It doesn’t have to be hard to eat out and stay healthy – these Leeds restaurants will give your body a treat as well as your taste buds.
Finding healthy food when you’re eating out feels like a near-impossible challenge, but we’re going to make it that little bit easier by pointing you in the right direction. These 10 restaurants all offer a range of tasty, but surprisingly guilt-free eats, so you can diet without dialling back your social life.
Banyan is a great place to eat if you’re watching your waistline. They have a range of powerbowls and superfood salads that are as tasty as they are nutritious. If you want something filling, try their Revitalise Powerbowl – it’s loaded with grilled halloumi, butternut squash and quinoa with roasted vegetables, beetroot, avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds. Cutting out carbs? You can’t go wrong with the Bang Bang Chicken Salad, it’s a scrumptious mix of chicken breast, shredded veg, cashews, peanuts and satay dressing. And if you’re fresh out of the gym, their CrossFit Burger was inspired by head coach Mike Rawlinson.
Banyan, 2 The Old Post Office, City Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2ES.
Whether you need a quick, healthy lunch on-the-go or a lengthy catch up with your mates after the Christmas break, Itsu is the place to go. It comes from the same people as Pret and it takes its inspiration from Asia. The entire menu is made up of high protein, low carb dishes that are big on flavour but low on calories and saturated fats. They have loads of ready-made sushi packs for you to choose from, but you can also get a warming bowl of Detox Noddle Soup with just 157 calories or Chargrilled Chicken Udon with just 434 calories.
Itsu, 36-38 Commercial Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6EX.
Humpit is proof that healthy food doesn’t have to be dull. They specialise in loaded bowls of hummus, made fresh each day to their own secret recipe. As you probably know – hummus is really good for you. Chickpeas are full of iron and B vitamins, while lemon juice offers immunity-boosting vitamin C and tahini adds magnesium, zinc and calcium into the mix. Wait, there’s more. Hummus can also help balance cholesterol levels, fight inflammation and improve digestion – and it’s packed with protein, so it’ll really fill you up. Load yours up with spicy salsa, falafel balls or mushrooms and onions.
Humpit, Corn Exchange, 2 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
Eat Your Greens
Eat Your Greens is a ‘vegetable-led’ eatery that caters to your needs morning, noon and night. The menu is largely vegan, with a focus on creating healthy but delicious food. Try their Caraway Spiced Cauliflower for an unusual breakfast – it’s high in fibre and vitamin B. At lunch, you can get one of their nutritious salad bowls, which come with your choice of either roasted roots or seeds and grains. And if you’re in for dinner, their Charred Sprouts, with sunflower seed tahini, molasses dressing, pickles, pea shoots and mixed winter greens will give you a big hit of vitamin C and K.
Eat Your Greens, 42 New York Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY.
When it comes to healthy eating, Bulgogi is a great shout. It’s a Korean BBQ, so you’ll be doing the cooking on the grill built into your table. They offer a set menu of marinated meat and seafood, which comes with rice, lettuce and a whole array of Korean sides and dips. There’s beef, pork, squid, prawns, and of course, their signature Bulgogi beef and duck – simply grill it and wrap it up in a lettuce leaf with your choice of ingredients. It’s simple, healthy and great fun – which is a fantastic combination.
Bulgogi Grill, The Arena Quarter, 9 Merrion Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8BT.
Flavour is something that always seems to be missing from healthy food – but not at Rola Wala. They’ve made it their mission to give you a taste of real Indian street food, without breaking your diet. How? By using fresh, locally-sourced meats and combining them with a minimum of 43 ingredients to create a dinner that really packs a punch in the flavour department (without going over 500 calories). Try the Nagaland Lamb or Bengali Spiced Beef, piled on top of one of their homemade cauli-rice bowls for a nutritious, low carb feed. Veggie? They do a mean Keralan Cauliflower and an equally tasty Red Channa Dal.
Rola Wala, Trinity Kitchen, Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AY.
When it comes to healthy restaurants in Leeds, Issho is right up there with the best of them – and here’s why. They pride themselves on using the freshest ingredients and prepare absolutely everything to order, so you won’t lose any of the nutritional value. The menu is packed with dishes that will fit just about every diet going. You’ve got carb-free treats like Tuna Yellowfin Sashimi and Miso Black Cod, as well as low-calorie options like the Tomato Salad with Whipped Sesame Tofu and Crispy Rice (that one’s vegan too, and you’d be amazed at how much their tofu feels like cream).
Issho, 3rd Floor Rooftop, Victoria Gate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
One of the more recent additions to Leeds, Chop’d is a quick, easy answer to all your lunch woes – and it helps that it’s slap, bang wallop in the middle of the business district. Their food is tasty but nutritious, with a range of ready-made options you can pick up on-the-go like Butternut Squash Stew and Chilli Con Carne, but the real highlight here is their salad bar. You can make your own DIY salad boxes with all the ingredients you love. Our favourite is a mixed leaf pasta salad with feta, sweetcorn, jalapeños, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto – but you can try something different every time you visit.
Chop’d, Central Square, Whitehall Road East, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4HG.
Okay, it’s not technically a restaurant, but you can eat here and it’s surprisingly healthy – assuming you can resist their tantalising selection of craft beer. Try the Okra Fries, they’re a fantastic alternative to your usual chips, and they’re absolutely loaded with nutrients, from vitamin A to zinc. That’s not the only thing on the menu that’s good for you though – their homemade Tarka Dhal and Rice is an absolute must – it’s made with protein-rich red lentils, which will fill you up without fattening you up. They’re also loaded with vitamins and minerals, so you’re getting a lot of nutritional bang for your buck here.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
Filmore & Union
If you want to eat well, it’s worth taking the trip to Filmore & Union. This health-conscious cafe has become a huge success thanks to healthy but tasty dishes. Start the day with one of their nutrient-packed Breakfast Smoothies, which are packed full of banana, natural yoghurt, granola and skimmed milk, or try their Overnight Oats – not only are they high in fibre and antioxidants, but they also help reduce cholesterol. Later in the day, they serve more robust dishes, like their Thai Hummus and Falafel Wrap, which is full of flavour, but comes without the guilt.
Filmore & Union, 6 Harrogate Parade, Moortown, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 6PX, 61 Market Place, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 6LN and 39 The Grove, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 9NJ.Cover image © Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Suzy Rodden