang out!

Call Lane is famous for being the best night out in Leeds - the whole street is filled with bars/clubs, there’s definitely something for everyone there! I recommend going on a Thursday night if weekend crowds aren’t your thing.

Insider’s top tip:

If you’re hoping to catch some live music while you’re in Leeds, you have two very different but equally awesome options in the heart of the city centre.

If you’re into jazz/blues/funk/soul, you couldn’t do better than heading to The Domino Club -  7 Grand Arcade, Leeds LS1 6PG - they have live music literally every night and it’s always a great, chilled vibe.

If rock/punk/emo/metal is more your thing, The Key Club is the perfect place for you on Merrion Street is always a great night out, but wear your cheapest trainers!

Find out more about Sook Leeds by clicking here.

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