10 Baby-Friendly Spots in Leeds (That Will Still Make You Feel Cool)

One of the things I was a bit nervous about when it came to having a baby was still getting to go to 'cool' places to eat and drink. When you're not a parent, you don't really notice things like baby changing facilities or high chairs, so it was a total learning curve for me to figure out which places I loved before were date-night-only locations and which were Benjamin-friendly. 

In general, I have found pretty much everywhere to be as accommodating as possible when I've turned up with Benjamin in tow, and I've not had any huffy looks or loud tuts directed at me. But, some places are most definitely more baby-friendly than others by their very nature. I love independent cafes, but so many of them are small without a lot of space between tables to manoeuvre a buggy or you feel a bit awkward with a squawking baby when everyone else is trying to sit and enjoy their flat white in peace. Plus, sometimes you just want to enjoy those places on your own, if you can. 

On the flip side, you have specific kid-friendly places which, whilst they certainly serve their purpose, do not make you feel cool. I don't know about you, but where possible, I'd prefer not to be surrounded by brightly coloured plastic and wipe-clean furniture. So, these are all places I've found that are baby-friendly without compromising on the cool factor for adults (although I think I've just compromised their cool factor by using the term cool factor...) 

The Mustard Pot

If you've ever been to The Mustard Pot on a Saturday afternoon, you'll know that it's a haven for families. It was one of my favourite pubs before I had children, and I love it even more now. The beer garden is perfect for an afternoon in the sunshine, and the comfy sofas are great for a catch up with other parent friends, plus the baby changing is great. Avoid taking the pram if you're going on a weekend as it can get crowded inside, but you'll likely have no problem during the week. There's plenty of car parking, too. Oh, and they do an excellent Aperol Spritz. 

Hyde Park Picturehouse

One of the most gorgeous buildings in Leeds, you get serious cool points when you opt for an indie cinema like this rather than a chain. On Wednesday at 11am, they have a 'Bring Your Own Baby' screening for just £5.50, including a free tea or coffee. They tend to have the more 'serious' films on show, but if you're a movie lover, this is a great way to keep up and stay entertained with a baby in tow. 

White's Cafe Bar

White's Deli have a great food menu (including giant slabs of cake) and a relaxed vibe that's perfect for a meet up with other parent pals during the week (although I'm sure they would welcome you at the weekend, too!). The halloumi wrap is particularly good, especially as you can eat it one-handed! This is the kind of place I loved to brunch pre-baby, so it's nice to still be able to do it in some capacity! 

The Tetley

Okay, tell me The Tetley isn't one of the most impressive buildings in Leeds? There's a sizeable car park next to it and plenty of room for a buggy in their cafe. I also love their terrace when it's sunny, too. They also do a free messy play session for under fives once a month, which I'm tempted to take Ben to soon. 

Seven Arts

Whilst you can't bring in prams or pushchairs, I really like Seven as somewhere to hang out with a baby in the day time. It's never super crowded, and if you're lucky you can nab one of the sofas so you can spread out a bit. The baby changing facilities are really good, and it's a non-profit so you can feel good about a cheeky lunch time wine if you want one! 

Friends of Ham

Whilst Friends of Ham isn't usually somewhere I would rock up with a baby, they do a Brunch Babies event once a month that's definitely worth going to. The staff are super friendly, and have on more than one occasion carried my pram up and down the stairs for me. There are toys out for little ones, and a full menu of deliciousness for big ones. Total winner.  

Kirkgate Market

If you're looking for plenty of space, then this is the place to go! The food hall at Kirkgate Market is one of my favourite places to pop in for lunch as my office is nearby, and it's great when you have a baby with you, too. There are plenty of choices for food, and it's noisy already so you don't have to worry if your baby starts making a fuss. Get yourself a shawarma sandwich from Istanbul Bakery and thank me later. 

Dock 29

We went here for the first time whilst Paul was still on paternity leave, and I've been meaning to go back ever since. Now that the weather is better, I may make the journey across town specially to enjoy the dock-side views, the good food and the generally chill vibes. For parents, there's also great baby changing, high chairs and some good meal deals for when maternity leave pennies start to run out... 

Trinity Kitchen

See above re: Kirkgate Market for all the reasons why Trinity Kitchen is a good place to hang out with a baby, and then add the proximity to the great baby changing facilities in the shopping centre to the list. The steady rotation of street food vans alongside the regulars keep things interesting, and you can always go and browse the shops after lunch, too. 

Eat North

This is a bit of a bonus one, really, because it's only on during the summer but the uber-cool Eat North at North Brewing Co is back this year and I know we'll be hitting it up as much as possible. Essentially a mini street food festival at a brewery, they're very explicit that kids and dogs are very much encouraged, which makes it my kind of event.  

The Instagrammer's Guide to Coffee Shops in Leeds

If you go for a coffee and didn't Instagram it, did it even happen? Leeds has plenty of places to find a delicious cup of coffee that will also help you up your Insta-game. If, like me, your criteria for a cuppa is as much about the aesthetics as it is about the caffeine then you'll need to check these spots out... 

City Centre 

Laynes Espresso

Everything at Laynes, from the bright orange exterior to the coasters and, of course, all the menu items, is an Instagrammer's dream. Make this your first (but not your last) stop! 

Cafe 164

Not only is pretty much everything at Café 164 baked on site, you'll also get a side of culture with your coffee here. With steadily rotating exhibitions gracing the walls of the attached gallery, a living wall and plenty of light from the big windows, this is the perfect spot to get your shot! 

Mrs Atha's

If you prefer a cosier coffee and a more vintage style to your Instagram, then Mrs Atha's is the place for you. You may have to wait for a table at this popular place, but just think of the likes! 

Sheaf St Cafeteria

With bi-fold doors opening out onto the streets of Leeds, uber-cool interiors, food by the amazing Grub & Grog and a beautiful bit of street art on the side of the building, the opportunity for Instagram shots is endless at Sheaf St Cafeteria! 

North Star Coffee Shop

Beautiful big windows, plenty of plants and a menu of gorgeous cakes & bakes by Leeds favourite Noisette Bakehouse makes this the perfect place for an Instagrammer to chill out.

Fettle Cafe

 

A little tucked away from the hustle & bustle, Scandi-inspired Fettle is pretty enough for a range of shots, whether your area of interest is food, interiors, coffee or the classic 'staring out the window' Instagram... 

Single Shot

Another quirky find, Single Shot don't just sell coffee - you'll also find plenty of vinyl to peruse through for the perfect moody photo... 

Chapel Allerton 

House of Koko

Home to possibly the best pancakes in Leeds and a photogenic wall full of books & curios, keen Instagrammers would be foolish to skip over this spot. 

Sunshine Bakery 

Bunting, fairy lights, and cupcakes piled high with icing. These are a few of an Instagrammer's favourite things... 

Opposite

If you like latte art, Opposite is a good place to get your snap. Their menu is small but mighty, and there are tables outside for those sunny day shots. 

Headingley & Meanwood 

White's Cafe Bar

As indicated by the name, you can get something stronger than just coffee here so the opportunities for a dreamy snap are endless. Pooches are allowed in, too, if you want to up the cuteness factor on your 'gram. 

Tandem

Small but perfectly formed, Tandem is a new addition to the neighbourhood so grab your snap now and let your followers know that you're ahead of the game.  

Sebbys

Friendly faces, delicious drinks and interiors to die for. Can any Instagrammer ask for more? 

LS6 

A hungover meal here is basically a rite of passage for students, but their morning-after breakfasts isn't all this stylish cafe has to offer to the enthusiastic Instagrammer... Just look at those colourful teapots! 

Roundhay & Oakwood 

Stories

If you're into the art of hygge, you need to get yourself to Stories. Cool Scandi interiors, some of the best Avocado on Toast in the city, and your most-liked-Instagram of the week await you. You're welcome... 

What are your favourite coffee shops in Leeds? Any Instagram gems that I've missed from my list?