The city of Leeds has some amazing places to eat throughout the day, from breakfast to brunch, lunch to afternoon tea, dinner to supper. There’s a real diverse mix on offer from independent start-ups to the more well-known chains. There are also some beautifully designed restaurants and bars, and today I wanted to not only showcase where you can pick up a mean meal but highlight where you can do it in style too.
Starting with breakfast at Out of the Woods.
Located down at Granary Wharf opposite the Double Tree Hilton Hotel, this independent cafe come coffee house prides itself on its local produce on offer. Greeted by a friendly smile from owner Ross, we grabbed a seat by the window and decided to go with a fruit berry smoothie and banana and coconut smoothie to start. After all, a day of eating and drinking in Leeds should always start with some healthy goodness.
Served in Instagrammable retro milk bottle style glasses, we then ordered smashed avocado on sourdough toast with poached eggs, and waffles with bacon and maple syrup. Everything tasted super fresh and delicious. Prices were excellent, especially for a city centre location, starting at £2.75 for granola and a choice of yoghurts. Definitely a great recommendation in my eyes for breakfast, although if you’re trying to stay away from chocolate, then steer clear of the delicious looking Brown & Blond brownies on offer on the counter.
Once you’ve had a chance to walk around the new Victoria Gate shopping centre, visited John Lewis and made a wishlist in Anthropologie, I suspect lunch might be on your mind.
A brand new edition to the regenerated Greek Street area of the city, Manahatta has recently opened its second location in Leeds, turning its focus to the afternoon crowd looking for somewhere stylish to grab a bite to eat.
Located at the very end of Greek Street, Manahatta has an amazing vibe to it, with an interior design fresh out of 1920s New York City. Industrial elements run throughout, with metal finishes and neon signage, while sleek branding is visible on everything from the bar to the menus.
We settled in a huge booth and took our time deciding what to order from the vast menu. There’s a real mix of Asian inspired dishes alongside the more traditional American themes. I decided on the Highline, which is a huge buttermilk pancake, topped with bacon and fried chicken. Oh my god, this was good. The chicken had a Cajun kick to it and it went surprisingly well with the pancake. Now I’m just waiting to find another free Saturday so I can head back, perhaps less hung over this time, to eat more of Uncle Buck’s fluffy pancakes.
After lunch, I’d recommend walking up to the Art Gallery just at the top of the road to the feed the creative side of your brain. I absolutely love to walk about the Gallery on a weekend afternoon, before getting a breath of fresh air outside while you watch old men playing chess and younger kids playing on their skateboards. It’s such a great mix of ages, all gathering in one spot of the city.
Right next door to the gallery you’ll find the Raddison Blu hotel, which has recently reopened its bar and restaurant, Firelake Grill House within The Light. From the moment I walked in, I was blown away by the interior design choices. It was exactly the sort of place I love to sit and enjoy a meal and people watch.
The bar was busy and we were shown to a grey velvet-clad booth, opposite the open kitchens so we could see the chefs hard at work. The menu had some great choices, and we settled on smoked ribs with a garlic chutney and welsh rabbit to start. The ribs melted in your mouth, with just the right amount of smokiness to them. I tried so hard to photograph them, but no picture did them justice.
We then ordered fish and chips, and a fillet steak with a deep, intense gravy and the most amazing Yorkshire puddings I’ve ever tasted – sorry mum. These literally were worth travelling to Leeds for alone.
Although there were courses that were slightly on the expensive side (£35 for halibut with a crab cake was the most expensive thing on the menu), I would definitely recommend Firelake for a special occasion. Especially if you can sit in a private booth, before moving around to the fire pit in the centre of the bar.
So there you have it. Regardless of whether you’re from Leeds, or you’re planning to visit Leeds anytime soon, if you like gorgeous food and even better interior design, my 24-hour guide to eating in the city is for you.
Have you visited any of these places before? Are there any eateries you’d recommend trying in the city?