Union Square Bar & Kitchen – A Slice of New York

American themed eateries continue to take the UK by storm – and Union Square in the ever vibrant Arena Quarter is no exception.

Based on the Square by the same name in New York, this spot pulls out all the stops to deliver a unique American experience at prices that don’t break the bank. With a meal and drink costing you just over a tenner, this is a great place to get a bite to eat at a reasonable price. 

Located just a stone’s throw from the First Direct Arena, Union Square is an ideal venue for food and a drink before or after any event. The Union Square premises take inspiration from classic New York subway stations, with white-brick walls and luminous signs, and provide a uniquely styled venue that really tucks you away from the everyday bustle of the Merrion Centre.

All photographs by Alex Armitstead

Something this restaurant really boasts is the one of a kind cuisine. The particular dish that I chose was the Italian meatball wrap. The main reason I ordered this dish was out of curiosity, and when it arrived I wasn’t disappointed. What greeted me was literally a huge pizza wrapped around Italian meatballs – an option I can’t recommend highly enough. The pizza burger was also a favourable option and really goes down a treat.  

The atmosphere of Union Square is something special, made the more so by friendly and polite staff, at the same time providing a laid-back vibe that really allows customers to sit back, relax and enjoy their food, whilst the music takes diners on a whistle-stop tour of classic American hits, a whole range of anthems, from Beach Boys classics to those of the iconic Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Union Square also boasts a very ingenious feature- it is versatile. A regular visitor to this venue will notice that it smoothly transforms from a lunchtime takeaway spot, to a dining restaurant, then finally into a busy bar, all within a single day. This really makes Union Square a spot to visit on any occasion.

In the early evening, I enjoyed a fantastic meal in the latter part of Union Square’s daily cycle. One thing I couldn’t help but notice was how well prepared everything was to cater for busy office workers. All the food comes in a takeaway style box, which retains the restaurant’s quality but still allows all the food to be eaten elsewhere. This is ideal for any workers in the centre of Leeds who need a quick but enjoyable and, yes, indulgent lunch, and a conversation with any local resident will tell you that the deliveries Union Square provides are an increasingly popular lunchtime option.

Union Square is a fantastic new spot that’s guaranteed to pick up momentum in the coming months and become an iconic Leeds venue. The versatility and well thought out theme go hand in hand to make this a perfect eatery, and I can’t wait to go back.

Open 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

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