Best restaurants in Leeds

Discover this vibrant northern city’s innovative drinking and dining scene with our round up of the best restaurants in Leeds

Updated on 02 August 2019

Once a rundown mill town, Leeds is now a gleaming gem of the north with plenty to offer. Perfectly situated between the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales, Leeds is both a great jumping off point and a destination in itself, especially when it comes to eating and drinking. Intense redevelopment in the city centre has given birth to a thriving food and drink scene, which covers everything from bars to fine dining, casual dining and quirky spots for a mesh of all three. So, whether you’re just passing through, visiting for the weekend or relocating, check out our round-up of the best restaurants in Leeds below.

Northern Monk Refectory

Northern Monk Refectory

The Old Flax Store, Marshalls Mill, Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9YJ

Located on the first floor of the Old Flax Store, this brewery-based refectory hosts regular takeovers from local food vendors. Industrial chic surrounds and a very heavy focus on the varied styles of beer the ‘monks’ brew (it has 16 kegs, two cask lines, and fridges packed with fresh cans to takeaway) mean that food takes a bit of a back seat, but that’s not to say it’s not excellent. It’s ideal for groups and, naturally, beer enthusiasts.

Pubs
Crafthouse

Crafthouse

Level 5, Trinity Leeds, 70 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW

Fantastic views of the city are yours for the taking at this modern British restaurant in the heart of Leeds. Part of London-based D&D group, Crafthouse is popular for its smoky Josper-grilled steaks and native lobsters, though there’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re ascending to this stylish space for an upmarket pre-theatre meal, treating yourself and a friend to afternoon tea or stopping in for after-work drinks, the top-notch service and beautifully presented food are sure to please.

£30 - £49
British
East 59th

East 59th

47 Victoria Gate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU

Designed to resemble a New York rooftop bar and restaurant, this stylish hangout celebrates contemporary American dining. This means you can tuck into bottomless brunch from midday onwards any day of the week. Eggs and burgers dominate the brunch menu, but there are plenty of other American staples on the a la carte, including mac ‘n’ cheese, sticky wings and steaks. The pre-theatre menu – which includes a starter, main and a drink for £20 – offers great value.

Under £30
North American
Ibérica Leeds

Ibérica Leeds

Hepper House, 17a East Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2BH

New-century tapas in beautiful white and royal blue surrounds are what diners can expect from the Leeds branch of this popular Spanish chain. From chorizo lollipops with pear aioli to a selection of cheeses, cured meats and preserved fish, the menu honours Spain’s centuries-old gastronomic traditions while keeping things fresh. Drinks range from beer to cider, sangria and cava, plus a handful of bespoke G&Ts, vermouths and sherries. Try the set lunch menu if you can – it’s good value for money.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Sukhothai - City Centre

Sukhothai - City Centre

Sukhothai 15 South Parade, Leeds, LS1 5QS

It’s hard to believe a restaurant with over 200 dishes on its a la carte menu could be exceptional, but this popular Thai restaurant manages it with ease. A firm favourite among locals since its original restaurant in Chapel Allerton opened in 2002, Sukhothai continues to thrive thanks to the imaginative yet authentic menu devised by chef patron Ban Kaewkraikhot that uses fresh Thai ingredients flown in each week.

£30 - £49
Thai
San Carlo Leeds

San Carlo Leeds

6-7 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5QX

Situated in the heart of Leeds’ smart legal and business quarter, this branch of San Carlo promises sleek, stylish good looks (notably its hand-carved stone bar imported from Italy and a unique, three-metre iced seafood display), a cheery, welcoming vibe and a wide-ranging menu peppered with trattoria classics. Prices are on the high side, but with many of the ingredients flown in from markets across Italy, you can understand why. The wine list is also immense.

Under £30
Mediterranean
Italian
The Man Behind The Curtain

The Man Behind The Curtain

68-78 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7JH

As intriguing and quirky as its namesake, this Michelin-starred restaurant in Leeds has garnered a reputation for delicious, artistically-presented, imaginatively-named dishes. Choose between six or ten courses for lunch, and ten or 14 courses for dinner, and prepare to be impressed by creations such as foie gras raspberries, oysters with strawberry kimchi, and ‘hand-massaged octopus’. Prices are on the high side, but dining here is an experience worth paying for.

Over £80
International
One michelin star
Ox Club at Headrow House

Ox Club at Headrow House

Bramleys Yard, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU

This charming restaurant housed in a former textile mill is worthy of its silver award for a number of reasons. Firstly, its daily changing menu, is confident, succinct and seasonal. Secondly, the quality of the produce and unique flavours that follow are top-notch. Thirdly, the setting is just adorable – the kind of place you can visit with friends, on a date or with your parents at the weekend. It’s on the pricey side, but worth every penny.

International
Tattu Leeds

Tattu Leeds

Tattu Minerva, Leeds, LS1 5PS

Show-stopping interiors combine with colourful dim sum, large and small plates, and handsome desserts to create a unique dining experience at Tattu. Ideal for celebrations and special occasions, this modern Chinese restaurant prides itself on painstaking attention to detail, from the beautifully-presented menus to the dishes themselves, which include delights such as crispy duck rolls, wagyu dumplings and steamed ginger sea bass. If money’s a bit tight, go for the set lunch menu which offers three courses for £28.

Over £80
Chinese
Dim Sum
Bundobust Leeds

Bundobust Leeds

6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ

What with its menu of vegetarian Indian street food and craft beer, as well as its stripped-back interiors, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d wandered into Shoreditch by mistake when visiting Bundobust. Long wooden tables, plastic cutlery, exposed brickwork and eye-catching artwork set the scene nicely for unfussy but mouth-watering dishes such as biryani bhaji balls, spicy mashed potato burgers and okra fries. Service is enthusiastic, drinks are enticing and prices are fair.

£30 - £49
Indian
Pho Leeds

Pho Leeds

Pho TK1 Trinity Kitchen, 401 Trinity Leeds, Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AY

As the name suggests, Pho specialises in Vietnam’s national dish of noodles in soup, bringing fresh, vibrant cooking first to London and now Leeds. Rather than squeezing the entire national repertoire onto one menu, Pho has edited its selection to variations on soup, bun (vermicelli noodles with stir-fried toppings), goi (salads) and the ever-popular spring and summer rolls. This branch might be smaller than its London siblings, but it packs as much of a punch thanks to its winning menu.

£30 - £49
Vietnamese
Angelica

Angelica

Trinity Leeds, Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5ER

Boasting panoramic views of the city, this sixth-floor D&D-owned restaurant/bar was made for celebrating. Swanky modern interiors, including a spectacular pewter bar and wraparound summer terrace, go hand-in-hand with a menu full of international favourites spanning brunch to dinner, and a list of seriously impressive cocktails. Whether you book in for a plate of eggs Benedict, a classic cheeseburger with fries, or a night out with friends, Angelica promises great food and drink in a relaxed setting.

£30 - £49
International
The Fourth Floor Café

The Fourth Floor Café

Harvey Nichols, 107-111 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AZ

Much like its London counterpart, this northern branch of Harvey Nics is tailor-made for shoppers and the city’s smart set. Glamorous and up-to-the-minute trendy, with a long bar, open kitchen and stunning views over the city’s rooftops, The Fourth Floor Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu changes with the seasons, but you’ll always find British favourites such as steak alongside salads and classic desserts. There's also a separate vegan menu.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Dakota - Leeds

Dakota - Leeds

Dakota 8 Russell Street, Leeds, LS1 5RN

Loved by locals and visitors alike for its excellent food and outstanding service, Dakota is a hotel restaurant with a difference. Majoring in comfort food favourites – think fish and chips, risotto and chocolate mousse – cooked and presented to an exemplary standard, there’s something for everyone at this stylish grill. Dakota caters to most dietary requirements, including vegans, though as dishes are subject to seasonal availability, it’s worth checking beforehand if you’re banking on a specific dish.

£50 - £79
Steak
Tharavadu

Tharavadu

Tharavadu, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ

Located just a hop, skip and a jump from the train station, Tharavadu appears to be nothing more than a classic neighbourhood Indian restaurant, but once you step inside and the aromas from the kitchen have hit you, you'll soon realise it's nothing of the sort. Mega-popular with locals and visitors alike, this spot offers exemplary south Indian food served by the smiliest waiters in Leeds at an affordable price. What more could you want?

£30 - £49
Indian
Gaucho Leeds

Gaucho Leeds

21/22 Park row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5JF

Chains are often overlooked, but Gaucho has earned its place on this list by offering faithful Argentinian cuisine to hungry diners for a number of years. Glitzy black, white and cowhide livery make dining here feel like an event, with the beef – sourced solely from the Pampas plains of Argentina – as the star of the show. In addition to the usual cuts of meat, you’ll also find empanadas, sausages, ceviches and tiraditos on offer, followed by sweet dulce de leche-based desserts for afters.

Argentinian
Nation of Shopkeepers

Nation of Shopkeepers

27-37 Cookridge Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AG

Quality pub grub including (but not limited to) massive burgers, fried chicken, wraps, snacks and hearty veggie meals are the order of the day at this relaxed bar-kitchen-courtyard near Leeds Cathedral. With an eclectic interior, live music and an array of drinks, from craft keg to milkshakes and cocktails, it’s a great spot for a filling up and chilling out any day of the week, especially when the sun’s out.

£30 - £49
North American
Bars
Home

Home

16-17 Kirkgate, Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BY

Stylish, friendly and with a 10-course tasting menu to satisfy even the trickiest customers, this contemporary small-plates restaurant run by chef Mark Owens and MasterChef semi-finalist Elizabeth Cottam is ideal for special occasions. It might sound trite, but dining at Home is an experience, with each dish meticulously composed to ensure maximum flavour, exquisite textures and first-rate presentation. Staff are professional yet warm, and prices are very reasonable. It’s relaxed fine dining at its best.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
The Reliance

The Reliance

76-78 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN

Home-cured charcuterie boards are what this pub’s most proud of, though you’ll also find soups, sandwiches, snacks and large plates on its lunch menu, and a mix or small and large plates on its dinner menu. The informal pub setting means The Reliance is well-suited to both solo- and group-dining, and there’s the option to eat from the same menu whether you’re seated at the bar or in the dining room.

£30 - £49
Pubs
Friends of Ham Leeds

Friends of Ham Leeds

4-8 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL

So popular was this friendly independent’s tiny ground floor bar/restaurant that it was required to expand next door after a couple of years – always a good sign. The tempting menu comprising charcuterie and cheeses, such as hand-carved Serrano Gran Reserva, Jésus du Pays Basque salami with rum, and ibérico bellota, plus a predominantly European wine list, various lagers, ales and porters make Friends of Ham ideal for group dining, though a platter for one wouldn’t be a bad shout either!

£30 - £49
Tapas
Wine Bars
MEATliquor Leeds

MEATliquor Leeds

Bank Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AT

Two floors of fun await hungry diners at the Leeds branch of the ever-popular MEATliquor chain. Here you’ll find the usual array of obscene burgers that promise to fulfil the brand’s ‘come hungry, leave wobbly’ motto, along with hotdogs, fries, sides and hard shakes. Kids and dogs are both welcome and there’s plenty to do while you wait for your food, from table football to a retro gaming arcade. Veggies and vegans are catered for, making it ideal for large groups.

Under £30
North American
Burgers

On a mission to try all the best restaurants in the UK? Check out our guide to the UK’s Top 100 Restaurants.