It’s time to explore the city and unearth the hidden restaurants that have eluded you all this time…
From a luxurious underground steakhouse to a vegan cafe tucked away in a popular bar, these Leeds eateries are hidden in the most unexpected places. But while they may not be easy to find, you can rest assured that they’re well worth seeking out. So what are you waiting for?
You could walk right past Gaucho without even realising it’s there – but this underground restaurant is well worth seeking out. Inside it’s a glam affair, with cowhide furniture and glitzy lighting, but the real appeal of Gaucho is the food. It’s an Argentinian steakhouse and they pride themselves on their knowledge – which is why they’ll bring a meat board to your table and talk you through the different cuts, which include ancho (ribeye), lomo (fillet), cuadril (rump) and chorizo (sirloin). This is steak, with added class.
Gaucho, 21-22 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5JF.
Cantina is the city’s first 100% vegan cafe, but it’s tucked away inside another venue, so unless you know it’s there, you’ll never stumble upon it on your own. You’ll find it on the first floor above The Old Red Bus Station – it’s a laid-back eatery with a hefty menu of vegan eats made with ethically-sourced local produce. You can go for the pulled jackfruit burger with smoked whiskey BBQ sauce, rainbow slaw and sweet potato chips or devour their miso ramen made with garlic tofu and garlic chili oil.
Cantina at The Old Red Bus Station, 101 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
Mans Market is just a doorway in the corner of West Point, but walk down the stairs, past the waving cats, and you’ll soon realise you’ve found something special. It’s a cool, modern restaurant that defies expectations, turning classic Chinese dishes into something new. There’s beef in black bean sauce served in the shell of a pepper and a sweet and sour chicken hanging kebab which you can drizzle the sauce down.
Mans Market, Unit F, Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4JJ.
Sous le Nez
Classy French restaurant Sous le Nez may be in the basement of The Quebec Hotel but that hasn’t stopped it becoming a real Leeds favourite over the past 26 years. Expect refined French cooking in a traditional setting as you tuck into pan-fried calves liver with parmesan gratin dauphinoise, crispy pancetta and port jus or Yorkshire venison haunch with root vegetable mash, sweet potato crisps and blackberry sauce. Why not pair your meal with something from their impressive wine list?
Sous le Nez, The Basement, Quebec House, 9 Quebec Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HA.
Merrion Street is home to the city’s newest Indian street food favourite, but you’ll have to seek it out – Gabbar is tucked away above Nash’s Fish & Chips. They cook up authentic Chapata dishes inspired by street food stalls and working class cafes in India. You can tuck into the likes of paneer chilli (Indian cheese cubes cooked in a spicy and tangy sauce) or the masala dosa (a thin crepe with spiced potatoes and onions), which will go down a storm with a craft beer or one of their Indian-inspired cocktails.
Gabbar, 17-19 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JE.