Definitive ranking of the best brunch spots in Leeds

From worst to best, we give you 100 per cent honesty to find a restaurant worthy of the title

Brunch: the best meal of any day. The two icons, breakfast and lunch, sandwiched together to make the most beautiful word in the English language. You get the best of both worlds with brunch. Eggs? Sure. Cereal? Why not! Cocktails? Even better!

The world is your oyster with this meal. So when I was asked to take on the difficult task of reviewing the different Leeds establishments you can consume brunch in, I decided I would take the financial hit and go on this incredible journey.

So, join me for the first instalment in my definitive ranking of the best brunch spots in Leeds! I’ll be giving a 100 per cent honest review of the places I visit, so that you can know what’s a hit and what’s a miss, without wasting your money.

First up on my list was a little place called:

5. The Ivy

The Ivy Leeds is a beautiful restaurant in the Victoria Quarter with ample seating in astonishing settings; whether you’re sat inside the wonderfully decorated restaurant or outside. Make sure you take a trip to the toilet, as even the little girls room has been decorated to perfection. Everything has been presented flawlessly, so you’ll definitely be able to get a cute picture for the gram.

The Ivy serves brunch in the mornings and has a wide selection of drinks and food, from cocktails to pancakes. When I went with my mum, we got some truffle arancini rice balls to share, which were divine. If you like truffle, next time you take a trip to The Ivy, I implore you to buy the arancini balls, you’ll be hooked!

Then I ordered the eggs benedict with pulled honey roasted ham, and yes, it was as good as it sounds. As you can imagine, the prices were quite high, however, everything is to such a high standard. Though this is not the kind of place a student would visit more than once a month if they don’t want to spend all their student loan on truffle arancini!

Overall, a very nice meal that I would go back to on a special occasional, such as a birthday or anniversary.

Wait Time: 6/10

Service: 6/10

Food Quality: 9.5/10

Price: 5/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Instagramable Rating: 8/10

Total: 41.5/60

4. Cha Lounge

Cha Lounge is a really cute colourful brunch café that’s tucked away in a quieter part of the city centre. They serve brunch on weekdays until 3pm and weekends until 4pm, in the evenings this lovely little café turns into a fine Indian restaurant. So if you hang around for long enough after brunch you could get dinner too!

The decorations in the café are lovely, and it has a very quiet atmosphere for a relaxing brunch. The staff were very attentive and I was served quickly – I was in and out the café within half an hour.

I really wanted to get the smashed avocado and toast with poached eggs, but when I went they told me the chef was late coming in so she hadn’t prepared the smashed avocado yet. This was disappointing as online the smashed avocado is fabled to be the best food they do at Cha Lounge, but I pressed on nonetheless.

I decided on the sumac roasted tomatoes on granary toast with a poached egg and, in all honestly, it was nothing special, but I still enjoyed the meal.

However, the pancake was superb. It had blueberries in the batter and was topped with strawberries, honey, yogurt and chai seeds. The pancake is the definite winner. Not too filling, but fresh and light. Whilst it probably isn’t actually healthy, you do feel better for having the yogurt and fruit. The chai seeds on the top are just the icing on the cake. I did find the price to be a bit steep with the pancake being £9.80. Personally, I would’ve been happier with something closer to £7 as it was gone in less than a minute!

Overall, Cha Lounge was a cute little brunch place that I would visit again.

Wait Time: 9/10

Service: 9/10

Food Quality: 7.5/10

Price: 5/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Instagramable Rating: 8/10

Total: 46.5

3. If… Up North

If… Up North was an absolutely lovely experience. The whole café is very bright with lots of natural light, ample seating with outside chairs, downstairs and an upstairs. But this doesn’t make the place feel too big or lose its charm. A  quaint little place that is a great option to bring your laptop and do some studying. I saw many students sat about doing work and wished I had brought my own laptop.

For my drink I ordered a caramel latte, which if I’m being completely honest did not have enough caramel in, but that might just be my sweet tooth… For a normal person I think the caramel iced coffee would probably be just right.

On the menu, I spotted a breakfast burrito and saw all the customers around me buying it, so I thought I would have to try it. I wasn’t a big fan of the burrito as it didn’t have much flavour, however, it was very big and filling, the sort of thing that would definitely sort out a hangover.

In contrast, the yogurt nuts and berries was incredible. So refreshing to eat, light, healthy and best of all, super tasty. It was also the cheapest food item on the menu at £5. Whilst it may not look like anything too out of the ordinary, to this day I still can’t stop thinking about it, and I ate the bowl over a week ago.

Overall, I really enjoyed my meal and will be going back. The staff were super friendly, as well as the atmosphere being on point.


Wait Time: 8/10

Service: 9.5/10

Food Quality: 8/10

Price: 6.5/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Instagramable Rating: 8.5/10

Total: 49.5/60

2. Left Bank

Whilst Left Bank might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of brunch, they do have plenty to offer towards this competition. They serve breakfast and lunch all day, so whatever time it is you can join them for a toasted teacake or a sandwich.

What makes this place so special is the location; in a renovated church Left Bank has some of the most beautiful views for any café in Leeds. It’s also a great place to work, with places dotted about to plug in your laptop charger and free Wi-Fi all day.

The food is cheap and cheerful with the coffee and cinnamon toast pictured below coming to only £5, this is definitely the place to be on a student budget. The toasties are also fairly cheap as well as super crisp and tasty, the bread basically melted in my mouth it was that buttery. Furthermore, the service staff were very friendly and welcoming.

Wait Time: 8.5/10

Service: 9/10

Food Quality: 7.5/10

Price: 8/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Instagramable Rating: 8/10

Total: 50/60

1. Chai Walay

The final stop on this leg of my culinary tour was Chai Walay, and as you may be able to tell from the picture of me looking very happy, this was my favourite by far.

They specialise in Asian and English breakfast food. I read online that they have the best Halwa Puri in Yorkshire and thought I had to try it out! Although I have never had Halwa Puri before, so have nothing to compare it to, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was, as stated, “the best in Yorkshire”.

The best way I can describe the Halwa Puri to someone who hasn’t tried it before is that it tastes like a deconstructed bhaji or samosa, but  you’ll have to try it for yourself. The French toast with bananas strawberries and walnuts was the icing on the cake. They also have a wide variety of chai teas and to help me decide they even let me have a sample of them all. All of this came to under £10!

I can’t fault Chai Walay in any way. The staff were so friendly and helpful, very attentive and quick. Without a doubt, I’ll be coming back for more from Chai Walay.

Wait Time: 9/10

Service: 9.5/10

Food Quality: 9/10

Price: 9.5/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Instagramable Rating: 7/10

Total: 51/60

Therefore, the final results for part one of our brunch series are:

1st: Chai Walay

2nd: Left Bank

3rd: IF

4th: Cha Lounge

5th: IVY

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