Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in West Yorkshire
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best West Yorkshire restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 363 restaurants in West Yorkshire and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing West Yorkshire restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured West Yorkshire Restaurants
1. The Box Tree French restaurant in Ilkley 35-37 Church St - LS29
“Why it lost its Michelin star I do not know, it was as good as ever”, so it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this Yorkshire institution has been unfairly cursed by the tyre company. Established in 1962, this “intimate and opulent” venue is Yorkshire’s answer to Le Gavroche: “a proper classical restaurant, with all the standards of service, napery, glassware, etc that we’re always being told aren’t important for the dining public these days”. But since the October 2018 demotion by Michelin, change has been been nearly non-stop. The star loss led to the immediate departure of head chef Kieran Smith and appointment of Samira Effa in his stead. Then in April 2019 Michael Carr joined because Samira didn’t last. All the while “despite the upheavals, the Box Tree has sailed serenely on: the chintz still looks out over the hushed rooms, Didier da Costa still presides over a great wine list, and there is still soufflé for dessert”. And practically all reports still attest to its “impeccable”, somewhat classical cuisine and “gentle, low-key hospitality that treats you beautifully”. Hopefully in future, they will just forget Michelin, and continue to do what the place has been doing so well (and it’s rated on that basis).
2. Sukhothai Thai restaurant in Leeds 8 Regent St - LS7
Well-known Chapel Allerton Thai (est 2002) with a number of spin-offs, including in the city-centre, which retains a strong reputation in these parts. Feedback was surprisingly thin this year, but good all-round.
3. Aagrah Indian restaurant in Leeds St Peter’s Sq - LS9
“Sometimes the old guard can maintain its position – which certainly applies to the Aagrah”, a mighty chain whose “consistently high-quality and value-for-money” food features a “Kashmiri bias but includes most standards from the subcontinent”. Bonus – it’s “ideally located to enjoy Leeds nightlife before or after”.
4. Prashad Indian restaurant in Leeds 137 Whitehall Rd - BD11
“Superb Indian vegetarian food” – “spicy but beautifully presented” – has made this family-run Gujarati a West Yorkshire institution since its humble beginnings in 1992. Now run by the second generation under Bobby Patel (brother Mayur founded Bundobust), it’s “still going strong” – and the “starters are spectacularly good”.
5. Bettys Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in Ilkley 32 The Grove - LS29
This “bright and welcoming” branch of the legendary Yorkshire tearoom empire, which has just celebrated its centenary, has a real sense of style. Breakfast is almost as popular as afternoon tea, and “to have their full English with Swiss rosti (a nod to Swiss founder Frederick Belmont) is a very special treat”.
6. Kendells Bistro French restaurant in Leeds St Peters Square - LS9
“Intimate… delightfully eclectic” – there’s no shortage of plaudits for this “romantic” fixture, where there’s “no menu but all the choices are on a giant blackboard”. The overall effect is “just like dining in France…confit of duck, French onion soup, boeuf bourguignon etc.”, and the early-evening menu is “amazing value for money” too.
7. The Moorcock Inn British, Modern restaurant in Sowerby Bridge Moorbottom Lane - HX6
“It exploded onto the food scene last year garnering two broadsheet reviews in quick succession… serving cod collar with XO sauce, fire-roasted razor clams with wild garlic – what were they thinking? This is Calderdale for god’s sake!” And Alisdair Brooke-Taylor and Aimee Turford are still absolutely smashing it at this converted moorland pub, ably delivering “mind-blowing meals” from a “surprising menu using exciting local ingredients”. “You would expect to pay three times as much in London, and would still feel you had got a bargain!”
8. Engine Social Dining International restaurant in Sowerby Bridge 72 Wharf Street - HX6
Wil Akroyd and Mark Kemp’s minimally converted pub in this Calderdale mill town opened in late 2018 and has taken the local area by storm: “a young team working hard in an open kitchen, loving what they are doing and smashing it, and the front of house are the same”. “Outstanding Spanish tapas” attract the most mention but the menu is much wider than this, with “a huge range of vegetarian and vegan options”: “fire-roasted cauliflower with pomegranate, pine nuts and sesame/coriander dressing is something of a signature dish and other influences come from all round the world but don’t jar at all – (Sobrasada/pulled pork gyoza anyone?)”.
9. Salvo’s Italian restaurant in Leeds 115 & 107 Otley Road - LS6
The Dammone family’s Headingley fixture (est 1976) is “a Leeds institution that maintains its standards and is still evolving”, having moved beyond offering first-rate pasta and pizza to add a next-door café/salumeria serving bolder ‘alter ego’ tasting menus on Fri and Sat nights.
10. Buon Apps Italian restaurant in Otley Wharfebank Business Centre, Ilkley Rd - LS21
“A family-run Italian restaurant, with authentic food” – at a “beautiful location on a weir of the River Wharfe” – Alessandro and Elena Sofia’s converted paper mill wins consistently good ratings after 16 years in business. “Sitting by the water on a sunny summer day could not be bettered” – and it helps that “the owners are always there”.
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