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Leeds Indie Food - A celebration of independent food and drink


Leeds’ vibrant independent scene is set unite once again for a mouth-watering celebration of food and drink, marking the return of the city’s unique Leeds Indie Food festival from 12th to 30th May 2016. Last year’s event was the first of its kind in the country, and organisers are planning even more foodie fun this time around

Leeds is bidding to be a true unique dining hot-spot in the UK, with a mouth-watering array of world cuisine and rising chef stars. Leeds Indie Food was the first festival in the UK to celebrate the independent scene in all its glory bringing 15,000 people into Leeds to explore the city.

The 2015 festival saw over 100 events taking place in more than 50 venues, with 100 businesses collaborating to entertain diners, drinkers, street food lovers and culture vultures. Festival-goers were treated to everything from tasting menus to dine-along film screenings, with edible art exhibitions, cookery workshops and craft beer tastings thrown in for good measure. 

Jessie Leong - Leeds Indie Food 15_ The Wild East Pop-up with Olia Hercules
Jessie Leong - #LIF15- Gorse- A Dinner Experience for Curious Gastronomes

This year’s festival is launching in similar style, with over 80 businesses already on board planning an even more creative programme of events in well-loved independent restaurants, bars, coffee shops and venues across Leeds.

The Festival Passport, a popular feature of last year’s festival, returns for 2016 on sale at £10. This pocket-sized passport gives festival-goers the chance to collect ink stamps and grab priority tickets, discounts, freebies and deals at all Leeds Indie Food venues. Last year’s offers included 25% off at Bundobust, an exclusive plate of charcuterie at Friends of Ham and free entry to Leeds Feast, the festival’s closing party. Top stamp collectors even bagged themselves tickets to Leeds Festival and Garden Party for their appetite.

This year’s festival is being run in partnership with Leeds City Council, who are backing the festival in support of Leeds’ thriving independent business community and blooming food and drink scene. The first round of events to be announced include:

Keg Vs Cork (20th – 21st May)
The festival team are planning a celebration of booze featuring the city’s best craft beer bars facing off against Leeds’ premier wine purveyors. As well as bars from the likes of Bundobust, The Reliance, North Bar, Tall Boys and Latitude Wine, festival-goers will enjoy pop-up tastings and music courtesy of High & Lonesome Festival. There’s even a chance to settle down and enjoy a drink along cult film screening each night.

The Edible Art Exhibition: City of Cake (13th May)
One of 2015’s most popular events, the Edible Art Exhibition, returns bigger and better in celebration of the city’s 2023 City of Culture bid. The Gallery at Munro House are partnering up with foodie sculptors Tattooed Bakers to cook up a record breaking dessert version of the Leeds’ striking skyline, with cultural landmarks and architectural icons represented in cake form before visitors get the chance to nibble on the Civic Hall.

50x50: A Night at the Spa (14th May)
Harrogate meets Leeds for one night only as independent retail destination Lambert’s Yard hosts critically acclaimed spa-town restaurant Norse for an ambitious event showcasing the finest Yorkshire drinks producers including The Champagne Concept and Whittaker’s Gin matched with an ambitious fifty (yes, 5-0) course Nordic tasting menu cooked by head chef Murray Wilson and his team.

BundoBrunch with Laynes Espresso (21st and 22nd May)
Two of Leeds’ best loved independents, specialty coffee shop Laynes Espresso and Indian street food pioneers Bundobust, are teaming up to present a very special brunch service. Expect world-class coffees from Laynes’ expert baristas paired within a creative fusion of food from both teams. What better way to start the weekend?

Leeds Feast (28th and 29th May)
Last year’s festival ended on a high with 6000 hungry festival-goers enjoying a street food extravaganza at the Tetley. For 2016, festival organisers are bringing Leeds Feast to the Northern Quarter, with a day of foodie fun spread across independent venues including Headrow House, Belgrave Music Hall and North Brewing Co set to close out Leeds Indie Food in style.


Matt Dix, Leeds Indie Food

“This year’s Leeds Indie Food is looking full to the brim. We’ve taken the best bits of last year’s festival and mixed them up with new ideas and new participants, and all the businesses involved are raring to go. We’ve got a great mix of events, from fine dining to food culture, so everyone should find something to love. We think we’re doing something truly unique – no other city celebrates its independents in this way, and our aim is to help businesses collaborate and to shout about the amazing things they’re doing.”


Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said:

“Leeds is a vibrant and diverse city, with an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and cafes. The independent scene in Leeds is thriving and food and drink is at the heart of it; the Leeds Indie Food Fest really celebrates that offer and brings everyone together. This year’s festival looks set to be even bigger than last year, and we’re thrilled to give our support. For more information about Leeds and to help plan your trip, go to the Visit Leeds website –


First priority tickets for Festival Passport holders on sale from Monday 22nd February 2016.

Leeds Indie Food Festival will take place on May 12 – 30 2016 - The passport is available online now priced £10.00

Twitter: @leedsindiefood / Instagram: @leedsindefood / Facebook: /leedsindiefoodfestival

Leeds Feast at The Tetley - Leeds Indie Food Fest - Credit Tom Joy