The most romantic day of the year is almost upon us, but which Leeds restaurants will impress your other half the most on Valentine’s Day? We’ve got a few top tips for you…
Looking for the perfect Valentine’s restaurant in Leeds? From unique steakhouses to Parisian bistros and surprising cafes, Leeds is full of places to grab a bite on the most romantic day of the year – but where should you go for? We’ve rounded up 15 of our favourites.
The Romantic One
Said to be the most romantic restaurant in Leeds, Kendells is the obvious choice when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Book a table and you’ll find yourself in a beautiful candlelit room, perfect for dates.
This is one of the rare occasions when you’ll know what’s on the menu before you visit, as they’re offering a 3-course set menu for £69 each. It includes a glass of champagne on arrival, as well as an amuse bouche before you tuck into the likes of parfait de canard, côte de boeuf to share and suprême de volaille à l’estragon vying. Finish the night with coffee, petit fours and a Polaroid of the two of you that you can take home.
Kendells Bistro, 3 St Peter’s Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AH.
The Japanese One
Why not get a taste of real Japanese cuisine this Valentine’s Day? You can enjoy a special tasting menu at Issho for just £42 per person – so book a table and get ready to try a mix of classic dishes and creative plates you’ve never had before, all in their swish rooftop restaurant.
It’s a relaxed experience in an extravagant setting – and you’ll work your way through 10 small plates. Of course, it includes a sushi platter, but there’s more to Japanese cuisine than raw fish, so you’ll also tuck into duck breast with pickled nashi pear and roasted half lobster with smoked lime butter. Their Valentine’s Menu is available from Wednesday 14th to Saturday 17th February 2018, so you can celebrate when it suits you.
Issho, 3rd Floor Rooftop, Victoria Gate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
The Oh-so Creative One
If you really want to impress your other half, you need to book a table at Vice & Virtue. This isn’t just dinner, it’s a unique foodie experience in an intimate space and Luke Downing has put together a special tasting menu just for Valentine’s.
You’ll start with canapés and an amuse bouche of chicken & blue cheese balloting mousse before you tuck into one-off dishes like Campari salmon with a sweet potato salad, bitter orange, caviar and salted cucumber or belly pork with broccoli, rhubarb, bangiet and black pudding granola. There are nine courses in total, as well as canapes and an amuse bouche, all for £75 per person, and you can add a drinks pairing with three options, starting from £55 per person.
Vice & Virtue, 68 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
The Sharing One
When it comes to Spanish tapas, there’s one obvious choice – Iberica. It’s one of the most impressive restaurants in Leeds, tempting people in with a menu of traditional yet creative Spanish dishes, using authentic ingredients.
You’ll have your pick from their usual menu, which means you can kick off your Valentine’s dinner with an exceptional selection of cured meats and cheeses, before sharing a delicious plate of paella or working your way through their tapas menu, which includes the likes of venison meatballs, green asparagus on toast and octopus a la Gallega. Look out for their Valentine’s specials too.
Iberica, 17a East Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2BH.
The Veggie One
Is it cheating to include a bar that serves restaurant quality food? Yeah, maybe, but hell – who cares! Bundobust is guaranteed to impress your other half, if not with the food, then surely with the craft beer (or the cocktails for that matter). It’s the combination of the two that makes them special.
The menu is vegetarian through and through, taking inspiration from India with a series of small plates that offer plenty of variety. From the vada pav (a potato burger with a spicy kick) to the masala dosa, Bundo chaat and Tarka daal – it’s a delicious way to eat your way through the most romantic day of the year. They’re also throwing in free okra fries with every Combo for Two on Valentine’s Day, as well as offering 25% off sharing bottles – no booking necessary, just show up and enjoy.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
The 5* Service One
With wraparound views of the city’s skyline and service that will make you feel like the most important couple in the room, you’re in for a treat at Crafthouse. They’re serving a special 5-course tasting menu this Valentine’s Day – expect creative dishes that are beautifully presented.
You’ll start with Kumamoto oyster, Gressingham duck and roast porcini soup before the main course of Orkney beef with crispy potato, morning glory, roast mushrooms, charred onions and truffle sauce. Finally, finish the night with their texture of chocolate, which includes a Valentine’s heart drizzled with hot chocolate sauce. The tasting menu is £50 per person and will be available from Wednesday 14th to Saturday 17th February 2018.
Crafthouse, Trinity Leeds, 70 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.
The Down to Earth One
Don’t want to make a big deal of Valentine’s Day but still want to treat your other half? Make a beeline for Pizza Fella, a relaxed, down-to-earth restaurant that does one thing very well indeed.
Take a seat opposite the love of your life and decide which of their 14 wood-fired pizzas you’re going to go for. Will it be the number three, topped with anchovies, capers and olives? Or will you turn up the heat with the number eight, a feast of tomato, fior di latte, spicy nduja and balsamic onions? Either way, couple your pizza with a bottle of Italian beer or wine, for an understated but delicious meal.
Pizza Fella, 114-116 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
The Vegan One
Dating a vegan? There’s only one place to go – Cantina. The only 100% vegan eatery will give you a plethora of delicious options, with no meat, dairy or eggs.
You can start with the likes of crispy sui mai dumplings or panko-crumbed popcorn tofu – or just skip straight to the mains. You could have anything from tofu Katsu curry to a Viking chorizo burger (meat-free, of course). Finish the night with a spiced carrot cake or banana and chocolate ice cream – it’s a must if you or your partner are vegans.
Cantina, The Old Red Bus Station, 101 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
The Unusual One
Does your missus love cats? Does your man have a weak spot for kittens? Then sack off the posh dinner and celebrate Valentine’s Day with a cuppa at The Kitty Cafe. You’ll have to be quick if you want to make this happen because their Valentine’s slots are booking up fast.
If you’re one of the lucky few, you’ll get an hour-long slot with their 30 cats. They roam around the venue, and you can too, meeting as many kitties as you can. If you can tear yourself away from the cats, head to the bar to order a round – they have over 100 teas, as well as a kitty-inspired mocktail. And if you’re hungry, they have a tempting line-up of hot dishes and cakes.
Kitty Cafe, 8-9 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BZ.
The Meaty One
Real American BBQ – it’s the only way to celebrate this Valentine’s Day, so get yourself down to Red’s True BBQ. It’s the menu you know and love, served all night long, so you could tuck into their famous donut burger, order a plate of pulled pork and slaw or feast on their pig tray.
Happy to share? Gaze at each other lovingly while you stuff your faces with the True BBQ Feast for 2, which promises mountains of St Louis ribs, baby back ribs, Black Angus brisket, smoked turkey, smoked sausage, pulled pork, a load of sides and a slug of bourbon each. Romance isn’t dead at Red’s.
Red’s True BBQ, 1 Cloth Hall Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HD & 6a Otley Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2AA.
The Mexican One
A colourful restaurant with an outdoors indoors vibe, Cielo Blanco is a laid-back alternative to your usual Valentine’s restaurants in Leeds. Order a cocktail or maybe even a shot of tequila and prepare to do the most romantic night of the year, Mexican style.
The menu is full of treats. They do taco racks filled with chicken tinga, tostadas topped with sticky beef and quesadillas loaded with barbecoa chicken. Or you could try one of their sharing boards. You can get everything from al pastor pork to roasted Veracruz salmon and baked sweet potato tlayuda – wrap it up with lettuce, fajita vegetables, salsa, sour cream and green rice.
Cielo Blanco, 415 Trinity Leeds, Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AY.
The Keralan One
Tharavadu is one of the most popular restaurants in Leeds – and with good reason. They specialise in authentic Keralan cuisine, so you won’t find the usual kormas and vindaloos on the menu – instead, you can tuck into dishes that you’ve never tried before.
The question is – what will you have? You could try the alappey meen curry, which promises boneless fish steaks in a traditional sauce made with raw mango and coconut milk. Or how about the Kidilan kozhi curry? It brings together chicken, roasted coconut and ground spices in a spicy, dippable sauce. And if you want to try a little bit of everything, try their thali. It comes in three courses, with soup to start, followed by a selection of seven curries with rice and bread – finish with a traditional Kerala dessert ‘Semiya Payasam’.
Tharavadu, 7-8 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
The Alternative One
Not into the whole Valentine’s Day malarky but still want to take your other half out for a night on the town? Well, fear thee not because we have the perfect solution for you – Belgrave Music Hall. It’ll put those traditional Leeds restaurants to shame.
Picture this, you and your other half, taking up a pew on a long bench with a bunch of people you don’t know from Larry, tucking into a big juicy burger from Patty Smith’s. Oh yeah, that’s the ticket. The Dirty Burger is an absolute classic, loaded with cheddar, chipotle mayo, mustard, dill pickles, baby gem lettuce and tomatoes. Or go all romantic with a plate of session fries to share.
Patty Smith’s, Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
The Escapism One
Want to escape to the Mediterranean, but can’t quite afford it? Head to Souvlaki instead. Inside, the walls are decorated with murals of far-flung shores and the menu will take you back to holidays past.
They’re not doing a set menu, instead, you can choose from their whole menu. Why not go for one of their signature Souvlaki plates? You can have lamb, chicken or pork, all marinated with lemon, Greek herbs and olive oil. They do halloumi too, if you want a veggie option. Alternatively, you could have a warming bowl of beef stifado, a plate of traditional moussaka or you could even share their famous meat pokilia.
Souvlaki, 18 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3DW.
The All You Can Eat One
Valentine’s Day isn’t just about the girls you know, the guys deserve to be treated too – and what better way to do it than at Fazenda? The famed Leeds restaurant will be offering their usual fare come 14th February, giving your other half a feast fit for a king for £31.20 a head.
It’s all about the meat at Fazenda, as the waiters mosey around the venue, cutting off thick slices of freshly cooked steak for folk with their cards turned to green. Expect top quality steak, with the likes of picanha, filet mignon and contra filé, alongside coracão de fringe and linguiça. Don’t forget to visit the buffet bar, where you can load your plate with salad, vegetables, breads, cured meats and cheeses.
Fazenda, Waterman’s Place, Granary Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4GL.