A Day at Chow Down - Chapter 81
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April 8, 2021

A Day at Chow Down

A Day at Chow Down A Day at Chow Down
Words by: Phoebe Ryan

Chow Down is back! Are you ready to finally enjoy some outdoor food and drink with friends?! We definitely are! 

All set up for socially distanced socialising, our famous Chow Down Temple Arches site is ready and raring for some fun.

Your Chow Down slot is only three hours long, though. What else are you going to get up to? May as well make a day of it, right?

Chow Down is set in the newly titled, and exciting, Temple district of Leeds. And it’s not only Chow that can make for an amazing day of food & drink around Temple. Temple is the old industrial hub of the city, the heart of Leeds’ history in wool, flax, weaving and tailoring – and for the past decade at least has been an exciting spot for great bars, cafes, restaurants and venues.

Food & Drink near Temple: Chow Down

Whilst you’re on your way to or from the Chow, we thought we’d highlight some of the other amazing indies repping great food and drink in the vicinity. Because why not make a whole day of it?!
Some of these guys are still radio static for now, but many are setting up for outdoor dining, and they’ll all be welcoming you back inside as soon as regulations allow…keep an eye on their socials for more information.

Water Lane Boathouse

Water Lane Boathouse is an absolute must-visit for a sunny afternoon down South of the Centre. Keeping it simple with great burgers and fab pizzas, Waterlane Boathouse is a perfect place to while away a few hours in the sun. Dogs are welcome too! Their massive outdoor area is a huge draw here, so get booking for your outdoor dining spot – or await the indoor rules.

Northern Monk Refectory

Northern Monk, some of the first stars of the Leeds craft beer scene, have been sat (ok probably busy brewing, serving and knowing lots about beer), on the first floor of their beautiful Old Flax Store since time immemorial (ok, since they opened in 2013). Northern Monk beer is of course still available to buy, directly from them or from the countless stockists who shelve their charming brews these days – but if you can’t wait for a visit to the real thing, and need some great food to accompany, here are the deets. Northern Monk’s refectory always houses a revolving food pop-up, and from April 15th, for five months, they will be welcoming Chow Chow vegan! The garden opens on the 15th, so get booking! Chow Chow will be serving up amazing vegan BBQ at all Northern Monk’s Summer of Faith events from May until the end of August, too.

Midnight Bell

Midnight Bell are ready for indoor drinking from May, and they’re taking bookings for outdoor too, from April 12th, in their (hopefully sunny!) lovely courtyard.  The lunch menu features sarnies, wraps and light bites (from venison sausage with caramelised onions to battered banana blossom goujons with vegan mayonnaise, and crispy pork belly in a pastry basket with salad). For the main menu, we’re talking classic mains like fish and chips, steak and chips and alternative options such as vegan cottage pie. There’s also a burger menu, sides and desserts, of course. For fresh, local pub grub (they do Sunday lunches, too), and some fresh beers, Midnight Bell is a great shout.

The Cross Keys

Built as a watering hole for the chaps from the local foundries in 1802, Cross Keys has Leeds history. One of Leeds’ few ‘free houses’ (pubs not owned by breweries so free to stock all their favourite brews), they stock everything from local ales to the best craft beers, plus loads of great Belgian bottles in their fridges. There’s a great wine list too (with Verre de Vin and Coravin systems meaning you get to try great wines – and even champagnes – by the glass, which are only usually available by the bottle. Cross Keys is also dedicated to fresh, local food like sarnies and plates (with vegan options too), and Sunday roasts. Bookings are flying out, so grab a table *check opening hours as these may change in the next few weeks. 

Out of the Woods

This cosy, friendly coffee shop on Water Lane (there’s another branch in Granary Wharf, too!) is currently shut but we fully expect it to open as soon as allowed (12th April Granary Wharf and 19th April for Water Lane). We’re talking porridge, muesli and pastries for light breakfast bites, toasties and sarnies come lunchtime and a great coffee menu.

The Temple area is full of great indies that you should definitely pop into before or after your Chow Down sesh, to make the most of your outdoor day socialising, and support the great Leeds indies that need our support more than ever after the past year.


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