When it comes to eating out, going without gluten can be a minefield, but these Leeds’ restaurants make it easy as pie… and pizza… and pasta…
Delicious gluten-free food – it’s not too much to ask, is it? Yet endlessly scanning menus in the hope of finding those wondrous little ‘gluten-free’ symbols can sometimes take the shine right off of a special meal. But you don’t need to give up just yet, because Leeds is home to a whole host of restaurants that understand just how important gluten-free dining is. Search no longer, feast your eyes on these.
1. The Oxford Place
The first port of call for any coeliac diner in Leeds has to be The Oxford Place. As the city’s only 100% gluten-free restaurant, this family-owned eatery takes all of the hassle out of choosing a spot to dine. Gluten-free food, gluten-free menu, gluten-free kitchen – you never even have to mention the g-word in here. But it’s not just convenience that places it top of the pack, they don’t compromise on flavour either. Confit duck leg, creamy chicken pie and juicy venison burgers – the food is everything you want, but so often can’t have.
The Oxford Place, Oxford Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AX.
Grab those binoculars and join us on a voyage to find something really special. Shh, look over there! Yes, in Roundhay. It’s the lesser-spotted, gluten-free fish dinner! When only a chippy will do, Frydays caters for all types of diners with a wheat-free batter cooked in a separate fryer with separate utensils, so you can banish any worries of cross-contamination. Some chippies offer this one day a week, but here you can get it whenever you like, which means it can be fryday, every day. Pass the gluten-free vinegar!
Frydays, 100 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2AL.
3. Wildcraft Bakery
Dough can so often be the thorn in a coeliac’s side. Sandwiches, burgers, cakes – all out the window. But then Wildcraft Bakery in Meanwood came along and made it their mission to bring fresh gluten-free baked goods to the people of Leeds. Not a whiff of wheat can be found in their kitchen, which churns out a rotating array of delights every week. From bagels on Wednesdays to breads and pies on Fridays, plus brownies, tarts, doughnuts and more in between, it’s an endless stream of guilty pleasures made guilt-free.
Wildcraft Bakery, 6-10 Green Road, Meanwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4JP.
4. Ecco Pizzeria
Fresh, simple and oh-so tasty, Ecco in Headingley takes the joy of the perfect pizza and swaps in a gluten-free base on request. Yep, any pizza on their menu can be made sans gluten with toppings that are flourless too. These guys go the whole hog, but it’s not just a box-ticking exercise. Every single pizza is made individually with the utmost care, and toppings like fig and goats cheese or slow-cooked Moroccan lamb use seasonal ingredients that really maximise the flavour. Feeling lazy? You’re in luck because they deliver too.
Ecco Pizzeria, 93 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3PS.
5. Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom
Loaded with sandwiches, cakes, scones and tarts, it’s often easier for Team No Gluten to banish the thought of afternoon tea altogether. But Just Grand! is a tearoom with a difference. Here, you can get a gluten-free version of their popular afternoon tea. They don’t just remove the offending items, they bake them to suit, so they can be devoured by anyone with an intolerance or allergy. Filled with flowered cake stands and doilies, it’s bang up to date for a tearoom crammed with such ye olde world charm.
Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom, 8-9 Grand Arcade, New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
In need of a snazzy little number for a celebration or treat? HOME has all the refinement of a fine dining restaurant with the relaxed vibe of eating at, well, home. It’s a mighty fine mix and those with intolerances needn’t miss out. Give them a heads-up and they’ll adapt their ever-changing tasting menu to suit you. That means you can devour 10-12 courses (plus some cheeky canapés and petit fours) of stunning, seasonal food, without a care in the world. Which is how fine dining should be, isn’t it?
Home, 3 Brewery Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NE.
Think you know Indian food? Think again. Tharavadu is a Leeds powerhouse that churns out authentic Keralan dishes that are a million miles away from the usual bhajis and naans. The menu is jam packed with exciting, gluten-free grub – all clearly marked and ready to dive into. Kick it off with their pancake-like dosas, filled with your choice of chicken, veg or traditional spiced potatoes. These tasty blighters are made with rice and lentils, so you’re safe to stuff your face with as many as you can handle.
Tharavadu, 7-8 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
Nobody wants to sacrifice the flavour with the gluten, which is why Salvo’s is leading the way when it comes to awesome-sauce Italian eating. This isn’t just good gluten-free food, it’s good food – end of. Grab your full-length menu (same size as the main menu, bonus) and cast your eyes over all manner of starters, pastas, pizzas and mains. You’ll find old friends like pasta carbonara and quattro formaggi pizza alongside a medley of new delights – roasted venison, perhaps? It’s all here, free-from gluten, where all your Italian dining dreams come true.
Salvo’s, 115 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3PX.
Sharing is caring, so if you’re after a Leeds restaurant that’ll dish up all types of tasty gluten-free food for you and your mates, put Bundobust on your list. Street food in style with the bonus of a roof over your head, this trendy Indian has lots of options. Everything is dished up in small bowls, so you can alternate between fragrant lentil tarka dhal, paneer and mushroom tikka or hot sauce pakoras. And those addictive okra fries are made with chickpea batter, so no worries there either. We said this is a good spot for sharing, but you might want to keep those all to yourself.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
10. Falafel Guys
It might surprise you to hear that a little street food vendor has held its own in TripAdvisor’s top five for the last few years, but Falafel Guys has a way of catching you unawares. And the fact that it can be made gluten-free? Even better. Just swap the Arabic bread for a salad bowl and the rest is up to you. Pack it out with your choice of chicken shawarma, grilled halloumi or their famous falafel, before deciding how much homemade tahini to slather on. Answer? Loads. Hummus comes as standard, like any good lunch should.
Falafel Guys, outside Marks and Spencer, 47 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HF.
11. Lavanta Meze Bar & Grill
A first look, Lavanta may not immediately fill you with gluten-free hope, but this gregarious family-run restaurant is as accommodating as they come. Turn up unannounced and they’ll gladly adapt their Euro-Mediterranean menu to suit your needs, but if you call in advance, you may even find a yummy gluten-free dessert waiting for you. With the likes of succulent lamb skewers, spicy tandori seabass and mixed veggie tagine on the menu, plus staff who can’t do enough to help you, it’s no wonder this is such a firm favourite.
Lavanta Meze Bar & Grill, 269 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5LN.
12. Bibis Italianissimo
Atmosphere is king at Bibis, which has been catering to the Leeds masses ever since 1974. And we mean masses, as this family-owned Italian is flippin’ huge. Art deco furnishings and glittering chandeliers give your meal a burst of class, while the gluten-free adaptable dishes add wondrous choice into the equation. Sea bass in langoustine velouté, seared duck with orange glaze, Angus beef in red wine sauce – all gluten free. Every pasta dish can be made so on request too. Want extra pizzazz? Book on a Thursday or Sunday and you’ll get the bonus of live music.
Bibis Italianissimo, Criterion Place, Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4AG.
13. La Cafetiere
Right on the corner of Woodhouse Moor, you’ll find this charming little cafe, packed with students, families and anyone with a taste for high quality Middle Eastern fare. Its busyness is testament to the tasty food, much of which can be made gluten-free. Ranging from popular breakfast shakshuka to hearty mixed grill mains, the choice can be a little overwhelming. But friendly staff are happy to talk you through what can be adapted. Whatever you choose, get one of those fresh fruit smoothies to wash it all down.
La Cafetiere, 6 The Crescent, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2NW.
That darned flaky pastry means the humble pie is usually a prime nemesis for anyone looking to swerve gluten. But not anymore. Pieminster has come to the rescue and now serves up three of their favourite pies in gorgeous, gluten-free fashion. Beef and ale, goat’s cheese and sweet potato, chicken and ham – your favourites are all here. And that pastry? Not a speck of gluten in sight – everything is rolled to perfection in a separate kitchen to avoid cross contamination. It’s even won awards. Nemesis no longer.
Pieminster, 15-17 Duncan Street, Leeds, Yorkshire, LS1 6DQ.
15. Almost Famous
If you think a burger inspired by the best of Yorkshire sounds right gradely (Wensleydale cheese and Henderson’s relish – heck yeah), cop a load of the outrageously loaded burgers at Almost Famous. These guys know how to do indulgence – if it’s not Yorkshire burgers, it’s pizza-inspired burgers, nacho cheeseburgers and just whopping great burgers of every persuasion. Up for the culinary rollercoaster? Strap in, coeliac diners, because they have gluten-free buns ready and waiting. Wrap your gums around that.
Almost Famous, Alexander Court, Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AL.
16. Cosy Club
If the idea of being handed your very own gluten-free menu filled with sharing platters, tapas and all types of mains fills you with joy, Cosy Club is about to give you a serious case of the warm and fuzzies. The variety on offer here is stonkingly good, ranging from rich pork belly to that Mediterranean mezze for two. But, wait, what’s that on the sharers menu? Yes! Whole baked camembert studded with garlic and finished with gluten-free bread for dipping. With food served until 10pm, plus comfy sofas and quirky decor, it’s a prime time retreat.
Cosy Club, 53 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AA.
Holy meat sweats, make sure you’ve got an elastic waistband for this one. It may not be your first thought when looking for gluten-free food in Leeds, but this Brazilian steakhouse is about to turn all your scruples into scrumptious meat cuts. Beef tenderloin, spicy chorizo, lamb cutlets – all that and more will be served fresh at your table when your card is flipped to green. Need a break? Turn the card over to red and pay a visit to the dizzying selection of goodies at the salad bar instead. Everything’s clearly labelled with allergens.
Fazenda, Waterman’s Place. Granary Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, Leeds, LS1 4GL.
18. Santorini Bar & Grill
A lesser-known neighbourhood gem, Santorini often flies under the radar when it comes to eating out in Leeds. But to miss a night chomping on their flavourful Greek and Turkish fare is to miss out, big time. Particularly if you’re going wheat-less, as all their gluten-free goodies reside on a special menu. Will you go for the restaurant’s star player, the mixed souvlaki with marinated chicken and lamb grilled to perfection, or go veggie with the briam – slow cooked potatoes, aubergine and mushrooms in an aromatic tomato sauce?
Santorini, 55 Otley Road, Leeds, Headingley, West Yorkshire, LS6 3AB.
19. Oranaise Cafe
A delightful treasure trove of an eatery, Oranaise Cafe is a feast for the eyes as much as the belly. Higgledy-piggledy tagines in the corner, patterned mosaics on the bar and dozens of lanterns hanging from the ceiling – a visit here is like stepping into a Moroccan bazaar (you can indeed buy some items to take home with you). And once you’ve looked past the dazzling decor, more treats await. Arabic pizza can be devoured on a gluten-free base, kebabs can be served with gluten-free bread, and gluten-free wraps can also be snapped up.
Oranaise Cafe, 1 The Crescent, Hyde Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2NW.
Full of Scandi-minimalism and Insta-worthy design, FINT is a Leeds restaurant with one foot in the future. Pop in for a coffee and nibble on one of their fresh-baked gluten-free cakes (if the peanut butter cookie is there, the snack gods are smiling on you), linger over lunch with plates of creative combinations, or go fine dining in the evening with dishes like herb-baked celeriac or sweet & sour lamb shank. The menu changes with the seasons, so it’s always worth a check with your server as to what’s gluten-free and what’s not.
FINT, 73 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
Farmyard in feel and fab on food, Bill’s is a popular choice in Leeds and the gluten-free among you needn’t miss out. Inside, a garden oasis awaits – plants all around and even flower-filled wallpaper. As for the food? A similarly fresh ethos, with seasonal menus that can be adapted to different diets. Their breakfast game is particularly strong, so you won’t want to miss out on the epic Bill’s brunch. It comes with (deep breath) sausage, bacon, egg, avocado, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, potato rostis and… gluten-free toast.
Bill’s, 1 Albion Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6JL.
22. Pinche Pinche
Step outside the city centre for a Mexican meal that’ll put you straight into carnival mode. Pretty much everything on the menu at Pinche Pinche is suitable for gluten-free diners. Tacos? Check. Quesadillas? Check. Those sweet, sweet plantain dough balls filled with goats cheese? Big fat check. Burritos are out of bounds, but when you’re faced with smothered nachos, surf and turf platters, and lime cheesecake to finish, it’s a sin you can forgive. There’s even coeliac-friendly beer on offer. Arriba!
Pinche Pinche, 116A Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4NY.
23. Estabulo Rodizio
Another meaty marvel that gives gluten-free dining a good name is this barbecue restaurant in Leeds. At Estabulo the focus is on the flame-grilled skewers of meat that wing their way to your table, but they haven’t forgotten coeliac diners. In between unlimited cuts of delicious meat, you can gorge on endless hot sides and veggies, a buffet full of fresh salads and wash it all down with gluten-free beer. The real question is – is it acceptable to eat 50 chicken thighs in a single sitting? We say yes.
Estabulo Rodizio, The Light, 22 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
Gluten-free pizzaholics, you won’t want to miss Culto next time hunger strikes. You may have to wait half an hour or so before the face-stuffing can commence, but that’s because as soon as your order’s in, they’re making that bad boy fresh. Will you go for the folded calzone stuffed with salami and mozzarella or the classic Napoletana with olives, anchovies and lashings of olive oil? If you’re not in the mood for pizza, there’s gluten-free pasta too. The only thing left to do is toast your success with a gluten-free beer and job’s a good’un.
Culto, 97 Stainbeck Road, Meanwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 2PR.
25. Little Tokyo
Got a craving for top notch Japanese fare suitable for coeliac stomachs? Little Tokyo will help you fill your boots with their separate gluten-free menu. For the last two decades, this little Leeds legend has been whipping up all kinds of yummy sushi, plus delicious hot specials and sides too. The best way to try it out? You could start with healthy green edamame beans or deep fried tofu, before delving into the sashimi bento box, complete with fresh-from-the-market fish, zingy salad, sticky rice and gluten-free soy sauce for that savoury kick.
Little Tokyo, 24 Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DE.
26. Humpit Hummus
Humpit Hummus is a firm Leeds favourite. The menu is simple, they know their craft and can do fuss-free as well as they do gluten-free. Everything centres around glorious hummus and falafel – get yours slathered on a salad, in a loaded hummus bowl or stuffed in one of their gluten-free flatbreads. You can top it off with all sorts of yumminess too – we’re talking roasted aubergine, chickpeas, beans, pickles and more. Wash it all down with a cup of their fresh and zingy homemade lemonade or iced tea to top off a healthy nutritious lunch.
Humpit, Leeds University Union, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9JZ and The Springs, Thorpe Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 8GH.
Mowgli serves up all sorts of authentic Indian street food joy, and there’s no need for gluten-free mouths to miss out. They have a dedicated gf menu, so you don’t have to scour each dish looking for those telltale symbols. Dine on fresh and bright ginger chicken, a deeply rich lamb curry or tea-steeped chickpeas. Not sure what to get? Grab a gluten-free tiffin box for one and let Lady Luck decide what you get – you’ll be presented with four tiers of meat, veg and carbs as chosen by the chef. If you’re vegan, you still have a choice of four different dishes to wolf down!
Mowgli Street Food, 32 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DA.
28. Blue Sakura
All you can eat gluten-free sushi? Sign us up! Sit down and use the tablet on your table – there’s a whole two-page menu sans gluten waiting for you. We’re talking everything from pops of edamame joy to fresh salmon and avocado hand rolls. If raw fish is your bag, you can feast on finely sliced sashimi and noshable nigiri to your heart’s content – just keep ordering! Prefer your fish and meat cooked to absolute perfection? There are dishes from the teppanyaki, the grill and the wok to savour, including spicy mussels, sweet & sour chicken and lao gan ma beef.
Blue Sakura, 2-3 Merrion Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8BT.
Browns is something of a Leeds institution. Elegant and atmospheric, it’s housed in a magnificent former bank – think high ceilings, a grand piano and velvet booths. When it comes to the gluten-free menu, they’ve gone all out. They’ve got breakfast, mains, desserts, even afternoon tea covered. The menu’s so good, it’s been accredited by Coeliac UK, so you know you’re in safe hands. Munch on pan-seared scallops with celeriac, apple, pancetta and pea shoots to start, a ribeye steak with fries and lightly-dressed watercress for main and a chocolate brownie to finish.
Browns, The Light, 70-72 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8EQ.
30. Franco Manca
Franco Manca whip up some of the best pizza in the city, and you can get any base swapped for a gluten-free one – just ask your server. On the menu you’ll find eight options, no names, just numbers. It spans simplicity itself and creative combos in one fell swoop. Try the no.2, a classic mozzarella on tomato affair, or no.7, which sees your base topped with lightly smoked spicy salami, British mozzarella, caramelised red onions, house-made chilli oil and fresh basil. Yummy! If you’re dodging dough altogether, they have a couple of superb salads too.
Franco Manca, 1 Trinity Street, Trinity Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AP.
31. Casa Leeds
The days of questioning whether a delicious-looking menu of tapas is gluten-free are no more. Casa Leeds have put a Latin American spin on traditional tapas and made it all 100% gluten-free too. You’ll find all manner of Columbian and Mexican small plates on the menu, like beef empanadas, soft tacos topped with seafood and fried green plantain with crispy pork crackling – no gluten in sight. Tempted? There’s more. Their larger ‘not-tapas’ plates give you a taste of authentic South American home-cooking from as far as Peru and Venezuela. The Lomo Saltado is a Peruvian staple, while the Solomillo Chimichurri is a meal in gluten-free heaven.
Casa Leeds, 6 Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
Fancy brunch? Brunch you will get at Wolfox. Toast, bagels, cereal – all the main offenders make an appearance. But at Wolfox, many of their healthy bowls and brunch dishes can be made completely gluten-free, with some already good to go. Take the Wolfox Spring Hash – roasted potatoes and hispi cabbage, spring greens and cherry tomatoes served with an organic fried egg – a gluten-free delight that’ll fix all your midday cravings. If it’s the wild mushroom toast, the Field Breakfast or the Nutella chocolate and banana pancakes that float your boat, they can all be made gluten-free upon request.
Wolfox, 66 Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2EE.
33. Brasserie Blanc
French dining has been made possible for gluten-free diners in Leeds at Brasserie Blanc. They’ve put together a dedicated menu comprised of all their gluten and dairy-free dishes, giving you plenty of delicious choice. First, the nibbles – gluten-free bread and dips or rustica olives, followed by mushroom fricassee or even escargots. For the main course, you can dig into the likes of duck confit with blackberry sauce, smoked pork ribeye or pan-fried cod with mariniere sauce. Finish off with apple and blackcurrant crumble, ice cream or sorbet and you’ve got a dining experience that makes eating gluten-free easy.
Brasserie Blanc, 4 Victoria Mill, The Embankment, Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BJ.Cover image credit Milly Fletcher.