From an underrated jukebox bar to an overlooked noodle joint - let's show 'em some love

Ever walk past somewhere and remember how much you used to love it, before all that shiny new stuff came along? We have, just this week, and it got us thinking about all the spots we once adored, or still adore, but have kinda forgotten about. Plus some we think are way underrated, and a couple we've only recently discovered but wish we'd have found much sooner.

Sela Wax Bar

Wax Bar

What could be better than a cosy joint with a jukebox and a good cocktail list? Beer bottles are decanted into frozen glasses, cocktails are actually affordable and sans gimmicks, and they have a solid rosta of vinyl only DJs. This is the kind of place you find on holiday that makes you want to immediately cancel your return flight, become a diving instructor and sign for the flat upstairs. No frills, just good drinks and friendly staff with impeccable music taste. 20 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NU 

Souz Le Nez

Sous Le Nez

Sous Le Nez opened in 1991, and there’s a reason it’s still thriving. They serve up French classics such as onion soup, frogs legs and crème brûlée, as well as an extensive wine list. Confidential reviewer Simon Richardson recently named one of their steak dishes as his deathbed meal...lucky for him they’ll probably still be going. Ambient lighting makes for an intimate evening. An oldie but a goodie, definitely worth a revisit. The Basement, Quebec House, 9 Quebec Street, Leeds, LS1 2HA 

Sushi Waka

Sushi Waka

From the outside this looks like a slightly dodgy karaoke bar, and yes, there is one upstairs. But don’t let this put you off, because Sushi Waka serve up some of the most authentic Japanese food in town, with ramen bowls big enough to bathe a child in, and the best veggie gyoza around. The portions are generous and it’s great value for money. And you can finish by diving into one of the karaoke booths and giving your best Bon Jovi. 28 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NU 



It's amazing how many people have never noticed this place, let alone visited. This is hands down the best gyros we've eaten in the UK, and the halloumi is top notch. Portions are hefty too, naughty dining at its finest. There’s a large seating area upstairs, or you can get a cheeky Deliveroo if you don’t fancy getting out of your PJs. We're yet to try the breakfast menu but we'll be venturing down very soon. 14 New Briggate, LS1 6NU

Noodle House 2

Noodle House

Nestled amongst some of the cities finest late-night bars you’ll find Noodle House. We've been walking past this spot for years, but it wasn’t until recently, when one of us was in desperate need of carbs, that we ventured in. Now we're kicking ourselves because there's years of mountainous noodle piles to catch up on. The menu is simple, choose your noodle base, add your protein or veg and select a sauce. There are ducks hanging at the counter and chefs tending to sizzling woks. There’s a real buzz about this place. Again, generous portions and very reasonable pricing makes this a winner every time. 20 Merrion Street, Leeds, LS1 6PQ 

Frizza Leeds


This street hut still doesn't get the recognition it deserves. I mean, it serves up fried pizza... come on. Frizza (pronounced Freetza) is a style of pizza the Neapolitans have been churning out since the fourth century, indeed, some say it is the original street food of Naples. Frizza featured in Phaidon’s Where to eat pizza guide, and their pizza is surprisingly light and fluffy, using the freshest ingredients for their toppings so you won’t feel too heavy after eating. Find them in the indoor street food area in Kirkgate Market. Kirkgate Market, 34 Ludgate Hill, Leeds, LS2 7HY 

Crown Buffet

Crown Buffet

A top spot for gorging on Chinese, Crown Buffet serve an extensive all-you-can-eat menu. This is a buffet with a difference, rather than serving yourself from hot-held dishes, you can order whatever you like from the menu and it will be cooked fresh and brought to the table. They serve dim sum at the weekend too, so if you fancy a brunch of steamed buns and congee, this is the place for you. They have mock chicken options too, so this is a good choice if you’re dining with vegan pals. Academy Building, Gower Street, Leeds, LS2 7PX 

Kadas Lounge


Kadas is one of our favourite spots for baklava, plus other Middle Eastern bites. They also have an extensive shisha menu, if unwinding with a little fruity smoke is your thing. There’s a heated outdoor area out back with pallet seating, low tables and colourful throws. A great option for a late night bite, especially if you work evening shifts and want something that isn’t too unhealthy. Grab some hummus and meze dishes to share and be sure to order a pot of Moroccan mint tea. 5 Crown Street, Leeds, LS2 7DA 

Thai Aroy Dee

Thai Aroy Dee

Thai Aroy Dee has long been a favourite, even back in the day when they had a tiny unit with sixteen covers. Now in a much larger space, they serve up some of the most authentic Thai food in the city - our faves include Khai Yiao Ma Ga-Prao Krob (stir-fried preserved eggs with minced pork) and the Yen Ta Fo (fish balls in pink stock soup). Often overlooked for some of the swankier Thai places in town, this definitely deserves a mention. They also offer BYOB (not including soft drinks) with no corkage, but do serve the likes of Singha and Tiger too. 120-122 Vicar Lane, Leeds, LS2 7NL 

Like that? Then take a look at our guides to the best wine bars in Leeds and the best BYOB restaurants in Leeds.