So, the parents are visiting, and they’re undeniably concerned about your eating habits. Rather than shuffling them down to Crispy’s, or sticking with good old Pizza Express, why not jump on the chance to try somewhere new.
Blackhouse, The Grill on the Square
Perfect For: A Celebration dinner, or when you’ve got a little more cash to splash
I’ll start by saying the prices can really range here – you can get burger and chips for £12, and go home happy, or go all out with premium steaks and 3 courses. My advice? If you’re on a budget, go and enjoy one of Leeds’ many amazing burger or pie restaurants, because if you come to Blackhouse, you’re there for the meat. Their steaks are some of the best around, and with huge sharing cuts starting at £49, they can be budget friendly, or not. If money is no object, splash the cash with premium beef, seafood and wine.
Insider Tip: Every year Blackhouse run a “January Sale”, where you can enjoy (almost) the whole menu at 50% off. If your folks will be visiting post-Christmas, this is one to remember.
Cielo Blanco, Trinity
Perfect For: A post-shopping refuel, especially if you’re into margaritas
The sister to everyone’s favourite Call Lane Tequila Bar, Neon Cactus, Cielo Blanco is a fantastic pit stop anytime you’re in Trinity. For sunny days, they have a terrace overlooking the main high street, and a colourful and friendly interior where you can enjoy their signature “Mexican social eating”. Try their Street Food Experience, where for £12.50 per person you can enjoy your choice of tacos, tostadas, quesadillas and many other Mexican inspired small plates, or one of their awesome sharing boards, from £13.75. Don’t like to share? Go for a loaded burrito or salad, from £7.50. They have a great range of Vegan and Veggie options, and their aquas frescas, margaritas and beers are the perfect accompaniment to a casual lunch.
Perfect for: Incredible food, and a setting that will light up your Instagram
Known for their amazing tapas as well as the prettiest bathrooms in Leeds (seriously, search #ibericaleeds on Instagram, a lot of the photos are just of the bathrooms), Iberica is not one to be missed. Their set menu lunch is fantastic value – for £16.95 each you can choose 3 tapas from a list of 9, with a glass of wine, pint of beer or soft drink. If there’s 3 of you, order the lot, and go home full and happy for £50. I highly recommend their downstairs bodega bar, which is dog-friendly, and gorgeously rustic and casual, but if you want a more fine dining experience, their upstairs dining room is stunning. A la carte tapas range from £4.50 to £12, with an aged rib eye steak at £20. They have excellent seafood, meat and vegetable dishes, highlights being the chorizo lollipops, secreto pork, and asparagus toast. It’s not the cheapest restaurant on our list, but trust me, it’s worth every penny.
The Cow and Calf, Ilkley
Perfect For: When you miss the dog more than your parents
If you fancy getting away from the city for a day, take the folks to Ilkley, especially if they’re bringing the family dog. Go for a walk along the moors, and finish up at the Cow and Calf, a classic pub in a stunning setting. Their bar area is dog-friendly, so well behaved pooches can enjoy scraps under the table, while you enjoy a hearty stew, or a great Sunday roast.
Perfect For: A Pie and a Pint, or a Sunday Roast to rival your mum’s
What better way to prove your new-found independence, than to take your dad to the oldest pub in Leeds. Food is served every day, with an emphasis on all things Yorkshire. They do a cracking pie, and a Sunday roast with rivers of proper gravy. They’re also dog-friendly, so bring the pooch along, and sit by a real log fire with a pint of real ale and some proper Yorkshire food. They get busy, so it’s best to book, especially on Sundays. Mums will also love The Turk’s Head, their stylish “top bar” just next door, with a back bar full of gins, wines and cocktails.
Ham and Friends
Perfect For: A pre-theatre dinner, Saturday Brunch, or your cheese fix, anytime.
Sister to Friends of Ham near the train station, Ham and Friends is an elegant and welcoming addition to the Framily. They offer a huge range of incredible and unusual wines to take away or drink in, along with beers, spirits and cocktails. Their menu changes daily, using fresh, seasonal and local produce to create incredible small plates and sharing dishes. Despite the name, they have a wide variety of vegetarian options, and are happy to adapt dishes to cater for dietary requirements. Their white chocolate cheesecake, made with Brilliat-savarin soft cheese, is hands down the best thing I’ve eaten this year. Go try it.
Image Credit: Leeds-list, Hedgehog Cycling, We Are Travellers, Yorkshire Food Guide