Finally! 273 years after its creation, the greatest food from the greatest county has its own festival! Yep, on the first day of February, the wonder that is the Yorkshire pudding is to be celebrated in all its glory…
This event at Kirkgate Market promises to showcase the basic recipe of eggs, flour and milk or water in all its complexities. For this is a food, like Italian pizza, whose beauty is in its simplicity, and in which those local to its origins remain staunchly proud; we know how it should be done right.
As well as examples of the classic Yorkshire pudding, food vendors will also be displaying their own takes on it. Whether in cuisines from all over the world or adding new twists on tradition, a good Yorkshire pud can surely improve any dish!
Outside of the festival, Leeds is of course already home to some great versions of its county’s staple. Many homes will undoubtedly claim to make the best in the land every Sunday, whilst pubs and restaurants across the city cook up their own tasty batters. Here are a few of our favourites…
It is fitting that the city’s oldest pub, Whitelock’s, cooks up a cracking traditional pudding of its home county. The Sunday roasts here are full of Yorkshire goodness, with lashings of locally sourced ingredients, all topped off with an expertly executed Yorkshire pudding.
Also reviving Leeds’ history is a more modern arrival on the city’s oldest street, Kirkgate. Wapentake is sub-headed ‘a little piece of Yorkshire’ and follows through on the promise of its name with a menu that showcases surrounding produce. All of which makes a great roast essential, and it is delivered here with crispy fluffy Yorkshire pudding to aplomb.
Whilst upkeeping tradition, both of the above are also in tune with the present, and alongside their homely comfort provide a welcome refinement. This includes considered vegan and organic options, something that a couple of places over on North Street are excelling at.
The Reliance was an early adopter of natural wines and local ales, so it is no surprise that their food is equally ethical and accomplished. The laid-back Sunday vibes are a perfect match for their hearty roast dinner, which comes with homemade Yorkshire pudding given the respect it deserves.
A few steps further on, The Brunswick has gained a reputation for its veggie roasts, and with good reason. The meats here are great too, but it is in part thanks to their generous and delicious Yorkshire puddings that the vegetarian versions are far from an afterthought.
Sunday dining can also be sophisticated with Yorkshire’s finest at places such as Shear’s Yard. The same team behind longstanding Arts Café, also an early favourite for an excellent roast, have been elevating classic dinners since opening a few years back. As with each ingredient on every dish here, the Yorkshire puddings are crafted carefully into things of beauty.
Which is taken further still at Leeds’ modern fine dining restaurant Home. Here, you’ll get what you’re given, and you’ll be grateful for it! Their small plates tasting menu is extraordinary and offers a Sunday twist by adapting the same format to provide familiar flavours of a roast dinner, always including a glorious Yorkshire pudding course.
Indeed, there are more places pushing the Yorkshire pudding to the forefront, serving it every day and in different ways. The Yorkshire Wrap Company in Kirkgate Market is impossible not to be tempted by, serving local produce such as roast beef and breakfasts in Yorkshire pudding wraps.
Similarly, the York Roast Co. have been holding a temporary residency at Northern Monk, where their famous YorkyPud wrap has been getting devoured. Northern Monk have emphasised their love of the food by sponsoring the Yorkshire Pudding Festival.
Nearby, The Midnight Bell and The Cross Keys have spent years winning accolades for belting roasts with the importance of the Yorkshire pudding fully understood. Elsewhere in town, The Adelphi is a proper old pub that does a proper Yorkshire pudding, and others too, new and old, do the county proud.
All of which is without leaving the city centre. Doing that would go to Meanwood where The Hungry Bear and Beck & Call serve joyous homemade Yorkies. And visit The Beehive in Thorner for Matt Healey’s masterful mix between chefy and homely puds. Or try out Milford, where a surprisingly special Sunday lunch with award winning Yorkshire puddings await at The Queen o’t’owd Thatch. And enter Hyde Park for the relaxed bargain brilliance of Man vs Roast. And…..
It’s a relief that this article could go on with so many more places all across Leeds knocking out a great Yorkshire pudding that we could scoff a different one every Sunday throughout the year. Let’s do it.