Leeds-List - Leeds' ultimate magazine and guide

Unusual Lunches You’ll Want to Have Again & Again

· Ali Turner · Food and Drink

Make lunchtime a little more interesting with these alternative eats.

Mr Mackerel

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 street food

Dates in Leeds

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 cauliflower and kale bowl, for a delicious alternative to the norm.

Rola Wala, Trinity Leeds, Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AY.

Colombian eats

Llapingacho at Casa Colombiana, Leeds

Credit: Ollievision

How about a traditional South American feed? Casa Colombiana has a menu full of tantalising morsels, like the Llapingacho, a mixed plate of grilled steak, chorizo, cheesy potato cake and fresh salad, but if you want to stick to a strict budget, try their lunch menu. You can get chilli con carne or chicken skewers with salad and rice or chips for £5. Veggie? They’ll cook you up a cheese and potato cake with salad for the same price.

Casa Colombiana, 6 Grand Arcade, Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.

DIY noodle soup

Noodle Soup Senbon Sakura

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.

Korean Barbecue

Bulgogi Wraps Leeds

Credit: Ali Turner

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

Mr Mackerel

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

Issho NYE

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 three dishes for £15 with some of their most popular options on the menu. Start with Chicken Karaage or a Spicy Pork Bao before you move onto Cod Cheek Katsu or their famous Tomato Salad with Whipped Tofu. Finally, finish up with something a little bit different, like a Spider Roll with Soft Shell Crab, Wasabi Mayo and Cucumber.

Issho, 3rd Floor Rooftop, Victoria Gate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.

A Yorkshire pudding wrap

Yorkshire Wrap Company

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.

Sushi & Japanese street food

Edo Sushi is cracking choice for lunch. You’ll find them in Candlebar, where they serve up a vast menu of Japanese classics. They’re famous for their sushi, which will take you from classics like tuna maki and salmon nigiri to unusual treats like their Godzilla rolls, which bring together prawn katsu, grilled eel, tobiko, spring onions, mayo and kabayaki sauce. It’s not just sushi though – you can also enjoy a range of Japanese tapas dishes, like pork gyozas, pumpkin croquettes and teriyaki rice.

Edo Sushi, Candlebar, Granary Wharf, Candle House, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4GJ.

Homemade falafel wraps

The Falafel Guys

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 on Briggate every day except Friday. The Falafel Guys serve up 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 too, all for about £5, depending on how many fillings you choose.

The Falafel Guys, 47 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HF.

Indian street food

Street food Cocktails in the City

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 at lunch.

Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.