gastropubs culinary creativity

Leeds offers a range of pubs for a delicious lunch experience, from the traditional classics of The Bingley Arms and The Crooked Billet Inn to the innovative dishes of Beck and Call and Three’s a Crowd. Whether you’re craving a hearty roast or an Indian small plate, Leeds’ pubs have something to satisfy every palate.

What are the top places for a pub lunch in Leeds?

Leeds boasts a variety of pubs for a memorable lunch:

  • Beck and Call for home-cooked meals and desserts
  • The Roundhay Fox for stone-baked pizzas and hearty roasts
  • The Midnight Bell for traditional sandwiches with a twist
  • The Bingley Arms for comforting classics and historical ambiance
  • The Crooked Billet Inn for giant filled Yorkshire puddings
  • Three’s a Crowd for innovative dishes and a modern atmosphere
  • The Three Swords for Indian small plates and craft beer
  • Whitelock’s Ale House for a traditional menu in a historic setting
  • The Adelphi for a mix of classic and contemporary fare

Leeds, a city celebrated for its diverse culinary scene, is particularly renowned for the quintessential British pub lunch. Whether you’re craving the hearty embrace of a Yorkshire pudding or the crispy satisfaction of fish and chips, Leeds’ pubs offer an array of mouthwatering options. This guide will navigate you through some of the finest establishments where the marriage of ambiance and flavour creates an unforgettable dining experience.

Gastropubs and Culinary Creativity

The modern gastropub movement has left a delicious mark on Leeds, with venues such as Beck and Call leading the charge. “The Brainchild of the geniuses behind Belgrave Music Hall and Headrow House,” Beck and Call offers a “quality, home-cooked lunch in a relaxed environment.” Patrons can indulge in chilli caramel glazed pork belly bites or a piri-piri chicken burger that’s bursting with flavour, thanks to garlic mayo, crispy lettuce, and a juicy tomato. Dessert lovers can rejoice with options like baked New York style cheesecake or sticky toffee pudding—difficult choices for those with a sweet tooth.

Venturing a bit further is The Roundhay Fox, set by the lush landscapes of Roundhay Park. Its menu grabs your attention with “stone-baked pizzas, stuffed sandwiches and whopping big burgers,” as well as more refined options like aubergine parmigiana and hunter’s chicken schnitzel. The Sunday roast here is a particular highlight, boasting “hearty roasts, served with seasonal vegetables, beef dripping potatoes, a Yorkshire pudding and endless gravy.”

The Midnight Bell, a mere stone’s throw over the Aire, effortlessly “mixes traditional with contemporary.” The ambiance, with “striking oak beams and ancient brickwork” alongside a “concrete bar and wide windows,” is as compelling as their food. Yorkshire ‘nduja scotch eggs and leek soup are popular starters, but it’s the sandwiches that steal the show—especially the locally baked bloomer bread enveloping fillings like “Swaledale sausage with cider chutney.”

Historical Charm and Hearty Fare

For those seeking a side of history with their meal, The Bingley Arms is a must-visit. Boasting a lineage stretching back over 1000 years, to a time when “Vikings were conquering parts of the country,” this pub offers a glimpse into the past. But it’s the “day to day menu boasting comforting classics like beef lasagne, fish and chips and steak and ale pie,” that keeps patrons coming back, particularly for their special Sunday menu.

Another gem is The Crooked Billet Inn, situated next to a War of the Roses battlefield. Known for “their giant filled Yorkshire puddings,” the inn provides a traditional pub atmosphere, perfect for indulging in British culinary staples. Whether you opt for sausages, nut roast, or stewed steak and kidney to fill your Yorkshire pudding, you’re in for a satisfying meal.

Edges of Innovation

Leeds also hosts pubs that push culinary boundaries, blending traditional pub fare with creative twists. Three’s a Crowd epitomizes this trend, offering up “delicious pub lunches with a twist.” A modern gastropub with “a bright and airy feel,” it serves both light options, like homemade focaccia and braised short rib croquettes, and heartier dishes such as the 48 day dry aged flat iron steak, cep and oyster mushroom velouté, and a “downright delectable” salt aged beef burger.

In a similar vein, The Three Swords combines “refined small plates of Indian cuisine with cracking craft beer.” This establishment is adorned with trinkets and antiques, reflecting its menu’s focus on Indian flavours. Guests can start with “tamarind-glazed pork ribs and parsnip crisps,” or a samosa chat, before diving into desi tacos, filled with an array of choices from jackfruit to chicken.

Traditional Meets Contemporary

Finally, there are places like Whitelock’s Ale House, a Leeds institution since 1715, where tradition meets contemporary tastes. Known for “a jam-packed menu,” including fish finger sarnies to harissa roasted aubergine, Whitelock’s really shines on Sundays with “one of the best roast dinners in the city.” And with a pint of Kirkstall Brewery’s finest in hand, it’s easy to see why this spot is cherished among locals and visitors alike.

In the contemporary yet classic The Adelphi, Victorian architecture pairs with “a great beer selection and a homely atmosphere.” The Adelphi’s menu is tempting any day of the week, featuring an 8oz Sirloin steak, “deliciously tender,” a spiced chickpea and pomegranate salad, and seafood linguine that’s “first-rate.”

Leeds’ pub scene is as diverse as it is satisfying, with each establishment offering a unique twist on the cherished British pub lunch. From innovative gastropubs to historic inns, there’s no shortage of excellent options for a meal that’s as comforting as it is delightful. Whether you find yourself in the city centre or the outskirts, a memorable pub lunch awaits.

  • Beck and Call offers home-cooked meals and desserts in a relaxed environment.
  • The Roundhay Fox serves stone-baked pizzas, hearty roasts, and refined options like aubergine parmigiana.
  • The Midnight Bell mixes traditional and contemporary dishes, with popular choices including Yorkshire ‘nduja scotch eggs and sandwiches.
  • The Bingley Arms, with a history dating back over 1000 years, offers comforting classics like beef lasagne and fish and chips.
  • Three’s a Crowd and The Three Swords combine traditional pub fare with creative twists, such as braised short rib croquettes and Indian small plates.

By george