Leeds is the unofficial capital of Yorkshire, England with a wealth of shops and markets, galleries, museums, and listed buildings. The thriving cultural scene in Leeds is matched only by its cuisine. Here are the best places to eat.
When the Trinity Leeds shopping centre opened in 2013, it brought with it a wealth of eateries and shops. On the fifth floor you can find the award-winning Crafthouse, which stands above the rest. Whilst enjoying the delicious menu and the vast array of accompanying wines, diners can also revel in the splendour of the amazing views across the city. Dishes include Bridlington crab, and lamb from the Yorkshire Moors, but among these locally sourced delicacies is also the Staal Smokehouse smoked salmon, with potato pancakes, crème fraîche and red herring roe, which comes highly recommended. Crafthouse also houses a charcoal Josper oven, which provides a unique technique in the preparation of meat and fish, chargrilling at 480 degrees.
On the edge of the city centre, The Reliance cooks up modern British dishes in a friendly and informal atmosphere. As well as its wide selection of craft ales, the dishes include Yorkshire pork sausages, Erdinger-battered haddock and spatchcocked poussin. The in-house charcuterie uses only the best, locally sourced rare-breed pork from the Taste Tradition in North Yorkshire, which is cured in the restaurant itself. A firm favourite on the menu is the succulent whole Yorkshire pigeon, which is served on dolce latte bread pudding with a pomegranate jus.
Since opening in 1986, Hansa’s has rightly affirmed itself as one of the best Indian restaurants in Leeds. With a range of accolades and rave reviews, it is renowned for its clever Gujarati vegetarian cooking. The Gujurati dishes combine intense flavours, strong spices and fresh ingredients, giving Hansa’s its reputation, which has even resulted in a cookery school and a cookbook. The house favourite, Hansa’s Delight, consists of a whole tomato stuffed with the restaurant’s own spicy paneer mixture, covered with batter, then deep-fried until golden brown. Mixing culinary skill and affable hospitality, this classic eatery is a must-try for all Indian foodies, vegetarian or not.
Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom is housed in the Victorian Grand Arcade in Leeds’ northern quarter. The décor, and the food for that matter, celebrate everything great about British culture. Expect a tantalising assortment of loose-leaf teas, scones and tea cakes, cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches, and homemade soups. The Just Grand! Afternoon Tea, also known as the full works, includes unlimited Yorkshire tea or coffee and three courses, all beautifully served on a vintage china tiered cake stand. Though the cakes and teas are tempting, the café’s atmosphere pays homage to bygone days, with flowers, pastel colours and vintage bric-à-brac adorning every available space.