This is a post I put out there this time last year and due to a few sad closures (namely Thai Aroy Dee, *sad face*), I’ve made a few changes.
With January being well documented as possibly being the most miserable and poorest month for most people after Christmas, people feel the pinch from the hole in their bank accounts. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get tasty food, because it DOES NOT have to cost a lot of money!! I love eating out, whether it be a leisurely lunch or dinner with friends, or even a quick convenient feed, just while I’m having a nosey in town. It can be cheap and cheerful, but at the same time must be REALLY tasty and preferably from somewhere that’s independent.
Leeds has a lot to offer in this department and here’s a list of some of my go-to places for a reasonably priced and tasty feed, most of which are well known to the Leeds populous I’m sure:
Fuji Hiro – one of my favourites places full stop!! Great Japanese noodle and rice dishes, of which the portions are massive!! If your especially hungry there’s a fab selection of side dishes you can also feast on, like their handmade gyozas!! Oooh, I salivate as I type!!! Great for lunch or dinner and reasonably priced too!! You can get a LARGE plate of noodles or rice for £8-£10.
Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen – for awesome Dough Boys pizza. I do have a soft spot for them!! Interesting toppings, mega thin bases, friendly service, their half price a slice (12-7pm) is an absolute bargain! I can’t leave out Patty Smith’s who make the best burgers in the city, perfect anytime of day and are pocket friendly price too. At the moment on Sundays if you buy one burger, you get another for just £1. You know it makes sense!!
Cafe Moor at Kirkgate Market serves great North African, Middle Eastern street food. On display is a cacophony of treats which draw you closer in – houmous, dolma, falafel and baklava are just some examples on show, but the real stars for me are their hot dishes. Well known is their chicken sharwarma, and believe me it is spot on!! Another favourite of mine is their Chicken Borek, they are always accompanied with salad, a selection of sides like houmous. Really cheap too. Often there’s a queue, but always worth the wait, and you get plenty of change from a tenner, unless your a little greedy! The one and only downside to this little gem is that their opening hours coincide with Kirkgate Market. A fantastic place for a really yummy lunch on the move, I like to buy my chicken borek and eat it while absorbing the atmosphere, as I wander around Kirkgate Market.
The Reliance – a popular venue for a relaxed meal in the northern end of the city centre, this means you can get away from all the noise and fuss. All good if you are in need of something more peaceful. Their kitchen serves up great food from day into the evening.
Trinity Kitchen – with their monthly rotation of independent street food stalls, brings a wonderful mix of cuisines from local traders to around the UK. Prices vary depending on the trader, but you’ll definitely be able to get food that quick and delicious. Another place where you should get change from £10.
Ephesus in Rodley, get tasty Turkish and Mediterranean food from this Rodley staple. They have the usual kebabs etc, but my favourite is the Minced Lamb Pide, a bit like a pizza, it’s massive, damn tasty and pretty bargainous. It’s not all about meat in this restaurant, as vegetarians won’t feel left out and have plenty of choice too.
Dim Sum doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, I tend to go for three dishes, that I always pick and if you’re canny about what you choose, get pretty full. Leeds has a few Chinese restaurants that serve dim sum, you can take your pick from Maxis just off Kirkstall Road, Oriental Buffet off Sheepscar Road and Ho’s on Vicar Lane. My go to dishes are ha gau, cheung fun (rice rolls) filled with different fillings, whether it be prawn, beef, char sui or just spring onions and dried shrimps, and lastly Lo mai gai (steamed glutinous rice). This ones quite filling, inside lotus leaves there’s a filling of steamed sticky rice, then flavour comes from the additional mushrooms, chinese sausage, chicken. After those three items I’m usually more than happy, all washed down with some green tea, I go home happy.
Shears Yard have their January sale 50% of food offer on the table. For those wanting a taste of fine dining, this city centre venue could serve you well.
Even though this sample are based in the city centre, there are others around town too, such as The Mill Kitchen(Farsley) Haley and Clifford Delicatessen (Roundhay), Jino’s Thai Cafe and Sebby’s Cafe Deli (Headingley), just to name a few.
So I hope this small selection of places is useful, whether it’s to try out something for the first time, or revisit. Even though you may be trying to keep things cheap after Christmas and New Year, there’s no need to scrimp on quality.