Out of the way and easily missed, these are the restaurants you need to seek out.
In a city like Leeds, favourites are inevitable. You’ll find yourself returning to the same place again and again, but what if you’re missing out on an undiscovered gem? These five restaurants have the potential to become new favourites. Hunt them out once and you may find somewhere worth repeat visits, trying a different dish every time. And isn’t that what eating out is all about?
A mere hop, skip and a jump from the bustle of Briggate, yet undiscovered by all but the most curious of diners, Viva is a detour worth making. Inside this quaint little pizzeria, you’ll be treated to all manner of delicacies – spaghetti carbonara made just the way it should be, crisp calzone with a gooey centre and the most indulgent tiramisu you ever did eat. The service is friendly, welcoming and just as Italian as everything else – don’t be surprised if the chef nips out of the kitchen to greet you at your table.
Viva Italian, 9-11 Bridge End, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7HG.
A little known gem from the people behind one of the city’s most beloved oriental superstores, Oba Kitchen is a fast food sensation that will set your tastebuds a-tingling. Traditional Korean food meets handmade sushi, with a menu that brings new meaning to modern fusion. Scallops are flambeed with brandy, yuzu adds a citrus twang to Kimbap rolls and bibimbap bowls come loaded with beef, vegetables and sweet chilli miso. Find it in the Merrion Centre, nestled just around the corner from Jumbo Records.
Oba Kitchen & Bar, Unit 2, Wade Lane, Merrion Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.
Sous le Nez
Sous le Nez has been around for so long that it’s practically a part of the furniture of Leeds, which is why it’s so astounding that even seasoned locals have never tried it. This French bistro, tucked away in a basement under the Quebec Hotel, promises all the warmth and attentiveness of a family-run restaurant, with a menu that reads like a who’s who of classic French dishes. Pan seared calves liver, goat’s cheese parcels, crème brûlée – you name it, they’ve got it. And if you’re after a romantic hideout, by god, you’ve got it.
Sous le Nez, The Basement, Quebec House, 9 Quebec Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HA.
Amidst the maze of Holbeck Urban Village lies a restaurant worth taking on the labyrinth for. Bomba made a name for itself in Kirkgate Market, where they served up steaming piles of paella, alongside Spanish classics like patatas bravas and fried calamares. But now, you can get those same dishes in their swanky new digs. It’s a relaxed restaurant with an open kitchen and oodles of outdoor space, ready for long summer nights of tapas, bocadillos and sangria. What are you waiting for? Check it out!
Bomba, 2 Keys Court, Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WG.
You could walk past Phranakhon a hundred times and never even know it was there, but venture down into the near-hidden stairs and you’ll be treated to a Thai feast like no other. This is tapas, small plates that let you dip in and out of your favourite dishes, as well as trying something entirely new. You can jump from pla lui saun (crispy sea bass with lemongrass, cashew nuts and chilli oil) to makuea rad prik (battered aubergine and courgette with sweet & sour sauce) in the blink of an eye (or the flick of a spoon).
Phranakhon, 11 York Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2DS.