Where would you go if you wanted a real taste of Yorkshire in Leeds? Visit the market or perhaps drive out to a farm shop? Leeds city centre eateries are diverse and plentiful. As our palettes get more experimental, more and more interesting placed pop up, from Indian street food to Thai, we have it all. Yet, when it comes to locally sourced, comfort food we are somewhat limited.
Wapentake isn’t a new sushi bar, is Leeds new, deli, bakery and bar and prides itself on being as Yorkshire as the whopping great yorkie puddings it serves.
“Wapentake” literally means – “A subdivision of certain Northern Counties” and according the writing next to the bar the word itself is “Derived from an assembly or meeting place, usually at a crossroads or river where literally ones presence or a vote was taken by a show of weapons”.
Ok, history lesson over. What makes Wapentake a must visit, is that it is big on supporting independent suppliers and brewers. The menu isn’t extensive but what they do serve is quality, tasty, local and superb value for money. There’s something rather satisfying about knowing your food is fresh and hasn’t travelled a long way to get to your plate and when it tastes good too- you’re onto a winner.
On our visit I opted for a spin on the classic, a juicy cheese burger accompanied by a rustic roll, chunky wedges and crisp side salad. Sunday lunches are on the menu too, perfect for those lazy Sundays when you don’t want to get out the roasting tray. If you want something lighter you can try two yorkies and gravy, or something simple like pate or poached eggs on toast.
The team even bake their own bread, we tried their own chilli loaf- highly recommended!
The decor is relaxed yet tasteful and artfully undone, slate grey, calming cream and olive greens give it a warm and homely feel, whilst quirky miss-matched touches, including a reading spot, have created a little vintage haven just off the high street.
For the musically gifted (or even the not so much) there is a piano just asking to be played on the first floor.. Just as long as the other diners don’t mind. I passed the opportunity by- I don’t think anyone wants to hear my rendition of three blind mice!
Derek and I often walk down Kirkgate on our way home from the centre, and were saddened hear about the fire a few months ago. But with Wapektake and Fred Aldos the craft store just round the corner perhaps this is the start for what is a long overdue regeneration of this part of Leeds. Here’s hoping.
Address: 92 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DJ.