Whether you’re staying in Leeds for a big event or a big weekend away, taking the time to sample the city’s booming foodie scene is a must. In recent years there’s been an explosion of independent restaurants, with cafes and bars popping up in parts of the city that had previously been neglected. And, if you’ve got an appetite for the home-grown, Leeds really is a great place to be, having great access to seasonal produce on its doorstep. So step out of your Leeds hotel and into one of these charming restaurants, cafes or street food markets.
Places to eat in Leeds
Leeds is packed full of quirky, independent restaurants, known for offering diners something that’s a little bit out of the ordinary.
One of the hottest restaurants in town has to be Red’s True Barbecue on Cloth Hall Street. There are often queues to get in, full of people hungry for the succulent ribs, smoked chicken and the infamous donut burger on offer, all slathered in their signature dirty sauce.
For somewhere you won’t be up to your elbows in barbecue sauce and ribs, head to the quirky basement dining room of Sous Le Nez on Quebec Street, near our Premier Inn hotel on Wellington Street. This charmingly atmospheric restaurant has great French bistro cuisine and an extensive 40 page wine list.
For a special occasion, Leeds serves up some fabulous fine dining options. Best of the bunch has to be the restaurant that’s given Leeds its only Michelin star for a decade - The Man Behind the Curtain on Vicar Lane. Run by chef Michael O’Hare, its palate-expanding dishes include “The insecurity of postmen in Oakley sunglasses” (which is actually pork, mandarin spices and basque foie gras).
Going to watch a gig at the First Direct Arena? You’re in luck, because one of the city’s best curry houses can be found on nearby North Street. Incredibly popular, Hansa’s was the first of its kind in the North, as it introduced the locals to traditional vegetarian Gujarati cuisine. The food is delicious, but what also makes Hansa’s so special is its all-female, multi-cultural workforce - it wasn’t planned, but the restaurant found it was a great way to help women back to work. And it’s just a walk away from our Leeds Arena hotel, too.
Restaurants in Leeds
Cafés in Leeds
Where are the best places to stop for brunch, lunch or just some coffee and cake? Leeds is full to the brim with top cafes - here’s the cream of the crop of the city’s bean scene.
Staying in the Premier Inn hotel near Leeds station? Just a short walk away you’ll find the highly-rated Laynes Espresso. Proud winner of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, it serves delicious brunch options. Try the ham hock and egg hash or go for the avocado on sourdough with bloody mary pickle, all washed down with the finest coffee this side of Italy.
Also highly recommended is the delightfully bonkers cafe Ira B’s, just off Street Lane in Leeds. It promises “classic Jewish food almost as good as your Mother’s” and its chicken schnitzel and chopped liver really doesn’t disappoint. Most famous is the Grobber, Ira B’s take on a salt beef sandwich. And if you can’t decide between the sandwich and the comforting chicken soup, then go for a B.O.B….a bit of both.
Vegans, vegetarians and lovers of all things organic will enjoy the Scandi-style Fettle Cafe on Great George street. The pared back ethos applies as much to the food as it does to the decor - expect simple dishes done incredibly well, such as the vegan banana loaf, buckwheat noodle salads and fresh mint tea.
The street food scene is booming all over the UK, and Leeds is no exception. From the exotic to the adventurous, there are tasty delicacies from all over the world to sample.
If you’re in the mood for a street food feast, head to the Trinity Kitchen in the Trinity Centre. Alongside permanent concessions such as Chip + Fish, Duck ’n Roll and Rola Wala, the innovative food court features six new street food vendors every six weeks, so there’s always something different to tempt your tastebuds. And, if you’re staying at the Premier Inn hotel near the Trinity Centre Leeds, you’ll be able to sample them all over the course of one weekend.
Kirkgate Market is a real foodie’s paradise. One of the largest covered markets in Europe, there are delicacies to be had from all over the world. Head to Café Moor for a taste of the Middle East, Mr Mackerel for Turkish treats or Bánh & Mee for traditional Vietnamese recipes. But the highlight has to be The Yorkshire Wrap Company who take giant Yorkshire puddings, stuff them with goodies and wrap them like a burrito.
One of the most popular farmers’ markets in Leeds, Briggate Farmers’ Market offers everything from hog roasts to freshly baked brownies. Held on the first and third Sunday of every month, it’s a great place to grab something tasty before you browse the stalls.