Want to eat out without breaking the bank? You can get a great feed for a bargain price at these Leeds cafes and restaurants.
Eating out doesn’t have to be expensive – and it doesn’t always have to be at a restaurant either. These fifteen options are quick and easy. We’ve got street food, we’ve got bars and we’ve got cracking little cafes where the food will put a smile on your face. So if you want to eat out on a budget, this is where to go.
Little Bao Boy at North Brewing Co. Tap Room
Little Bao Boy has taken over the kitchen at North Brewing Co. Tap Room. The Leeds street food favourites are masters of the bao bun, and they fill them with all kinds of treats. Will you go for the KFB, which promises boneless chicken thighs coated in Gochujang buttermilk topped with lettuce and sriracha mayo? Or you could try the Chilli Salt Tofu, which is topped with cucumber, spring onion, hoisin and sriracha. They come in at either £4 or £4.50 on their own, but if you pop in for lunch between 11am and 2pm, you can get two for just £7.
Little Bao Boy, North Brewing Co. Tap Room, 3 Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BA.
For a taste of authentic Japanese cuisine, make a beeline for Senbon Sakura. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but they really know what they’re doing in the kitchen – and they don’t charge the earth. You can get a steaming bowl of Char-sui Noodle Soup with their homemade pork bone stock and thick udon noodles for just £8.30. Or why not treat yourself to a Sumo Set sushi box for £11? You’ll get 20 pieces of sushi, including salmon avocado roll and salmon maki.
Senbon Sakura, 71 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
You can discover the delights of classic Polish street food for less at Smak! Their speciality is the kiełbasa sausage – it’s smoked on a Yorkshire farm using a family recipe that’s been passed through generations and comes served in a sandwich with house slaw, Polish gherkin, cheese and horseradish sauce for £6.50. That’s not all they do. You could try a mixed platter, which comes piled with smoked and cured meats, pâté, cheese, smalec and gherkin, all for £7.50.
Smak! The Polish Kitchen, 372 Kirkstall Road, Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2HQ.
The Falafel Guys
Imagine being able to visit TripAdvisor’s no.1 rated eatery in Leeds and getting change from a tenner. That’s exactly what you can do at The Falafel Guys and the food is top drawer. It will only cost you £4.50 to get three of their own recipe falafel balls in a wrap or salad bowl and for a quid extra you can throw in halloumi or chicken shawarma. It’s piled high with garlic mayo, chilli sauce, salad and their own homemade tahini. They come absolutely loaded, so you’re definitely getting bang for your buck here.
The Falafel Guys, outside Marks and Spencer, 47 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HF and Assembly Underground, 12 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AL.
Tuck into delicious Sicilian street food for a bargain price at Poco. Try their pizza al taglio – these big square slices of pizza are cooked in authentic blue iron trays made in Italy and topped with an ever-changing array of ingredients. Even better, prices start at just £2.50. They do lemon marinated rotisserie chicken too and it’ll set you back just £3 for a quarter. Pair it with a portion of their potato rustiche for an almighty £5 feed. Got a sweet tooth? Get their gooey and indulgent Nutella arancini balls for £2.50.
Poco, 360 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2HQ.
Fancy a pint and a slice of pizza? Go straight to Belgrave Music Hall and join the queue at Dough Boys. Their pizza slices are absolutely adored – and it’s easy to see why. You can pick up a giant slice from £3 – try the likes of Queen Brie, with its combo of French brie, roasted grapes and caramelised onions, or go for the Baa No More, which brings together Middle Eastern spiced ground lamb, pine nuts, pomegranate, pecorino and baby red chard. Top tip – get a half-price slice anytime before 5pm on Friday and Saturday or 7pm Sunday to Thursday.
Dough Boys, Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, 1-1a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
If pizza’s not your thing, head to Patty Smith’s instead. Here it’s all about gooey, juicy burgers at budget-busting prices. Their cornerstone is the Dirty Burger, a Yorkshire beef patty smothered in American mustard, chipotle mayo and double cheese for just £5.95. The Colonel Patty is a quid more, but it comes with spiced fried chicken breast, Sriracha chilli sauce and pickled red cabbage. You can get 2 for 1 on burgers all day on Sunday too. Want something to share while you drink? Their Session Fries are a joy for £7.95 – you’ll get a huge mountain of chips covered in smoked pancetta, pecorino, pickled chillies, Sriracha chilli mayo and rosemary sea salt.
Patty Smith’s, Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, 1-1a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
OWT is a lunch spot in Kirkgate Market that only uses local produce sourced from their neighbouring stalls. Expect menus that change weekly as chefs Esther Miglio and James Simpson get creative with ingredients. You can get a Bacon Bap at any time of day for just £2.50 or pop by at lunch to choose between their hot mains. One week it could be Vegan Lasagne, with lemony kale, and the next it could be Roast Chicken with fried potatoes and gravy – whatever you choose, you should only expect to pay between £5.50 and £7 for your lunch.
OWT, Leeds Kirkgate Market, 34 Ludgate Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.
Outlaws Yacht Club
Outlaws Yacht Club is a cool, laid-back bar that serves cheap eats all day long. Pop in at lunchtime and you can bag yourself one of their heaving sandwiches served on a Leeds Bread Co-op ciabatta. Will you go for the hummus, sun-dried tomato and feta for £3.70 or the famous Outlaws Grilled Cheese, which comes oozing with Emmental, farmhouse cheddar, brie, red onion and gherkins for £4.95? In the evening, you can get one of their charcuterie boards which gets you a choice of 4 meats and cheeses for £10.95 or you can go for one of their small plates, like the Wilson’s Pork Pie or the Catalan Mini Sausage from just £2.50.
Outlaws Yacht Club, 38 New York Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY.
When it comes to cheap eats, Caravanserai is a great shout. It’s got the feel of a Moroccan bazaar, but in the heart of Leeds – and you can dig into a menu of Middle Eastern and North African street food done incredibly well. Downstairs, they serve up a menu that you can take away, with Lebanese sandwiches like their famous chicken shawarma from just £4 a pop. But if you’re staying in, you can choose from a much bigger menu, including their Ottoman barbecue – try the Zagaleel, a baby chicken marinated in their secret spices and stuffed with minced lamb and rice for £7.50.
Caravanserai, 1 Crown Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DA.
Man V Roast
Fancy a cheap roast dinner? You can get one for just £7 at Man v Roast in Hyde Park. It’s a carvery restaurant that does things a little differently, giving you the option to eat in or take away. Pop by any day of the week and take your pick from the likes of turkey, beef, gammon, pork, chicken and sausage (or lamb for 40p extra). All their meats come from Sykes House Farm, so you know they’re going to be good. You’ll also get seasonal veg, stuffing, a Yorkshire pudding, roasted or mashed potatoes and a bucketload of gravy. Prefer a light bite? Their roast meat sandwiches are just £4.50.
Man V Roast, 144 Cardigan Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1LL.
Woaaahhh. Don’t let the name put you off. You don’t have to like fish to love Mr Mackerel. In fact, it’s their kebabs that have us coming back for more. They do lamb or chicken, cooked fresh to order on the grill and served up on a Turkish flatbread with a small bowl of warming lentil soup, a hefty pile of rice and bucketloads of crisp salad complete with pickled chillis. This is a right good feed and it’s yours for under a fiver. If you do want to try their signature mackerel, it’s best enjoyed in a sarnie for just £3.
Mr Mackerel, Leeds Kirkgate Market, 34 Ludgate Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.
Jenny’s Jerk Chicken
Jenny’s Jerk Chicken is the place to go for proper Caribbean food that won’t cost you the earth. Follow your nose to their Kirkgate Market home, where you’ll find them cooking up jerk chicken every day. For a fiver, you can get a salad box filled with jerk BBQ chicken, jerk saltfish cakes or a veggie bean cake on a bed of fresh salad. And if you want to try a real Caribbean classic, you can get their famous curried goat for £6 – it’s so tender the meat just falls off the bone, and you can get it with a choice of coconut rice or rice and peas.
Jenny’s Jerk Chicken, Leeds Kirkgate Market, 34 Ludgate Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.
Make a beeline for Simpatico to try their award-winning Roman-style pizza al taglio in the heart of the city centre. It comes by the slice and is cooked in the traditional way as owner Nick Julian trained under legendary pizzaiolos Cristiano Garbarino and Gabriele Bonci in Rome. Expect a crispy bottom and fluffy upper, with slices coming in at as little as £2.85, depending on the toppings. They change their combinations daily, so one day you can get mortadella, burata and artichoke, and the next potato, rosemary and brie.
Simpatico, 16 Queens Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LF.
Treat yourself to an array of traditional Punjabi dishes from just £4 at Manjit’s Kitchen without breaking the bank. They’re famous for their chaats, and they have two for you to choose from – there’s a traditional samosa and a less conventional watermelon one (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it). You’ve got wraps and curries too – they even do a three curry thali, which gives you all of the day’s different curries in one tray with rice for just £5.95.
Manjit’s Kitchen, Leeds Kirkgate Market, 34 Ludgate Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.
If it’s lunch you’re after, make a beeline for Slocken because their 7-inch pizzas are just the ticket. They come in the most weird and wonderful flavours – you can get a Sunday Dinner, complete with a Yorkshire pud, or indulge in a lovely Greek pizza loaded with olives, feta and tomato. They purposely mix up their menu, so you can try something new each time. Whichever you go for, it’ll cost you just £5.
Slocken, 10-12 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DN.
Kanassa serves authentic Columbian food for an absolute steal. You can start the day with The Big Columbian Brunch for just £7. That gets you a loaded plate of fried egg, sticky plantain, chipotle black beans and manchego corn cakes, served with guacamole, pineapple slaw and salsa. But their all-veggie menu comes into its own later in the day and everything is under £6. Choose from a plantain, sweet paprika and coconut curry or go for a smoked corn and tofu bowl, with fragrant spices and freshly made dips.
Kanassa, Leeds Kirkgate Market, 34 Ludgate Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.
Bundobust is an Indian street-food restaurant. Step inside and you’ll discover a menu of bitesize dishes that cost between the £4 and £6.50. You can mix and match your favourite dishes, so try the Tarka Dhal, a mixed lentil curry served with basmati rice, or dig into Okra Fries, seasoned with black salt and mango powder. There are 14 small plates for you to choose from, so you can try something different every time. To get more bang for your buck, swing by from Monday to Friday between 12pm and 4pm to get two dishes for £7.50.
Bundbust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.Cover image credit: © Copyright Leeds-List 2019 by Ali Turner