Veganism is sweeping the nation, and not just because it’s Veganuary! Lifestyle, environmental and ethical veganism are all on the up, but old hats and newbies alike often struggle to find somewhere that caters for them as well as their carnivorous friends and family. Step forward this month’s featured indie; Eat Your Greens Leeds.
Converting the beautiful glass-fronted unit next door to Outlaws Yacht Club on New York Street into a super restaurant, bar and market – it’s easy to see from the outside that something special is happening at this place. We fell in love with their vegetarian roast dinner which is up there with the top roasts in the city and an absolute bargain to boot.
Open for eating, coffee, boozes and organic shopping, Eat Your Greens offers something unique and much-needed in our city centre. And certainly bucks the trend as a value vegan eatery that exceeds expectations. We spoke to Dan about the idea behind the concept and how this now obvious Leeds niche came to life…
Who are you and how did you get here?
We’re Eat Your Greens, a bar, restaurant and organic grocery shop just over the road from Leeds Kirkgate Market and a stone’s throw from the bus station. We offer the people of Leeds a healthy and sustainable alternative to eating out, serving an ever-changing range of seasonal food using locally and well-sourced, organic ingredients.
After years of seeing businesses come and go in the unit next door to Outlaws Yacht Club, the OYC team thought they’d better do something quick before Starbucks moved in! They approached their pals from The Grub & Grog Shop to ask if they wanted to team up and create the restaurant they’d always dreamed of having next door.
Hopefully they’ve managed to take the best bits from both and roll it into one; a modern European style restaurant with a laid back atmosphere and quality throughout!
What can customers expect from Eat Your Greens?
We try to cater for everyone. As with Grub & Grog our menu is 80% vegan and everything is vegan unless stated with (M) to mark dishes that contain meat and (V) for non vegan vegetarian dishes.
By using responsibly sourced ingredients to temper our environmental impact, and doing everything we can to reduce the amount of waste we produce, we place sustainability at the heart of the enterprise. This logical solution to city-centre hospitality affords us the chance to serve you nutritious — often under appreciated — ingredients in original dishes at reasonable prices. And if by chance you feel inspired to cook yourself, our onsite grocery shop can provide you with all the necessary fruit, veg, alternative milks and spices you’ll need.
What do you think makes Leeds so awesome?
The variety and its community. At the heart of Leeds lies a willingness to invest in experimentation, a trust in original, new ideas. Marry that with institutions such as The Brudenell Social Club, Kirkstall Brewery, Leeds College of Music, Kirkgate Market and the Leeds Playhouse — among too many more to name — and what you get is an exciting city to live and work in.
Where do you like to hang out?
For the wrong records and the right people and after work drinks Outlaws Yacht Club is our go to. For a delicious prework snack at pocket money prices, AlBaba on Kirkgate or Leeds Market always has your back. The Brunswick & The Reliance are two of our favourite spots in Leeds and luckily next door to each other so we often venture up North to pay them a visit. Sometimes we even carry on down the road to North Brew Co.
Wayward Wines up in Chapel Allerton for a cheeky glass of vino and usually a bottle or two to take home. Sheaf Street obviously for a Grub & Grog breakfast and Laynes Espresso for the best coffee in town, to name just a few.
What are your favourite dishes? And what are the most popular?
Our current favourite is the roasted winter squash with fresh cheese. We make the cheese in house using the waste we have from steaming milk for lattes and flat whites. It’s crazy how much milk you waste as a coffee shop/cafe or restaurant and it’s great to find a way to use it up. It’s a little bit like a feta but softer, we grill it until it’s a little charred. It tastes so good!
Our Vegan Tuesday nights are super popular, two vegan meals for a tenner, it’s not hard to see why. Can’t get much for a tenner these days.
Finally, describe Eat Your Greens in three words…
Organic. Local. Responsible.