Don’t miss out on these incredibly tasty Leeds cafes and restaurants just because of how they look.
Appearances can be deceiving, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts and these Leeds eateries prove it. They might look tired and worn, they might be in need of some TLC and they might not care too much about appearances. But that’s okay, because the focus is squarely on the quality of their food and the chances are you’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover when you take a step into the unknown.
Fuji Hiro is a long-standing Japanese restaurant with a big reputation, but its simple cafe-style decor, both inside and out, doesn’t even hint at the quality of the restaurant you can discover once you’ve taken a seat. Why? Because all of their focus is centred around their wonderful Japanese food. You’ll find all kinds of noodle dishes, from Spicy Yaki-Soba to Chicken Yakitori, as well as bento boxes, curries and dumplings, which you can wash down with Japanese beers and sake.
Fuji Hiro, 45 Wade Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NJ.
La Taberna is found in a nondescript block of flats – not where you’d expect to find top quality Spanish fare. And during the day you won’t, because it shares this space with another great eatery, Venezuelan lunchtime favourite Caracas Grill. It becomes the much-loved, family-run tapas joint in the evening and once you’re inside, you’ll find a small, rustic restaurant where you can enjoy over 20 dishes of delicious traditional tapas to choose from – load your table up with classics like Calamares Fritos, Patatas Bravas and Chorizo al Vino.
La Taberna, Britannia House, 16 York Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2EU.
Thai Aroy Dee
An old fashioned blue sign hangs above a rather plain facade in a tired 70s office block, but what the front of Thai Aroy Dee doesn’t give away is that it’s home to one of the best Thai restaurants in Leeds. There are no airs or graces here, as you take a seat in the cafe-style venue decked out in mismatched tables and old school chairs. What it lacks in style it more than makes up in delicious Thai food. You can pore over an extensive menu of Thai classics, from Gang Panang to Weeping Tiger and it’s great if you’re on a budget too, because you can even bring your own beer.
Thai Aroy Dee, 120-122 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
Noodle House is the very definition of no frills. It’s a Chinese cafe-style restaurant that looks like just another takeaway. But it’s most certainly not. It’s quick, it’s cheap, it’s cheerful – and it’s immensely popular with the city’s Chinese population. The menu offers all kinds of noodles with your choice of meats and sauces. Or you can expand your horizons with a host of authentic dishes like the Roast Duckling, Salted White Chicken or their selection of Malaysian Kampung dishes.
Noodle House, 20 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.
It’s the only 100% Vietnamese restaurant in Leeds city centre and Viet Guy really is a gem. Not that you’d probably tell from the outside, with its easily-missed, takeaway-style facade on Lower Briggate. But once you’re inside, you’ll be treated to a menu of authentic eats from the streets of Hanoi. Try the Bánh Xèo, traditional meat-filled pancakes, to start, before you tackle mains. They do classics like Vietnamese curries and soups, alongside rarely found specials like Cà Tím, an aubergine stuffed with meat, seafood or tofu.
Viet Guy, 159 Lower Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LY.