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Find The Best Restaurants in Leeds City Centre & More With This Tour

By Alice Teacake

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see my affiliate disclaimer here.

Wondering where to eat in Leeds? If you’re looking for the best local and independent eateries, bars, market stalls and restaurants in Leeds City Centre, this post is for you. Ellen, a lovely friend of mine, who is incredibly passionate and excited about what West Yorkshire has to offer within its culinary delights, has just launched the fantastic Leeds Food Tours.

Get 10% off Leeds Food Tours with code: TEACAKE10

Discover a delicious close up of a big Yorkshire pudding filled with gravy and more to be poured into it in the best eateries and restaurants in Leeds City Centre

The ultimate Yorkshire treat! The mighty Yorkshire pudding full of delicious gravy.

The best independent eateries and restaurants in Leeds City Centre

Leeds Food Tours will open up the best independent eateries to you throughout its fascinating one day tour. Focusing on small businesses and local ingredients, this is your chance to unearth the absolute best food that Leeds has to offer.

Intrigued? Read on to find out more!

Alice Teacake eating and drinking with friends on Leeds Food Tours inside Kirkgate Market

Don't mind if I do! Tucking into some delicious wine, cheese and pies inside Kirkgate Market in Leeds Centre

A big plate of Wage beef and British chorizo with servings of bread and pickles can experienced in restaurants in Leeds City Centre A big plate of Wage beef and British chorizo with servings of bread and pickles can experienced in restaurants in Leeds City Centre

A lady choosing her dish within Eat Your Greens with a clean and white menu on the wall showing her what she can choose A lady choosing her dish within Eat Your Greens with a clean and white menu on the wall showing her what she can choose

Alice Teacake with other guests on the Leeds Food Tour experiencing the best eateries and Leeds restaurants

Leeds Food Tours is so much fun! It's the perfect activity to discover places to eat in Leeds with friendly people

5 reasons to be in Leeds in the first place

I am so proud to have called Leeds my home for the last year.

If you’re a student at the University, visiting for the day or just want to rediscover what is right on your doorstep, here is a reminder of why I love Leeds…

  • Leeds is a vibrant, multiethnic and welcoming city with there being so many things to do in Leeds!
  • The music scene is rocking and the gay scene is truly radiant
  • The architecture is next level. Make sure to nip down the arcades and into the Corn Exchange to truly make your day extra special
  • Leeds has the absolute best library I have ever entered. Founded in 1768, it’s the oldest surviving subscription library of its type in the UK
  • And to back me up on how awesome Leeds is; according to Visit Britain, Leeds gets more Summer visitors than Brighton. Not bad eh?!

Related Reading: The Ultimate Weekend in Brighton Guide

The stunning interior of Leeds Corn Exchange with its curved dome structure and twisting staircases

There are so many reasons to visit Leeds - the food and architecture (this is Leeds Corn Exchange) certainly being two awesome reasons!

Fun food and drink facts unique to Leeds

Here’s some cheeky foodie facts about Leeds to get you excited!

  • Harry Ramsden opened his first fish and chip shop here in Leeds, over 90 years ago
  • Houdini reportedly nearly died in a barrel of Tetley’s beer here (oh dear!)
  • Fizzy Water was discovered in Leeds by the English chemist Joseph Priestley. He slung a container of filtered water above a beer vat at a brewery in Leeds, and the rest is history. You could say that Coca Cola simply wouldn’t be existence today without it
  • Leeds has one of Europe’s largest covered markets. It’s stunning inside and Leeds Food Tours will show you some absolute treats inside
  • Watch out Manchester restaurants. Leeds restaurants and foodie havens are popping up all over the city now. They’re fresh, funky, creative and always offering something different. Don’t miss out – leave it to the experts to show you where the best places to eat in Leeds are
Reflection of Alice Teacake in the window of Whitelocks pub as she takes a photo outside of it

There are plenty of fascinating facts waiting to be discovered about Leeds' food history on Leeds Food Tours

There are of course many more fun facts about Leeds, but I’ll leave it to Leeds Food Tours to fill you in on that. Instead, I’m going to give you a sneak peak into what you can experience on the Local Leeds Tour.

Grab a bite to eat now if you’re hungry, because by the end of this post, you’re gonna be ravenous!

Get 10% off Leeds Food Tours with code: TEACAKE10

A sneak peek into Leeds Food Tours’ Local Leeds Tour

Ellen, the awesome lady behind Leeds Food Tours and a close travel blogging buddy of mine, invited me on a complimentary tour of Local Leeds to see what all the fuss is about. Here’s what went down, and what you can expect on your tour when you join.

Please note that Ellen is always striving to give you the best Leeds foodie experience. Locations and dish choices may change with the times!

A plate of wensleydale and apricot cheese with walnuts on Leeds Food Tour

There are plenty of rich and local cheeses on offer in Kirkgate Market

What’s included in the Local Leeds Tour?

  • 6 venues with food in all of them
  • Alcoholic (or soft for non-drinkers) at 3 of the venues
  • Cool foodie facts and plenty of riveting historical facts throughout
  • New people to meet! I love meeting new people when I’m on my travels

Read on to get some behind-the-scenes info on what we got up to!

Whitelocks

Welcome to the watering hole that pub dreams are made of. Off a very bustling and modern high street, Leeds has a secret number of small passageways leading to some exciting food and drink delights. By far my favourite out of all the pubs in Leeds City Centre, Whitelocks is the place to be for a scrummy lunch in Leeds.

The Golden Whitelocks metal sign stretching across the tiny cobbled street leading to this special pub

The hidden walkway leading to Whitelocks pub in Leeds City Centre

Whitelocks is intimately small, antique, comforting and full of alcoholic cheer. It’s been running since 1715 and its current interior has been proudly standing since the late 1800s in Leeds Centre. If you love Yorkshire brews as much as me (we’re not talking tea here) there’s a fantastic selection of Yorkshire ales and craft beers.

A golden and crunchy fish finger sandwich from Whitelocks Pub in Leeds

You've gotta try this fish finger sandwich at Whitelocks pub!

To kickstart our Leeds Food Tour, we dove right into a lovely half pint of ale, alongside a hearty and comforting fish finger sandwich. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know the people you’re discovering Leeds with, as well as learn from your guide Ellen where the concept of a sandwich originally came from!

Get 10% off Leeds Food Tours with code: TEACAKE10

Kirkgate Market

You simply cannot visit Leeds without paying a visit to the magnificent and glorious Kirkgate Market. If you’re not gawping at the food, you’ll be gawping at the architecture. It’s the largest covered market in Europe, holding around 800 stalls. Over 100,000 people visit here each week, so make sure to jump on the bandwagon and get down here too!

Looking up inside Leeds Kirkgate Market at the stunning architecture

The magnificient Leeds Kirkgate Market - the largest covered market in Europe!

Where to start though? This is where Leeds Food Tours comes in! Ellen has been living in Leeds for nearly 10 years, and has tried and tested what Kirkgate Market has to offer, to bring you the very best of the best.

I don’t want to give away too much about what Ellen is going to choose for you, but it really is going to be a treat! You’ll be able to taste so many wonderfully different, rich, fresh and tastebud-terrific foods – and as a new relatively new local to the city – I was surprised about how much I had been missing out on!

Malcolm Michaels Butchers in Leeds Kirkgate Market

Make sure to pop along to the butcher Malcolm Michaels for delicious meats and cheeses

I walked out of that market knowing so much more about what is on offer in this charming and historic market – and now definitely have a favourite butcher, fishmonger and fruit and vegetable stand to go to.

Note that many of the restaurants in Leeds source their food directly from this market. The daily produce is undeniably fresh, local and lovingly traded. Kirkgate Market is one of the beating hearts of the Leeds community. Bringing people together through food and drink is a magical thing. And it’s happening right here.

Get 10% off Leeds Food Tours with code: TEACAKE10

Locals sitting on colourful seats within Leeds Kirkgate Market eating the cooked food available to buy and eat on the stalls

Grab the best food that Leeds Food Tours recommends and eat it in Leeds Kirkgate Market Kitchen

Eat Your Greens

Veggie lovers rejoice! Looking for organic, local, fresh and vegan-friendly places to eat in Leeds city centre? Eat Your Greens is one of them.

Beetroot falafel topped with green herbs on a white plate at Eat Your Greens Leeds

Stretch your tastes and try something different at Eat Your Greens!

Eat Your Greens is open, airy and chilled and has a very interesting and creative menu for you to get stuck into. They were currently going through a menu change whilst I was there with Leeds Food Tours, so I’m excited to see what they come up with next!

Get 10% off Leeds Food Tours with code: TEACAKE10

Looking through the serving hatch at the chef of Eat Your Greens Leeds

Eat Your Greens restaurant in Leeds is fresh, organic and creative!

Nonetheless, be prepared to have something a little different on your fork that you may not have ordered if you came in here yourself. Ellen wants to show you something a little different, and you’ll find it here for sure.

Wapentake

Down a street with a barber shop that is always blaring out music from a boombox on its front step (is that why it’s always empty?), is the very friendly and funky Wapentake. It’s a pub and grub place. Snug! I’ve got something about the colour green, so Wapentake’s exterior is already winning in my eyes, but yes…what’s inside is bursting with the Yorkshire feels. These guys love Yorkshire!

A lady walking into Wapentake pub and restaurant in Leeds Centre

Outside Wapentake - a little piece of Yorkshire in Leeds City Centre

Yes, Leeds Food Tours is ready and waiting to take you inside! No, you can’t hear the barber boombox once you’re in.

Discover a delicious close up of a big Yorkshire pudding filled with gravy and more to be poured into it in the best eateries and restaurants in Leeds City Centre

The ultimate Yorkshire treat! The mighty Yorkshire pudding full of delicious gravy.

At Wapentake, you’ll be treated to what you’ve most likely been waiting for during the whole tour: Yorkshire puddings! They are divine here. Put on lashings of gravy and let Leeds Food Tours tell you some riveting facts about these puds as you sink your teeth into them. Is this one of my most favourite food places in Leeds? It definitely is.

Get 10% off Leeds Food Tours with code: TEACAKE10

Friends of Ham

Last but not least, you’ll be finishing your tour within the buzzing atmosphere of Friends of Ham. It’s always lively on the top floor with plenty of craft beer and delectable wine. Yet downstairs, the atmosphere is full of low-lighting, cosy tables and sultry feels.

Get ready to be romanced with the biggest plates of mouth-watering meats and cheeses with fantastically chosen wine to wash it all down with. You’ll be treated to Wage beef and British chorizo specifically that will melt in your mouth!

A big plate of Wage beef and British chorizo at Friends of Ham

Wage beef and British chorizo at Friends of Ham

From here, you can choose to bid adieu to everyone, or stay and get very merry on your own terms, which we all certainly did. Friends of Ham is a great choice for an evening spot. You’re welcome to make the very most of it!

A big thank you to Ellen for gifting me with a complimentary Local Leeds Food Tour. Opinions as always remain my own = open and honest.

Hostels and Hotels in Leeds City Centre

Staying in Leeds for more than one day? Great choice!

Here are the top 3 options for budget, midrange and luxury travellers.

How to get to Leeds Yorkshire

Leeds is superbly connected to many locations throughout the UK. You can easily get here by train, bus, car or plane.

You can get to Leeds from London in just over 2 hours via train. There are also direct trains from Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Hull and York.

Want to take the bus? You can get here from many cities, including the main ones of London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff.

Find the best train and bus times to Leeds with Omio

Leeds also has a local airport: Leeds Bradford Airport!

Find the best flight prices with Skyscanner

Hiring a car?

Discover the best car hire deals with AutoEurope

What are your best restaurants in Leeds City Centre?

There’s plenty of brilliant places to wine and dine in Leeds.

Comment Below

Let me know in the comments where you love to eat and drink! Want more English content? Check out my other travel tips and guides on my destinations page.

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About Alice Teacake

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I'm a feminist British kickass solo female traveller who believes in women facing their fears, pushing their boundaries and reaching their full potential through solo adventure travel! I have been featured in Nat Geo Traveller UK, Lonely Planet, the Daily Mail and Buzzfeed and spoken about solo female travel safety on BBC One, whilst working with a bunch of awesome brands. Follow me for travel advice and inspiration, so you can go forth and challenge yourself to reach your own personal goals!

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