If you want to treat your other half to a slap-up meal this Valentine’s Day, here’s where to go…
Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, but if you haven’t got your plans sorted yet, fear not because we’ve rounded up 15 of the best restaurants to take your date in Leeds. Whether you want to go all-out with a 5-star fine-dining experience or keep things casual with craft beer and pizza, there’s something for every couple. So what are you waiting for? Get booked in and treat the love of your life to an evening they won’t forget.
The Romantic One
An intimate, candle-lit restaurant that just oozes romance, Kendells Bistro is the perfect pick for Valentine’s Day in Leeds. Book a table in this cosy Parisian-style bistro and you’ll get to enjoy an evening of the finest French food and wine.
They have a luxury 3-course set menu for the occasion, which costs £69 per person. You’ll be treated to a glass of champagne and an amuse bouche on arrival, then dive into the delectable menu French dishes. There’s everything from Parfait du Canard to Gratinee Lyonnaise to start, followed by Fillet de Boeuf, Loup de Mer and Aubergine Charlotte. The big finish? A ménage à trois of dark chocolate mousse, creme brûlée and tart tatin, then coffee and petit fours.
Kendells Bistro, 3 St Peter’s Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AH.
The Cheesy One
If you’re a couple of cheese-lovers, L’Art du Fromage is the ideal Valentine’s restaurant for you. This cheese-obsessed Leeds pop-up takes over Le Chalet’s charming French tearoom on Friday and Saturday evenings. It’s certainly a romantic spot and they have a few extra-sweet surprises in store for the occasion.
You can share oozing raclette cheese fresh from the grill or a rich fondue that melts emmental, gruyere and brie together in one bubbling pot. Each comes with a French baguette and grilled new potatoes for you to dip in the cheese. But be sure to leave plenty of room for dessert and indulge in their one-off sharing platter of puds. You’ll get a crème brûlée, a heart-shaped cookie and a surprise treat. Why not enjoy your meal with a cocktail? It’s two for £12, after all.
L’Art du Fromage, Le Chalet, 31-32 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5JD.
The Veggie One
A cool bar-cum-cafe that serves craft beer and all-veggie Indian street food, Bundobust is a double-whammy that’s bound to impress. Bag yourself a seat and you can sample Indian-inspired craft brews, like Bombay Dazzler and Chai Spiced Cider, as well as original cocktail creations.
The food here is darned tasty. It’s 100% vegetarian, with dishes like Tarka Dhal, Paneer Tikka and Gobi Manchurian on the menu. The latter is an irresistible Indo-Chinese fusion that tosses mushroom and cauliflower pakoras in a sweet ’n’ sticky umami-hot sauce. Why not get a combo for two and share an array of their delectable dishes?
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
The 5* Service One
If you want to treat your other half to an evening of luxury fine dining, book into Crafthouse on Valentine’s Day. This modern restaurant is nestled at the top of Trinity Leeds and boasts spectacular panoramic views over the city.
As you admire the views, you can tuck into a 5-course tasting menu that’s been carefully curated by head chef Murray Wilson, specially for the evening. It features beautifully presented dishes that marry intriguing flavours, like Venison Carpaccio with beetroot and Seared Bass with braised bok choi in a kaffir lime sauce. To top it all off, you’ll get an indulgent chocolate sharing plate for dessert. The tasting menu costs £75 per person and you can add wine tasting for £35.
Crafthouse, Trinity Leeds, 70 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.
The Fancy Thai One
Tempted by Thai? Chaophraya is a stylish city-centre venue that combines a modern decor with traditional Thai sculptures and art. It’s one of the best restaurants in Leeds for South-east Asian eats and they’re doing a special 3-course set-menu for £35 on Valentine’s Day.
You’ll start your meal with a sharing plate, which comes loaded with tasty Thai delights like spring rolls, battered prawns and chicken satay. You can then feast on filling bowls of noodles and fiery curries or go all-out with a sizzling sirloin steak, smothered in black pepper sauce. For dessert, sate your sweet tooth with their show-stopping Chocolate Bombe. It’s filled with chocolate mousse and comes with a hot caramel sauce to drizzle over.
Chaophraya, 20a Blayds Court, Swinegate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4AG.
The All You Can Eat One
Calling all carnivorous couples, Fazenda is the perfect date night destination. This Brazilian steak restaurant is known for its all-you-can-eat meat and you can gorge for £42.90 per person on Valentine’s Day. You’ll be treated to a glass of fizz on arrival, then it’s time to dive into the feast.
The waiters do laps of the restaurant carrying huge skewers of meat and if you see something you like, just turn your card to green and they’ll pile it on your plate. You can gorge on lamb chump, spicy chorizo and chicken thighs, but the steak is the real star of the show. There’s Alcatra (rump), Bife Ancho (ribeye) and Contra Filet (sirloin), to name but a few of their tender cuts. Just add unlimited sides from the buffet bar and you’re in for a feast.
Fazenda, Waterman’s Place, Granary Wharf, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4GL.
The Oh-so Creative One
If your other half is a foodie, Vice & Virtue is the perfect Valentine’s restaurant. Head chef Luke Downing serves up innovative culinary creations in an intimate venue. This Leeds restaurant is pulling out all the stops with an exquisite tasting menu for the most romantic night of the year.
The menu features unusual but masterfully done fine dining plates like Oyster with rose and lychee alongside Chicken Liver Cannoli. The sweets are just as delectable, with a Lemon Sorbet palette cleanser followed by Smoked Rhubarb and Apple Gateau. Each dish is made using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. In fact, the chefs often go out foraging to bring you the best Yorkshire produce. It costs £75 per person or you can really push the boat out and add their £100 signature drinks pairing.
Vice & Virtue, 68 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
The Japanese One
Issho translates to ‘together’ in Japanese, so where better to spend Valentine’s Day in Leeds than at this Michelin-recommended restaurant? You can sip a glass of sake or an Asian-inspired cocktail at the Kori Bar, then head to your table to tuck into a feast of Japanese delights.
It’s a romantic rooftop venue complete with fairy-lit cherry blossoms and trees. They’ve created a special sharing menu for the evening, designed to be enjoyed together. For £50 per person, you’ll get an array of luxury dishes like Tempura Oyster, Lobster & Prawn Dragon Rolls and Wagyu Sirloin Steak, all crafted to culinary perfection. Dessert is even more indulgent, with an inventive Red Berry & Rose Chocolate Domburi alongside Chocolate & Miso Truffles – yum!
Issho, 3rd Floor Rooftop, Victoria Gate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
The Vegan One
If you want to give meat a miss and ditch dairy this Valentine’s Day, Cantina is the plate to go. This 100% plant-based eatery specialises in serving up downright delicious and dirty junk food that your date will love, whether they’re vegan or not.
The menu is full of vegan twists on American classics, like Mac ’n’ Cheeze, BBQ Jackfruit Wings and Chill Fries. Their burgers are a must try too. You have the choice of six different loaded patties, with everything from the Fauxfish Butty to the Seitan Sizzler, a hot ’n’ spicy seitan burger that comes topped with onion rings, lettuce and slaw, smothered in hot sauce. They even have cow-friendly milkshakes, so why not grab two straws and slurp one down together?
Cantina, The Old Red Bus Station, 101 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
The Unusual One
If your other half is cat crazy and you want to do something out of the box this Valentine’s Day, the Kitty Cafe is just the ticket. It’s a laid-back and extra-furry alternative to a dinner date where you can enjoy a warm drink and a bite to eat surrounded by cats. That’s right, over 20 feline friends await you here.
Cosy up on their comfy sofas and you can meet, cuddle and play with the furry residents as they roam around. They serve hot drinks and even cat-inspired mocktails for you to enjoy as the kitties keep you entertained. If you’re feeling peckish, tuck into one of their light bites or go all-out and indulge in a traditional three-tiered afternoon tea. Cats, cake and a cuppa – what more could you want?
Kitty Cafe, 8-9 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BZ.
The Meaty One
Sizzling steaks, succulent wings and oh-so-meaty burgers, Red’s True BBQ never disappoints. This is American BBQ done right – their pit masters have even competed in international cook-outs – so if you’re a couple of meat-lovers, why not make it your next date night destination?
Take your pick of their unholy dishes from The Good Book. There are hot-dogs, BBQ brisket trays and five different types of burger for you to snaffle or you can tackle a feast together. They have huge sharing plates and the BBQ Bin Lid is the meatiest and mightiest of them all – you’ll get pork ribs, black Angus brisket, XXXL smoked wings, jalapeño sausage, smoked chicken, chopped pork and a whole host of sides for £20 per person.
Red’s True BBQ, 1 Cloth Hall Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HD & 6a Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2AA.
The Alternative One
For a cool and casual take on Valentine’s Day, make a beeline for Belgrave Music Hall. This versatile Leeds bar and canteen is split over multiple floors – you can sink into comfy sofas with a craft beer downstairs or sip a flavoured gin while cosied up under a heater on the rooftop terrace.
There’s plenty to keep you well fed courtesy of their two in-house street food joints. Head to Dough Boys and you can grab a huge slice of hand-stretched pizza. They have a wide array of toppings with classics alongside unusual combos like the Queen Brie, which brings together brie, caramelised onions and red grapes. Fancy something meatier? Patty Smith’s is a local legend, serving up Yorkshire steak mince patties loaded with cheese, tomato and mustard, all sandwiched in a golden brioche bun.
Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
The Escapism One
You can get a taste of the Mediterranean at Tavernaki Bistro, one of the best Greek restaurants in Leeds. It’s an intimate little venue that’ll make you feel a million miles from the city, decorated with fairy lights, olive trees and prints of picturesque Grecian villages.
A plethora of hearty Greek dishes await you here, with favourites like Moussaka, Chicken Souvlaki and Lamb Kleftiko all on the menu. Why not go all romantic and get a Poikilia Platter to share? The meat one comes piled high with tender cuts of lamb, chicken, pork and Cypriot sausage, marinated in Greek herbs and olive oil. Make sure you’re hungry because it comes with an array of sides, including chips, rice, tzatziki and pitta. It’s quite the feast, so get a bottle of wine to wash it all down.
Tavernaki Bistro, 18 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3DW.
The Sharing One
Iberica is the place to go for authentic Spanish tapas. Nestled in the Grade II-listed Hepper House, it’s a lavish restaurant with high ceilings, classical artwork and intricate chandeliers. Take a seat and kick off your evening with one of their sumptuous Spanish wines. There are over 50, with everything from Allende Rioja to Acrollam Blanc.
They have a classic tapas menu, so you can dip into small plates like Patatas Bravas, Padrón Peppers and Spanish Tortilla. No meal at Iberica would be complete without their traditional Valencian paella though. A bubbling pot of saffron-infused rice with fresh seafood or chicken, it’s a must-try. If you can squeeze in a dessert, an array of scrumptious sweet treats like Churros con Chocolate and the Gloria Cheesecake await.
Iberica, Hepper House, 17a East Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2BH.
The French One
When it comes to Valentine’s Day restaurants in Leeds, Sous Le Nez is a no-brainer. Hidden beneath the Quebec hotel, it’s a rustic French bistro that’s full of character, with warm and atmospheric lighting. It’s a wonderful place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city with your partner.
They serve an a la carte menu of refined French cuisine and there’s plenty of choice. You can start with the likes of Deep Fried Brie and Chicken Liver Parfait, before you move onto rich and delectable plates of Confit Duck, Pan-fried Calves Liver and Grilled Halibut Steak. Still hungry? You can tuck into a smorgasbord of European cheeses for dessert in true French-style or indulge your sweet tooth with Chocolate Fondant and Crème Brûlée. Pair your meal with a fine French wine to top it all off.
Sous Le Nez, The Basement, Quebec House, 9 Quebec Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HA.Cover image credit: Will Stanley