Leeds’ original independent foodie corner comes of age

For over 21 years, Holbeck Urban Village has been a vibrant hub of independent cafes, pubs, and restaurants. Nestled on the fringes of the city centre, yet just a short walk from Leeds Train Station, this hidden foodie oasis has been catering to the evolving needs of the areas workers and residents for two decades. Amidst the cobblestone streets and charming courtyards of this historic neighbourhood is a mixture of eateries serving everything from bacon butties and award-winning Sunday lunches to matcha lattes and afternoon treats.

The area around Marshall’s Mill and the Round Foundry is part of the up-and-coming South Bank of the city; a bustling and distinctive area where repurposed old mill buildings sit side by side with striking new offices and apartment buildings to create a lively and fast changing community. Crowned the UK and Ireland’s Best Neighbourhood at the 2015 Urbanism Awards, the area remains a hidden haven for those keen to support smaller, family-owned and often family-run, businesses.

  • Newest kid on the block is Suki, bringing authentic Japanese cuisine to Holbeck since March 2023. Specialising in healthy bento, bao and sushi, freshly made every day by Wendy who moved to the UK from Hong Kong 18 years ago, Suki has been described as a ‘hidden gem’ by locals.
  • Opened in 2022 in the thick of pandemic pains for the hospitality industry, paella and tapas bar Bomba has quickly become a staple in the neighbourhood, even working in collaboration with their friends and neighbours, The Cross Keys. Bomba was Winner of the Yorkshire Evening Post 2022 Oliver Award winner for Best Takeaway for their traditional paella, bringing Spanish sunshine to their restaurant and terrace year-round.
  • Founded in 2006 to offer good quality, locally sourced food ‘on the go’, Out of the Woods prides itself on finding and supporting independent suppliers, many of which are based in Yorkshire. First and foremost a coffee shop, Out of the Woods is worth the trip from anywhere in the city for homemade toasties, smoothies and sandwiches as well as locally baked cakes and brownies.
  • Leeds Brewery’s flagship pub The Midnight Bell is dog friendly and has possibly the best beer garden in Leeds and is well known for its Sunday roasts. As well as being the perfect spot for a post work drink, the Bell regularly hosts celebratory events and weddings.
  • The Cross Keys has been the local for workers in the surrounding foundries for over 220 years. One of the few remaining free houses in Leeds, the pub is a civilised stop off for football fans on their way to Elland Road and is currently enjoying a working partnership with Bomba on their food offer. The Cross Keys also hosts the regular Mill Social event, organised by the development team, to help beat loneliness within the community.
  • David Street Café has been in the area since 1997, relocating from its original position on David Street round the corner onto Water Lane. Busiest in the morning for breakfast, the traditional café has fed and watered those building the new office blocks and rental apartments that have sprung up over the last two decades and is the obvious spot for a quick lunch.

Lisa Riley, Events Co-ordinator & Front of House at Marshall’s Mill, said:

“It’s incredible that we have such a variety of fantastic places to eat literally on our doorstep, whether we need catering for an event or want to just catch up with friends or colleagues after work or at the weekend.

“These independent businesses are an example of where Leeds’ indie food scene started and they are still some of the friendliest and best neighbourhood pubs, restaurants and cafes in the city.”


This post is based on a press release issued on behalf of Marshall’s Mill

Photo: The Cross Keys.  Credit: Emma Boyle


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