I wanted to create this guide to gluten and dairy free in Leeds as a point of reference if you’re coming to the city or live here and just want to try somewhere new. I’m planning on updating it as I go, when I find somewhere new, you will find it posted on here (and probably on my Instagram too.)
I always want full disclosure to be met so I will only put on this guide what I found to be good food and also importantly, ease of ordering and how comfortable that process was in terms of allergies. Of course, there are more restaurants I’ve been to round Leeds but these are the ones that have stood out to me. I will keep you updated by adding to this as and when I find a new gem.
So Leeds! We’re not only famous for being the birthplace of Marks and Spencers and Sooty and Sweep (what an impact we’ve had ey..) but we’re also becoming a little hub of new ‘edgy’ (I say this with an eye roll – I’m about as edgy as a five pence) cafes, bars and restaurants and so there’s always somewhere new to go. That being said, there’s comfort in the known and I do find myself, when we’re planning where to go on a night on the group chat, armed with my angel emoji asking to go to the same place as last time.
Also, I’ll note that I’ve not included some of the more national chain restaurants as if you’re from the UK visiting Leeds, you’ll already know the ones that are good. My favourites include Pizza Express, Zizzis, Pizza Hut, Nandoes, Pho – the list goes on. They’re all super great for dairy and gluten free. But, in this post I just wanted to concentrate on more niche places and ones that are perhaps only in Leeds (though I’m aware some of these are also chains – just ones that are either Leeds based or Northern.)
G-Wu is probably my favourite restaurant in Leeds. If the sea calls to Moana, this restaurant calls to me in the same way. The coeliac menu that they give is detailed, there’s lots on it (which is great, even if I do end up always ordering the same thing, I like to have the option to not.)
The staff are what sets this restaurant apart – whether I’ve ordered in or got takeout, they’re probably the most diligent team to make sure the food is all safe and correct. There’s dairy in very few dishes so it’s not a problem at all but gluten isn’t either – rice noodles galore and you can even get batter on the sweet and sour chicken, what a bloomin’ delight!
The Cosy Club
The cosy club makes it high up my list of recommendations because of how great the service was. When we arrived, they’d made a note of allergies upon booking and made sure to hand me a vegan menu and a gluten free menu to cross reference as well as there being a ring binder available. A bit of a faff I do admit, but we’re all pretty used to it by now aren’t we. The food itself was great – I always get the same thing when we go which is the vegan burger with no bun (the only negative with the Cosy Club is that the vegan bread bun isn’t gluten free and the gluten free one isn’t dairy free – why they wouldn’t just get one ‘free-from’ and vegan bread is beyond me!)
If you’re in the mood for sushi, look no further. With gluten free soy sauce and the entirety of the staff honestly wanting to make sure you have something delicious but free from, the meal here was great. Now, there’s a dairy free and a gluten free menu so you do have to cross reference which is why this time I didn’t go for an all-you-can-eat like my friends did, but next time I absolutely would. I didn’t order anything too ‘out there’ but if I was doing the all I can eat, I might go a little more wild, but these two are my go-to faves anyway – plus edamame.
You order off a tablet which goes straight to the kitchen, so you do need to tell them when you book and when you arrive (and at the table if you’re anything like me) but it worked out great and I will definitely be going back.
Allow me to toe the line of my own rules once more, you can sit in with your fish and chips, but you’ll usually find me racing home with my portion – usually because I’ve just put a big coat ontop of my PJs whenever I’m in the fish&chip shop, not sure how that’s become a tradition for me but here we are.
In Yorkshire, we have a random tradition of having fish and chips in beef dripping which I’m absolutely not here for since I don’t eat red meat. So- not only am I wanting dairy and gluten free (which is available in a few places round Leeds) but I also want it fried in vegetable oil, call me picky (Lord knows my poor father does.)
Frydays covers all my criteria whilst being incredibly yummy, I once found it within my heart to share them with my Dad and he couldn’t tell the difference. The batter is crispy and delicious. More perks and snaps because you can get GF everyday in their separate fryer, plus you get it cooked fresh every time, you just have to allow for slightly more time whilst you wait for it to cook (which admittedly, becomes awkward when you’re trying to pull your coat closed over your sheep pyjamas.)
This cafe is in Roundhay so slightly out the city centre, but well worth a visit. The cafe is Scandi Inspired and the interior reflects that styling. The ingredients are locally sourced and they’re committed to the environment which is fab for a Leeds based cafe – it overall feels much more like an indie London location. There’s lots of plant based options and gluten free options too. It’s owned by a Masterchef professionals finalist, so the food was bound to be good.
I order pancakes like a madwoman every time I go. Whenever brunch is mentioned on group chat, you can bet your bottom dollar I’m like hi hello please take me for pancakes. I don’t want to commit to a favourite option, I’m too torn between the banana, caramelised pecans & banana whip pancakes and the caramelised fig with sorbet pancakes.
The Ivy is my favourite for when you want to go somewhere a little fancier. There’s admittedly not masses that you can eat for both dairy and gluten. I don’t eat red meat nor pork so I don’t think that helps – I think the steak is popular here. What I do like its he grilled salmon and also I’ve recently discovered the prawn and avocado burger – gluten free bread of course. Also note: the fries sometimes the staff think are gluten free but they’re done in the same fryer and are therefore not – you can eat the sweet potato (baked) wedges which are amazing with the pesto – I don’t personally like the coconut yogurt on them so I get them without.
Another Indian street food! I went here with my friend Amber and as a complete novice, I wasn’t quite sure what the different dishes were so was lucky to have her there to talk me through them!
We ordered the vegan combo for two and then switched one of the dishes out to make sure it was all gluten free. The food was all really good and there was so much that I could order; the menu is allergy labelled so if you didn’t want to do a sharing combo, it’s super easy to order.
The Okra fries in particular were so yummy, as were the onion, broccoli and kale bhajis. There were different levels of spice and I found ordering the combo got me out my comfort zone to try new dishes!
Sometimes, it’s hard to know when you can and can’t eat somewhere – I couldn’t find anything about DF GF on the menu but after a quick call, it was clear they were happy to cater!
I love it here because there’s no risk of cross contamination which is a huge huge bonus.
The one thing I will say is that the new restaurants menu, for me, isn’t as good as the old one. I used to find myself eating onion bhajis and fish and chips because It was an eclectic menu full of different things I felt I was missing out on before. I’m sure this is still the case for most – however it’s quite meat led now and as someone that doesn’t eat red meat or pork, it’s a little more restrictive which is a shame.
Nevertheless, the fish and chips were amazing as were the onion rings. I would also go back and try the vegan burger or the salmon to try more off the menu; I think it’s well worth a visit and I’d absolutely recommend the fish and chips!
I’ve not been to Tattu for a while – mainly because it’s usually quite busy to get into, especially when it was recently opened. It’s a ‘contemporary Chinese’ restaurant and quite dressed up on an evening – just an FYI.
However, I’m mentioning it on here because it’s a great place to go on a girls night out – the cocktails are great and so is the food. When looking on the menu to see what I ordered, like many places (and rather disappointingly in my opinion) they seem to have stepped up their may contain warnings ‘can’t guarantee’ in the same breath as marking GF and vegan on the menu. Nevertheless, when I actually ate there and spoke to the staff in person, they were really friendly and helpful and did really do their best to make sure it was all as easy as possible to order and find something delicious on the menu. I’m pretty certain these were the sticky prawns and then I got sticky rice to go with them. Super delicious and the prawns were nice and big!
I’ve been the biggest fan of sushi since forever and it was one of the things I was really upset to let go of when I learnt that quite a lot of the pre made stuff had gluten in the rice vinegar used. The one place that I’ve found in Leeds that has a whole menu full of gluten free sushi and aside from the desserts and one or two things on the menu, nothing has dairy in.
The sushi itself is really delicious – my favourites are the California Roll and the avo rolls but it’s all great and the fish is all super fresh. We over ordered, of course, but it’s all in the name of research so I could tell you all about it! The restaurant is authentic even with a bridge you’d expect in Tokyo and you sit in tables sunk into the floor; a cool environment to eat in (if you have a bad back, there are tables not in the ground too!)
I’m not sure if this one technically counts because as you can see, I usually get the sushi to take out. However, I make the rules I break the rules and (though I think they might have Wasabi everywhere?) I think it’s worth mentioning based on the face the allergen labelling is good.
Each packet or box of sushi is labelled up with allergens which really helps. Last time I did see a whole box of sushi which was gluten free as well as dairy free so I need to try that soon. But, usually I just get the individual packets of my favourite pieces as they’re the only ones I can eat. I then take it home so I can enjoy them with gluten free soy sauce. If you’re going to eat-in here, it’s worth remembering to take a pot of your own!
Also – how cute are my chop sticks! A client from Japan gave them to me as a gift and the detailing is so beautiful!