As one of the gamma world cities, it’s little wonder Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire area. This of course, has allowed Leeds to transform into a cultural melting pot, attracting people from all corners of the globe bringing with it some truly exceptional culinary influences. While you can indulge in any cuisine your heart desires in this vibrant city, one particular cuisine hailing from our friends across the channel has got Leeds locals weak at the knees – French – whose restaurant scene in Leeds is taking the city by storm. Whether it can be traced back historically, or whether it’s due to current political ties – Leeds is the sister city of Lille, France – or if it’s due to the outstanding university education attracting students from all over, the city is awash with unique French restaurants throughout Leeds, ranging from underground Parisian eateries to romantic venues for an intimate evening for two. So hold on to your croissant, you’re about to discover a whole new world of French restaurants in Leeds.
With French restaurants in Leeds becoming more and more popular, it’s best to have an idea of the different styles of French restaurants that Leeds has on offer. We’ll begin with the bistro, which usually serves moderately priced light meals, often with tables adorning the footpath, ideal for people watching or whiling the day away. The brasserie is a style of French restaurant found in Leeds as well, that is likely the closest thing you’ll find to a pub restaurant, serving full meals, coffee and drinks from morning until late in the evening. In comparison, a restaurant often provides a fixed price menu in addition to a la carte, and of course serves drinks, but are a little more formal and refined. With Leeds brimming with French restaurants, you’re sure to find the perfect one for any occasion.
Now that we’ve got the types of French restaurants in Leeds down, what exactly should you try once you’ve chosen your ideal spot? French cuisine is known for having some of the finest dishes in the world, and trust us, it’s not all frogs legs and snails – which, are delicious mind you. If escargot (which tastes remarkably like garlic butter) and cuisses de grenouille (frogs legs) aren’t really your thing, never fear, the French restaurants in Leeds have got you covered. Treat yourself to coq au vin, chicken braised in red wine, lardons and mushrooms, or raclette consisting of melted cheese served with potatoes, ham and often dried beef. Of course, boeuf bourguignon is a must, and this beef stew is one of the most famous exports from the France, and the French restaurants in Leeds certainly know how to deliver on this dish. Another favourite, that we do recommend you try when in a Leeds French restaurant is moules à la crème Normande, of mussels with white wine, Normandy cider, garlic and cream.
All this talk of delectable French cuisine restaurants in Leeds offer has certainly picked our appetite up, so we better give you a couple of recommendations for your reservation. If you’re after casual dining with a hint of romance, then Kendells Bistro is for you. This spot in St Peter’s Square, changes its menu regularly so it’s as seasonal as you can get, and if it’s on, their duck confit is a must-try! Another French restaurant in the Leeds city centre is Le Chalet, which is a slice of Paris in Britain if ever there was one. Attracting Francophiles from all over, this casual eatery is an essential visit. One thing is for sure, if you’re after a French restaurant in Leeds, you’re in for a real culinary treat.