Don’t miss out on these shockingly good Leeds restaurants just because of how they look.
Appearances can be deceiving. We get it. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts – and these Leeds restaurants prove just that. Okay, they might be in need of a little TLC, or they might not care too much about appearances, but at these eateries, it’s all about the food. So, take a chance and you might just be surprised. And who knows? You could find your new favourite.
Fuji Hiro offers Japanese minimalism at its finest. The no-frills cafe-style decor is easy on the eyes but offers no clue to the sheer quality of the culinary perfection you’re about to discover. Its bowls of steaming ramen and plates of sticky rice and katsu curry take the same approach – simply delicious dishes that are big on flavour and light on your wallet. You’ll find all kinds of noodle dishes, vegetable tempura and gyoza, all of which you can wash down with Japanese beer and sake. And when food tastes this good, there’s really no need for anything fancy.
Fuji Hiro, 45 Wade Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NJ.
Look for La Taberna on any map and it will send you to a nondescript block of flats – not where you’d expect to find top-quality Spanish fare. Come evening, the underground space becomes a much-loved, family-run tapas joint, and once inside, you’ll find a cosy, rustic restaurant where you can enjoy over 20 dishes of delicious traditional tapas. Load your table up with classics like calamares fritos, patatas bravas and their famous chorizo al vino, or treat yourself with a proper flat-iron steak. If you’re feeling bold, why not give the chargrilled octopus a try?
La Taberna, Britannia House, 16 York Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2EU.
The South Indian state of Kerala is known as ‘God’s Own Country’, so it comes as no surprise that the Kerala restaurant is right at home in Yorkshire. It may just look like plain old stairs from the street, but head upstairs and you’ll be transported to South Asia. With traditional dishes packed full of vibrant spices, each made to order, it’s not just chicken tikka masala you’ll find here. Take your tastebuds on a trip and try out regional dishes like the kerala lamb curry, the travancore mutton curry and their house speciality dosa, stuffed with the likes of mashed potato, lamb or chicken.
Kerala Restaurant, 2 Eastgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7JL.
It may be hidden down Leeds’ backstreets, but Da Vito ranks high up on the list of overlooked restaurants you need to try. Plating up authentically Italian homestyle dishes, each course leaves you wanting more. Kick things off with crostini or focaccia, before diving into a proper caprese salad and homemade pizza, pasta or both. But it doesn’t stop there, because in true Italian style, we’ve still got the second course to go, with loads of tasty meat and fish plates. Oh and you can’t miss out on dessert – ask about the day’s gelato or opt for a traditional tiramisu.
Da Vito Ristorante, 3 York Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2DR.
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. In fact, it’s the stuff of local legend when it comes to South East Asian eats in the city centre. There are no airs or graces here, as you take a seat in the venue decked out in mismatched tables and chairs. What it may lack in style it more than makes up for in delicious food. You can pore over an extensive menu of Thai classics, from gang panang to Weeping Tiger.
Thai Aroy Dee, 120-122 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.