From upmarket gastro-pubs to exotic fusion cuisine and fine dining, WOW247 is proud to present a wide-ranging guide to the very best Leeds restaurants, which we will update every week.
Compiled in collaboration with the Yorkshire Evening Post‘s prestigious Oliver review column, scroll down to check out the city’s top eateries.
All Bar One
Unit D, Electric Press, LS2 3AD
0113 244 8835
Enhanced by its prime location in the city’s popular Millennium Square, the upmarket city centre chain offers a fantastic setting and extensive menu, including crab and lobster burger, lamb cutlets, pad thai, salads and sandwiches. Its rustic yet sophisticated look blends with a surprisingly cosy, welcoming atmosphere.
36-38 The Calls, Leeds, LS2 7EW
0113 246 1848
One of the more high profile recent newcomers to to the city’s dining scene, this lively Tapas restaurant has already established something of a reputation. Minimalist and well-lit, there’s an energetic, contemporary feel to the place – while the menu boasts meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, along with sides and sample platters with a little bit of everything.
Criterion Place, Swinegate, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 4AG
0113 243 0905
Bibis, which has now been in Leeds for 40 years, is a bona fide local institution. Armed with bright lights and a buzzing atmosphere, the enormous venue is an exciting place to be, but despite all the glitz and glamour Bibis still remembers to put the food centre stage. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to the extensive, mouthwatering menu.
31-33 East Parade, LS1 5PS
0113 246 0669
Offering diners a bite of the Big Apple without boarding a plane, this mightily-impressive American-style diner – billed as ‘the grill on the square’ – brings a touch of swanky Manhattan to Leeds city centre. The dark leather and wooden interior oozes chic, the atmosphere is buzzing, and everything from the seafood platters to the mouth-watering steaks is a taste sensation.
Brasserie Forty 4
44 The Calls, LS2 7EW
0113 234 3232
Having occupied its tasteful water-side site for many years, you can’t pick a better location for a pleasant summer’s evening. Few can hold a candle to its beautiful view out over the River Aire, while the subtle lighting, dark coloured décor and low ceiling ooze class. Combine that with the excellent food, and it means restaurants new and old in Leeds have a lot to live up to if they want to top this old master.
Redbrick Mill, 218 Bradford Road, Batley, WF17 6JF
Housed in a flourishing former mill next to impressive shopping choices including Heal’s and Bo-Concept, the attractive modern interior is a delight to behold – and the hot sandwiches are to die for. The sweet treats and desserts are also amazing, while the cafe is a notably child-friendly venue.
396 Kirkstall Road
0113 278 5400
Internet reviews from customers are positive and that instant verdict from the online court of public opinion tells you they must be doing something right and on that score, we concur. Service is good, the menu is tight, easy to understand, prices are most reasonable, what more do you want from a local cafe?
219 Roundhay Road, LS8 4HS
0113 225 9999
With its bright pink bubblegum interiors and welcoming feel, this is a tiny inner-city diner with a big, warm, foodie heart. The range of American, Italian and Mexican gourmet beefburger options, as well as some unusual daily specials and an array of paninis, pasta, pizzas and home-made desserts, are all delicious. One of a handful of eateries in this part of downtown Leeds that bears repeated visits.
20 Dock Street, LS10 1JF
0113 246 9444
The contemporary decor and small tables enhance the trendy, minimalist feel, as does the funky bar area. The staff are friendly and polite, the lunchtime selections are wide and reasonably-priced, and it offers simple dishes done superbly, with more than enough food to satisfy even the hungriest patron.
415 Trinity Leeds, Albion Street
Cielo Blanco is worth a visit not only for the food, but also for the atmosphere of the place – it is a real experience. By day it’s a convivial space for grabbing lunch, by night you can imagine the place is absolutely buzzing.
Trinity Leeds, 70 Boar Lane, LS1 6HW
0113 897 0444
Still bandbox fresh and clearly out to make a big impression, this slick establishment’s food is sourced within 60 miles and the service is smooth as silk. Offering an enviable selection of meat and seafood options, Crafthouse delivers good food with good service, and a lot of attention to the all-important detail.
Trinity Leeds, K25, 1st floor, 339 Albion Street, LS1 5AT
0113 247 1588
A stalwart of the French high street comes to Leeds City Centre. You may find yourself overwhelmed by the savoury crepe choices and sweet choices here. A pleasant lunchtime alternative to the humdrum homemade sandwich, for a naughty but nice treat – this Crepe Affaire is one to remember.
18 Great George St, LS1 3DW
0113 826 7875
Swish new bijou dining venue Dish has its home in the Georgian splendour of a Grade II listed building, making it easy to image yourself as a character in a darkly-atmospheric period drama. Its modern British cuisine is as imaginative as it is lip-smacking, resulting in a simply fabulous array of dishes. This stylish and vibrant venue has proven an instant hit – and deservedly so.
Trinity Leeds, Albion St, LS1 5AT
Located at the gloriously alternative Everyman Cinema, this little quiet haven in the bustling bubble of Trinity offers tasty, no-nonsense lunches of pizza, pasta and burgers. It surely won’t be long before everyone is getting in on a pizza the action at this tasty slice of Trinity Leeds.
The Foundry Wine Bar
1 Saw Mill Yard, Round Foundry, Water Lane, LS11 5WH
Tel: 0113 245 0390
Offering a warm welcome – both from the waiting staff and the toasty temperature created by a packed room – The Foundry’s aim is to take the best local produce, treat ingredients with respect and create simple dishes which allow them to shine. The food is delectable, the venue has a fantastic, unrivaled atmosphere, and the expert service is something to behold.
Fourth Floor Cafe @ Harvey Nichols
107-111 Briggate, LS1 6AZ
0113 204 8000
A stalwart of the local scene, this destination eatery has embedded itself so firmly in the city that it would probably take an earthquake to shift it. There’s a feel-good atmosphere; the new layout is luxurious; and the locally-sourced food is excellent – packed with imaginative combinations and well-balanced flavours.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Minerva House, 29 East Parade, LS1 5PS
0113 243 5866
Like a dependable friend who can make even the most simple of things extra special, Gourmet Burger Kitchen is the steadfast champion of quick bites. The juicy burgers – of which there are many options – are delicious, and make a big impression. Make sure you bring a belt with a few extra notches to accommodate your dinner.
Haftsin Persian Grill House
60-62 Burley Road, LS3 1JX
0113 245 7000
A gem of a restaurant that lures with the quality of its food and ingredients, this Persian eatery serves up majestic platters and flavoursome dishes aplenty. For the proudly carnivorous dining partner, the thrill of the grill is definitely one to savour.
Grand Arcade, LS1 6PG
The Just Grand cafe’s vintage tearooms in the delightful Handpicked Hall offers everything you could want in a sophisticated lunch, with its afternoon tea offering a cake stand laden with sweet treats, delicious sandwiches and perfect clotted cream scones.
The Hungry Bear
10-14 Stonegate Road, Meanwood, LS6 4HY
0113 274 0241
The arrival of The Hungry Bear has bolstered Meanwood’s burgeoning reputation as an up-and-coming night out destination. Making the most of what is a tight space, the service is relaxed, friendly and well-informed, while the home-made food is top notch and artfully judged. In spite of its fairly muted arrival on the Leeds dining scene, it has all the potential to become a big noise.
35 Park Row, LS1 5JL
0113 322 5400
Offering impressive quality in both food and service, Jamie Oliver’s taste of Italy boasts an electric atmosphere, an extensive menu loaded with Italian classics, and possibly the best bruschetta you’ll have ever tasted. As the celebrity chef himself would say – it’s simply pukka!
106-108 New Road Side, Horsforth, LS18 4QB
0113 258 8439
A glowing go-to bar in north Leeds, Kobe has developed a strong reputation for both its sophisticated take on pub grub. Boasting a quite comprehensive list of salads, grills, gourmet burgers, pastas and deli sandwiches, it’s hard not to get excited by the choices on offer, and its swish decor makes it a mightily comfortable place to be.
La Cantina 44
1A Austhorpe Rd, Cross Gates, LS15 8QR
0113 368 0066
Offering a very warm welcome, this little Italian gem boasts both classic favourites and a tempting selection of specials. The food surprises with its delectable twist on familiar fayre, from the rich, thick and deliciously spicy tomato sauce to stunning desserts. Just as important to the city’s dining scene as any of the more prestigious, celebrated city centre venues – it’s a well-loved local destination.
3 Cloth Hall Street, LS1 2HD
0113 243 9533
Latin luxury Las Iguanas has cemented its place in the hearts of the city’s culinary tastebuds. Proving that chain restaurants don’t have to be tiresome, the colourful Mexican dishes, friendly service and adventurous tapas might make you think you’re on holiday – until you look outside and remember that your table overlooks Leeds’s majestic Corn Exchange.
16 New Station St, LS1 5DL
Serving up quality coffee and popular sandwiches in cosy surroundings, this quaint cubby hole slightly off the bustling beaten track in Leeds city centre is a little gem – which is rightly amassing an ever-growing reputation for its simple delights.
Nursery Lane, Alwoodley, LS17 7HW
0113 266 2594
Leeds Seventeen burst on to the city’s dining scene nearly five years ago and has won rave reviews. Efficient service, sleek & stylish decour and intimate surroundings make for a great first impression, but it is the food that leaves a lasting memory. Delicious unusual dishes such as kangaroo fillet, and a magnificent signature pudding, are just two of the things that will add a spring to your step.
24 Central Rd, LS1 6DE
0113 243 9090
Tucked away just behind Briggate, this quirky and quaint restaurant is a feast for the eyes. The main dining room is split into two sections and comes complete with a bridge and its own pagoda-style water feature. The extensive menu includes a section for different sushi, and everything from chicken teriyaki and tofu steak to vegetarian chicken legs.
Granary Wharf, LS1 4BR
0113 243 0090
LIVINItaly aims to bring a slice of Italia to Leeds and succeeds in doing so – it being a bit different to similar eateries in the city. It has everything you’d expect: paninis, antipasto platters, stuzzichini; which come complete with smart presentation and pack a flavoursome punch.
The Old Post Office, 2 City Square, LS1 2ES
0113 391 7550
One of the major reasons people venture into City Square at night, this refined seafood restaurant adds to the ambience but also brings its own. It’s particularly impressive indoors, where the ceilings disappear into the half-light and the mood is all about relaxation and conversation. But there is also an outdoor seating area, which really comes into its own during a proper summer’s day.
9 Merrion Street, LS1 6PQ
0113 247 0601
The only resemblance this cool new city centre bar and restaurant has in common with a pit is the descent into it. There’s a variety of mouth-watering homemade burgers, meaty sandwiches and main meals such as baby back ribs, steak and lobster – and the impressive £800,000 investment has clearly been money well spent.
The Pit at Chapel Allerton
8b Stainbeck Lane, LS7 3QY
0113 269 8666
Following an impressive £450,000 facelift, this sister venue to its hit city centre counterpart boasts a menu bursting with lip-smacking meat options fit for any keen carnivore. The impressive burger list serves everything from buffalo and steak burgers to triple-towered ones, while other main options include steak, ribs, pork shoulder and lobster. You certainly won’t go hungry: to do a three-course meal here justice, you might actually need to be a bottomless Pit.
137 Whitehall Road, Drighlington, BD11 1AT
0113 285 2037
This incredible vegetarian Indian restaurant exploded onto the scene, and the nation’s tastebuds, after coming second on Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant TV show. The team reigns supreme when it comes to delicate spicing and sheer imagination and creativity – offering flavour sensations that are fit for the Gods.
Lamberts Yard, 163, Lower Briggate, LS1 6LY
0113 246 7013
Classy, modern and simple yet confident, the owners of RARE clearly now what they’re doing. The service is attentive and friendly and the food is excellent: with the steaks on offer proving juicy, full of flavour and melt-in-the-mouth.
Red’s True Barbecue
1 Cloth Hall Street, Leeds, LS1 2HD
0113 834 5834
A popular destination for carnivores across Leeds, diners sitting on communal benches tuck into a variety of different meaty treats. Ribs, burgers and steaks are the mainstay, and the food is simply divine. The Pit Burger is one of the best you’ll ever taste, while the 22-day dry-aged British steak melts in the mouth. It’s a meat-lover’s paradise.
41 Cookridge St, LS2 3AW
0113 380 4992
A go-to destination for students and party animals at night, this stylish bar is nonetheless a far more civilised outfit during the day. Packed with hearty burgers, steaks, salads, wraps and pizzas, the menu is not for the faint-hearted – but it has down-sized options. The portions are large, the service is good, and the food has a great balance of flavours.
Sam’s Chop House
8 South Parade, LS1 5QX
0113 204 2490
Something of a celebration of meat, Sam’s Chop House is the place to go if you want to enjoy a truly comfortable meal. The atmosphere is warm and inviting; the main dining area with its enormously high ceiling just seems to free your mind; the food is excellent – and the service is equally robust.
Sous le Nez
Quebec House, Quebec St, LS1 2HA
0113 244 0108
Sous Le Nez has got the lot: superb food; attentive and knowledgeable staff; and a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. The menu itself is a feast for the eyes, with modern classics dominating. The wine list also helps set this place apart. It’s quite simply huge – with wines drawn from every grape-growing corner of the world. An incomparable triumph.
Chapeltown Road, Chapeltown, LS7 3DX
0113 262 3971
Part bakery, part pizzeria, part deli and part patisserie, Taste offers wholesome fresh fare cooked by professionals with a love of food. The brilliance of the concept is in its simplicity. This is food without fanfare – the quality does the talking and the passion shines through.
Town Street Tavern
16-18 Town St, Horsfoth, LS18 4RJ
0113 281 9996
Armed with a hearty yet sophisticated menu, this homely city pub covers all the traditional bases with burgers, fish and chips and steak – but there is certainly a gastronomic feel. The mains cover everything from smoked haddock with garden pea risotto to chicken schnitzel with sautéed potatoes, truffle oil and mushroom sauce. This is certainly no basement beer and a burger joint – it’s a rustic yet refined ale house that serves enviable food.
43 Great George Street, LS1 3BB
0113 242 8094
This city centre pub offers good, honest and pleasantly down-to-earth grub. Armed with its own deli counter and a pleasant nonchalance that makes it an easy place to relax, the food is tasty, hearty, and comes at a very reasonable price.
342 Kirkstall Road, LS4 2DS
0113 275 0888
Leeds’s very own answer to Cuba boasta a warm welcome and thriving atmosphere that make this Hispanic haven truly special. It has an intimate, romantic feel, and is ideal for lovers of tapas. Its magnificent array of food is an ode to the joys of sharing.
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