Leeds Indie Food Festival 2019: Everything you need to know for beer, food and cake events

A magical mystery tour of the best beer and bar snacks in Leeds.
A magical mystery tour of the best beer and bar snacks in Leeds.
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The city will turn into a foodie paradise from tomorrow as the fifth Leeds Indie Food Fest gets underway.

It is now one of the highlights of the city's social calendar with 94 events taking place over 18 days from Thursday May 9 to Monday May 27 with dining experiences that range from beer and donut pairings to bike rides and brunch and a spot of wild food foraging.

Liz Richardson launches her crowdfunding cake campaign.

Liz Richardson launches her crowdfunding cake campaign.

Some stalwart events return once again with some brand new ones are also added to the line-up while some of the city's favourite restaurants, cafes and bars team up for some unexpected collaborations.

Vice and Virtue will be perfecting your palate with an interactive experience brought by Harvey & Brockless, Luke Downing and the Vice group's resident drink expert Clare Morrow.

Liz Richardson will be showing those with a sweet-tooth around her bakery which she has opened following a successful Kickstarter campaign. She goes from baking in her own kitchen to being one of the Leeds Indie Food Fest newcomers.

Her start-up business, The Porterhouse Cake Co now has a unit near Armley and will be collaborating with her neighbours Anthology Brew Co., and Stage Espresso & Brewbar for the liquid refreshment.

Porterhouse cakes on display at Laynes Espresso.

Porterhouse cakes on display at Laynes Espresso.

An evening with Fettle brings the plants straight to your plate in one of the increasing number of vegan events. WILD will showcase the best of seasonal produce across five plates to share washed down with a cocktail each.

School dinners certainly aren't to be sniffed at with another returning food favourite and some of Leeds' best known independents.

The Street Food Festival in the playground at Chapel Allerton Primary returns from May 17 to 19. It offers a three-day mini festival and get-together of the best street food, craft beer, live music, art and family entertainment. Attendance has almost doubled from 1,800 in the first year to over 3,000 last year.

This year's line up features Pizza Bus, Little Bao Boy, Sabrosso Street, Doh Hut and Sela Bar Cocktails & Beer.

One of the most eagerly anticipated events and one of the first to sell out is The North Bar Magical Mystery Tour which takes around 40 people from a secret location, and to what this year is rumoured to be all of the North Bar family of venues, from Leeds to Otley to Meanwood to Harrogate to Chapel Allerton to Oakwood. Beer and snacks await at each and some extra pitstops are planned along the way.

Simon Fogal, festival director explains: "The bus idea came about to celebrate the growth of North and to showcase their numerous bars. The brewery actually launched at our festival too, so it is a fitting way to celebrate both North, North Brewing Co and Leeds Indie Food. Each year they seem to add a new bar and this year North Brewing Co city centre taproom has been added. It is now a staple to Leeds Indie Food."

When this year's Leeds Indie Food launched last month, Mr Fogal said the 2018 event made £700,000 for independent businesses and had cost £40,000 to stage but this year was more about sustainability and giving the city's independents, particularly the start-ups, a boost beyond the event.

Over the next six months, LIF will work with partners across the city to establish a new Leeds Indie Food Fund, thought to be the first of its kind in the north, which will support independents to develop and test new ideas, reach new audiences and scale up their eateries, bars, restaurants and pop-ups.
There will be an emergency fund where businesses in need - for example if they are hit by a flood - can ask for some financial help to get back up and running.

This year will see the launch of the Indie 500 club which will be a B2B club for street food vendors to fine dining restaurants, breweries and bars where members can expect training, networking events, conferences, talks and socials.