With everything from hearty pies to warming curries, it’s time to treat yourself to one of Leeds’ best comfort foods…
When salads won’t do and sarnies don’t cut the mustard, it’s time to turn to your favourite comfort foods and boy are you spoilt for choice in Leeds. You can snaffle dirty burgers, epic toasties and proper roast dinners, but that’s just the beginning, so if you’re hungry and in need of a pick-me-up, starting working your way through this list. You won’t be disappointed.
Drunken Cheese Toastie – LS6 Cafe
There are few better comfort foods than a cheese toastie and the folk at LS6 have got theirs down to a fine art. Gloriously gooey, it’s loaded with cheese, but it also has a special twist – onions sautéed in beer. These boozy onions go insanely well with the cheddar, taking the humble cheese toastie to a whole new level. Dip it in their homemade jalapeño salsa to give it a little extra kick.
LS6 Cafe, 16 Headingley Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2AS.
Kraken – The Bearded Sailor
The Kraken is a hefty plate of fish and chips. You’ll get a battered fillet of haddock with eight fish goujons, a large portion of chips and a sauce of your choosing. The fish is succulent, the batter is perfectly crispy and their proper chip-shop chips are fabulously fluffy. This almighty feast is great for sharing, so tuck in with your mates – or if you’re feeling particularly hungry, tackle the whole beast by yourself.
The Bearded Sailor, 1 Robin Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 7BN.
Phoenix Fries – Almost Famous
A winning combination of chips, bacon and crisps, Almost Famous’ outrageously loaded Phoenix Fries bring together all of the best comfort foods, all in one dish. A mixture of skin-on and sweet potato fries are smothered in redneck BBQ sauce, JD’s maple glaze and bacon mayo, then topped with crispy bacon pieces, frazzle dust, shoestring onions and chillies. It’s heaven on a plate.
Alexander Court, Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AL.
Big Ron – Patty Smith’s
Big, juicy and oh-so-meaty, the Big Ron Burger ticks all of the right boxes. With two Yorkshire steak patties sandwiched in one bun, the Big Ron gives you double the beef and double the satisfaction. They load on cheese pickles, tomatoes and gem lettuce, then add lashings of American mustard and chipotle mayo. It’s definitely a messy treat you won’t want to miss.
Belgrave Music Hall, Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Apple and Salted Caramel Crumble – Bill’s
A traditional pud with an indulgent twist, Bill’s Apple and Salted Caramel Crumble is bound to please anyone with a sweet tooth. They make a great, homely classic even better by adding a touch of salted caramel – a delicious twist that gives it an extra sweet kick. Topped with a buttery crumble and served with both ice cream and custard, it’s an incredibly tasty treat.
Bill’s, 1 Albion Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6JL.
Roast Dinner – The Cardigan Arms
There are few things more heartwarming than a Sunday roast and at The Cardigan Arms you can get one of the best in Leeds. Ranging from slices of beef to legs of lamb, the meats on offer change every week. Whatever you choose, your plate will be heaped high with all the trimmings – crispy roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, gravy and an enormous Yorkshire pudding. With all this to tuck into, you’re sure to leave with a full belly.
The Cardigan Arms, 364 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2HQ.
Loaded Mac ’n’ Cheese – Alley Cats
Warm, cheesy and delicious, Mac ’n’ Cheese is joy in a bowl – and at Alley Cats, they’ve re-vamped this comfort food classic to make it even more irresistible. You can have your pasta loaded with brie and bacon, Jack Daniel’s chilli, buffalo chicken or even pizza sauce and pepperoni. Whichever topping takes your fancy, this bowl of cheesy goodness is seriously naughty but seriously difficult to resist.
Alley Cats, 38 Harrogate Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4LA.
Yorkshire Breakfast – Wapentake
When you need a morning pick me up, nothing beats a good old fashioned fry up at Wapentake. Meat-lovers can get the whole works – sausages, bacon, black pudding, eggs, beans and a toasted muffin. If you’re vegan, you can swap out the meat for vegan sausages and get smashed avocado instead of eggs. The ingredients are all sourced from in and around Leeds, so you know you’ll be eating proper Yorkshire fare.
Wapentake, 92 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DJ.
Pad Thai – Thai a Roy Dee
At Thai a Roy Dee, you can tuck into a moreish plate of Pad Thai. Cooked in an authentic Thai style, rice noodles are stir-fried in a tamarind sauce, then loaded with eggs, beansprouts, peanuts and your choice of meat. All these different ingredients mean there are lots of wonderful textures and flavours in every mouthful – from the crunchy peanuts to the smooth noodles.
Thai a Roy Dee, 120-122 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL.
Cookie Dough – My Cookie Dough
As far as sweets go, warm cookie dough is unrivalled. My Cookie Dough freshly bake theirs to perfection – it’s crisp on the outside but soft, gooey and extremely chocolatey on the inside. You can get yours drizzled with chocolate sauce, or if you’re feeling extra indulgent, try their rocky road cookie dough, which is a triple chocolate cookie dough topped with marshmallows, lotus biscoff and chocolate sauce.
My Cookie Dough, Trinity Leeds, 7 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5ER.
Sadya – Tharavadu
The team at Tharavadu bring the taste of South India to Leeds with their Sadya, a homely three-course meal that’s traditionally prepared for Indian family events. Whether you choose the meat or veggie option, you’ll start with a warming bowl of soup, before you’re served an exciting variety of seven chefs’ choice curries. To end the feast, you’ll be treated to semiya payasam, a sweet Indian dessert made with milk, vermicelli and dried fruit.
Tharavadu, 7-8 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
Bangers & Mash – The Reliance
When it comes to comfort food, bangers and mash rules supreme – and The Reliance does it best. On the plate, you’ll get two hearty Toulouse sausages, a generous helping of creamy mashed potatoes and bucketloads of rich onion gravy. If you fancy a few veggies, the Chantenay carrots pair really well or you could be a little more adventurous with the chilli and hazelnut greens.
The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.
Classic Steak & Ale Pie – The Hop
Sourced from the award-winning Jones Pies ’n’ Pastries in Harrogate, The Hop’s Steak & Ale Pie is a hearty Yorkshire dish. It’s filled with chunks of slow-cooked beef oozing with rich gravy and all encased in golden pastry. But while it’ll definitely fill your belly, it won’t empty your wallet – The Hop’s pie deal give you a pie with mash and a pint for just £6.
The Hop, Granary Wharf Dark, Neville Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BR.Cover image credit: © Copyright Leeds-List 2019 by Ali Turner