Today we venture further afield to restaurant in Leeds which is getting rave reviews. Craig Jones from our website Leeds Live checked it out
With the summer here it just feels like the right time to have a cocktail or two over dinner.
In particular I was after a margarita and, of course, the best place to get one is at a Mexican eatery.
In Leeds there are the chain restaurants which do a perfectly good job - I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a Chiquito having worked at one through university - but in this instance I wanted to sample something a little more authentic.
Through word-of-mouth and on TripAdvisor I’d heard very good things about Lupe’s Catina Mexicana so we decided to spend a Saturday night there. Ahead of the visit, booking a table was nice and simple online which was a positive start.
Lupe’s head chef and owner was born and raised in Veracruz, Mexico, and his traditional recipes form the menu at the family-run restaurant.
Foolishly, I thought the restaurant might have been quiet on the night of our visit, given it was the Champions League final. But I was wrong - clearly Lupe’s appeal surpasses that of mere football. When we arrived we were greeted by a friendly member of staff who sat us in a slightly awkwardly positioned table.
It really wasn’t that big of a deal, but the waitress noticed we weren’t completely satisfied and offered to move us when another table became free. An attentive gesture when you consider the venue was packed during our visit.
Before we got down to the business of ordering food the important matter of ordering a margarita (£5.75) had to be done. My dinner date went with a cuba libre (£5.50) after studying the wealth of options available.
Our waitress even gave us a few samples of the cocktails to help us decide.
My margarita hit the spot and there was certainly a generous helping of tequila in it. Looking over the food menu, which features street food, seafood, tacos and much more, it was difficult to choose what to order as each dish was more eye-catching than the last.
After seeking a little guidance from the helpful staff we decided to share the guacamole feta special (£5.75) with some tortilla chips and salsas (£3.50). The starters, which came without delay, were followed by the seafood queso fundido (£6.95) and the chicken enchiladas (£7.45).
I had the latter and it was absolutely delightful, flavoursome and generously sized while, I’m reliably informed, the queso fundido, which included shrimp and pineapple, was a packed cheese feast that nearly puts you into a welcome food coma.
This is the best restaurant in Leeds according to a London guide
Although it would be hard to doze off at Lupe’s as it has a really vibrant party atmosphere. If you didn’t want to eat during a visit (I really wouldn’t be able to understand why) then the Mexican bar and restaurant is a fun place to have a few cocktails, enjoy some Latino vibes and catch up with friends. You’re guaranteed to have a good time.
You could say given the restaurant’s slightly odd location, hidden away from the city centre, Lupe’s is something of a hidden gem but the food and drink is far too good for that to be the case.
During our visit, Lupe’s proved why it is considered to be the best Mexican restaurant in Leeds - we’ll be visiting again very soon.
Lupe’s Cantina Mexicana
204 Cardigan Road, Leeds. LS6 1LF
Phone: 0113 345 3070
Disabled: Access but no toilet for wheelchairs.
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 12noon-3pm; 5pm-9.30pm; Friday 12noon-3pm; 5pm-10.30pm; Saturday 12noon-10.30pm. Closed Sundays.
Would you go back? Yes
The bill: £43.65 (for two including three cocktails and a beer)