Leeds restaurant scene growth has outstripped London's since 2013

Leeds' booming food and drink scene has seen larger growth than the capital's over the past five years.

Analysis of the restaurant sector in Britain's largest cities has revealed that the number of food and drink businesses in Leeds has increased by over 20 per cent since 2013, according to data from the CGA Outlet Index.

A 'league table' of hospitality growth by trade show Northern Restaurant and Bar puts Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds as the top three flourishing cities in the sector. Independent operators are leading the way following the struggles faced by big-name casual dining chains.

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The increase in Leeds is double that of London, where growth has only been 10.4 per cent during the same period.

Leeds now has a total of 341 permanent food and drink businesses in the city centre.

Northern Restaurant and Bar CEO Thom Hetherington said:-

“We’re delighted but not surprised by the data, as we have seen the changes first hand - new restaurants and bars are opening almost every day. Leeds is building a top-class food and drink scene, and that’s great news for diners. Despite this being a challenging period for hospitality businesses, the growth is being largely driven by ambitious regional independents, and we’re proud that NRB can help to inspire and inform them.”

The table also showed positive growth for York and Bradford, which both enjoyed significant five-year change.

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The CGA's retail business unit director Jamie Campbell added:

“Of course London has a much bigger restaurant and bar scene in absolute terms, but percentages don’t lie, the change in the cities in the north is more pronounced and has a proportionally greater impact on diners, whether residents or tourists. Moreover we are working on additional data which shows that growth in the region is indeed being driven by independents, with the featured Northern cities showing an increase in independent outlets at over twice the national rate.”

The growth cities

1. Liverpool - 25.20 per cent increase

2. Manchester - 24.90

3. Leeds - 20.50

4. Southampton - 20.40

5. York - 19.50

6. Cardiff - 17

7. Newcastle - 15.70

8. Bradford - 15.10