#6 Fresh food at Leeds Market

Taking on Leeds biggest market was no easy task – but we headed there last week to see what was on offer and what makes this place so special to the people of Leeds and the rest of Yorkshire.

Taking a Leeds insiders view on the best in local, we decided a visit to the market would be a great start to showcase the best in Leeds food and regionally sourced produce. Arriving at Leeds Train Station we took the short walk across to Leeds Kirkgate Market to sample what might be on offer. The first experience with a market like this one is the immediate arousal of the senses; noises, sights and smells are in delightful abundance.

We made our way through the rows of flowers, independent traders and busy stall holders to the butchers and fishmongers. The neat and precise arrangement of mackerel to monkfish and king prawns to mussels made a for an impressive sight and head turner for anyone coming into the market. We spoke with the incredibly dedicated and friendly S.Myers who explained to us that a lot of their wet fish, like the deliciously looking sea bass and golden smoked haddock, are hugely popular with local customers. It was clear that a real dedication was at the heart of the traders here. In this case, the harboured Flamborough crab remained a strong support for everything local. Even as far as sourcing from Scotland, we felt that the fish at S.Myers and those like it provide customers with a constant quality and reassurance; two things which are arguably at the heart of a good market.

A market makes an excellent platform to celebrate local food. Like the rows of fishmongers, butchers, greengrocers and other stalls before them, we arrived at the food hall were a dozen or more street food traders were showcasing the very best in regional food. Whilst we were taken aback with selection and impressed with what was on offer, we eventually and after some thought settled with Manjits Kitchen. Following a busy night at Leeds first night market the evening before, the Indian style street food did not disappoint. A reasonably priced meal deal will set you back eating true Punjabi style vegetarian cuisine including delicious roti, onion bhaji, two separate curries, rice and drink. British street food finalists back in 2012, it was clear that Manjits Kitchen attention to quality and detail remained unaltered.

As we left now comfortably full, we thought long and hard about the success of markets in towns and cities these days. Despite the changes in transport, new ways to shop and improved technology in recent years, it is hard to imagine a town and city without a market. It still seems and rightfully so that people want a bargain whilst getting the best and freshest produce sourced as close to home as they possibly can. The market has not given up on the people just yet, and neither has the people given up shopping at them.

We made our visit on behalf of the super guys at Northern. Using a smartphone for ease in buying tickets and with over 2,500 regional train services a day – it was a pleasure to be part of their campaign for taking a closer look at the very best in everything local #wearenorthern

To find out more check out https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/destinations/93-leeds/1629-award-winning-markets 

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