Food and Drink in Leeds

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

Like its architecture, food and drink in Leeds is a contrast of old-fashioned and cutting edge contemporary. Hearty traditional food can be found alongside innovative street food, all preferably served with a beer from one of the city’s many local breweries. Within the city centre, there are numerous restaurants renowned for their high-quality cuisine, including the Michelin starred The Man Behind The Curtain, as well as the multi award-winning Tharavadu, serving traditional Keralan dishes. Most of the cities independent eateries put an emphasis on the value of using fresh local produce wherever possible, especially if you find yourself in Kirkgate market’s food hall where suppliers and chefs work side by side. Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite while out with friends at Belgrave, looking for a good coffee at Laynes or wanting to try a refreshing take on traditional British food at The Reliance, Leeds will have something to cater to your taste.

Our top picks

The Man Behind The Curtain

The Man Behind The Curtain, 68-78 Vicar Ln, Leeds, LS1 7JH - Visit now

Perhaps the most famous restaurant in Leeds, The Man Behind The Curtain was opened in 2014 by celebrated chef Michael O’Hare. This is modernist cuisine, often weird but always wonderful – you don’t get a Michelin star without being reliably brilliant.

The Man Behind The Curtain

FINT Leeds

FINT Leeds, 73 Great George St, Leeds, LS1 3BR - Visit now

Tucked away in a peaceful street across from St George’s Church, FINT is an independent restaurant specialising in Nordic-inspired cuisine. It’s also one of the culinary highlights of the city, with an equally great wine selection.

Ian Jones

Tharavadu Restaurant

Tharavadu Restaurant, 7-8 Mill Hill, Leeds, LS1 5DQ - Visit now

Tharavadu specialises in cuisine from Kerala, a small coastal area of South-West India with a strong focus on fish dishes. Expect plenty of dishes you haven’t encountered before at this multiple-award-winning and locally loved restaurant.

Tharavadu Restaurant Leeds

Stuzzi Leeds

Stuzzi Leeds, 7 Merrion St, Leeds, LS1 6PQ - Visit now

This stylish Leeds restaurant aims to give diners a taste of ‘what’s on offer beyond the tourist traps’ in Italy and succeeds magnificently. If you’re looking for authentic Italian cuisine executed with flair and packed with ideas, look no further.

Stuzzi Leeds
via Leeds Inspired

Leeds Kirkgate Market

Leeds Kirkgate Market, 34 George St, Leeds, LS2 7HY - Visit now

Located right in the city centre, Leeds Kirkgate Market is the largest covered market in Europe. We recommend you set a full day aside – there are over 800 stalls to choose from.

Leeds Kirkgate Market
By Flickr user:Tim Green aka atouch [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Belgrave Music Hall

Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1A Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, LS2 8JP - Visit now

Belgrave Music Hall,  a three-storey building boasting two bars, two kitchens and an impressive roof terrace is a popular music venue and canteen. On any given month, you can expect to catch the likes of Dinosaur Jr, Broken Social Scene and A Certain Ratio – plus plenty of rising stars.

Belgrave music hall Leeds
Creative Tourist

Laynes Espresso

Laynes Espresso, 16 New Station St, Leeds, LS1 5DL - Visit now

You come to Layne’s for the coffee. Sourced from roasters across Europe, there’s always a new variety to try. Loved by locals and commutes alike!

Laynes Espresso Leeds

The Reliance

The Reliance, 76-78 North St, Leeds, LS2 7PN - Visit now

Seared duck hearts, dandelion, thyme and blood orange. If that gets you interested, The Reliance is the place to be. A fine food restaurant, The Reliance also a features a bar and in-house cinema, where the carefully curated films are accompanied with special food and drink.

The Reliance

The Maven

The Maven, 1 Call Ln, Leeds, LS1 7DH - Visit now

Cocktail-lovers should make their way to The Maven, but keep your eyes peeled – this stylish cocktail bar is a true hidden gem, with no signage and subdued lighting giving it a real prohibition-era look and feel.

the maven bar leeds

The Cross Keys

The Cross Keys, 107 Water Ln, Leeds, LS11 5WD - Visit now

The Cross Keys might seem like one of Leeds sharp-looking modern pubs, but inside you’ll find a roaring open fire and plenty of alcoves to relax in with a local ale.

Bar at The Cross Keys
© Chloe Chapman

Where to go in Leeds

Bar or Pub
The Chemic Tavern

Historic real ale pub situated in the heart of the Woodhouse residential area, just over a mile north of Leeds City Centre.

The Tetley Bar and Kitchen
The Tetley Bar and Kitchen

The Tetley Bar and Kitchen is a British restaurant based in the heart of Leeds, where all proceeds go towards supporting the venue’s artistic programme.

A Nation of Shopkeepers
A Nation Of Shopkeepers

Situated in the heart of Leeds, A Nation of Shopkeepers is a laid back bar, restaurant and events venue boasting a stunning, fully-contained outside courtyard.

Bar or Pub
Power, Corruption and Lies

Forward-thinking restaurant and cocktail bar on Leeds’ bustling Call Lane. Named after the equally-excellent New Order album, but you knew that already, right?

Bar or Pub
Blind Tyger

Blind Tyger is a snug gem of a cocktail den tucked into Cross Belgrave street and perfect for a quiet but sophisticated drink.

The Domino Leeds
Music venue
The Domino Leeds

Live music isn’t the only attraction at The Domino. It also serves a range of inventive cocktails which are perfect to sip whilst watching the acts.

Bar or Pub
The Grove Inn Pub Leeds

When looking for some of the best folk music to be found in the north and a hearty local pint, the Grove Inn is the perfect pub.

Dakota Deluxe Leeds
Dakota Leeds

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Event venue
Outlaws Yacht Club

A European style café/bar, exhibition space, record shop, hair salon and creative hangout tucked away on New York Street in Leeds…

Event venue
Hyde Park Book Club

Wine. Beer. Arts. Food. Music. Coffee. Lots of events and even a webstore selling zines etc. Vegetarian menu served 10am to 10pm.

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