Whether you’re celebrating or just indulging, here’s where to go for fine dining in Leeds.
Leeds has a reputation for the quality of its food and drink offering, so it’ll come as no surprise that there’s an abundance of fine dining restaurants here. From fancy tapas joints and posh steakhouses to that coveted Michelin star, these Leeds eateries will take you on a culinary adventure that’s worth every penny.
One of the most exciting fine dining restaurants in Leeds, Home is a collaboration between Elizabeth Cottam and Mark Owens. The former was a semi-finalist on MasterChef, while the latter was Head Chef of The Box Tree and The Star Inn at Harome, both Michelin-starred restaurants. This venture is a relaxed take on fine dining, where you can enjoy a nine-course tasting menu of incredible seasonal dishes, like red venison with wild mushrooms and pink peppercorn sauce.
Home, 16/17 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BY.
Matt Healy x The Foundry
He’s best known as one of the runners up on MasterChef: The Professionals, but Matt Healy is now winning over the masses in his hometown with a new restaurant at The Foundry. The food is ‘unconventionally British’, so you can expect classic dishes, cooked to his exacting standards and served with a twist in a restaurant that bridges the gap between traditional and modern. From salt aged beef fillet with grilled onion, potato fondant and PX sauce to chestnut gnocchi, wild mushrooms, truffle and horseradish, there’s lots to love about this place.
Matt Healy x The Foundry, 1 Saw Mill Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WH.
Vice and Virtue
Vice and Virtue is the first city centre restaurant from renowned chef Luke Downing. He whips up an ever-changing array of dishes for his seasonal tasting menus, which you can enjoy in a stunning art deco restaurant. Try inventive creations like onion macaron with duck parfait, salt baked turnip or lamb heart with roast capsicum, amaranth and coriander, all of which are made with locally-sourced and ethically produced ingredients.
Vice and Virtue, 68 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
Issho is a rooftop restaurant with views that look out across the rooftops. The menu is designed for sharing, so you can choose from a selection of premium sushi alongside bao buns and robatayaki dishes like pork belly with spring onion and shichimi. Head Chef Joe Grant is a seafood expert and he’s travelled all over the world to perfect his culinary creations. He runs special Chef’s Tasting events where you can get hands-on with the food and find out more about the dishes.
Issho, Victoria Gate, George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
The Swine That Dines
Jo and Stuart Myers have made their culinary dream a reality with The Swine That Dines. It’s a creative restaurant that serves an ever-changing menu of small plates that will challenge you to rethink your preconceptions about food. This is nose to tail dining, using ingredients you wouldn’t normally consider, but for one weekend a month, they switch to roots to shoots dining to offer an equally impressive vegetarian menu. Expect dishes like pheasant with pumpkin, radicchio and blackberry.
The Swine That Dines, 58 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.
If you’re looking for a special dining experience in Leeds, Shears Yard is just the ticket. They’ve got fine dining nailed, but in their own way. Their menu is constantly evolving, making use of seasonal and local produce to create dishes that are visually and gastronomically stunning. But that’s not all. They also offer a six-course tasting menu, with dishes like watercress and apple gazpacho with kohlrabi, hazelnut and frozen Yorkshire blue cheese.
Shears Yard, 11-15 Wharf Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EH.
The Man Behind the Curtain
With the city’s first Michelin star in a decade under its belt, The Man Behind the Curtain has cemented its reputation as the fine dining venue to go to in Leeds. Renowned chef Michael O’Hare makes the most of unusual combinations and ingredients to create technical tasting menus that will blow you away. Think wagyu beef with olive juice, hand massaged octopus with capers and lemon or hot and sour sea urchin – this is a truly unique dining experience, so expect the unexpected.
The Man Behind the Curtain, 68-78 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7JH.
Dill & Bay
You might not have discovered Dill & Bay yet. It’s a fine dining restaurant in Rothwell that has a relaxed atmosphere. Head chef and owner Simon Jones picks up where he left off with his Passion Supper Club, creating inventive menus with local ingredients. Start with a savoury goat’s cheese filo tart, followed by stout braised lamb shank with sauteed sprouts and colcannon mash.
Dill & Bay, 19 Marsh Street, Rothwell, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS26 0AG.
As posh restaurants go, Crafthouse is top drawer. It blends an incredible space with amazing views and brilliant food. Led by Executive Chef Murray Wilson, expect well thought out dishes that make the most of seasonal ingredients. They do a special 7-course tasting menu, designed to reinvent classic dishes as vibrant plates of modern food, but their regular menu is just as special with dishes like North Sea halibut with a coconut and kaffir lime sauce.
Crafthouse, Trinity Leeds, 70 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.
We all know that France has an incredible culinary reputation, and Kendells Bistro certainly does it justice. They offer a romantic fine dining experience in an intimate restaurant, which is perfect for special occasions. The menu changes daily, depending on the fresh, seasonal produce they can source, and it’s written on the blackboard, which you can view with the binoculars provided. Expect traditional dishes like steak au poivre, salmon en croûte and confit de canard, all done with the panache that makes French cuisine one of the best.
Kendells Bistro, 3 St Peter’s Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AH.
Once a cafe, now a fine dining destination, Fettle is a must-try if you like good food. Their cosy restaurant serves up a menu of intriguing dishes from morning until night. In the evening, you can share small plates – try the pork belly with rosemary fudge and rind popcorn or smoked akee with kimchi and cauliflower. The quality of the ingredients is really important here, so they work closely with small local producers to bring together the very best flavours.
Fine at Fettle, 73 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
If you love steak, Gaucho is the only fine dining restaurant you need to know about. This glitzy venue is the perfect place to delve into the world of Argentinian steaks, which is what Gaucho is all about. You’ve got four main cuts to choose from – lomo (fillet), ancho (ribeye), chorizo (sirloin) and cuadril (rump). Choose from their special meat board, as the expertly trained staff take you through the differences between each meat and answer all your questions. Couple your steak, cooked just the way you like it, with one of their hand-picked wines.
Gaucho, 21-22 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5JF.
Salute at The White Swan
Tucked away within the same building as The White Swan pub in Rothwell, Salute is a long time favourite if you’re looking for quality, rustic Italian dishes in a relaxed environment. It’s well worth heading out of town for, as you tuck into expertly crafted plates like slow roast belly pork or chicken, chorizo and red pepper risotto, with one of their glasses of Italian vino. You’ll soon see what the fuss is about.
Salute at The White Swan, Church Street, Rothwell, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS26 0QL.
Spanish tapas is usually an informal affair, but not at Ibérica. It’s a posh restaurant that prides itself on the quality of its offering, whether that’s the glamorous decor or the exquisite Spanish cuisine. Their produce is worth noting, as they handpick each supplier and import it directly from them, cutting out the expensive middleman. It’s then whipped up into dishes by renowned chef, Nacho Manzano, from charcuterie boards piled high with jamón Ibérico to tapas plates like British hare croquetas and pan-fried octopus with chipotle mayonnaise – Iberica is a truly unique tapas experience.
Iberica, 17a East Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2BH.
Heaney & Mill
Headingley has its own little fine dining institution in the form of Heaney & Mill. It’s a relaxed affair, and you can expect to ease into the day with scrumptious breakfasts before they start serving a menu of creative dishes from lunch through to dinner. Indulge in beautifully presented and utterly delicious plates like pork ribeye steak in a honey, mustard glaze & preserved apricot glaze. Every element of the dish has been thoroughly thought out and the service is a pleasure too – but that doesn’t mean the price leaves you out of pocket, it’s surprisingly affordable.
Heaney & Mill, 48 Otley Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2AL.
Feed is another fantastic restaurant from Luke Downing, the man behind Vice & Virtue, but this time he’s drafted in Jonathan Hawthorne of XO Supper Club fame to help bring the space to life. He’s in charge of the kitchen, cooking up a mix of everyday favourites and boundary-pushing small plates. With a mix of impeccable cooking, carefully sourced ingredients and unusual flavour combinations, they’re bringing fine dining to Pudsey – and it’s already immensely popular.
Feed, 163 Richardshaw Lane, Pudsey, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 6AA.Cover image credit: © Copyright Leeds-List 2019 by Elouisa Georgiou