Supporting local and visiting the best in regional, we took a trip to Leeds Kirkgate Market to sample what was on offer at one of Europe’s biggest and award winning indoor markets.
Steeped in history, it is hard not to be impressed with the grand surroundings of Leeds Kirkgate Market. Opened as Europe’s largest indoor market back in 1857, a visit to Leeds would not be complete without dropping by to take in the hustle and bustle of one of the county’s best markets.
Located in the heart of Leeds along Vicar Lane, visitors can expect to buy fresh, taste local and experience independent retail at its very best. Championing the award for Britain’s Favourite Market (Great British Market Awards 2017), a new multimillion-pound investment to decorate itself as the region’s best hub for street food and even a touch of glamour with one celebrity name providing reasonably priced cooking courses, Leeds Kirkgate Market is definitely the place to be.
The daily market opens Monday to Saturday and from 8am to 5.30pm and is split into the indoor and outdoor markets. We were impressed to see the opportunity for a ‘Shop and Drop’ service, having not seen this elsewhere. Shoppers can store bought produce in a cooled fridge and return to pick this up at a more convenient time - ideal for any food fanatic keen on buying the freshest produce only to cook later after a day shopping in Leeds.
The market is typical of many others in the noises, smells and sights to arouse your senses. The traditional traders shout with the daily deals, which make it almost impossible not to turn your head and be taken in by whatever they might be selling. This was very typical of our visit to the outdoor market where traders meet every need with a variety of stalls selling clothes to kitchenware to fruit and vegetables.
The indoor market is slightly different as part of this is set up to host events and street food stalls during the day, whilst the in the older market hall with its ornate wrought iron and glass ceilings, rows of traders huddle on the old stone flags which have probably been in place since it first opened.
We’re always taken aback by the abundance of fresh fish; like the smoked haddock harboured in Scotland to delicious looking crabs caught in nearby Flamborough. Like the fishmongers, the butchers sell local and regionally-sourced meat, from deep red sirloins to delicious-looking plum fillet steaks. Nothing seems to be off-limits here, anything and just about everything can be bought for any keen foodie desperate to shop for Yorkshire’s best produce.
If all of this wasn’t enough, Kirkgate Market will host a new Leeds Night Market by extending its opening hours this Winter as independent stalls selling Yorkshire’s bests in food and drink take to the floors on the last Thursday of each month up until Christmas and then once again in January (see Kirkgate Market website for more information on events an opening hours.)
The food stalls at the night market sell the best in regional food and drink. Hand-crafted ales to the best in street food, it is an experience in quality produce from some of Leeds’ and Yorkshire’s very best traders.