I have written about a lot of places on this blog, and tweeted about even more. Although my list of restaurants and bars to try in Leeds never goes down, I’ve made my way through a lot of them. Some I love immediately. Others I grow to love. Some I love for a while and then abandon when something shiny and new comes along. But there are some that are recurring favourites, revisited time and again – whether that’s for convenience (the fact that some are very close to my house is not a coincidence…) or simply because they’re just too good to ignore (Pinche Pinche satisfies both of these criteria). That’s not to say that I don’t love and wouldn’t recommend those places which haven’t made this list, but these are the ones I find myself going back to time and time again.
1. Café 164
This cafe is located very conveniently right underneath my office and I am ever glad that it is! Everyone who works there is absolutely lovely, and they do a very good sandwich if you’ve forgotten your packed lunch. Plus, you can pick up an art print in the attached gallery, which is just a fun bonus.
My forever favourite restaurant in Leeds. Get the fish tacos. And the maragaritas. And the ceviche. And the lamb quesadilla. And the sweet potato fries. And the churros. And the tequila. And basically everything on the menu because it is JUST SO GOOD.
For quick after work drinks and hungover recovery. It’s a staple of our social life, and one of my favourite places for burgers in Leeds. Except I never get the burgers – I always have the Philly Fries because those things are like crack.
The best beer garden in the city, and the perfect place to spend basically the entire summer. Pimms, bunting and every other English summer cliche, all in a very gorgeous pub that does a decent Sunday dinner and a good pub quiz. So happy to live around the corner from this beauty.
This tapas restaurant only opened a couple of months ago, but I’ve already been more times than old-standing favourites. It’s just addictive. Beautiful interiors, an extensive gin menu and delicious & surprising tapas. Not the cheapest, but definitely a good shout for girl’s night or a nice date.
6. Cielo Blanco
Can you tell that I like Mexican food? This is a great option for a mid-week dinner – get the ‘street food’ option and order a whole bunch of dishes between you so you can try as much as possible. I love the fish tacos and the sweet potato fries. The caiprinha are pretty tasty, too.
Going for a drink in town? This is always the first place I think of. It’s achingly cool, you can grab a slice of Dough Boys pizza with your drink, and the roof terrace is the perfect place to hang out. There’s usually something fun going on there at the weekend, too, so we find ourselves returning all the time.
8. Seven Arts
Another local bar, and a non-profit one at that. Seven is super relaxed and a lovely place to grab lunch if you’re hanging out in Chapel Allerton. In the summer they open up the windows so it becomes an inside-outside sort of space, which is lush.
A new one for me, but one I’ve been back to a couple of times recently – if only for their short ribs, which are totally more-ish. They serve hearty meals and beers they brew on site. This restaurant definitely deserves more recognition!
Not a cool hipster independent, but somewhere I eat at least once a week. Their sushi is good, and perfect for a lunch time treat. I could eat sushi every day, and I’m very glad that Wasabi has made it to Leeds!