Compact and cosmopolitan, Leeds city centre boasts a huge selection of restaurants and places to eat, all within walking distance of each other.
It’s a city of gastronomic stalwarts, with many of the same names being recognised year-after-year for their fine fodder. Names such Anthony’s, Sous le Nez, Hansa’s, Brasserie 44 and the 4th Floor in Harvey Nichols would all feature on this list.
However, this Christmas it’s well worth looking a little harder for some of the city’s shiny new gems and surprising suppers. Here are a few of the new(er) kids on the Leeds culinary block.
Friends of Ham
The Only Craft Beer Bar & Charcuterie in the UK (we think). No pretentions here, just good beer.
You could call Friends of Ham a Craft Beer Deli, a Charcuterie Ale Bar, or even a Continental Bier Cafe (if you’re feeling fancy)... all we know is that every single item on the food, beer and wine menus has been chosen because the team there hopes that you’ll enjoy it just as much as they do.
They source air dried ham, charcuterie and cheese locally where possible, but aren’t afraid to ship in cheeses and meats such as authentic Iberico Ham from further afield if they really can’t be matched.
4 New Station Street, Leeds, tel: 0113 242 0275
Create is an award-winning social enterprise, which develops innovative catering training courses and creates jobs for people who have been homeless, marginalised or who are vulnerable.
The flagship restaurant in the heart of Leeds offers fantastic food in a lively, friendly atmosphere. Opened in August 2011, the restaurant was developed and is overseen by Richard Walton-Allen, its National Executive Chef. From contemporary decor and furnishings to a menu of modern British classics, it has designed every detail to provide diners with a unique and memorable experience.
It also recently won the Observer Food Monthly Best Ethical Restaurant of the year 2012.
31 King Street, Leeds tel: 0113 242 0628
Unashamedly French and unmistakably Yorkshire, it is relaxed, eccentric and informal. No waiters topping up wine glasses after every sip, or sneaking up behind you with a six foot peppermill. There are cloth napkins, but not starched, blackboard menus, an open plan kitchen, and intimate cosy candles flickering friendly. It’s also won Best Chef for Chef Patron Steve Kendell, Best Fine Dining and Best Overall Restaurant in the 2012 Oliver Awards.
3 St Peters Square, Leeds tel: 01132436553
Bird by Vineet, at the Alea Casino
The award-winning Bird Restaurant is run by twice Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia. Named Best Indian Restaurant in 2011 by the Oliver Awards, and listed in the prestigious Michelin Guide 2013, the Bird delivers exceptional food and an overall dining experience second-to-none. Dramatic design and exquisite presentation leave diners in no doubt this is a far cry from the local curry house!
The Bird offers a wide variety of main courses as well as delicious street food platters and a selection of exotic deserts.
Add an exciting twist to your visit by learning how to cook your favourite street food dish on the tak-a-tak grill with head chef Vivek Kahsiwale.
The Bird, Alea Leeds, 4 The Boulevard, Clarence Dock, Leeds, tel: 0113 350 5296
An authentic steak house, bringing you all the tradition behind the original Brazilian way of serving meat. Top gaucho chefs expertly grill 15 cuts of meat, and offer customers continuous tableside service – diners have a green and red-sided card on their table. Show the green and the chef will bring out skewers of sizzling meats to the table; show the red side to indicate you need a rest. Fill up on the gourmet salad bar, traditional Brazilian side dishes and an excellent wine list – and remember to bring a good appetite.
Waterman's Place, 3 Wharf Approach, Granary Wharf, Leeds, tel: 0113 247 1182
Leeds Corn Exchange
Leeds Corn Exchange is one of Britain's finest Victorian buildings and a Grade 1 listed structure. Recently restored with its stunning and unique roof, the Corn Exchange hosts three different and exciting venues, from the more formal brasserie style Anthony’s Piazza, to the unabashed Americana of Primo Gourmet Hotdogs and the self-service style Rib Shakk with its homemade ‘Slaw’ and skin on fries.
Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, tel: 0113 234 0363
ENDSNotes to Editor
1. Contacts for further information/images
Nina Hands, Aberfield Communications
T: 0113 357 2072
M: 07971 598904
2. Leeds and PartnersLeeds and Partners works to raise the profile of Leeds on the national and international stage, promoting the city as a key destination for inward investment, business and leisure tourism. The organisation works with key private and public sector partners to attract new investment and drive economic growth – helping to create and sustain jobs and employment opportunities in the region.
For corporate and consumer information see www.leedsandpartners.com