Bored of the same old sandwiches? Tired of baked potatoes? Ready to try something new? Then you’ll love these eateries…
Lunch doesn’t have to be the most boring meal of the day. In fact, you can try something different every day of the week, with a host of tasty but totally unusual options right on your doorstep. From Korean barbecues that make you do the cooking to Indian street food loaded with flavour and traditional Colombian eats you’ve never tried before – it’s time to try something new.
Indian naan rolls
Rola Wala do their own unique take on a sandwich. Their rolls are made with naans, packed full of traditional Indian flavours, with no less than 47 ingredients in every one. Try the Nagaland Lamb, or if you’re veggie, the delicious Vegan Red Dal. Still too close to a sandwich for you? You can get any of their six fillings in a rice or cauli-rice bowl, for a delicious alternative to the norm.
Rola Wala, Trinity Leeds, Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AY.
How about a traditional South American feed? Casa Colombiana has a small plates menu full of tantalising Latin street food, including morsels like Chorizo al Vino, Albondigas de Carne and Croquetas de Vegetales. It’s also home to a selection of traditional Colombian dishes, from the Arepas Rellenas, corn cakes filled with beef, chicken, beans or guacamole, to Empanada de Carne, a juicy Colombian beef pasty – all plates range from £3.95 to £7.50.
Casa Colombiana, 6 Grand Arcade, Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
DIY noodle soup
How about Japanese? Get yourself over to Senbon Sakura, where you can create your ideal noodle soup. First choose the base – you can have traditional miso stock or their homemade pork bone broth. Then pick your noodles – egg or thick rice. They’ll throw in a medley of veggies, like beansprouts and carrots, as well as your choice of toppings – will it be cha-shu, king prawn katsu or vegetable gyoza? And when you get tired of noodle soup, they have everything from sushi to Japanese salads and sandwiches.
Senbon Sakura, 71 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
Most of us would pay not to cook on our lunch hour, but at Bulgogi Grill, your hard earned cash will earn you the right to barbecue your dinner on the grill built into your table. Try the Bulgogi beef in their signature marinade or go for sea bass lightly seasoned with salt and pepper – whichever you choose, you can wrap it up in a lettuce leaf with rice and a selection of Korean sides for £11.95 at lunch.
Bulgogi Grill, 9 Merrion Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8BT.
Turkish street food
Ever had Turkish food on your lunch break? Now’s your chance, because Mr Mackerel has a medley of traditional dishes for you to try. Their most popular dish is the mackerel sandwich, but if you want to get a real taste of what they do, try one of their combos. You can get mackerel, chicken or lamb shish kebabs, served with a Turkish pita, a pile of rice, salad, a small tub of soup and a drink for a fiver. It’s an almighty feed and totally different to what you usually have.
Mr Mackerel, Leeds Kirkgate Market, 28-34 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7HY.
High-end Japanese food
Go on, splash out – step out of the office and into Issho, where you can tuck into some of the best contemporary Japanese food you’ll ever wrap your lips around. Come lunchtime, you can get their Express Lunch Menu – there’s a trio of Donburi dishes to choose from, like Karaage Don, Unadon or Tendon, or you can go all out with their Bento Box, which comes with edamame, karaage, maki roll. sashimi, spicy tofu and turkeytori. And you even get a free drink to wash it down with.
Issho, 3rd Floor Rooftop, Victoria Gate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
A Yorkshire pudding wrap
The Yorkshire pudding is a local delicacy, but you’ve probably never tried it like this before. You see The Yorkshire Wrap Company have turned it into the perfect lunchtime treat, by cooking it flat and wrapping up your favourite ingredients within. You can have slow roasted beef with red cabbage, fried onion and homemade gravy or pork with mustard, apple sauce and sage and onion stuffing. They also have a daily special, in case you want to try something new.
The Yorkshire Wrap Company, Market Food Court, Kirkgate, 7HY, Kirkgate, Leeds LS2 7HY.
Asian bao buns
You’ll find Little Bao Boy at the new North Brewing Co. Tap Room. They’re one of the city’s most famous street food traders, and as you’ve probably guessed, they’ve mastered the art of the bao bun. You can get two of their soft, sticky baos for just £7 from 11am to 3pm every day – will it be the KFB, filled with boneless chicken thighs marinated in Gochujang buttermilk and served with lettuce and sriracha mayo, or the Drunken Master, which comes full of beer-battered deep fried prawns with spring onion, sweet chilli and coriander?
Little Bao Boy, North Brewing Co. Tap Room, 3 Sovereign Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BA.
Homemade falafel wraps
Lunchtime is the perfect time to check out TripAdvisor’s No.1 eatery, although it’s probably not what you’d expect. It’s not a restaurant, it’s a street food cart – and you’ll find it throughout the week on Briggate or every day at Assembly Underground by Millennium Square. The Falafel Guys serve loaded wraps filled with their own homemade falafel, tahini and hummus. They’ll throw a medley of salad in there too, and you can choose to add halloumi or chicken shawarma, all for about £5, depending on how many fillings you choose.
The Falafel Guys, 47 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HF and Assembly Underground, Calverley Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3ED.
Indian street food
It’ll either feel odd to eat lunch in a bar, or like a spot of genius – but as far as we’re concerned, you should definitely lean towards the latter. Bundobust serves up some of the best Indian street food in town and their small, tapas-sized plates are perfect for a varied lunch. Tuck into little plates of deliciousness like their Bundo Chaat, Biriyani Bhaji Balls and Bhel Puri – or try their lunch deal, which gives you two dishes from their set menu for just £7.50.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.Cover image © Copyright Leeds-List 2019 by Ali Turner.