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 additions to Leeds’ food and drink scene of late, Home is a collaboration between Elizabeth Cottam and Mark Owen. The former was a semi-finalist on MasterChef, while the latter was Head Chef of The Box Tree and The Star at Harome, both Michelin-starred restaurants. Their new venture is a relaxed take on fine dining, where you can enjoy a ten-course tasting menu of incredible seasonal dishes, like 7-tea-smoked duck breast with morels, mustard & wild garlic.
Home, 16/17 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BY.
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 five, eight and ten plate tasting menus, which you can enjoy in a stunning art deco restaurant. Try inventive creations like ham hock with maraschino, pickle, mustard and quince or confit duck with rhubarb scotch quail egg, all of which are made with locally-sourced and ethically produced ingredients. Want something a little less formal? You can try Luke’s cooking in the bar downstairs with a special tasting menu.
Vice and Virtue, 68 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
The latest restaurant from D&D London, 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 salt and sesame grilled sea bream with ponzu and pickled onions. Head Chef Weike Zhao has come over from Australia, where she worked at a string of 1 hat restaurants (that’s the Aussie equivalent of a Michelin Star), and she runs special Chef’s Tasting events where you can get hands-on with the food.
Issho, Victoria Gate, George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
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 five-course tasting menu, with dishes like braised oxtail tacos with frozen blue cheese, pickled kohlrabi and nasturtium. Look out for their food and drink pairing events too.
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 new restaurant in Rothwell that offers fine dining in 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 cheesecake, followed by pan-fried pork fillet with crispy pork belly, black pudding rosti, juniper and cognac beurre noisette. And to finish? Try the cherry and pistachio doughnut. Dill & Bay is a well kept fine dining secret.
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 Lee Murdoch, expect well thought out dishes that make the most of seasonal ingredients. They do a special chef’s tasting menu, designed to strike the perfect balance between sweet, sour, salty and bitter, but their regular menu is just as special with dishes like wild deer pot pie with bbq green onion, aged bacon, sweet n sour pear and walnut husk.
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 saumon en croûte, porc boulangère and poulet à l’estragon, 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.
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 (rib eye), 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 braised Chianti beef or chicken and chorizo 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.
Brasserie Forty 4
On the banks of the River Aire, Brasserie Forty 4 has been dishing up stunning British and Mediterranean dishes for the past twenty years. The food is the star of the show – they keep things interesting, changing the menu every eight weeks to make the most of Yorkshire’s abundance of fresh, local produce. You could be tucking into confit leg of duck with puy lentils, braised vegetables and red wine sauce or venison haunch with black pudding sausage roll, spinach and Madeira sauce. This is fine dining at its best.
Brasserie Forty 4, 44 The Calls, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EW.
Dough Bistro was Luke Downing’s first restaurant, but in 2017, he decided to reinvent it. With the help of Head Chef Laura MacLeod, he created Aperitivo, a refined take on contemporary Italian cooking. It’s a mix of small plates, pasta and pizza, cooked up with his signature creativity. You can indulge in dishes like seared scallops with black pudding, lemon oil and basil pesto or mozzarella croquettes coupled with beetroot chutney and rocket. They’ve even raised the bar on the pizzas with a choice of six different bases, including their signature black charcoal smoked base.
Aperitivo, 293 Spen Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5BD.
Spanish tapas is usually an informal affair, but not at Iberica. 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 middle man. It’s then whipped up into dishes by renowned chef, Nacho Manzano, from charcuterie boards piled high with jamón Ibérico to tapas plates like fried chorizo lollipops, roasted bone marrow with steak tartare and octopus a la gallega – 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 dishes like scallops with black pudding, bacon and celeriac purée or pan-fried stone bass with steamed prawn dumplings, samphire and langoustine bisque. 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.