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Food lovers listen up: don't settle for surly service and chewy cuisine - we've scoured the whole of Leeds to bring you our run down of the best restaurants around.
Red's is one of those rare places where the food takes about 20 minutes to arrive but an entire hour to eat. Portion sizes are generous (to say the least).
We had the amazing Donut Burger (two burgers, bacon, cheese and grilled onions served between two glazed doughnuts) with a side of fries, mac-n-cheese and grilled cheese Texas toast (a must-try). If you cannot muster the appetite to finish your meal, don't sweat it: they offer a doggy bag service in case you want to save your left-overs for later.
Red's True Barbecue, 1 Cloth Hall Street, Leeds, LS1 2HD
Located in the busy city centre, this eatery offers hearty steaks, burgers and fresh fish dishes, which are sourced from the city’s famous Kirkgate Market. We particularly loved the service – staff are prepared to wait on hand and foot – while the selection of beers and drinks is vast so there’s something for everyone.
The New Conservatory, Albion Place, Leeds, LS1 6JL
Fazenda specialises in meat. Lots and lots of meat. Upon entry, you’re presented with a card that’s green on one side and red on the other. Flip it over to green and you’ll immediately attract skewer-wielding waiters who carve slices of meat straight onto your plate. Switch it to red and they’ll leave you be. We particularly enjoyed the red-rare steak, which was cooked to perfection, as well as the pork and chicken, which were both succulent and bursting with flavour. We advise not to order carbs otherwise you’ll get too full. Stock up on salad instead – there is a wide variety, plus it’s unlimited!
Fazenda Rodizio Bar and Grill, Waterman's Place, 3 Wharf Approach, Granary Wharf, Leeds LS1 4GL
The chef who wiped deep-fried favourites off school dinner menus nationwide (RIP Turkey Twizzlers) is also changing the face of Italian food – and for the better. While each dish stays true to its roots, they’ve been spiced up with succulent sauces and are bursting with foreign flavours. We particularly loved the potato and cauliflower fritters and the wild rabbit casarecce. No 15-minute meals, just pure fresh food.
Jamie’s Italian, 35 Park Row, Leeds, LS1 5JL
Don’t be fooled by its location: this restaurant may not be sitting amidst a row of luxury shops but it may as well be. The food is fantastic. Everything is cooked to perfection and the vast selection – ranging from pizza and pasta to salad and grills – means there’s something for everyone.
We particularly loved the atmosphere and friendliness of the staff, who were upbeat and welcome. Bonus: there is free parking at the back.
Gallery FortyOne, 41-43 Commercial Street, Leeds, LS5 3AW
We’ve visited plenty of restaurants in our time, and we find many places struggle to get portion sizes just right. Too little food will leave you hungry. Too much, however, will force you to over eat (well, it would be rude not to). Kendells gets it spot on each time. The atmosphere is also worth raving about. The mismatched furniture adds to the hustle and bustle of diners, made mostly of young and fun singletons, and families looking for a down-to-earth night out.
Kendells, 3 St Peters Square, Leeds LS9 8AH
Only a mile from the airport, this restaurant is popular with plane food refusenicks or those craving their last slice of English cuisine before jetting off on a Mediterranean holiday. We were big fans of the cod and chips (complete with mushy peas). The dishes are bursting with flavour but hardly any oil – which is a good thing. Last but not least, there are plenty of parking spaces, so you don’t have to disturb your meal to keep an eye on sneaky traffic wardens.
Billy Murgs, Harrogate Road, Yeadon, Leeds, LS19 7BN
We’ve visited many Thai restaurants in Leeds but none comes close to Sukhothai. The food is amazing and beautifully presented while the ambience is calm and relaxed.
We opted for the spicy Gang Ped curry, which we loved, and gorged on various starters, including Satay Gai, vegetable spring rolls and, our personal favourite, Dsi Oua, a succulent Thai pork sausage with red curry paste. Divine!
Sukhothai South Parade,15 South Parade, Leeds, LS1 5QS
Dubbed the Fav by locals, this restaurant is a FAV-ourite (get it?) among Leeds’ student community. Aside from the food, which is delicious, they host regular club nights and live performances from local bands – the perfect accompaniment to your meal.
Its sheer size means you won’t be waiting around for a table and there is also an outdoor area where you can chill during the summer months.
The Faversham, 1-5 Springfield Mount, Leeds, LS2 9NG
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|How booking last-minute saves you money|
|1||Even the best restaurants have empty tables. TablePouncer negotiates last-minute deals on their unfilled tables, with discounts of up to 70%.|
|2||You book the tables easily and securely on our website. You pay a small booking fee up front to secure your table and we send an SMS booking confirmation to your mobile.|
|3||The restaurant will automatically apply the TablePouncer discount to your bill when it's time to pay. No vouchers needed!|