February 13, 2020
Best Valentine’s Day Restaurants in Leeds
Valentine’s Day eating out can be a toughie. If you’re both up for a bit of good food, a special treat and some time to yourselves, we’ve selected our best valentine’s day restaurants in Leeds for you to sort through.
If you’re on your own this year? Eff it. You’re worth a treat! Head there on your own or take your bezzie.
We’ve listed Friday 14th 2020 opening times beneath each entry, plus their site – so get booking, quick!
Our Best Valentine’s Day Restaurants in Leeds:
Only reopening at the end of last year, Ox Club’s back flying high in the Leeds food scene. Located on the bottom floor of Headrow House, this cool space is informal and chilled, but with the atmosphere and the food to make for a really special night. Keep it simple with a porterhouse steak with a side of skin on fries and smoked salt, or really make the most of their solid fuel grill with a dish like Pork Secreto, Barbequed Jowl, Salt Baked Quince, Satay or BBQ Chinese Pigeon, Barley, Golden Beetroot.
Open Lunch 12-4pm, and Dinner 5pm-10pm.
Sat atop Trinity Leeds shopping centre, Craft House offers amazing views over the city at night time, and is a really special environment.
Go for the Valentine’s Tasting Menu (order in advance) for £75, which includes oyster, venison carpaccio, sea bream and rib of beef, followed by a chocolate plate to share – or stick to the (reduced) A La Carte menu of seasonal British classics.
Open Lunch 12-3pm, and Dinner 5-11pm.
Now we’re talking. If your other half is a mega-foodie, HOME has got to be a go-to eating option. Each month they serve what they call ‘The Season’ – an exploration of the best seasonal flavours and ingredients they can find. For £75 per person, enjoy around ten courses, with the February menu offering up tastes like blood orange, duck, lavender and deer, mushroom, pink peppercorn. They also have a vegetarian version of the menu on offer. Co-Founder Liz Cottam is somewhat renowned for her great wine pairings too, and the full wine flight comes in at £45 (or £95 for the premium flight).
For something a little less formal, but still coming courtesy of Liz Cottam and Co-Founder Mark Owens, head to Kirkgate Market’s The Owl – a perfect gastropub featuring local fish and game, with beer ontap from Northern Monk and great wines by the glass.
HOME: Open Lunch 12-1.30pm, and Dinner 6.30-8.30pm.
The Owl: Open 8.30am-10pm
If great steak and a glam atmosphere ticks all the boxes, head for Gaucho on Park Row. This basement-level Argentinian steak house has a roster of amazing cuts of steak, all perfectly cooked, and a handful of non-steak based menu items too. Make sure to check out the sharing menu for ultimate Valentine’s vibes.
The Swine that Dines
If fine dining is absolutely your goal but you like quiet, neighbourhood vibes over glitz and glam, The Swine that Dines is your absolute diamond in the rough. Booking is essential, and their tasting menu is served up for 2 to share (we’ve never been as a group of 1, 3 or 5…not sure how they’d work it…) so it’s great for Valentine’s. For £5 per menu, bring your own booze, too – meaning you can splash out on up a swanky bottle of champers or wine from the shops at half the price you’d usually have to pay in a restaurant. For £55 (between two), the February menu offers up dishes like Rhubarb, Tarragon, Labneh, Sesame, and Chicken Livers, Radish, Miso, Celeriac, and Alliums, Sourdough, Vadouvan, Dill. This is amazing fine dining, using intriguing ingredients, but in a chilled out atmosphere. Booking is essential.
Open Lunch 12-3pm, and Dinner 5.30-9pm.
If Italian flavours, simply delivered in a modern, stylish, informal and friendly way is your scene, Sarto is the Valentine’s choice for you. Their menu is predominantly focused on fresh, homemade pasta (but with some other Italian-inspired snacks too, like arancini and flavoursome salads), but with a twist – they prioritise great British ingredients. Forget parmesan and basil, think mint and Sheep Rustler (2018 British Cheese Award Winner)! Pair that with some great wine on tap, as well as fab beer options from craft to lager, and Sarto is the place to put a happy smile on your face this Valentine’s.
Open 11.30am -11.30pm (kitchen closes at 10pm)
This is Spanish food but not as we might typically know it in the UK. Iberica offers up ‘tapas’-style food as well as bigger dishes, but we’re not talking simple patatas bravas here; we’re talking the best-ever luxuriously smooth ham and cheese croquetas (or try the Hare Croquetas with caper aioli), octopus with confit pork papada, partridge salad or hake fritters.
The Grade II-listed former cloth merchants has also been renovated so so beautifully – you’ll feel as if you’re in a private members’ club.
Head above the Victoria Gate shopping centre for beautiful Japanese restaurant Issho. Smooth, sleek and stylish, Issho has a bar (and a great cocktail menu) set under an indoor cherry blossom tree as you enter. Then head through to your table and look out at the expansive dining room and open kitchen, as the chefs create beautiful sushi, tempura, noodles and more, all cooked to perfection. For Valentine’s Day, their special menu will run alongside the A La Carte over lunch, and then will be the only menu available from 5pm. Enjoy tempura oyster or quail karaage to begin, followed by a lobster and prawn dragon roll or sea bass and passion fruit ceviche. The menu moves through to Robata and then desserts. Fresh, seasonal, light and flavour-packed is the order of the day.
Open Lunch 12-2.30pm, and Dinner 5.30-8.30pm.
If a tasty pint and a friendly welcome is more your bag this Valentine’s, head up North Street to The Brunswick – a small, cool, neighbourhood pub/bar. This is burgers, but not as you know them. The Brunswick’s burgers are pretty renowned, and options include halloumi, borlotti and chicken alongside your classic beef. There are also two amazing buttermilk fried chicken burgers on offer, as well as different chip options and mozzarella sticks. If supping a great beer and getting cheese all around your chops is on your Valentine’s agenda, this is the place to be.
Bundobust is another great option if you’re less about the champagne, oysters and chandeliers and more about some good grub and a pint with the one you love. It’s also a must for any veggie or vegan lover, since they won’t be trapped choosing the one vegan option on the menu – Bundo is all veggie, and loads of the menu is vegan too. Get yourself some dishes to share (we always go Bundo Chaat, Paneer Tikka, Massala Dosa and a Tarka Dhal) or give up deciding and opt for the Combo for 2 (also comes as a Vegan Combo).