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, 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 Miso with just 159 calories or Spicy Korean Chicken with just 567 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, mushrooms and onions or falafel balls.
Humpit, Corn Exchange, 2 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
Kith & Kin
Once known as Zed, this suburban bar was given a new lease of life as Kith & Kin – now it’s a homely place to eat and drink in the heart of Chapel Allerton. The renovation gave them the chance to transform the food menu, and one of the highlights is their salad section – bet you never thought you’d hear that. They’ve made leafy greens exciting with a range of DIY salads that you can build yourself. Start with a base – you can choose a hearty Mexican bean, an adventurous Oriental or a low calorie Nourish salad, then add your choice of protein and dressing. With everything from piri piri chicken to baked falafel, tahini yogurt to spiced sweet tomato dressing, you’re in for a treat.
Kith & Kin, 16-18 Steinbeck Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 3QY.
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 Chickpea 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 diver scallop sashimi and seared salmon with wasabi leaf dressing and pickled apple, as well as low calorie options like tomato salad with whipped tofu, sherry vinegar and sesame (that one’s vegan too, and you’d be amazed at how much their whipped 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.
SIX has opened up just in time for all your New Year diets. It’s a new healthy restaurant with a passion for tasty dishes made with locally-sourced organic ingredients. They’ve got every meal sorted here – you can start the day with smashed avocado on toast or freshly baked banana bread before moving onto their filling lunches and dinners. The Buddha Bowl Salad is absolutely loaded with goodness – you’ve got roasted sweet potato, aubergine, courgette, green lentils, avocado, baby salad leaves, alfalfa sprouts and hummus. Or why not go for something warm, like their sea bass with caramelised ginger, red chilli and garlic sauce?
SIX, 66-68 Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2EE.
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 dhal is an absolute must – it’s made with protein-rich black 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.