Leeds has a huge Middle Eastern community, with people from Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia and Iran all residents in the city. For gourmet dining fans, this is a huge bonus, as there are excellent Middle Eastern restaurants all over Leeds. Generally featuring healthy grilled meat, wholesome salads and light flatbreads, the food of the Middle East will appeal to anyone who enjoys kebabs or curries - with a fraction of the calories. Add in attractive decorations and attentive staff, and Middle Eastern restaurants in Leeds are hard to resist.
One of the city's most exciting gastronomic developments over the past few years has been the appearance of high-quality Lebanese restaurants in the city centre. These places offer classic mezze menus, with a range of small plates featuring dishes like grilled lamb, chickpea salads, tabbouleh, spicy nakanek sausages, potato and meat pastries and kofte (meatballs). You can mix and match to provide a choice for vegetarians and meat lovers, and keep things as healthy as you like. With a stylish ambience, Lebanese mezze restaurants are some of Leeds' finest Middle Eastern options.
Turkish food is common in Leeds, with shish and doner kebabs part of many people's weekly diet. However, authentic Turkish cooking is a world away from the fare provided by most kebab shops. At elite Middle Eastern restaurants in Leeds, you can tell the difference. Head to areas like Roundhay to try grilled lamb, chicken, goat or liver kebabs, and order some pide (Turkish pizza) or imam bayildi (aubergine cooked in yoghurt) on the side. You'll find protein-heavy meat dishes and lighter veggie meals on the menu, making Turkish eateries ideal for larger dining parties.
Some of the most popular Middle Eastern restaurants in Leeds don't actually specialise in one cuisine in particular. Instead, they offer dishes from the wider Mediterranean region, including Lebanese, Turkish, North African and even Italian foods on their menus. If you want to have plenty of healthy options to choose from, these fusion cafes are great places to book on Quandoo, mixing Middle Eastern starters and mains with familiar dishes that will appeal to less adventurous diners.