Restaurants in Leeds

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

The food scene in Leeds is the envy of its neighbouring cities, proudly securing a number of Michelin stars in recent years (sorry Manchester, always the bridesmaid, never the bride). As such, you’ll find excellent restaurants of all kinds, from those specialising in traditional locally-sourced fare, to more outlandish fine dining tasting menus, and Indian restaurants with a unique Yorkshire twist.

Leeds is arguably the capital of West Yorkshire, and it is an international city. The background of a Leodensian may be British, Irish, Indian, Pakistani, Kurdish, or Zimbabwean, and the list goes on. Restaurants have a long history in the city, with fish and chip joints going back deep into Victorian times, and a plethora of Italian, Indian and Greek eateries popping up after the second world war. Today, a medley of cultures creates a landscape of foods for the connoisseur.

The Reliance, for example, specialises in up-to-the-minute contemporary dining. Seared duckling hearts with daffodils? They’ve got you covered. Tharavadu meanwhile focuses on the cuisine of Kerala, India, with deliciously spiced squid, prawn, and fish dishes. You won’t get this just anywhere, and it’s far more delicate than your typical restaurant or takeaway fare. Gaucho meanwhile takes the idea of a steak and turns it into an art form. Rump, ribeye, sirloin, fillet – you won’t find a better steak experience in the north.

One of the afore-mentioned Michelin Star restaurants is The Man Behind the Curtain, a mysterious endeavour in which guests are not handed a menu. Instead, proprietor and chef Michael O’Hare decides what precision-designed dishes will be sent over. Ox Club meanwhile is all about down-home wood-fired meat dishes. They earn their star the old-fashioned way.

Romantic dinners for two, food for a group of friends, or a family gathering – whatever you’re looking for, Leeds offers the perfect culinary setting. Here are our favourite restaurants in Leeds.

Our top picks

Ox Club at Headrow House

Ox Club at Headrow House, 19a The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 6PU - Visit now

Appearing in both the Good Food Guide and Michelin Guide for 2018, Josh Whitehead’s Ox Club is a restaurant for high quality food. In particular, people tend to talk about the cod cheeks, with smoked butter, chervil root and parsley.

Ox Club at Headrow House
CT

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
CT

Gaucho Leeds

Gaucho Leeds, 21-22 Park Row, Leeds, LS1 5JF - Visit now

The Leeds branch of Gaucho is all glittering lights and sparkling chrome fixtures – not to mention cow-hide seat coverings – in case there was any doubt about what kind of food is on offer. Yes, this is all about steaks, easily the best in the city. Steel yourself for a luxurious, opulent evening, packed with meat, meat and more meat.

Ian Jones

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
CT

Tharavadu Restaurant

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

Easily the most popular and celebrated Indian restaurant in Leeds, 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 restaurant.

Tharavadu Restaurant Leeds
CT

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

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

Where to go in Leeds

Leeds
Restaurant
White Cloth Hall

White Cloth Hall is a new food and drink project, based in a Grade II listed venue in Leeds city centre.

Leeds
Restaurant
Blue Pavilion & K-Cube

Oriental dining, live music and private karaoke, the upmarket Chinese restaurant Blue Pavilion is bringing the party to Leeds.

Leeds
Restaurant
Tada, Leeds

The authentic Japanese cuisine of Tada brings delicious sushi, ramen, yakitori and bespoke cocktails to the heart of Leeds, in the form of their ‘casual yet elegant’ establishment.

Leeds
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Six by Nico, Leeds

In another successful expansion, Six by Nico is delighting Leeds with their newest tasting menu launch: ‘The Chippie Experience’.

Leeds
Restaurant
Tattu Leeds

Tattu is an innovative Chinese restaurant with wonderfully lavish decor. The food is even better.

Little Tokyo Restaurant
Leeds
Restaurant
Little Tokyo Restaurant

Little Tokyo is a Japanese restaurant in Leeds featuring cushions in the ground for diners to sit on while eating.

Stuzzi Leeds
Leeds
Restaurant
Stuzzi Leeds

Stuzzi is a stylish restaurant in Leeds offering high-end Italian cuisine, including pasta and seafood plates.

Leeds
Restaurant
FINT Leeds

FINT Leeds is a wonderful Nordic-inspired restaurant in Leeds, with a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options.

Leeds
Restaurant
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