A Grand Park, Classy Coffee & Tropical World – The Best Bits of Roundhay

· Andrew Porter-Emery · Culture

Greenery and great grub await in this North Leeds suburb.

San Carlo, Flying Pizza, Roundhay

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Take in all the highlights of Roundhay, one of the most desirable destinations in north Leeds.

Roundhay is one of the most popular suburbs in Leeds. At its heart is a 700-acre park that draws people from every corner of the city, but that’s just the beginning. Take time to explore and you’ll discover cosy pubs, cracking restaurants and a scattering of fab indie shops. Go on, download the First Bus app, plan your journey in minutes and buy the FirstDay ticket that will get you there, back and anywhere else you need to go in West Yorkshire for just £4.50.

Roundhay Park

Roundhay Park

There’s a little bit of Roundhay Park for everyone, such is its scale. One of the largest urban parks in all of Europe, it packs in everything from lakes to woodlands, mansion houses to playgrounds, skate parks to sports pitches. There’s even a golf course tucked away inside it. You can ramble to your heart’s content to every corner, but if you don’t fancy walking your way around once you’ve arrived, take the land train and see the park’s splendour from the comfort of your seat.

Roundhay Park, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2ER.

The Roundhay Fox

Roundhay Fox

Credit: Craig Howarth Photography

This cosy, cheerful pub is the ideal stop off after a walk around Roundhay Park – especially if there’s a chill in the air. Duck inside and grab a seat near the log burner, which will thaw you out while you crack on with a pint of something nice. This stone-build country pub has plenty of charm, but it’s also bang up-to-date with its food offering. From weekend brunch and Sunday roasts to a rib-sticking beef and Chianti casserole with a cobbler, it’s all heartening fare.

The Roundhay Fox, Princes Avenue, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2EP.

Tropical World

Tropical World

A perennial family favourite inside Roundhay Park, Tropical World is an inspiring indoor wildlife park that’s the perfect place to get closer to nature. Work your way through seven different habitats – from the Waterfall House to Creature Corner – to meet clownfish, meerkats, giant spiders, toads and marvellous monkeys. The Butterfly House is a definite highlight, while kids will be clamouring to spend their pocket money at the gift shop with its massive array of cuddly toys.

Tropical World, Princes Avenue, Roundhay Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2ER.

The Deer Park

Deer Park

Given a sensitive refurbishment a few years ago, The Deer Park is a convivial, family-friendly pub with a lovely garden at its front. The facelift has worked wonders, transforming it from a slightly down-at-heel destination to a bright and airy pub. The beer range and food have both moved up a notch too, with baked camembert to share, pork belly bao buns and rotisserie chicken on the menu. Sunday lunch includes a trio of roasts, with chicken, beef and pork all sharing the same plate with a Yorkie and veg.

The Deer Park, 68 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2DQ.

The Garden Room

The Garden Room Cafe, Roundhay Park

Credit: Charlotte Gale

Occupying a corner of the Mansion in Roundhay Park, The Garden Room – as the name suggests – comes with fabulous views of the park’s verdant sweep, with a terrace tailor-made for long and leisurely lunches. Brunch it up with eggs Benedict, Royale or Florentine, or go for the fish and chips as you admire the vistas. Best of all, pop by for the afternoon tea, with finger sandwiches and a moreish chicken, tarragon and apricot sausage roll, before you move to the main event of scones, clotted cream and jam.

The Garden Room, The Mansion, Mansion Lane, Roundhay Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HH.

North Studio

North Studio Gym

This boutique wellness studio does things a little bit differently to your normal gym. Yes, you can workout in classes – they’ve got three spaces for you to cycle, rebuild and recharge, each with a different feel – but they also offer Vinyasa Yoga and workshops. This approach means it’s welcoming to both pros and beginners – you don’t need to be intimidated by any class as they’ll adapt it for you. After you’ve worked up a sweat, relax in their Refuel Kitchen with a smoothie or North Star coffee.

North Studio, Roman Terrace, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2DG.

La Palmera

La Palmera

With its white facade and colourful windows, La Palmera could be dropped onto a Greek island and not look out of place. Instead, it’s a piece of the Med transplanted to Roundhay, sat next to the golf course with an outdoor area for al fresco dining. The set lunch is a bit of a bargain, while the evening a la carte will whisk you from mussels to meatballs, croquetas to calamari. Pizza and pasta will leave you stuffed and happy, or opt for country-hopping fair like the Moroccan lemon chicken, boeuf bourguignon and steak bordelaise.

La Palmera, Park Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2EJ.

Banyan Bar & Kitchen

Banyan

Banyan sits proud on a bar and business-packed stretch of Street Lane, the outdoor seating most popular when the weather is mild. 2 for 1 cocktails are a permanent fixture here, which certainly makes the afternoons and evenings slip by – the Lemon Cheesecake with Citroen vodka and gingerbread is justifiably popular. The grub is crowd pleasing too, from banoffee pancakes at breakfast through to a bottomless brunch and classics such as Thai red curry, steak & ale pie and burgers galore.

Banyan Bar & Kitchen, 62 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2DQ.

Aanya

Aanya, Roundhay

Without much fuss, Aanya has quietly been gaining a reputation as one of the best Indian restaurants in Leeds. Genius brunch dishes such as a spicy omelette sandwich and masala beans on toast certainly help, and the surprises the evening menu throws up seals the deal. Yep, they’ve got the staples – chicken tikka, butter chicken, sizzling chops – but they draw on plenty of Indian street food inspiration too. Order the Batata Vada, Gol Gappa Chaat and Malabari Fish and you’ll leave happy.

Aanya, 41 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 1AP.

La Petite

La Petite, Roundhay

© Copyright Leeds-List 2023 by Ellie Hodgson

A friendly little corner tapas spot-cum-cafe, La Petite might be small, but it punches well above its weight. Arrive in the morning and you can take your pick of a full English, eggs every which way and oozing croque monsieurs and madames. Lunch might be a sharing board of charcuterie and cheese, or patatas bravas alongside chorizo cooked in Rioja. There’s pizza and pasta too, plus wine, beer and pudding. In other words, La Petite has a little bit of everything for you.

La Petite, 39 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 1AP.

Philip Howard Books

Phillip Howard Books, Roundhay

© Copyright Leeds-List 2023 by Ellie Hodgson

This small little bookshop contains multitudes, a family-owned venture that prides itself on personal service, its efficient book-ordering service and the stocking of a diverse selection of fiction, kids and travel books. They support local authors and voices too, hosting signings and launches for actors as diverse as Rugby league legend Rob Burrows and Bake Off contender Sandy Docherty. Nip in for the latest hardback or peruse the shelves for something new.

Philip Howard Books, 47 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 1AP.

San Carlo Flying Pizza

San Carlo, Flying Pizza, Roundhay

It might not be the local celebrity haunt it once was, but the Flying Pizza is still flying high as it approaches its 50th anniversary. The only thing that has really changed over the years is the decor, with its gorgeous olive trees festooned in lights on the terrace. Burrata with marinated black truffle is a luxurious starter, the pizzas are, as you’d expect, excellent, but the other mains might be even better. Salt-baked sea bass? Tagliolini with lobster? A bone in rib-eye to share? Yes please.

Flying Pizza, 60 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2DQ.

Roundhay Perk

Roundhay Perk Cafe

© Copyright Leeds-List 2023 by Ellie Hodgson

The wittily-named Roundhay Perk is the ideal neighbourhood cafe, where there’s no better way to start the day than with their large breakfast – a feast for the ages. Not in the mood for that? How does Moroccan shakshuka with chorizo or French toast made with challah bread, cinnamon and orange zest sound? Lunch might be as deliciously simple as fish goujons with chips, but you could also go for their spinach and ricotta parcels with pear chutney or the cigarillos of goats cheese and fig – it’s a place full of surprises.

Roundhay Perk, 71 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 1AP.

RAND Coffee Roastery

Rand Coffee Roastery, Roundhay

In search of some of the most divine coffee in all of the city? Head to RAND, where they roast their beans on site – simply follow your nose and you’ll be in the right place. The coffee range is comprehensive – everything from your flat white to your white mochas and Turkish coffee – and they’ve got some tricks up their sleeve too. How about a zebra mocha – double espresso, milk and both white and dark chocolate – or a chilli mocha to wake up your tastebuds. Bagels, panini and focaccia sarnies make this a great lunch spot too.

RAND Coffee Roastery, 90 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2AL.

Aarti

Aarti, Roundhay

© Copyright Leeds-List 2023 by Ellie Hodgson

Proof that good things come in small packages, Aarti is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of place, but the Punjabi and South Indian cuisine you’ll find within makes it well worth tracking down – you’ll find it above a shop on Street Lane. All the familiar Indian classics are cooked with aplomb here, from rogan josh to chicken tikka masala, but the menu rewards exploration. The dosas are a delight, the combination of coriander and mint lift the Maratha chicken and the Rare Ghost Punjabi is an aromatic lamb dish with a blast of green chilli.

Aarti, 90 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2AL.

The Olive Branch

With three locations dotted across Leeds – and more beyond – The Olive Branch must be doing something right. Turns out that ‘something’ is superior Turkish food that will have you dreaming of sun-kissed beaches while you’re dining in Roundhay. The brick interior and wooden tables lend a slightly rustic feel to the dining room, while dishes such as juicy lamb chops and moussaka are crowd pleasers. Don’t miss the Kusbasili Pide, with its marinated lamb, peppers, tomato and parsley.

The Olive Branch, 139 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds West Yorkshire, LS8 1AA.

Daisy Chain

Daisy Chain, Roundhay

© Copyright Leeds-List 2023 by Ellie Hodgson

This fabulous florist brings a flash of nature to Street Lane. Outside, tables groan with plants and floral arrangements that reflect the season, ushering you inside where the heady scents guide you around the shop. Flowers, house plants and gifts are all available, while the florists are dab hands at bouquets – in fact, they’re so good that they frequently provide arrangements for TV and magazines. Want to create something special? They can make your floral dreams come true, just ask.

Daisy Chain, Design Studio, 58 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2DQ.

Haley & Clifford

Haley and Clifford

© Copyright Leeds-List 2023 by Ellie Hodgson

A dream of a deli, Haley & Clifford is balm for the ravenous. The tempting smorgasbord of freshly baked savouries, cakes and artisan breads share space with charcuterie and olives, wonderful cheeses and plenty for the sweet toothed. From gourmet marshmallows to sourdough from Leeds Bread Co-op, it’s nigh on impossible to leave without a bulging bag of gourmet treats. There’s a little cafe inside too, so you can try some of the goodies on offer, or just take away to enjoy at home.

Haley & Clifford, 43 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 1AP.