New to the board here and thought I would share a few recommendations for Leeds.
All are either in city centre (or walking distance) or else within a couple of miles of the centre and can be reached in under 15 mins in a cab.
In no particular order…
Thai Aroy Dee - the best of Leeds’ Thai offerings. Good value for money. Very casual environment. Highlights on the menu for me are morning glory with crispy belly pork (this might only be on specials board so ask) seabass sour soup (called “pae sa” here, though I know it elsewhere as “gaeng som”), dry curry prawns and lime leaf (“pad ped nor mai”). They do a fair som tam, and can rustle up a som tam pbu (with fermented crab) if you are that way inclined:)
The Brunswick - Very friendly bar/pub with great vibe - just burgers by weekday (which are very nice) but the best roast in town on Sundays. Booking strongly advised for Sunday roast.
Tharavadu - best south Indian offering. Wouldn’t stand out in London but it’s a decent option for us locals, especially the set lunch deal.
Crown Chinese Buffet- don’t be deceived by the buffet part. There is also a hotpot menu, a dim sum menu and an “authentic” Chinese menu (you probably have to ask for this if you are not Chinese in appearance) which has some of the more common Chinese dishes well executed. The aubergine dishes, the beef and mooli braised pot, the “squirrel” fish, the Chongqing spicy fried chicken, the “sea-fragrant” pork are all favourites, though most dishes are cooked very well.
Hunan - Excellent extensive menu of classic mainland and Hunanese dishes. Friendly service in casual environment. The beer duck/bandit duck dishes are recommended. My only frustration is they are too conservative with the chillies in dishes that should be packed with them.
The Reliance - long running laid back gastro-ish pub with relaxed atmosphere and nice laid back dining room serving well executed dishes in very nice casual dining room with open kitchen pass. Good for all ages of guest. Booking advised for weekends.
Greedy Pig - Talented husband and wife team. For years this was a small cafe which then sold small plates at weekend evenings, centred on making the most from under-used ingredients. The cooking skill and flavours were top notch. The cafe part was ditched a few years ago to focus on the evening small plates menu and it’s more recently morphed again to a more standard starter, main, dessert restaurant format which I haven’t yet tried.
Pizza Loco- decent Napolitan pizza in the suburb of Oakwood. Rudys in town centre and suburb of Chapel Allerton is also decent, very good value, though a bit inconsistent.
Yokohama - Japanese/Korean restaurant (mainly Korean) in Harehills, north of city centre. A bit hit and miss depending on dish choices. The kimchi and other fermented things are delicious. Fried chicken in spicy korean sauce is banging. Beef bulgogi very nice. Pajeon not bad. Noodle dishes were a bit disappointing. Doesn’t compare with Korean offerings in some other places (i.e. New Maldon!) , but not bad for the Leeds scene. Family run and incredibly friendly and good service.
Hana Matsuri- I’ve not actually eaten here yet, but putting on this list as it is very highly spoken of by friends that have been there and would be an omission to not mention it! Very small traditional sushi place, incredibly fresh fish (I’m promised) and skilled chef. Booking is essential. It’s expensive and I’m still saving up!
Hern - Very small and simple restaurant with set menu (no choices) which changes on a weekly basis. £40 for 3 courses (plus various snacks and bread) which is great value for what you get. Solid cooking making the most of whichever good quality ingredients are available. Simple but nicely done dining room. Mainly natural wines on the drinks list.
Gzing - VERY affordable Kurdish restaurant with fresh naans and grilled meats as well as soups/stews and typical slow cooked lamb (Kozi) with rice. Newroz restaurant around the corner had pretty much same menu and pricing, as does Rayan in suburb of Harehills.
Venus restaurant - Leeds best Turkish mangal. This is attached to Turkish supermarket which also has its own bakery at the back.
Piassa - fantastic Ethiopian/Eritrean fare. The mixed vegetarian meal is by far the best call - for less than a tenner you will get plenty of injera served with 8-9 different vegetable or pulse dishes, all delicious. I find Ethiopian meat dishes a bit hit and miss in general so tend to stick to the veges!
Anand Sweets- Vegetarian Punjabi Indian food with big selection of well executed curries, sides and snacks. Cafe type feel to eat in.
Darvish- long running family run Persian restaurant with loyal following and some great dishes. Their Mirsa Ghasemi with bread coked to order is a must.
Mazar - Afghan grill and curries with excellent rice dishes, very reasonably priced. The spinach side dish here is genius and a must order.
Leeds covered market- loads of places to grab a quick bite. My current favourite is the Tunisian sandwich/mezze shop called Sweet Saeeda, near the open air part of the market. With homemade fresh bread and a huge variety of accompanying dips and salads.
Please note most of these places sit more in the “good and cheap eats” category and for many people would be unsuitable for a special occasion unless you have visited before and know what to expect!