The well-loved chippy in the heart of Harehills which doesn't disappoint

When Leeds Live first launched I moved across to the city from Hull in 2018.

I knew Leeds city centre and Headingley relatively well, through various gig visits down the years, but little of the suburbs. I ended up living in a wonderful flat in Harehills, I know it is an area which can divide opinion, somewhat unfairly, but I loved living there for a couple of years.

Potternewton Park was a great spot to visit, particularly on carnival weekend, and Harehills has wonderful diversity. Another treat, which I enjoyed, was the rather special chippy situated in the heart of the community. Of course, I’m talking about Mother Hubbard’s in Harehills Road.

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Ahead of covering a recent show in Chapel Allerton, I had a little bit of time to kill and, after a number of years, made my Mother Hubbard’s return. Given it is a Yorkshire legend, I’m sure you are familiar with Mother Hubbard’s, but for the uninitiated, the regional chip shop chain launched way back in 1972 in Bradford.

Alongside its Leeds branch, you can find the fryer in Huddersfield, Wakefield and Halifax. But the Harehills takeaway and eat-in joint was ‘my’ Mother Hubbard’s.

For an added boost of nostalgia, when I stepped inside to make my order I spotted a familiar friendly face, behind the counter, from my old days of frequenting the chippy. On the menu, you can enjoy traditional fish offerings, sausages, pies and all the sides you’d expect - alongside a children’s menu.

I know I’m going to get lots of heckles up now but, instead of fish, I opted for chicken bites (£4.45) to go alongside my chips and gravy (£4). As they were being prepared, I took in the aesthetic of Mother Hubbard’s with the walls plastered with historic newspaper headlines (often charting England’s footballing failures) spanning back the chain’s decades.

Originally, I’m from Manchester, and I’ll let you in on a little secret, the much-fabled ‘scraps’ isn’t really a thing in our chippies. But I’ve long been won over on their importance. So, of course, I requested they were added to my chips and gravy.

I could have chosen to eat inside with ample seating available but given I had time on my hands, I popped into my car and ate at Roundhay Park, again, another little step back in time for me. Added with the scraps, the chips and thick gravy was just I remembered while the chicken bites were succulent. It was a little bit of Thursday evening bliss.

It did make me feel a little guilty when I spied a running club doing rounds as I chowed down. My Mother Hubbard’s tea was far too good to linger on that thought for very long.

I jumped back in my car (which very much had that lingering unmistakable chippy smell) and thought what a wonderful part of Leeds I used to live.

Mother Hubbard’s, 52 Harehills Road, Harehills, Leeds, LS8 5PB. Call 0113 236 1000 or visit their website.

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