The city centre is filled with incredible eateries, but if you venture out to the suburbs, you’ll find a host of hidden treasures…
It’s only too easy to head into Leeds for a bite to eat or coffee with friends, there are always plenty of places to go, and more often than not, there’ll be somewhere new to try too. But believe it or not, the same can be said of the suburbs, because their best secrets often go undiscovered. From tiny tearooms on the waterfront to delicious food from far-flung shores, find out what you’re missing.
Zeppelin are all about fast food but with a difference – it’s kebabs, burgers and pizzas, but that certainly shouldn’t turn you off. They source all their meat from local farms, meaning it’s only the finest quality, and the choice on offer will have you salivating. The kebabs come wrapped up in traditional lavash bread, while pizza toppings go from the classic Margarita to the unusual Mafia, which comes with mince, onions, peppers, pickles and chillies. Be sure to check out their homemade dumplings and cheburek – there’s a reason why they’re so popular in eastern Europe.
Zeppelin Street Food, 96 Town Street, Armley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 3HN.
In the calmness of Far Headingley, Bare Coffee is an inviting little coffee shop that’s well worth a little extra effort getting to. It’s small and relatively simple, but still has plenty of charm – as well as a menu that will keep you coming back. They use coffee from the city’s first micro-roaster, North Star, as well as whipping up fresh cakes, pastries and sandwiches using the best locally sourced ingredients they can get their hands on. Come breakfast or lunch, you’ll always find something tasty to devour.
Bare Coffee, Weetwood Lane, Far Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5LX.
The Tiny Tea Room
When we say tiny, we really mean it. The Tiny Tea Room is just an old stone shed on the banks of the Leeds Liverpool Canal in Rodley, but when the sun’s out, you’d do a lot worse than grabbing a pew on one of the benches outside and treating yourself to a cuppa. That’s not all they offer though – they have a selection of handmade cakes that will go down a treat alongside a cup of tea or coffee, while they also serve ice creams, in case you’ve got the little ones in tow.
The Tiny Tea Room, Calverley Bridge, Rodley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS13 1NF.
Pump n Grind
Having spent the past two years mastering their coffee roasting skills, the time has come for Pump n Grind to have their very own coffee shop. They’ve set up in the heart of Hyde Park, offering a range of coffees, alongside food from Love Rouge and The Barn – not only that but 20% of their profits go to St George’s Crypt and all their coffee excess is given to The Real Junk Food Project.
Pump n Grind, 52 Brudenell Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1BD.
No. 54 Tearoom and Antiques
No. 54 is a unique little find out in the Fulneck Moravian Settlement near Pudsey. It’s like stepping back in time as you indulge in sandwiches, cakes and tea served in a quaint china cup. The tearoom is totally retro, think old school mirrors and kitsch trinkets, and everything you see is for sale. They’ve decked out the cafe with all hand-picked antique pieces and they’re constantly getting new stuff in, so you never know what you’ll come home with.
No. 54 Tearoom and Antiques, 54 Fulneck, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28 8NT.
One of Headingley’s best kept secrets, Santorini is all about showcasing the amazing flavours from the Mediterranean. Bringing together the best in Greek and Turkish cuisine, you can try the likes of kleftiko, moussaka, adana and, of course, meze platters, but you should also keep an eye out for Santorini’s fish dishes, with the likes of swordfish, seabass and salmon all on offer.
Santorini, 55 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3AB.
The Beulah is an old pub that’s been transformed into a bathroom and kitchen showroom – but there’s more to it than meets the eye. It also has an interiors store and a tearoom. After you’ve picked out your new sink, found some new accessories for the living room and grabbed a bunch of flowers, you can take a break in their welcoming cafe. You can start the day with a Full English, tuck into gourmet sandwiches at lunch or just grab a slice of cake in the afternoon.
The Beulah, Tong Road, Armley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 5EP.
There’s a time machine in Leeds and you never even knew it. Head into Dulcie Butterfly in Boston Spa, and it’s like stepping back 50 years. This unique little tearoom is bedecked in the finest vintage and kitsch fixtures and fittings and but while it certainly looks impressive, it’s their food and drink that will tempt you back. They dish up everything from luxurious afternoon teas to homemade soups, cakes and sandwiches.
Dulcie Butterfly, 148 High Street, Boston Spa, Wetherby, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS23 6BW.
Get a real taste of India by heading out to Oulton and trying out Zoya. This sleek suburban restaurant is not as well known as the region’s bigger curry houses, but Zoya has plenty going for it. In amidst a vibrant restaurant, pick from the likes of chicken pasanda, veggie karahi or Kashmiri khana, while their specials board offers up a few different delights you might not have come across before, with tasty treats like haandi, hashnaji and tarana.
Zoya, 76 Aberford Road, Oulton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS26 8HP.
Olive and Feta
You can probably guess by the name that Farsley’s Olive and Feta is all about the finest food from the Mediterranean. It’s a small, intimate eatery where the food does the talking. With a menu that’s filled with favourites, including lamb shank and tzatziki, they’ve created a successful little haunt, but don’t be afraid to experiment – their specials menu offers up some real treats, with likes of meatball casserole, stuffed peppers and calzone rico.
Olive and Feta, 8 Town Street, Farsley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 5DB.
Yeadon’s Il Sogno is all about bringing out the best Italian flavours and their menu does just that. Start off with the likes of melanzana parmigiana or pepperoni farciti before moving onto one of their oh-so-delicious pasta, risotto or pizza dishes. This is simple Italian food, done well, and served up at affordable prices in a friendly, welcoming restaurant – what’s not to love?
Il Sogno, 69a High Street, Yeadon, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS19 7SP.
Hana Matsuri is one of the best places for sushi in Leeds and you won’t mind going out to Meanwood to try it. It’s tiny, they only have enough room for 8 people, but once you’re seated, you can indulge in some seriously good sushi. It’s expertly made and you can expect all the classics, from salmon nigiri to tuna sashimi, but don’t dismiss their original creations, like the Spider Roll, which brings together soft shell crab, avocado, masago and mayonnaise.
Hana Matsuri, 580 Meanwood Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4AZ.
For over a decade, Kasa Rosa has been dishing up tasty Mediterranean influenced fare in the South Leeds suburb of Morley. Run by the Hickman family, it’s got an open bar and kitchen, so you can see them working their magic while you tuck into everything from authentic Spanish tapas dishes like chorizo con cognac and sonhos di bacalau and to Italian classics like penne con verdure grigliata and pizza caprino.
Kasa Rosa, Town End, Morley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS27 8AQ.
The Granary Cafe
Headingley’s Granary Cafe is a result of the hard work by the wonderful folk from Caring for Life, a Christian charity helping homeless and vulnerable people. They have restored a 17th century barn and transformed it into a centre for their activities. One of which is The Granary Cafe, which offers up breakfast, lunch and a load of cakes, and you can chow down safe in the knowledge that every penny goes back into the charity and their work.
The Granary Cafe, Crag House Farm, Otley Old Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 7NH.
Formerly based in Skipton, Thai Basil is now right at home in Guiseley and is furthering the esteemed reputation of Thai food in Leeds. It’s a big restaurant, decked out in all kinds of Thai trinkets, but it’s the food you really come for. Tuck into a range of curries, whether green, red or yellow, as well as a host of stir fries, including favourites like pad khing and pad prik pao. Look out for their specials, which will get you trying something you might not have had before.
Thai Basil, 12 Bradford Road, Guiseley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS20 8NH.
The Garden Room Cafe
Roundhay Park is Leeds’ most renowned green space, with its swathes of grass, forest and lakes, but it’s also home to a cracking cafe that’s got more than a hint of grandeur. Up at The Mansion, The Garden Room Cafe is open from lunchtime every day, and it’s the perfect spot to treat yourself to a cuppa and a sandwich on your walk around the park. Why not go one step further by indulging in their scrumptious afternoon tea?
The Garden Room Cafe, The Mansion, Mansion Lane, Roundhay Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2HH.
Rivers Meet is a cafe with a difference – you see, it’s home to a teeny tiny craft shop which claims to be the smallest department store in the world. Grab yourself something from the cafe for starters – everything here is made in house, whether it’s sandwiches, soups or cakes, and they go down a dream with a cuppa or two. After that, head into their shop where you can pick up a few locally made pieces.
Rivers Meet, 102 Leeds Road, Methley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS26 9EP.
Blending the best of Modern European food with classic Mediterranean cuisine, Lavanta is well worth heading to Far Headingley for. Start with a selection of mezes like hummus or taramasalata, or their more usual starters like fritto misto, or Whitby crab and king prawn cocktail. Then there’s a slew of mains to pick from, with the likes of sea bass fillets, penne chorizo, veal chop, spicy lamb burger and chicken brochette.
Lavanta, 269 Otley Road, Far Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5LN.
Morley’s Cucina is a smart venue whether you’re nipping in for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even just drinks. Kick off the day with a coffee and one of their traditional breakfast options, or sate your lunchtime hunger with a choice of pastas, sandwiches, salads and pizzas. If you’d rather head out for an evening meal, their fusion of British and Italian dishes will take you from chargrilled pork chop with bubble & squeak to baby spinach, garden pea and feta risotto.
Cucina, 106a Queen Street, Morley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS27 9EB.
Pride and Produce
Not only is the name of this Garforth cafe a slight stroke of genius, Pride and Produce also offers up the best local food and drink in the Leeds suburb. You can enjoy their fine Yorkshire wares to eat in or takeaway, whether it’s breakfast, sandwiches, platters, deli pots, stews, jacket spuds, small plates or even cakes – but we do recommend you take a seat inside, as it’s an extremely cool spot to enjoy a bite to eat and a brew.
Pride and Produce, 33a Main Street, Garforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS25 1DS.
Tandem is a unique little find in Meanwood. First things first, it’s a gallery that showcases the work of local artists through an array of ever-changing exhibitions. But it’s also a shop where you can buy gifts and homeware made by local artists, crafters and businesses. They’ve got bath essence from Fikkerts, upcycled plant pots from Burnell & Brown and much more. And when you’re done with all the shopping, you can nip into their cafe for a sandwich or a slice of cake.
Tandem, 574 Meanwood Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 4AZ.
Amalthea Cafe, Bistro & Deli
Formerly an online deli, Amalthea now have a cafe and bistro in Adel that is quickly becoming a local favourite. You can pop in for breakfast and a coffee to start the day, and they’re using their range of fresh deli produce to concoct a range of sandwiches for lunchtime. It’s later in the day, however, where they’re truly making their mark, with traditional Greek dishes with their own twist, featuring everything from stuffed peppers, chicken souvlaki and beef stifado, to Thracian kleftiko, stuffed vine leaves and hummus.
Amalthea Cafe, Bistro & Deli, 1 The Crescent, Adel, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 6AA.
If you love curry, The Cumin Lounge is worth going all the way out to South Milford for. From bhunas to baltis, they have all your favourite dishes – but if you’re feeling adventurous, you should try one of their chef’s specialities. The Murgh Baher is a great shout, it’s diced chicken breast served in a fruity sauce made with onions, garlic, tomato, fennel seeds and garam masala.
Cumin Lounge, 28 Low Street, South Milford, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS25 5AS.Feature image copyright Charlotte Gale.