When you think about it, breakfast is a meal that should unify people, because it is enjoyed daily by pretty much everyone we know (unless you are the kind of person to not listen to your mother when she tells you it is the most important meal of the day). Instead though, breakfast can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
For some, it is a chance to start their morning off on the right foot, with a healthy bowl of fruit or porridge, setting the tone for the rest of their highly productive and super-efficient day. For others, breakfast is a bit more of an indulgent affair, a celebration of all things greasy or even a chance to get that sweet-toothed craving seen to before you have even opened your inbox at the office. Whatever type of breakfast person you are though, there is no denying that there is something special about heading out to a restaurant for brekkie.
In Leeds, both residents and visitors are blessed with a whole host of breakfast places, ranging from the virtuous to the downright sinful. There are all-day operations where you can start your day like a champion, as well as cutesy cafes and coffee shops which are on hand to help out with any caffeine cravings.
With so much to choose from though, how can you separate the great from the good? We understand that you might have tired of popping ‘breakfast Leeds’ and ‘breakfast Leeds city centre’ into your search engine of choice, so to help you on your quest to discover the best breakfast in Leeds, we have rounded up some of our favourites. Check out our top picks of breakfasts in Leeds city centre and beyond below and start your day the right way.
What: Fettle may be best known for its great value set menus in the evening (two courses for £25), but you can also pop by here for breakfast. Tuck into the likes of mushrooms on pumpernickel rye toast or a slow-smoked pork belly Benedict. Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of early starts either, as Fettle’s breakfast menu is served daily until 4pm.
Where: 73 Great George Street, LS1 3BR
The Fourth Floor Brasserie
What: If you are planning on a day of retail therapy, it is important to fuel up with a good breakfast to help keep you going, even with 25 shopping bags in hand. At Harvey Nichols, you’ll find a Brasserie on the fourth floor which serves classic breakfast dishes – think a three egg omelette with a choice of fillings or buttermilk waffles topped with syrup and bacon.
Where: Harvey Nichols, 107-111 Briggate, LS1 6AZ
The Ivy Victoria Quarter
What: There are few restaurant groups with prettier interiors than The Ivy Collection. At The Ivy Victoria Quarter, you can cosy up in the jewel box dining room while tucking into breakfast time favourites, such as scrambled eggs with smoked salmon or buttermilk pancakes topped with a medley of fruit. There are fresh juices and coolers too.
Where: Vicar Lane, LS1 6BB
The Ivy Harrogate
What: The second location for The Ivy Collection near Leeds, The Ivy Harrogate features all of the usual hallmarks of the brand. A stunning, light-filled dining room comes as standard, while the breakfast menu covers everything from oat and almond granola to the less virtuous likes of a full English breakfast, complete with streaky bacon, sausages and black pudding.
Where: 7-9 Parliament Street, HG1 2QU
What: Cosy Club is known around the UK for its eclectically decorated dining rooms and this Leeds outpost is no different. The menu is just as quirky as the space, with a few less than conventional breakfast dishes found among the more traditional fare. Play it safe with a smoked bacon sandwich or try something new with the Middle Eastern dish of shakshuka.
Where: 53 Albion Street, LS1 5AA
Olive & Rye
What: This rustic-chic café with wooden bench seating and scatter cushions provides a cosy start to the day. The breakfast menu features the indulgent likes of French toast topped with crème fraiche and blueberry compote, as well as an elevated take on a full English which includes crispy pork belly and sourdough toast.
Where: 18-20 Briggate, LS1 6LF
What: Open from 7am during the week and 8am on weekends, Laynes Espresso offers a great way to start the day for early risers. Order the likes of a chorizo hash with fried potato, kale and poached eggs or stick to the sweeter side of things with buckwheat pancakes drizzled with caramel. You can expect a tempting line in coffees too.
Where: 16 New Station Street, LS1 5DL
What: It may be generally understood that sandwiches are for lunchtime, but we’re of the school of thought that people can eat what they like, when they like. Ira B’s is best known for its Grobber (a mega-stuffed salt beef sandwich), but you can also start your day with fresh hot bagels that can be smothered in cream cheese or tuna mayonnaise.
Where: 27 Chelwood Drive, LS8 2AT
What: Taking the phrase ‘feel good food’ to rather literal extremes, Arch Café is run by the charity Age UK, which invests all of its proceeds into charitable projects helping the elderly in the area. Breakfasts here are a cheap and cheerful affair, with options to try including eggs on toast – remember to leave room for one the freshly-baked cakes too.
Where: Bradbury Building, Mark Lane, LS2 8JA
Pride and Produce
What: We’re a big fan of puns here at SquareMeal, so Pride & Produce was practically guaranteed to make it into our list. We promise there’s more to this café and bar than just good wordplay though. Breakfast here is served daily until midday, with dishes to choose from including eggs benedict or apple and cranberry fruit toast slathered in butter.
Where: 33A Main Street, LS25 1DS
What: In France, breakfast often involves a pastry or some other kind of baked good and quite frankly, that is the sort of meal we can really get behind. At Le Chalet in Leeds, you can pretend you’ve sauntered off to the Gallic region by tucking into the likes of crepes, croissants and French toast topped with bacon and maple syrup – bon appetit.
Where: 31-32 Park Row, LS1 5JD
If Coffee Bar
What: For some people, a cup of coffee is their breakfast in its entirety, but we’d recommend heading to If Coffee Bar, where you can enjoy Aussie-style brews alongside a very decent breakfast menu. The mighty breakfast burrito (essentially a wrapped up full English) is our top order, best enjoyed in the cutesy courtyard on sunnier days.
Where: 43 Call Lane, LS1 7BT
Crust and Crumb
What: Satisfying the breakfast cravings of Leeds folk from 8am every day, Crust and Crumb is a bakery-cum-café where you can expect to find pastries galore. Aside from the homemade cakes and freshly baked bread, there are also a few top-notch breakfast dishes – think halloumi and avocado on sourdough or a sweet potato rosti.
Where: 110B Harrogate Road, LS7 4NY
What: It might be easy to get lost in LS6’s quirky interiors, but we would recommend paying at least some attention to the menu. We’re big fans of the extensive breakfast menu on the weekends, which includes everything from porridge to burgers, alongside a build-your-own option and a drunken cheese toastie made with beer sauteed onions.
Where: 14-16A Headingley Lane, LS6 2AS
What: Fleur Café's strapline might as well read ‘come for the Instagram opportunities, stay for the breakfasts’. This picture-perfect café features foliage draped over the doorway and pink accents galore, while on the menu you can expect a run of French-leaning breakfast dishes. Our favourite is the poached eggs, paired with brioche and smoked paprika hollandaise.
Where: 8 The Light, LS1 8TL
If you want to enjoy great food in the city at any time of the day, check out our pick of the best restaurants in Leeds.