Stuzzi Leeds – an authentic celebration of Italy in the heart of the city

What a place.

Now celebrating five years in Leeds’ Grand Arcade, Stuzzi is the brainchild of four English guys ‘obsessed’ with Italy and their passion really shines through. 

Stuzzi, short for stuzzichini, are small plates of delicious Italian cuisine similar to tapas, best eaten shared and in-between drinks. 

And they’re serving some of the best stuzzi you can get your hands on at, well, Stuzzi.

It’s been almost a decade since the restaurant was founded in Harrogate, but this year marks five years since Stuzzi opened its second site right here in Leeds City Centre.

The Grand Arcade eatery has survived a global pandemic, Brexit and the cost-of-living-crisis, and is only maintaining its reputation as one of the city’s best Italian restaurants.

And don’t just take our word for it, because the Good Food Guide has just awarded them a spot in the UK’s top 50 best Italian restaurants for 2024.

An accolade undoubtedly very well deserved.

In Stuzzi’s beautiful space on Merrion Street complete with vaulted ceilings, exposed brick and red leather accents, you’ll find the perfect blend of traditional recipes alongside modern Italian cooking using only the very best ingredients. 

Jimbob Philips, Tom Pearson, Brett Lee and Nick Harvey founded the restaurant, a group of visionaries fondly named the ‘Stuzzi Boys’.

Using inspiration from their numerous trips around Italy, Stuzzi is a real love letter to the world’s greatest food country and is ever-evolving with new discoveries as they fit jaunts to Venice, Naples, Tuscany and beyond into their busy schedules.

They make their pasta fresh, in-house every single day, utilising unique ingredients like spinach and beetroot in the dough to present the diner with something a little bit different.

A standout dish we sampled on our last visit was the beetroot cavatelli with walnut, cardamom, espresso cream and whipped goats curd.

A dish with a beautiful purple hue that had an incredible depth of flavour, yet let the homemade and perfectly al dente pasta do the talking.

With a menu that changes weekly with the seasons, you might not be able to sample this dish on your next visit but there’ll undoubtedly be something just as delicious on offer. And that’s what makes Stuzzi so special.

This is the place to go for dinner amongst friends who adore food and love trying new things, Stuzzi encourage a social style of dining with their array of imaginative small plates that’ll have you glancing back to the menu after each plate is scraped clean.

Neapolitan lasagna fritti, Tuscan soup, Roman street food – each dish seamlessly combines traditional recipes with innovative, modern flair and it is nothing short of exceptional. 

And don’t forget to kick things off with an Aperol Spritz, we’d go as far to say that it’s the best one you can find in Leeds – and quite possibly anywhere outside of Italy.

To find out more and to book a table at Stuzzi, take a look at their website.

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Featured image – The Hoot Leeds

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