Our Top 5 Spots for Hearty Dining in Leeds
Words by Lauren Entwistle
The wind is blowing, rain is coming down sideways and you’ve got nothing in your belly – which is, quite frankly, an upsetting scenario. As it’s the season of staying in and having a proper dinner, we’ve compiled our favourite spots for hearty dining in Leeds (just make sure you pop the button on your jeans mid-way through tea.)
Whitelock’s Ale House
Whitelock’s is one of the oldest ale-houses in Leeds, having been open since 1715. So after all those years of pouring pints for punters, you’d expect they’d know a thing or two about cooking a filling dinner – and they certainly do.
Choose from classic options like fish and chips or homemade beef and ale pie or try more adventurous choices like black pudding scotch eggs or spinach, ricotta and pine nut tart. They also aim to source as many local ingredients from the city’s Kirkgate Market, making sure you’re really served a taste of Leeds. Whether you’re a nibbler or a muncher, there’s plenty of choices to fill a corner. Several, probably.
Situated in a cosy three-floor pub, the Brunswick does Sunday Roasts like no other. Cooking and serving huge and tasty cuts of beef or chicken plated up with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, butter glazed carrots, green beans, gravy and even a mini bloody Mary. They also provide tasty nut roasts for any vegetarian diners, and offer a sharing wheel of Camembert and dipping-crudites if your party just fancies a small bite. Knocked back with a cup of North Star coffee, the upcoming Monday doesn’t seem too bad at all.
The Cross Keys
Working with ethically produced and seasonal ingredients, The Cross Keys has an award-winning kitchen behind them. Creating tasty light bites, relaxed evening meals and decadent Sunday Lunches the team offers a high-class menu that will leave you feeling fancy and satisfied. From tender steaks to feta-sprinkled spinach Gnocchi, pies filled to the brim and large slices of Yorkshire Ham – if bellies need a-filling, The Cross Keys do it in style.
If you were to look up ‘Yorkshire Food’ in the dictionary, Wapentake would be listed straight below it. Specialising in local food and local recipes, the guys here cook up a storm for breakfasts, lunches and dinners with baked goods made fresh that day by “Crazy Brian” and Nathan from BigRudeFood – all sourced with ingredients from their neighbours over at Kirkgate Market.
They also aim to have a vegan alternative for every meat option too, as well as providing gluten free alternatives which, glory be, includes Yorkshire Puddings. Teamed up with its snug atmosphere and friendly staff, you’ll be happy as you are full.
Alright, so you may not think Wetherspoons is the epitome of fine dining – but you can’t deny that you get some serious bang for your buck. Leeds has a few ‘Spoons dotted around the city, with branches in the Train Station, on Park Row, in Millennium Square and one on Woodhouse Lane.
While many of you might frequent these pubs for a cheap pint of Strongbow Dark Fruit, it also makes for incredibly filling dining when you’re low on funds. Most branches have “themed” nights throughout the week with: Mexican Mondays, Steak Tuesdays, Chicken Wednesdays, Curry Club Thursdays and Fish Fridays. Perfect for if you need to fill up the tank but have little to pay the meter with.
Now armed with this newly found knowledge, we hope that you go forth into Leeds and heap that dinner-plate high. No October cold can touch you with a full belly!