Leeds has a thriving culinary scene, mirroring the diversity of its residents and visitors. From Michelin-starred dining restaurants to niche pop-ups and homey neighbourhood joints, you’ll find the right restaurant for every type of night out – whether it be a romantic date, family night, or a pub crawl.

    Some restaurants serve classic British cuisine, often in a modern and elevated fashion to appeal to an eccentric crowd. Meanwhile, others serve comfort food from Leeds and all around the globe. Here are the places locals love to eat in Leeds.

    1

    Kirkgate Market

    Eat like a local at Europe’s largest indoor market

    • Shoppers
    • Food
    • Budget

    Beyond the grand stone archways and its imposing Edwardian façade, Kirkgate Market is home to more than 600 stalls, making it the largest covered market in Europe. Here, among the bakers, fishmongers, butchers, and delis, you’ll discover the true taste of Leeds.

    Try locally grown produce, fresh seafood, wild game, and cuisines from all around the world. From Yorkshire pudding wraps to homemade Turkish bread and baklava, you can sample some of the best foods the city has to offer at Kirkgate Market. 

    Location: 34 George St, Leeds LS2 7HY, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1133 781950

    Map
    2

    The Man Behind the Curtain

    Dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant

    • Food

    The Man Behind the Curtain is a fine-dining escape without the rigidity of most high-end restaurants. Run by former Noma chef Michael O’Hare, its menu is dizzyingly ambitious, unbound by geographical locations and trends.

    Each dish that comes out of the kitchen is a work of art, painstakingly plated by talented chefs. They serve fun and highly original dishes, including ox cheek Rossini, foie gras doughnuts, and crab lasagne. The Man Behind the Curtain also has an interesting array of desserts and cocktails.

    Location: 68-78 Vicar Lane Lower Ground Floor Flannels LS1 7JH, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Wednesday from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 12.30 pm to 2 pm and from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1132 432376

    Map

    photo by Simon Cobb (CC0 1.0) modified

    3

    Bengal Brasserie

    Savour Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine

    • Food

    Bengal Brasserie is a chain of restaurants in Leeds that serves Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine. No matter which restaurant you dine in, you can choose from a wide range of filling dishes, all bursting with flavour.

    Some of its specialities include Kandhari, a hearty minced meat dish in a thick spicy sauce, and Achar, a mouth-watering braised meat recipe with mango chutney and pickle sauce. If you can’t handle spicy food, you can tell the chef how mild you want it and they’ll adjust accordingly.

    Location: 5 Merrion Way, Leeds LS2 8BT, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 5 pm to 11 pm, Sunday from noon to 10 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1132 436318

    Map

    photo by Mtaylor848 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    4

    Myrtle Tavern

    Enjoy a family Sunday roast

    Myrtle Tavern is an under-the-radar gem where you can indulge in British comfort food classics and a cold beer. Its menu consists of quintessential English desserts, satisfying pies, savoury meats, and more. You can also enjoy a decent selection of wines, best paired with a variety of cheeses.

    If you’re looking for a relaxing spot for the entire family, Myrtle Tavern is worth visiting. Along with wendy houses and a rabbit garden, its beer garden has a play area where kids of all ages can have fun.

    Location: Myrtle Tavern, Parkside Rd, Meanwood, Leeds LS6 4NE, UK

    Open: Monday–Thursday from noon to 11 pm, Friday–Saturday from noon to 11.30 pm, Sunday from noon to 11pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1132 752101

    Map

    photo by Chemical Engineer (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    5

    Bill’s Leeds

    Indulge in the local cuisine and food culture

    • Food

    Known for its all-day menu, Bill’s Leeds serves an eclectic mix of guilty pleasures and modern British dishes, complete with everything from crispy calamari and beetroot wellingtons to chicken and sesame dumplings. This is where you go if you’re after seasonal goods, fresh herbs, veggies, meats, and seafood.

    It has extensive breakfast/brunch offerings – from buttermilk pancakes and smoothies to toast and oats, it’s easily one of the top brunch spots in the city. Bill’s Leeds also serves plant-based alternatives for vegan and vegetarian eaters.

    Location: 1 Albion Pl, Leeds LS1 6JL, UK

    Open: Monday–Tuesday from 8 am to 9.30 pm, Wednesday–Thursday from 8 am to 10 pm, Friday from 8 am to 11 pm, Saturday from 8.30 am to 11 pm, Sunday from 9 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1132 452010

    Map

    photo by Betty Longbottom (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    6

    The Botanist

    Enjoy good food and cocktails with live music

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    A trip to Leeds wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Botanist, a one-of-a-kind gastropub and wine bar that offers grilled meats, savoury pies, great desserts, and deli boards. However, its main draws are the hanging kebabs, plated with seasoned chips.

    If you’re looking for a place to dine, drink and listen to live music, this is your spot. Plus, The Botanist has an extensive ale, wine, and cocktail selection that will surely keep you occupied all night long.

    Location: 67 Boar Ln, Leeds LS1 6HW, UK

    Open: Thursday from noon to 1 am, Friday–Saturday from noon to 2 am, Sunday–Wednesday from noon to midnight

    Phone: +44 (0)1132 053240

    Map

    photo by Mtaylor848 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    7

    Aagrah

    Book high-end dining in an authentic Indian restaurant

    • Food

    Aagrah is a family-run chain of high-end Indian restaurants in Yorkshire that’s been delivering first-rate and award-winning dishes since 1977. It brings a diverse range of regional cuisines under 1 roof. Staples include tikka masala and bhaji, but other items in their menu include biryani and vindaloo, as well as Punjabi, Kashmiri, and Dopiaza dishes.

    The space is beautiful and refined, with a modern look despite its traditional dishes. Whether you're keen to try Indian food that’s familiar or something new, you can start at this Aagrah.

    Location: St Peter's Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS9 8AH, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 5 pm to 11.30 pm, Sunday from 4.30 pm to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1132 455667

    Map

    photo by Mtaylor848 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    8

    The Reliance

    Grab a late-night drink with friends

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    The Reliance serves modern British cuisines and homemade charcuteries in a nice, laidback setting. One of Leeds’ cosiest pubs, it offers a modest selection of wines and craft beers as well. If you and your friends need a chill spot to hunker down for the night, its doors are open. The friendly staff will see to it that you’re happy, satisfied, and full.

    The Reliance is also a go-to spot for lunch in Leeds. Aside from traditional Sunday roast dishes, it serves plant-based alternatives for vegans and vegetarians.

    Location: 76-78 North St, Leeds LS2 7PN, UK

    Open: Monday–Thursday from noon to 11 pm, Friday–Saturday from noon to midnight, Sunday from 11 am to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1132 956060

    Map
    9

    Tharavadu Restaurant

    Dine on authentic Kerala cuisine

    • Food

    Tharavadu Restaurant is a Michelin-recommended restaurant where you can get authentic Kerala cuisine. Over the years, it has become a local favourite because of its accommodating staff, hearty meals, and a wide selection of craft beers. One of its classic dishes is the masala dosa, a crepe made with rice, lentils, and curry and served with sambar and chutney.

    Although spice levels generally depend on each dish, you can specifically ask to have yours toned down or spiced up to suit your preferences.

    Location: 7-8 Mill Hill, Leeds LS1 5DQ, UK

    Open: Monday–Thursday from noon to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from noon to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 10.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1132 440500

    Map
    10

    Outlaws Yacht Club

    Hangout at a hip café-bar

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Outlaws Yacht Club draws in a young, creative crowd for many reasons. Aside from its deli platters, coffees, cocktails and craft beers, it’s a hip bar because its space is also used as a record shop and an art gallery for urban pieces. 

    The restaurant has a large, comfortable setting with free Wi-Fi and plug sockets. It’s the sort of place where you can chill for hours. On top of that, it hosts a wide range of events such as concerts, book clubs, film nights and poetry readings.

    Location: 38 New York St, Leeds LS2 7DY, UK

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10 am to 11 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to midnight, Sunday from noon to 9 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1132 346998

    Map
    Geri Mileva | Contributing Writer

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