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29 Things You Need To Eat In Leeds

Proof that Leeds is the food capital of the North.

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1. Hummus from Humpit.

Humpit / Via Facebook: pg

If something's worth doing, it's worth doing right – and Humpit do hummus right. Go for a classic bowl of their creamy hummus, served with your choice of toppings (I recommend the spicy salsa) and hunks of fresh pitta bread to mop it all up. Their stuffed pittas are also a great takeaway lunch option if you're passing by the Corn Exchange.

2. Steak and chips at Headrow House.

Tom Joy / Via Facebook: pg

There's a lot worth eating at Headrow House's resident restaurant, Ox Club, but you've not really lived until you've eaten their signature wood-fired steak & chips whilst sampling the wares of the Beer Hall. There's just something about eating possibly the best steak of your life from a takeaway box that feels both dirty and decadent at the same time.

3. Session fries at Patty Smith's.

Patty Smith's / Via Facebook: pg

Come for the best burgers in Leeds, stay for the Session Fries. The burgers are dirty, but these fries are downright filthy – covered in smoked pancetta, pecorino, fried rosemary, pickled chillies, Sriracha chilli mayo and rosemary sea salt. You could share... or you could not.

4. Pancakes and chicken at The Greedy Pig.

This Southern staple is a regular feature of The Greedy Pig breakfast menu, pairing fluffy pancakes with a side of buttermilk fried chicken. Everything at The Greedy Pig is good (yep, even the Trotter Beans) but if you're a newbie, start with the Pancakes & Chicken – you won't be disappointed.


5. Salted caramel brownie from Noisette Bakehouse.

Noisette Bakehouse / Via Facebook: noisettebakehouseuk

You'll find Sarah's delicious baked goods popping up around the city and whilst every mouthful of her baking tastes like it came from heaven, it's the salt caramel brownie that keeps me awake at night. You may think you've had a good salted caramel brownie before, but until you've tasted this one, you would be wrong.

6. Cod tacos at Pinche Pinche.

All of the tacos at Pinche Pinche are dangerously more-ish so it's hard to pick a favourite (can I just have all of them?) but the battered cod tacos with hibiscus coleslaw, chipotle aioli and sesame seeds just take first place for me. Now, where did I put my margarita?

7. Deep fried zucchini at Zucco.

With a menu packed full of Italian delicacies, from seafood to fresh pasta and everything in between, you'd be forgiven for being surprised that the dish everyone raves about is the deep fried zucchini. Don't question it, just order it.

8. Kolkata Chaat at The Cat's Pyjamas.

There's plenty of curry to tempt you at The Cat's Pyjamas (if you can get a table, that is...) but you should definitely start off with some of their Kolkata Chaat – a spiced chickpea salad with wheat crisps, pomegranate, sweetened yoghurt, and mint and tamarind chutney. It's a riot of flavours and colours, and if you share with a mate, you'll still have plenty of room for your naan.


9. The Moozadell from Boss Burgers.

Boss Burgers / Via Facebook: BossBurgersUK

Melty mozzarella, slow roast peppers, sweet caramelised onions, peppery rocket and "Boss Mayo" on top of a freshly grilled burger, sandwiched between a brioche bun... Sorry, where was I again?

10. Okra fries at Bundobust.

Bundobust / Via Facebook: pg

When it comes to the Bundobust menu, you can't go too far wrong. Their Vada Pav, Masala Dosa and Bhel Puri are all shining stars but it's the okra fries that you really can't miss.

11. Pad Thai at My Thai.

My Thai / Via

Authentic Thai food for under a tenner in under ten minutes. Seriously, this place is the bomb dot com. Any of their dishes will hit the spot, but I always think you can judge a place on its Pad Thai – and My Thai's one is delicious. Oh, and definitely order some of the pork dumplings on the side.

12. Donut burger at Red's True Barbecue.

Red's True Barbecue / Via

If you're feeling a bit Man vs. Food then Red's True Barbecue is the place for you. Their donut burger sandwiches two patties, melted cheese, smoked peppered bacon, crispy onions and "Dirty" sauce in between two sweet-glazed donuts. You have to experience it to believe it...


14. Risotto Vasco at Pintura Kitchen.

Justin Gardner / Via Facebook: pinturakitchen

As well as an extensive gin menu and the copper interiors of dreams, Pintura serve up some of the best tapas in town. You could happily order anything off the menu, but make sure to get a serving of the Risotto Vasco - creamy orzo risotto made with smoked basque cheese. Ask for a seat at the counter, if you can, and watch your food being made fresh in front of you, too.

15. Salt and pepper onion petals at The Botanist.

If you're grabbing some drinks at The Botanist, be sure to order yourself some of their salt and pepper onion petals. They're everything that food should be: salty, fried and incredibly addictive. Probably not one for a first date, though.

16. Chilli paneer wrap from Manjit's Kitchen.

Beloved street food trader Manjit's Kitchen has recently set up shop in Kirkgate Market so fans can get their fix at any time; if you're new to their wares, try the chilli paneer wrap – you won't be disappointed.


17. House special doner at I Am Doner.

Matthew Collinge / Via Facebook: Iamdoneruk

Stuffed full of halloumi, falafel, lamb and chicken, as well as their signature mix of salad, pickled pink cabbage and roasted veggies, this kebab is unlike anything you've ever had before. You'll even want to eat it sober. They recently cleaned up at the British Kebab Awards, so you know this is the real deal.

18. Charcuterie at Friends of Ham.

Friends of Ham / Via Facebook: friendsofham

The key is in the name; the guys at Friends of Ham really know their charcuterie so it's definitely worth popping in for an afternoon sampling their meat and cheese selection along with a few choice bevvies.

19. Sushi at Hana Matsuri.

This tiny and unassuming sushi bar in the suburbs of Meanwood is serving up some seriously impressive sushi. There are only eight covers, so squeeze in and get ready to tuck into some super fresh sashimi.

20. Sweetcorn fritters at Laynes Espresso.

Giles Smith / Via Facebook: pg

If you ask anyone in Leeds where to go for the best coffee in the city, they'll probably tell you to head to Laynes. They've recently expanded and added a tempting brunch menu for you to enjoy alongside your flat white, including these next level sweetcorn fitters served with halloumi, chimichurri and a poached egg.


21. Smoky chicken quesadilla at Cielo Blanco.

The mix and match, tapas-style approach to Mexican food at Cielo Blanco means you can have a little of everything you fancy, but make sure the smoky chicken quesadilla is in your order – it's smoky, spicy, cheesy and everything that's good in the world. Oh, and their sweet potato fries are incredible, too.

22. Yakisoba at Fuji Hiro.

Fuji Hiro is one of Leeds worst-kept foodie secrets; tucked behind the Merrion Centre, they're renowned for serving up authentic Japanese food in giant portions. Naturally, it's all great, but the yakisoba is my stand out favourite from the menu.

23. Pig's cheek at The Reliance.

You'll find a lot to tempt you on the menu at The Reliance, but it's the pig's cheek that I just can't resist every time. Served up with celeriac, black pudding and apple, in their cosy dining room, this dish will make you want to move in. They also cure all their own charcuterie, just as an FYI.

24. Lamb roll at Rola Wala.

Rola Wala / Via Facebook: rolawalaleeds

This is Indian food, but not as you know it. 43 ingredients go into making this spicy and flavoursome lamb roll, all wrapped up in a soft naan, and the extra effort definitely counts. You'll find these guys in Trinity Kitchen, knocking the socks off've any food court meal you've ever had before.


25. Thai pork belly stew at Calls Landing.

When it's cold outside, which, let's face it, is more often than not 'round these parts, there's nothing better than a hearty stew to warm you up. Stew & Oyster at Calls Landing specialise in just that, and whilst they've got all the classics, I'd urge you to try the Thai pork belly stew for something a little bit different.

26. A Silvio slice at Dough Boys.

You'll find Dough Boys inside Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, and if you time it right you can get a slice of their incredible pizza for a quid. Keep it classic with the Silvio – a margarita pimped up with some basil and smoked sea salt.

28. Avocado on toast at Stories.

This Scandi-style cafe in Oakwood serves up a mean plate of avocado on toast for those of you who don't feel complete without some of the green stuff in your day (or on your Instagram). Ask for yours topped with a poached egg or two, and grab one of their freshly pressed juices from the fridge whilst you're at it.

29. Chocolate & sea salt ice cream from Northern Bloc.

Northern Bloc / Via Facebook: northernbl0c

You might have to go searching for them, but Northern Bloc supply ice cream to some of my favourite spots in Leeds – and it's worth grabbing a scoop or two when you see them. All of their flavours are out of this world, but if you're struggling to choose then you can't go far wrong with the chocolate and sea salt as a starting point.