East Parade Social Leeds
With Greek Street thriving once again and the likes of The Box also smashing it in the Financial Quarter, you’d be forgiven for shrugging off news of yet another new bar in the area.
Thankfully, East Parade Social Leeds brings something new to the party, with superior local ales, cheese and charcuterie, an impressive rooftop bar and a secret garden.
East Parade Social Leeds is part of the award-winning flexible workspace complex Avenue HQ, which blurs the lines between work, rest and play to create an office environment few could resist. East Parade Social is sure to be a deal breaker for many potential members, as it offers a small but well-edited menu of light bites and heartier snacks, in a super cool yet unpretentious setting.
We paid them a visit on a Friday evening just weeks after their launch, to find the place relatively quiet, but certainly not dead. They’ve gone for the popular industrial meets Scandi-style look, all exposed brick, wood and feature lighting, but they’ve done it very well. The room is spacious, with ample room between tables, so you never feel like anyone is ear-wigging your conversation.
We took a booth and were soon supping a few pints of Virtuous from the local Kirkstall Brewery, on the recommendation of the lovely Amy. If like me you’re a bit of a novice when it comes to IPA’s, and find some of them taste quite harsh, you’ll probably love this stuff as much as I did.
Food wise, the menu is split into cheese, meat and vegan sharing boards, flatbreads, nachos and snacks. And, whilst there isn’t a huge amount of choice, everything on offer sounds tempting. We went for the Mixed East Parade Sharer (15.00), the Roadhouse Nachos (9.50) and some Nocellara Olives (3.60).
There was even talk of ordering a flatbread to share too, but when the food arrived, we realised that would have been a big mistake. The Mixed Sharer is pretty mighty, and comes loaded with generous portions of cheese, meat, toasted sourdough, caperberries, roasted veg and house pickles. It could easily satisfy three looking for something to nibble at over a few afterwork drinks.
Nothing on here disappointed, but the highest marks went to the beautifully marbled Sage Derby, the Lincolnshire Poacher and the ham hock and pea terrine. The cheese and charcuterie here were as good as anything I’ve had at the brilliant Ham & Friends, you just get a whole lot more of it.
East Parade Social could be missing a trick here if they don’t extend their wine list, as you could easily chug a bottle or two whilst casually working your way through this sublime spread. They do offer wine, but it’s only a small selection, and secondary to the craft ale.
By the time the nachos arrived, we were already struggling, but persevered because I can’t stand to see good food go to waste. Arriving on a large tray, our nachos came loaded with pulled pork, chicken and all the usual trimmings you’d expect. What was different about them was the distinctive smoky flavour, which really made them stand out from your average bar snack fodder.
It’s safe to say we left slightly heavier than when we arrived, but hugely impressed. This joint is a great place to go to catch up with mates, away from the rabble and busyness of neighbouring bars. It would also make a great date destination for all you Tinder addicts out there, because it’s slightly out of the way, relatively intimate, but with enough atmosphere to help fill those awkward gaps.
A strong recommend and if we get a 2019 summer half as good as this year, that rooftop terrace is going to be the place to be at this end of town.
East Parade Social, 10-12 East Parade, Leeds, LS1 2BH.
Words by Fletch. Food and drink photos also by Fletch, interior/exterior shots supplied by East Parade Social.