Spain is the home of flamenco, sangria and some of the best football teams in the world. Most importantly, however, it’s the home of tapas, a way of eating that involves sharing a selection of delicious small plates, such as paella and calamari. Tapas dishes may be small in size, but they certainly don’t skimp on flavour.
The good news is, Yorkshire tapas lovers don’t need to book a flight to Spain to try these tasty dishes. Leeds boasts a selection of authentic tapas restaurants perfect for a date night or family dinner. If you’re keen on crispy patatas bravas dripping in sauce and croquetas oozing with creamy filling, look no further than these 7 Leeds tapas restaurants for your next fiesta.
Photo Credit Ibérica Leeds
High ceilings, luxurious decor and stunning chandeliers set this Grade-two listed tapas restaurant apart from the rest. Located close to the train station on East Parade, Ibérica blends the building’s old-fashioned 19th-century architecture with a contemporary menu to create a dinner experience that feels truly opulent.
Ibérica serves up delicious dishes such as twice-cooked lamb, grilled octopus and free-range pork, alongside traditional tapas staples such as patatas bravas and tortilla. Those looking for a light bite can indulge in their beetroot and San Simón cheese salad or stunning charred aubergine. Wine and sherry lovers will find themselves right at home in this impressive eatery, with extensive drinks options available to sip alongside your food.
Photo Credit Ambiente Leeds
Located near the Leeds dock area, Ambiente blends a lively atmosphere with top quality food and drink to create a dining experience like no other. With other restaurants in Hull and York, Ambiente serves up truly authentic tapas with a modern twist.
Visitors to Ambiente can expect to tuck into unique dishes such as mussels, paella, smoked salmon and haddock croquetas, and Basque sausage - each prepared to perfection by Ambiente’s experienced chefs. Sherry lovers will be right at home since the menu boasts an extensive range of top-quality sherries. For newbies to this delicious tipple, there’s the option of a sherry flight, helping you discover your new favourite or simply explore different varieties.
With its beautiful exposed brickwork interior and huge range of authentic dishes, Ambiente is a must-visit destination for tapas lovers in Leeds.
If you want to eat tapas like the Spanish do - in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere - grab a table at the drool-inducing La Taberna. This hidden gem located in the heart of Leeds serves up authentic, warming tapas dishes in a cosy setting. La Taberna is a family-run business, which will come as no surprise to any lucky visitors setting foot in this welcoming establishment.
La Taberna serves up a mix of veggie, meat and fish dishes, including manchego cheese, charcuterie platters, garlic prawns, and chorizo sizzled in red wine. For fans of authentic Spanish food done right, you can’t go wrong with this traditional tapas eatery.
El Gato Negro
Photo Credit EL Gato Negro - Leeds
El Gato Negro is the brainchild of talented chef Simon Shaw, and his innovative approach to food sets it apart from any other tapas restaurant you’ve been to. Located in the centre of Leeds in a stone-clad former bank, El Gato Negro serves up a unique offering of tapas dishes, each with a contemporary twist.
Meat lovers will be won over by the harissa, honey and lime chicken wings or the braised ox cheek, while vegetarians will find a new favourite in the caramelised cauliflower florets in a harissa-spiced sauce.
El Gato Negro offers affordability in the form of its generous three dishes for £15 offer, taking place every Wednesday-Saturday until 4pm. Sangria lovers can rejoice with El Gato Negro’s £10 carafe deal, also available Wednesday-Saturday 12pm-4pm, and Sunday all day. The historic building also offers a trendy bar on a separate floor, meaning you enjoy a night of drinking and dining all in the same building.
Pinche Pinche offers an alternative take on tapas, serving up Mexican food in small-plate style. This delightful Mexican eatery offers delicious food in a laid-back setting, with ingredients sourced from a mixture of local businesses and specialist suppliers. That way, you can rest easy knowing your food has come from quality sources, perfect for those who like to eat out without compromising their ethics.
The menu boasts a range of Mexican classics and contemporary game-changes, including dishes such as black bean hummus, al pastor cauliflower quesadillas, and crispy fish burritos. The portions here are generous and, what’s more, offer great value for money, making Pinche Pinche the ideal place to celebrate with loved ones without breaking the bank.
Located in the trendy suburb Chapel Allerton, El Bareto is an authentic, friendly, family-owned restaurant boasting delicious tapas dishes in one of Leeds’ coolest areas. El Bareto has a community feel, with its welcoming atmosphere and regular live music events. All meals are prepared fresh using only the finest ingredients, and service is guaranteed with a smile. The tasty specials change regularly, and the friendly staff cater to flexible dietary needs such as vegans and coeliac.
Beer-lovers can enjoy a pint of a Spanish classic such as CruzCampo or Estrella at El Bareto, with foodies catered to with a menu full of tapas staples like paella and Padrón peppers. If you want to support a friendly, independent restaurant with tons of character and great food, visit El Bareto as soon as you get the chance.
If you combine the concept of tapas with the taste of Italy, what do you get? Stuzzi! The team behind delicious eatery source their ingredients directly from specialist Italian producers, offering you the authentic taste of Italy with a Spanish twist with their carefully selected dishes.
Stuzzi’s impressive menu includes tasty plates such as confit duck pappardelle, Onglet steak and arancini, all finished with a contemporary twist. Dessert lovers can tuck into Italian classics such as affogato and cannoli. If trying new foods in a stylish setting is your thing, Stuzzi is well worth a visit.