Bowery Review: Here is what I thought of my lunch at the creative hub on Otley Road

Wonderful salads, prints and curious gifts for sale, drink and draw classes and framed works of art.

By The YEP Reviewer
Sunday, 27th March 2022, 12:45 pm

You can find all these things and more at Bowery, the self-defined ‘Home of Creativity’ perched on a street corner on the Otley Road.

Bowery ticks a lot of coffee-shop boxes - cosy, comfortable decor, a soothing soundtrack, low-level chatter and the gentle clattering of cutlery and crockery, a serving counter groaning with baked treats and savoury offerings, the occasional whirr of the coffee machine, which is coated, every inch, in novelty fridge magnets.

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Bowery. Pic: Tony Johnson.

Placing ourselves between plants and buckets of colourful wrapping paper that line the entrance to the cafe, my companion and I take a seat by the window on a bright spring day and take pleasure watching the world go by, while around us are students perched with laptops, solo readers, and a pair of older artists making notes on exhibition logistics.

Outside, sunshine-yellow furniture deck the pavement where you can see it all a little closer, albeit to the soundtrack of the thundering Otley Road traffic.

Though I find no complaint with my pleasant falafel and hummus sandwich - made with a very tasty seeded bread from Bondgate Bakery in Otley - I have some regrets about my meal choice. My head is quickly turned by the inviting rainbow plate presented to my lunchmate - a silky soft cheesy quiche accompanied with a range of salads.

I steal a forkful and am delighted by the pepperiness of the leaves and the sweetness of honey dressing. At £7.50 for a substantial plate packed with flavour and nutrition, it is a good value option for a healthy and satisfying lunch.

Bowery. Pic: Tony Johnson.

My iced mocha is the highlight of my trip. It’s frothy, creamy, perfectly tiptoes the sweet-bitter boundary and is cutely served with a spirit-raising candy-stripe straw. The smoothies are also impressive; colourful, well-presented, and tasty.

A trip to the bathroom takes me past the heart of Bowery. Upstairs, there are workshops filled with benches which, by evening, play host to life drawing, soap making, calligraphy classes, and beyond, while just along the corridor are spacious galleries where artists exhibit their work.

Bowery is a rock-solid coffee shop but much more besides.

Address: 54 Otley Rd, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 2AL

Coffee and cake at Bowery.

Telephone: 0113 224 2284

Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-4pm


Food: 7

Falafel and hummus sandwich at Bowery.

Value: 8

Atmosphere: 7

Service: 6

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