Festive Yard at Leeds Corn Exchange – Street Food, Music and Family Fun

Leeds Corn Exchange looks even more magical than usual at this time of year, and now nestled in on the ground floor is the Festive Yard. A programme of events is being held here over the next two weeks, including daily street food traders, music and family events.

I popped in this week, twice in fact, to check out the food and I was impressed.  It’s hard to see how anyone who visits will be disappointed with the tasty treats on offer.

On my first visit, I headed for Ball Box after being excited by their online menu. Chicken Satay Balls (GF) was my choice of meal. These were delicious and consisted of free range Yorkshire Chicken Balls which were marinated and lightly spiced Malaysian style. They were served with an addictive coconut satay sauce, chopped spring onions, honey roast nuts, wild rice and rustic slaw. My boyfriend devoured his Mac n’Cheese Balls enthusiastically. The exciting menu of various meatballs and vegballs changes every week, so lots of options to choose from. Next week I believe beef and chorizo are on the menu, so I may need to pay another visit!

On my return, I ate from Smak! a Polish inspired street food trader that I had been wanting to try for some time. I was planning on a three-course meal later evening so opted for something lighter with the Polish Poutine. This consisted of fried potatoes, lardons, gherkins and cheese. It was a steal at only £3.  I’m looking forward to tasting their Pierogi (Polish Dumplings), which looked really good. You’ll also find weekly specials like this week’s Crock Pot Polska which is Bourbon soaked kielbasa bites, crispy potato cubes, lardons & gherkins

Other food traders serving up treats daily are the delicious looking El Marchadoir Tacos (Gluten free options available), Doh’hut (to make your own doughnuts!), The Commute Coffee House and last but certainly not least, Leeds Kirkgate market favourite, Jenny’s Jerk Chicken. You can wash down those tasty treats with a pint or two from the Little Leeds Beerhouse who will be serving a small but well-chosen offering of draught beers.

In addition to excellent food on offer there is various music being played by Leeds College of Music and local buskers. Free family activities are being run over the next two weekends, including baubles, bangles and badges making, as well as workshops by Rainbow Factory. If you’re in town this weekend, take a break from your Christmas shopping and get yourselves downstairs at the Corn Exchange to sample the delicious variety of food, and support some our best, local independent food traders.

The Festive Yard opening times:

Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm
Late night on Thursdays 10am-9pm
Sundays – 10.30am-4.30pm

Check out the Facebook events page for further updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/1849590315326824

Please note: The last day of opening is Friday 22nd December but don’t leave it that late, go now, then you’ll have time to make more visits and try everything!


Cath is a contributor for Leeds Living covering events all across the City, on topics such as eat/drink, music and culture.  She is also food and travel blogger –  The Messy Cook.  Look out for her local supper clubs and blogs on recipes and travel via https://messycook79.com/


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