Well as 2013 draws to a close I can look back at a year where I’ve certainly eaten a lot of food, more so than ever before. I’m certain I would have been a few dress sizes bigger if it weren’t for doing a little running!!
The blog’s been going for 10 months now and there have been highs and lows. Mostly highs I must admit and I’m very thankful for that! I already knew that Leeds had lots of good things about it when it came to food and drink, but during the last 10 months I’ve realised it’s great and getting even better.
Of all the local places I’ve eaten this year, the most memorable ones I think are probably the places I keep recommending time and time again.
In particular I loved Shears Yard, a wonderful new addition to the restaurant scene in Leeds, serving beautiful food and ethically responsible to boot!! Other notable places to have won me over are RARE and Dough Boys pizza at Belgrave Music Hall!
The street food scene had grown massively in 2013, with the Briggate World Feast, Leeds Food Festival, Leeds International Beer Festival, Amazing Graze festival and LS6 Beer festival on the Left Bank.
Of course, not to mention Trinity Kitchen showcasing some of the best street food vans from all over the UK.
A vast array of Leeds markets this year have grown from strength to strength: Briggate World Feast, Farmers markets in Headingley, Horsforth, Oakwood, Chapel Allerton and Otley, the Briggate Farmers and Craft Market and also Kirkstall Deli Market, all showing off what Leeds and the rest of Yorkshire has to offer in terms of wonderful produce!
Supperclubs such as much the loved Dinner at the Manor and Cena Sarda have been wowing people with their food. Pop-up restaurants like Strano’s, Tongue ‘n’ Cheek at Jake’s Bar & Still and The Captain’s Table at Outlaws Yacht Club have been very exciting and brought something new to the table. One of the most memorable pop-ups was the collaboration between Brooklyn Brewery/Reds True BBQ, it was fantastic to see this great meeting of minds work.
I’ve really enjoyed meeting lots of great people who are passionate about food, for example Mike Tattersall, producer of Indie Ices and Sarah Mather from Noisette Bakehouse/Madeleine Express. I’ve had many new food experiences this year, but one of the highlights which I hadn’t experienced before was a coffee cupping event, which North Star Micro Roasters held a few months ago.
New establishments which have opened in 2013 include:
Zucco, RARE, Shears Yard, Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, Cielo Blanco, IT Bar and Food Joint, The Tetley Bar & Kitchen, Mojo, Le Chalet, The Atlas Pub, Kirkstall Bridge Inn, The Hungry Bear and Kitschen.
Some of which; the last six, I really want to try out for the first time in 2014! I’m hoping the new year will see the food and drink landscape evolve even further in Leeds. New ventures such as MEATliquor and possibly Byron Hamburgers (council approval dependent) will be opening in the city centre, and I’m relishing the prospect of more establishments opening up in the Leeds area.
With everything that Leeds has going for it in terms of food and drink, for me what would really top it off is if Leeds had its own Michelin starred restaurant to really put the place on the culinary map. The one starred Box Tree in Ilkley is close, but not close enough! Who knows, maybe it’ll happen in 2014.
So, I’m not normally someone who makes New Year’s resolutions, but if I was it would be to ‘eat, drink and be merry, (but also to be determined to keep up with the running)!!’