They’re out of the way and easily missed, but the next time you need somewhere to eat in Leeds, give one of these eateries a try.
Tired of wandering the well-trodden paths of the city? Want to try somewhere new? You’re in luck because we’ve put together a list of seven eateries you might never come across on your own. You’ll have to seek them out, and it might mean a little extra leg work, but once you’ve discovered these hidden gems, you’ll definitely want to go back for more.
It’s been here forever, but Viva is easily forgotten. You’ll have to walk away from the shops, past the bars of Lower Briggate and on to Bridge End – not where you’d expect to find one of the city’s best Italian restaurants, right? And yet here it is. They pride themselves on classic Italian cooking – and mamma mia are they good. Sit down and tuck into everything from the Antipasto Italiano charcuterie platter to spaghetti carbonara, tortellini caprese and pollo alla Milanese. Don’t forget the pizza either, it’s the real deal.
Viva, 9-11 Bridge End, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7HG.
Matt Healy at The Foundry
Matt Healy at The Foundry is hidden deep in the maze of Holbeck Urban Village. The former MasterChef: The Professionals runner up has created a fine dining restaurant that’s wonderfully laid back. The food is surprisingly familiar – he’s making a name for himself by taking classic British dishes to the next level, so you can tuck into classics like Chicken Kiev with Wild Garlic and Duck Fat Potatoes alongside unusual creations like his Creme Brûlée Doughnuts.
Matt Healy at The Foundry, 1 Saw Mill Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WH.
You may not have heard of Koibito, but if you like Japanese food, this is going to be your new go-to restaurant. It’s a laid-back, cafe-style eatery where you can get a quick bite during the day or settle in for a big feed in the evening. The menu covers all the bases. You can’t go wrong with Chicken Katsu and Beef Teriyaki, but they also do noodle soup, sushi and bento boxes. Whatever you go for, you’ll leave with more money in your pocket than you expected – it’s surprisingly affordable.
Koibito, 8 Swinegate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4AG.
You wouldn’t expect a Scandinavian cafe to transform into a fine dining destination, and yet, that’s exactly what happens at Fine at Fettle. They put on a special 3-course supper club on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It showcases their creative take on fine dining – you can try pork loin with lavender and bee pollen or corn ribs with chipotle and apricot – it’s a world away from their usual fare.
Fettle, 73 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
It’s easy to just walk past Viet Guy without even realising it’s there, but once you’ve eaten there, you’ll want to keep going back. Take a seat in the unassuming restaurant and pore over a menu of South East Asian treats packed full of flavour. There’s everything from the bò kho (a slow cooked beef stew with lemongrass, spices, carrots and potatoes) to cà tím (a popular stir-fried aubergine dish), alongside favourites like phò.
Viet Guy, 157-158 Lower Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BG.
It may be a little out of the way, but North Star is well worth a trip on the water taxi. The city’s favourite micro-roaster has teamed up with Noisette Bakehouse, a cherished independent bakery famed for its cakes and sweet treats – but they do much more than that here. We’re talking freshly made sandwiches and salads which change on a regular basis, alongside bigger, more indulgent plates like pancakes and French toast.
North Star Coffee Shop & General Store, The Boulevard, Leeds Dock, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1PZ.
At first glance, Mr Mackerel doesn’t look particularly exciting, but trust us, looks can be deceiving. In fact, we often find ourselves slopping across town to grab one on our lunch breaks. This is Turkish street food at its best. You can watch them cooking up fresh mackerel on the grill for their signature sandwiches, or enjoy their skewers, marinated in a secret blend of spices. Couple it with rice, a wonderfully diverse salad and an array of unusual toppings and sauces to create a £5 lunch worth going back for.
Mr Mackerel, Leeds Kirkgate Market, 28-34 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.