Food with friends is one of life’s true pleasures, and sharing is caring when you feast on these delicious platters.
Solo snacking is great, having dinner with mates is even better, but gathering round a table with friends and tucking into a mountainous platter of irresistible grub takes the proverbial biscuit. We won’t tell anyone if you want to work your way through every single one of these sharing platters in Leeds – honest! After all, someone has to do it, and it might as well be you and your pals…
Step inside Tavernaki and you might feel like you’ve been transported to a taverna on a Greek island. That sunshine feeling extends to a menu that’s big on authentic flavours, letting you recapture tastes of holidays past with the likes of olives, hummus and halloumi grilled until it squeaks. If these small plates make you feel like sharing, plump for the poikilia, a generous meat platter piled high with Greek sausage, lamb chops and chicken souvlaki, as well as chips, dips and pita. The view through the window is of Great George Street rather than the Aegean, but that’s no bad thing.
Tavernaki, 18 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3DW.
Friends of Ham
If ever there was a job called ‘charcuterie boffin’ or ‘cheese genius’, Friends of Ham would employ the very best of them. They have an inventive menu of sharing boards you can work your way through. There are four set platters, ranging from the Iberian treats of the Spanish board to the ploughman’s, with seasonal and vegan options to keep everyone happy. If you fancy freestyling it, create your own custom platters from a range of superbly sourced meats and well-kept cheeses, perfectly paired with the springy delights of Leeds Bread Co-Op sourdough.
Friends of Ham, 4-8 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL.
Tucked away inside Everyman Cinema in Trinity Leeds, Comptoir Libanais is a riot of primary colour that perfectly captures the tastes, sights and smells of the Middle East. You can graze on vibrant mezze dishes such as the delicately spiced Lebanese potatoes with sumac and squabble over who gets the odd one in a dish of three lamb kibbeh parcels. You can skip any arguments by just going straight for the mezze platter, generously compiled with herb-flecked tabbouleh, flatbread, falafel, cheese pastry parcels and the addictive baba ghanuj, polka-dotted with pomegranate seeds.
Comptoir Libanais, Trinity, 27 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AY.
You’re in for a great time at the flamboyant Zaap. The vintage tuk-tuks and knick-knacks create a vibe similar to a bustling Bangkok market. The menu leans heavily towards street food, so you can mix and match classics such as crispy wontons, steamed prawn dumplings and bao buns so pillowy you’ll want to rest your head on one. The Bangkok platters come two ways – standard and veggie – and are big enough to serve two if you’re also ordering mains. You’ll get the perfect intro to the menu as you plough through chicken satay, fish cakes or golden tofu.
Zaap, 22 Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
Revolution has always been party central, but among the cocktails and endless range of shots, there’s some solid sharing food to be found. Slide into a snug booth with your friends and you can order up a whole mess of snacks from their Grazers menu. The street food platter will do nicely if there are two of you, with a cheeseburger slider each, pepperoni pizza, fried chicken, Cajun fries and a gutsy chorizo ketchup you’ll want the recipe for. If there’s a gang of you, look no further than the chicken wing platters. Ain’t no party like a chicken wing party.
Revolution, 48 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
Jamrock UK brings an authentic taste of Jamaican food to Call Lane. You’ll notice as soon as you walk in that there’s a relaxed vibe in operation – none of the over-the-top theming you might find in other places. They also offer up a sharing platter you won’t find anywhere else in Leeds. You and your dining partner can dive into a half chicken, perfectly seasoned with Chef Shabba’s signature spice blend. You’ll also get a mighty plate of curry goat, fried plantain, rice, peas and vegetables – it’s a great way to familiarise yourself with the menu here.
Jamrock, 42 Call Lane Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
Bundobust’s meat-free take on Indian street food is made for sharing, all served up alongside an always-brilliant range of beers. No-one will be able to keep their hands off your okra fries, dusted with magical mango powder – but there are some fab platters too. There are combos for two, four and, if you’re mob handed, the Bundo Combo that feeds six people with pretty much every delicious dish on the menu, including tarka dhal and the classic paneer tikka with mushrooms. It might just be the biggest sharing platter you can find in Leeds.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
Veeno is ideal for a communal eating and drinking experience – it’s the Italian way after all. With many of the wines on offer hailing from the company’s own Sicilian vineyards, you’ll want to pick some food that’s the perfect accompaniment to quaffing. If there are two of you, opt for the Grande platter, while the Grandissimo is tailored for four or more diners. Either way, you’ll be treated to parma ham, salami Milano, speck, gorgonzola, Italian breads, fig jam and other delights, all served upon a wooden slab. You can start at either end and meet in the middle!
Veeno, 5 Wellington Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4AP.
You may already know The Decanter for its stupendous wine list – something to work through in the comfortable surroundings and perfectly pitched lighting of the stylish interior. But they also serve up some of the most tempting charcuterie platters in Leeds. The combo is where it’s really at. Aimed at four or more, this includes all their meats and cheeses, along with pork scratchings, almonds, olives, chutney, crackers and piccalilli. Cheese-wise, there are Yorkshire classics such as Harrogate Blue and Fountains Gold, while the meats include chorizo, serrano ham, prosciutto and even Yorkshire lomo. It’s a thing of wonder.
The Decanter, 17 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5JQ.
The Yorkshire Deli
If you’ve been down to Victoria Gate over the last year, you might have spotted the alluring window displays of The Yorkshire Deli. They serve up sandwiches, home bakes and more, with an emphasis on locally sourced produce. If you’ve got company, the sharing boards are some of the best in Leeds, with a ploughman’s, mezze board and delicious deli cheeseboard. That ploughman’s comes with a perfect pork pie, bread, cheese and chutney. Hungry for more? They also do a metre long pizza to share, enough for you and five lucky friends.
The Yorkshire Deli, Unit 23 Victoria Gate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
Up on the roof of Victoria Gate, East 59th is a New York-inspired bar that boasts a real buzz with sensational views of Leeds. Their sharing boards really mean business too, with a spectacular seafood platter and a surf & turf option too. The only problem with the former is that you might end up fighting over the best bits of grilled lobster, garlic tiger prawns and tempura crab. It comes complete with grilled sweetcorn and a range of dips. The surf & turf also has lobster, along with a 12oz rib eye steak, onion rings, truffle fries and peppercorn sauce.
East 59th, Victoria Gate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
Red’s True Barbecue
It’s nigh on impossible to eat at Red’s True Barbecue without wanting to try your dining partner’s dishes – everything is so mouth-wateringly tempting. Happily, you can cut out the middleman by sharing everything from the start. If you order up the BBQ Bin Lid, you’ll be presented with a carnivore’s dream of brisket, XXXL smoked chicken wings, pork ribs, smoked chicken, chopped pork, cheese & jalapeno sausage and, if you’ve still got a tiny bit of room left, sides galore. Their justly celebrated slaw, onion rings, fries and meaty BBQ pit beans are a feast in themselves.
Red’s True Barbecue, 1 Cloth Hall Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HD.
The Japanese food at Issho is elevated in more ways than one. It’s up on the rooftop of Victoria Gate, for starters, and the cuisine here really is amongst the best you’ll find in Leeds. Whether you come for lunch or dinner, you’ll be seated in a soft, serene setting. To see just what the kitchen is capable of, order up the gourmet sushi and sashimi platter. You’ll get a lavish display of exemplary nigiri, maki and sashimi, with salmon, seabass and tuna among the sparklingly fresh fish on offer. Top tip – the spicy tiger prawn tempura roll is a real showstopper.
Issho, Victoria Gate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
While most people tend to read books or magazines before turning off the light at night, there would be absolutely no shame in having Stuzzi’s menu as your bedtime reading. The stylish small-plates Italian upstairs in Grand Arcade swings and hits with its savoury dishes, but you might find it hard to make a choice from their luscious ‘Dolci’ – dessert – menu. You don’t have to. Simply opt for the piatto do dolci and you and your fellow diner can sample an array of sweet goodness. This irresistible platter takes in cannoli, raspberry meringue, panna cotta, polenta cake and plenty more besides.
Stuzzi, 7 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.
It’s share and share alike at Flight Club, the social darts watering hole with its fairground explosion theme and push-button service. You’ll find a truly informal atmosphere here, so you can focus on thrashing your friends or co-workers at arrows while sharing fries, pizza paddles and even sweet treats. The platters are made to be grab ‘n’ go, with Korean beef skewers, chicken tikka kebabs and coconut popcorn chicken. If you’re vegetarian, there’s a platter packed with punchy flavours for you too, with BBQ aubergine tacos and the delightful Russian roulette of padrón peppers – will you get the devilishly hot one?
Flight Club, Sovereign House, 1-2 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5QL.Cover image credit: Reece Leung.