10 Best Places for Lunch in Leeds 2023

One of the largest cities in the UK and the economic capital of Yorkshire, Leeds is a lively place with a vibrant history, and it certainly isn’t short of fantastic places to get lunch. If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Leeds, you certainly won’t have trouble finding something delicious to eat. This northern city has everything to offer when it comes to tasty lunches, offering a diverse range of cuisines from all across the world, a variety of price tags and a array of different vibes. Whether you’re looking for some Mexican or Asian street food, a fancy sit-down meal, a healthy bowl of goodness, a grab and go bite, or a cheap and cheerful option – you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to places for lunch in Leeds. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and take a look at our list of the best places for lunch in Leeds 2023.

Looking for more places to eat in Leeds? Go ahead and check out our list of the best vegan restaurants in Leeds.

10 Best Lunch Spots in Leeds

Little Bao Boy

Little Bao Boy is an independent Asian street food company that serves up soft and fluffy bao buns bursting with an array of delicious Asian-fusion fillings. Choose from the Braised Beef Bao; the KFB, with buttermilk-marinated chicken thigh; or East Meets West, with pulled-pork slow-cooked in Chinese five spice. It’s also good news for the veggies, who have the choice of the Tofu Bao; the Pankp Aubergine Bao; the Sputnik Cauliflower Boa; or the Prawn Bao with vegan prawns. Whichever option you go for, you can enjoy two buns for just £7 between 11am and 2pm every single day of the week, making it the ideal cheap place for lunch in Leeds.

Rola Wala

Rola Wala is an Indian street food spot, serving flavour-filled Indian dishes with an epic twist and made from scratch, using only the finest quality, fresh ingredients. Their naan rolls are a must-try – you can fill yours with Chicken Tikka, Beef Vindaloo, Meatball Rogan Josh, Red Channa Dal, Keralan Chickpea or Sweet Potato Saag. Next, add your choice of fresh veggies and sauces before it’s all wrapped up into a delicious spice-filled parcel. If you’d prefer something a little lighter, you can opt for any of the filling options in a rice bowl, cauliflower bowl or salad bowl. So, if you’re looking for something a little different, Rola Wala is the best place in Leeds for lunch.

Find out more here.

Neon Cactus

The go-to place for lunch in Leeds when it comes to vibrant, punchy Mexican food and tequila-cocktails, you are guaranteed a good time at Neon Cactus. Inspired by the traditional canteen and old town street vendors of Mexico, this trendy lunch spot is situated on the up-and-coming Call Lane in the heart of the city centre. They are true masters of authentic Mexican cuisine, including the usual delights – think tacos, burritos and nachos. All the food arrives piping hot, freshly cooked and incredibly well-flavoured. There really is no better place to get lunch in Leeds if you’re a fan of Mexican flavours.

Find out more here.

Olive & Rye

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Leeds city centre, Olive & Rye is an independent cafe located in the suave Queens Arcade, serving up inventive dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. It is no wonder this quaint little cafe has quickly become one of the most popular indie lunch spots in Leeds. However, Olive & Rye doesn’t just do lunch – they also serve up a superb brunch and a mouth-watering selection of sweet treats. For lunch though, the menu has something for everyone; whether you want a meaty meal, a veggie or vegan plate, or something sweet. Choose from a selection of top-notch sandwich fillings, including buttermilk fried chicken with smoked bacon and herb mayo; mojo pork with Swiss cheese and red onion chutney; battered cod with tartare sauce; minute steak with onion rings and blue cheese; or falafel with roasted red peppers and hummus. Opt to have any of these tasty fillings on ciabatta, focaccia or sourdough bread. If you don’t fancy a sandwich, the lunch menu has plenty of alternatives. The salads include classics like caesar, carrot or falafel. Or, you can go all out with a full board – choose from the fish board, the Mediterranean board or the Yorkshire board.

Find out more here.

Chow Down

Located just a 10-minute walk from the centre of Leeds, the Chow Down outdoor space has truly come into its own during the Covid-19 era. It provides an eclectic mix of ever-changing street-food vendors, new-on-the-scene DJs, cocktails and craft beer. The lineup of predominantly northern lunch options includes Sri Lankan delights from Archchi’s; Malaysian specialities from Nasi Lemak, Mexican flavours from Torito Taco; meaty burgers from Little Red Eats; and Middle Eastern dishes from MorMor, amongst many more. This is the best place in Leeds for lunch if you’re looking for plenty of options, good tunes and a fun time in the sun.

Laynes Espresso

A lunch haven for commuters to Leeds, Laynes Espresso is situated just a stones throw away from Leeds train station. Serving up the best coffees available to the UK market, a splendid array of teas and tasty lunch menu, this cafe is the best place for lunch in Leeds if you’re a lover of great coffee and eating breakfast food for lunch. Choose from savoury specialities like the classic, vegetarian or vegan full English breakfast, kale and spring onion bubble and squeak, grilled cheese sandwich and black pudding hash. Or, for those who have a sweet tooth, choose from their selection of sweet treats, including buckwheat pancakes, chocolate chip bread and butter pudding, cinnamon donut, almond croissant and warm salt caramel brownie.

Find out more here.

Sheaf Street Cafeteria

Sheaf Street Cafeteria represents the combined efforts of the people behind both Laynes Espresso and Duke Studios, and the result is this cool, laid-back cafe, full of character with bare brick walls and industrial-style decor. Sheaf Street is one of the best places for lunch in Leeds for casual dishes and a chilled out bar vibe. Located just south of the river, this trendy Leeds lunch spot focuses on quality food and drink any time of day. Choose from lunchtime delights, including classics like the sausage roll (including a vegan version), grilled cheese and bacon sandwich. Or, if you’re fancying something a little different for lunch, why not opt for the Reuben sandwich – a grilled sandwich filled with pastrami, emmental, sauerkraut, gherkins and Russian dressing. Or, for the non-meat eaters, tuck into the falafel and hummus wrap – homemade falafel, hummus, spinach and pickled red onions in a soft tortilla wrap.

Find out more here.


Wolfox is an ultra-modern cafe that oozes cool vibes. Located on Wellington Street, this Leeds lunch venue is a light and airy space with giant windows, bare brickwork, plush yellow armchairs and plants dotted about the place. As well as serving up top-notch lunch dishes, Wolfox are also speciality coffee roasters, so you can enjoy a cup of organic blend coffee alongside your food. On the menu, you can find so many delicious lunch options. Choose from their healthy bowls, including the Acai Bowl, Mermaid Bowl or Tropical Bowl. Alternatively, opt for one of their brunch options, such as avocado mash, wild mushrooms on toast, pulled pork with poached egg, brioche French toast, sweetcorn fritter or poke bowl. This hip cafe is certainly one of the coolest places to have lunch in Leeds.

Find out more here.

Cafe 164

Set within The Gallery at 164, you get the best of both worlds when having lunch at this part-cafe, part-gallery in Leeds. They serve up a selection of unusual sandwich options that are packed with flavour and are hearty in size. They largely combine Italian and Middle Eastern flavours to create exciting tastes that you can’t get anywhere else. Their extensive sandwich menu comprises classics like the Chicken Pesto, the traditional Pork Sausage and the Smoked Streaky Bacon. Or, opt for something a little more adventurous with the Chilli Chicken sandwich, the Pastrami & Emmental or the Chicken Chorizo. This Leeds lunch spot even caters for vegetarians with options like the Brie & Onion Chutney sandwich, the Halloumi & Pesto Mayo, the Coronation Tempeh or the Vegan Chilli Chicken. Cafe 164 is definitely one of the best lunch places in Leeds for well-filled sandwiches on freshly-baked bread.

Find out more here.

That rounds up our list of the best places for lunch in Leeds in 2023. Be sure to check out our guide to the best restaurants in Headingley, too!


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