If it’s fine dining you’re after, check out one of Leeds’ most well-respected independent Indian restaurants, Tharavadu. Holding a prestigious Michelin recommendation, this Mill Hill staple dishes up traditional cuisine from across the Kerala region. To get a real flavour of the place, wrap your chops around the Kerala kozhi curry (chicken, roasted coconut and kerala spices) or kizhangu cheera curry (spinach, potato, garlic, onion and all manner of spices).
Tharavadu, 7-8, Mill Hill Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ.
Matt Healy X The Foundry
As a runner-up on MasterChef: The Professionals in 2016, Matt Healy’s credentials are impeccable, and he’s putting his skills to the test with a menu of ‘unconventionally British’ food at his new restaurant. Matt Healy x The Foundry promises classic dishes with a modern twist. Think baby chicken kievs with wild garlic and duck fat potatoes or Yorkshire venison with braised shoulder pie, fillet, malted cauliflower, pine nuts and raisins. Delicious.
Matt Healy x The Foundry, 1 Saw Mill Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5WH.
Olive & Rye
Sister act to Hepworth’s Deli, you’ll spot Olive & Rye from a distance thanks to their heaving outdoor area in Queen’s Arcade. And once you’ve tried their continental meat and cheese boards, homemade cake and fresh coffee, you’ll see why. If you find something you like, you can get it to go from the deli counter inside or treat yourself to one of their build-your-own hampers.
Olive & Rye, 18-20 Queens Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LF.
Greek grub doesn’t get much better than at Tavernaki. A hotbed of Mediterranean cooking, you’ll be welcomed into this stripped-back taverna with a smile, before enjoying the best meat skewers this side of the Parthenon. Marinated in lemon and oil, then cooked over the grill, they’re served with spiced chips, salad, and pitta for a mouthwatering feast. Of course, if you’d prefer, there’s stifado, brizoles and mousaka too.
Tavernaki, 18 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3DW.
Want to experience Vietnam without setting foot outside Leeds? Let the vivid flavours and traditional wall decorations at independent Leeds cafe BunMese transport you there. If it’s just a quick bite you’re after, their heavenly Cuón summer rolls pack a punch without feeling heavy, with a delicate mixture of rice paper, prawns, rice noodles and lettuce. For a proper lunch dish, get stuck into the classic bánh mì, filled to bursting with fresh veg and your choice of filling, including BBQ pork, chicken and duck.
BunMese, 77A Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BR.
At My Thai, you’ll feel like you’re tucking into fresh street food in the middle of Bankok. There are two locations to choose from, both of which serve up Thai fast food at lightning speed. The menu contains all the delicious classics you’d expect, from stir-fries to noodles and curries, alongside flavourful treats like Tom Yum Soup or their signature Nuer Yang, which piles veggies and jaew sauce onto a sirloin steak.
My Thai, 43 Wade Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NJ & 26 York Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2EY.