Livin’Italy review: The Italian restaurant beloved by Leeds United players – Craig Jones
When I first moved to Leeds, one of my first food reviews was at Livin’Italy, where I was incredibly impressed with what was on offer.
A few years later, the time seemed right to return to the Granary Wharf site tucked away behind Leeds station. For those unfamiliar with the restaurant, the downtown Leeds venue prides itself on being authentically Italian.
And, even when crossing the door of the restaurant which is nestled under the arcades of the station, it is difficult not to be seduced by its charms. There’s always a buzz in the air, it was no different on my Sunday evening visit with my dad, and there’s something quite intriguing about Livin’Italy’s cozy but slightly peculiar layout. . It’s certainly fair to say that the team makes the most of the space they have to create a quaint dining environment.
Decor is warm and simple with a Vespa scooter, proudly standing in the upstairs dining room where we ate, thrown in for good measure. Another of those endearing touches comes from ordering your meal in the print newspapers – given my career, how could I resist that?
The venue is popular around Leeds. We have already reported that this is somewhere the Leeds United team have ventured for a social. If it’s good enough for Kalvin Phillips, you have to visit. It sounds a lot like the Leeds adage.
As I lost myself in the Italian-American soundtrack, I opted for a cocktail to accompany my meal. The Livin’ Prosecco cocktail seemed like the wise and indulgent choice and it certainly packed with it fresh blackberries, raspberry puree, Limoncello, fizzy candy and, of course, Prosecco. Such a stylish adult choice – I’m sure you’ll agree.
My dad, who is a simple eater who ironically brings his varying levels of restlessness, opted for the Yorkshire fed sirloin steak. He assured me it was cooked to perfection just the way he liked it medium/well. The main course came with the venue’s Livin’fries, which sees the familiar potato-based side topped off with truffle and parmesan cheese, but our rather patient member of the Livin’Italy wait staff happily substituted these by “regular” fries.
The restaurant has an abundance of Italian dishes, unsurprisingly, and while being somewhat tempted by a pasta dish, I did what I always do at Livin’Italy and chose one of their exceptional pizzas . The menu offers all the classics as well as some with a unique twist.
The restaurant also allows you to create your own with an abundance of toppings available. There are currently 33 options allowing you to customize your pizza the way you want. I chose a range of cheese varieties, chicken, arugula and broccoli. There’s no turn around here, in my opinion Livin’Italy remains the best place in Leeds for pizza.
When we visited mine had everything I asked for with generous amounts of toppings, with crispness in all the right places and the flavors were rich and the quality of the produce was evident. On the side we had roast potatoes which were basically giant roast potato wedges. It was a big portion but we definitely could have had more.
Then I went for the traditional Italian cocktail of a negroni while waiting for our desserts. Again, Dad was well served with two scoops of vanilla ice cream.
I had a chocolate cake which had almonds, white chocolate and cream. It was a luxurious way to end another splendid visit to Livin’Italy.
If you’ve never been there, it’s definitely worth a visit. You just need to take our word for it, ask Kalvin Phillips and his Leeds United teammates.
The law project
- Pint of Coca Cola – £3.70
- Livin’ Prosecco Cocktail – £9.50
- Negroni – €8.75
- Personalized Pizza – £13.10
- Sirloin Steak – £24.95
- Accompanied by roast potatoes – £4.50
- Gelato – £3.95
- Chocolate cake with ice cream – €5.50
- Total – £81.34
Granary Wharf, Quayside Approach, Leeds, LS1 4BR. online booking or call 0113 243 0090
Don’t, you can visit our Best in Leeds homepage to find out more about new openings in the city. You’ll also find our guides to the best places to eat and drink in Leeds.