From animated neon signs to locally sourced yumminess, these Leeds eateries are guaranteed to impress.
The perfect restaurant doesn’t exist. Or does it? Incredible aesthetics, mouthwatering food and drink, banging tunes and vibes on point – we’ve got some contenders for you with this list. They’re all different, too. Whether you’re looking for laid-back or high-end, healthy or indulgent, we’ve got you covered. These are Leeds’ coolest restaurants.
Döner Summer is definitely one of the coolest restaurants in Leeds. For starters, it’s on Call Lane, which is the most hip and happenin’ area in the city centre. There’s the decor too. Think exposed brick, mix-and-match chairs and loads of lush, green plants. Effortless. Then, you have the menu. It’s 100% vegan junk food and it’s delicious. Epic kebabs stuffed to the brim, bountiful burgers piled high and copious fries loaded to the heavens. We’re talking chick’n gyros, Korean BBQ tellers, buffalo ranch burgers and more, all set to get your mouth watering.
Döner Summer, 10-12 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DN.
Elevated and refined, FINT is an achingly cool place to grab a bite to eat. Inspired by Scandinavia, it’s set in a modern, airy space with light wood accents and a muted palette. The menu continues the theme, with Nordic breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes the order of the day. You might be tucking into things that you’ve never heard of before, like salmon smorrebrod (Swedish open sandwiches) or crumpet Benedict. It might be cool as, but it’s certainly not pretentious. The staff are down-to-earth and super friendly, always happy to help.
FINT, 73 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
The combination of Indian street food and house-brewed craft beer makes Bundobust one of the coolest eateries in Leeds. The interior (and exterior) is decorated with a jigsaw of old doors, exposed brick and long tables. It feels laid back and relaxed. The food? Well, it’s sensational. Served in street food containers and designed to share, it’s fresh and full of Indian flavour – crispy okra fries, layered Bundo Chaat, warming tarka dhal and an Indian take on the classic burger. Not sure what to get? Go for one of the combos with a friend (or five).
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
Ox Club is a grill restaurant tucked away in Headrow House – a building full of cool spaces – and this one doesn’t disappoint. The interior has got a casual industrial vibe, with steel beams, painted brick and wooden furniture. The menu? It’s full of deliciously smoky flavours, thanks to a wood-fired grill imported all the way from the USA. Their small plates and mains change with the seasons and the local produce on offer. Think grilled Cornish pollack with cauliflower and horseradish sauce and char sui pork belly with kimchi and apple & sake sauce.
Ox Club, 19a The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU.
Eat Your Greens
With its wonderful organic focus, Eat Your Greens is one of the coolest places to eat in Leeds. In a quaint corner on the edge of the city centre, they take locally-sourced seasonal produce and turn it into all manner of tasty European-inspired dishes. Think chicken skewers with emmer grain pilaf and burnt leek sauce, and Cornish mussels served with onion salsa and flatbread. The vegan sprout bhajis are not to be sniffed at either, paired perfectly with tamarind ketchup. The natural wine selection and green grocers on the side keeps the coolness rising and rising.
Eat Your Greens, 42 New York Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY.
If tuktuks, lanterns and street signs aren’t cool, we don’t know what is. But that’s exactly what makes up the decor at Zaap Thai, one of the most vibrant Thai restaurants in Leeds. The food menu is full of equally colourful dishes, from saucy noodles to flavour-packed soups and punchy curries served with bowls of fluffy rice. You’ll find all your favourites here, including pad Thai and gang massaman, plus fun twists like chicken satay bao buns and a wide array of veggie and plant-based options. Check out their seasonal specials for a true, often fiery, taste of Thailand.
Zaap Thai, 22 Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
Paella and tapas are what’s on the menu at Bomba, an undeniably cool Spanish restaurant in the Holbeck Urban Village. The exposed brickwork, wooden furnishings and moody lighting make this hidden gem feel like a restaurante tucked away on a cobbled Valencian street – a world away from the British weather outside. The charming decor gives way to the incredible smells coming from the kitchen. Patatas bravas, ham croquetas, tortilla del dia and pans of paella (de carne, seafood and mixta) are yours for the taking.
Bomba, 1 Saw Mill Street, Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WH.
The Swine That Dines
The Swine That Dines is a seriously cool restaurant – it’s set in an unassuming space with a homely feel, but the food that makes its way to your plate is nothing short of incredible. They use seasonal produce, so their offering changes regularly, and they love using an unusual cut of meat. On the menu, you’ve got a petite selection of deliciously refined options – think pork belly with chicory and marsala or goats cheese souffle with confit fennel and hazelnut. The peanut butter cheesecake is a must try!
The Swine That Dines, 58 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.
Chef Jono at V&V
If being served by a Masterchef: The Professionals finalist is your idea of cool, then you have to try the tasting menu from Chef Jono at V&V. This is fine dining at its most creative – think seasonal, local produce cooked with passion and presented with elegance. The Signature Tasting Menu sees Yorkshire duck, beetroot and chocolate paired together, while the vegan version makes plants sing on your tongue with dishes like roast courgette with lychee, peanut and coriander. You can even chat with the chef himself about the inspiration behind his dishes.
Chef Jono at V & V, 68 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
House of Fu
House of Fu has to be one of the coolest restaurants in Leeds. Aesthetically, it mixes Tokyo and LA vibes with decor and art sourced by Leeds creatives (you’ll recognise the hand-painted murals as Bobbi Rae from the Bearcubs collective). The neon signs, bespoke tableware and terrazzo planters are all locally sourced too. The food? Well, it’s banging. Slurp your way through the delicious ramen, gobble up the gyoza (they have weekly specials) and scoff the healthy Super Bowls – you won’t regret a single bite. Afterwards, sing your heart out at the karaoke upstairs!
House of Fu, 15-19 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU.
Tattu is the perfect place for date night. The interior has real wow-factor – a cherry blossom tree fills the ceiling, illuminated with purple light, and intricate lines inspired by modern tattoo art adorn the walls. The menu is equally thoughtful. It’s a selection of traditional Chinese dishes, brought up to date with a modern twist. Spring rolls stuffed with wild mushroom, wagyu ribeye with truffle sesame soy and mock chicken, black bean sauce with asparagus and mange tout are ready and waiting to be snaffled. The inventive cocktails are as tasty as they are pretty too.
Tattu, 29 East Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5PS.Cover image credit: Reece Leung