Meet Our Experience Provider – Ellen from Leeds Food Tours

Rosie headed over to Leeds last month to meet our experience provider – Ellen from Leeds Food Tours and find out all about her plans for the business and what she loves about Leeds.

What was your mission when you started Leeds Food Tours?

The first thing was to just give people a really good time; something fun to do on a weekend! And the other side of it was to showcase the different restaurants in Leeds. I think nowadays people are much more aware but a few years ago, people sort of stuck to the chain restaurants and I really wanted to educate people on what great, independent restaurants we have and showcase them really.

Anything you’ve learnt about owning your own business?

Learning how to do every single task at once really! As well as being the front of the business, I had to learn how to do all the marketing, strategy, accounting, digital analytics etc. There was areas that I knew already and areas that I had to really teach myself but it’s been a great learning experience.



Leeds Food Tours

What can people expect from the food tour?

So there’s usually 6 stops and it’s a mixture of different places; from cosy pubs to more modern restaurants to stops in the market. Plenty of food – I don’t like people to be hungry!

What sets you aside from other food tours?

I think it’s very much seeing it from a locals perspective, I’ve spent a lot of time and money on eating around Leeds! This means I can take people to the best places but also be able to answer their questions. I try and keep the group sizes to smallish, no more than 12, and that way they can ask me questions as we go along. Whether it’s my favourite places to go in Leeds or a specific cuisine they want to eat, I try and give a really personal touch to it.

What do you love most about being a food tour guide?

A mixture of being able to eat (all the time!) and a lot of the restaurants I go to change their menu every week, so I get to try new things all the time which is really cool. The other huge part of it is the different people that I meet – so many people from all types of backgrounds. We chat about their jobs, their families and it’s just really nice.


Favourite food you’ve tried recently on the tour?

It’s not a new food, but it was new to me fairly recently, and I just assumed I didn’t like them. Fresh oysters! There’s a great little place in the market that do them, and now they’re one of my favourite foods.

Favourite spot in Leeds?

In terms of a restaurant, Out which is in the Corn Exchange, is just the best place to go for lunch in Leeds. It’s a really friendly couple that own it, amazing food, and just a really lovely spot. And my favourite general place – I just love being in the market. Whether its for shopping, eating or just having a wander around!

What do you love about Leeds?

It’s quite a compact city, we’ve got everything you needs in terms of shopping, restaurants and night life but you can walk from one side of the centre to the other in less than 10 minutes really. I love that it doesn’t feel intimidating to explore, you can get around really easily! From a food, drink and shopping perspective, I love how much of an independent scene there is and how everyone supports each other as well. The collaboration in Leeds is incredible.

Anything new for 2023?

Yes there a few exciting things actually! As part of the food tours I offer a self-guided tour as well, where people get an envelope with a map and tokens and they can go do the food tour by themselves. So I’m looking to put this on an app later in the year! There will be still be a physical aspect for gifting, but people can then download the app and follow the map on their phone to all the different venues and show the QR codes in all the restaurants – so that’s really exciting!

Watch the full interview with Ellen on YouTube –