If you want an authentic taste of African cuisine, these Leeds restaurants cover all corners of this incredible continent.
Africa is a melting pot of different cuisines. From Moroccan tagines to Nigerian stews and Eritrea curries, the sheer variety of dishes is incredible – and the good news is, you don’t have to travel to far-flung shores to try them because there are loads of amazing African restaurants right here in Leeds. Whether you’re ordering in or planning a post-lockdown feast, this is your chance to expand your culinary horizons and try something you’ve never had before.
Abyssinia has been dishing up authentic Ethiopian food in Leeds since 2014. They’ve earned plaudits for their hearty stews and grilled meats, all of which come deeply spiced and loaded with flavour. It’s as much about the experience as the food here because Ethiopian food is made for sharing. Order a sharing platter filled with traditional dishes, like Gommen be Sega (lamb stew) and Kitf (Ethiopian steak tartar), then scoop it up with traditional Injera flatbread.
Abashawul is the only Eritrean restaurant in Leeds. The menu is small, but perfectly formed, full of classic East African dishes you won’t find anywhere else in the city. You can pop in for a traditional breakfast of Ful, a fragrant blend of broad beans, peppers, yogurt and butter, or stop by later to try the Zighni, a classic Eritrean curry dish. Don’t miss the chef’s speciality – The Dorho combines chicken and veg in a spicy tomato sauce, topped with a boiled egg.
Abashawul, 136 Roundhay Road, Harehills, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 5NA. You can eat in or collect your food to takeaway.
Oranaise has been one of the best places to get Moroccan food in Leeds since it opened in 2002. The menu is packed full of incredible, authentic recipes. Try the slow-cooked sweet chicken tagine or the lamb shank couscous, one of their most popular dishes. There are kebabs, mezze platters and small plates too, not to mention sweet treats like baklava, perfectly paired with Moroccan mint tea. After all, Oranaise also doubles as an Arabic bakery.
In Ethiopia, when you enter the ‘piassa’, you’re entering the heart of the country, which is just what it feels like at this down-to-earth Ethiopian restaurant. You can feast on classic East African soul food with a menu of authentic stews and traditional finger food. For a little taste of everything, try their Beyaynetu. It promises a mix of chickpea and lentil stews, expertly seasoned veggies and fresh salad, all served atop of Injera bread.
La Princesse is one of the best African restaurants in Leeds and it has been for over 20 years. The menu showcases French and Arabic influences on North African cuisine. Couscous is one of their specialities, and it’s served with succulent slices of chicken and lamb, but that’s just the start. There’s a Grilled Chicken Kofta marinated in a secret blend of spices, a Meatball Tagine with a fruity tomato sauce and a special take on Ratatouille that simply has to be tried.
Kada’s is the oldest shisha bar in Leeds and they’ve been dishing up incredible Moroccan and Middle Eastern food since 1997. You can mix and match tapas dishes like the Moroccan potato, chicken and falafel, or go for their mezze platter, which brings together chicken, sausage and dolmeh with harissa, olives and salad. Eating on the go? Grab one of their heaving sandwiches, served on toasted Moroccan bread, to takeaway.
Kada’s, 5 Crown Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DA. You can eat in or collect your food to takeaway.
Moroccoriental brings together the best of North African and Middle Eastern cuisine, all under one roof. Their menu is packed full of home-style recipes that have been passed down through the generations. From simple starters like the Batata Harra and Tabbouleh to epic mains like the Chicken Bourek, it’s all made using authentic ingredients and traditional techniques. Our top tip? Try the lamb tagine. It’s slow cooked with honey-dried apricot, sultanas and prunes.
This Burley favourite is one of the best Moroccan restaurants in Leeds. Expect classic North African dishes, ranging from huge mezze platters to grilled meats and vibrant tagines. Mogador are known for their kebabs. They’re marinated in a secret blend of spices, then flame-grilled to get that distinctive smokey flavour. Served on a flatbread with your choice of sauces, you can’t go wrong. Going meat-free? Their vegan menu is packed with plant-based kebabs and stews.
Juicy African Kitchen
Ever tried Nigerian food in Leeds? If not, get yourself over to Juicy African Kitchen. This Holbeck restaurant hasn’t been open for long, but it’s already massively popular with the local Nigerian community. Expect classic West African dishes, with familiar favourites like Jolloff rice and Ogbono Soup alongside more unusual finds. The Goat Suya is a must. It’s coated in ground chilli pepper, peanut powder and spices before being barbecued to perfection.
Juicy African Kitchen, 40 Beeston Road, Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 8RP. You can eat in or collect your food to takeaway.
If you want an authentic taste of North Africa, head to M’deena in Otley. This charming little eatery is run by Nadir Dedar, a proud Algerian who has put together a menu of traditional dishes from his homeland. You can start with bowls of hummus and labneh, come complete with warm pita breads to dip and scoop. And for you main? Take your pick of nine different tagines or try one of his speciality dishes like the spiced lamb kofta or chicken shawarma.
This simple cafe-style eatery in Hunslet Carr prides itself on making delicious soul food inspired by African and Caribbean cuisine. The menu is small, but it packs a punch. Start with fried dumplings or chilli plantain before moving on to one of their cross-Atlantic mains. There’s Peanut Butter Lamb Stew, SeneGambia Jolloff Rice and Nigerian-style Fried Rice. Want something truly special? Pre-order deep-fried sea bass or their meaty mixed BBQ grill .
Little Afrika, 48 Garnet Road, Hunslet Carr, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5HP. You can eat in, collect your food to takeaway or get a delivery online.
The Grand Valley Bar & Kitchen
It doesn’t get much more traditional than this. The Grand Valley will take you on a culinary adventure around West, East and South Africa. You can tuck into Southern favourites like Manzondo (cow feet), Western staples like Nkwobi (diced cow leg) and Eastern classics like Sukuma Wiki (braised spring greens with tripe). With such a wide variety of dishes, this is the perfect place to try something new, even if you’re familiar with African food.
Melkam Cafe & Restaurant
Melkam is something of a local legend. They serve classic Ethiopian dishes, like Mesto (lamb cooked in a secret sauce) and Shiro Wot (crushed chickpeas with onion and Ethiopian spices), but you can also get steaming bowls of spaghetti. That’s right, spaghetti. The Italian staple is a firm favourite in East Africa and Melkam make it their own by smothering it in fiery African stews – it may sound unusual, but trust us, it’s well worth trying.
Melkam Cafe & Restaurant, 161 Malvern Road, Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 6AH. You can eat in or collect your food to takeaway.
If you’re looking for fuss-free African food to go, head to El Bahja. This cheap and cheerful Moroccan takeaway offers a menu of authentic North African eats, alongside classics like pizzas and kebabs. Try their Koftadi Minced Meat Skewers. They’re marinated in a medley of spices and cooked in an authentic clay oven. And the Zitoune Chicken Tagine is just as good. Sides include shawarma fries and baba ghanouj, so come hungry and try it all.
What do you get when you mix traditional African cuisine with Caribbean classics? Afrochops, a pint-sized Afro-Caribbean takeaway with a big reputation and a hoard of regulars. The menu is wonderfully eclectic. Nigerian Egusi Soup and Ayamashe Stew rub shoulders with Boneless Jerk Chicken and Saltfish Patties, so you can have the best of both worlds, all under one roof. Load up on sides, like Jollof Rice and Pounded Eba, then dig right in.