Review of Pasta Romagna: (always) a must-do Italian experience in the heart of Leeds city center

“We will miss you,” read a sign affixed to the restaurant’s door as the lockdown threatened to kill one of the city’s most beloved institutions forever, but the restaurant survived and persists in the face of soaring costs – and thank goodness.

Between a cookie dough shop and a Pret a Manger, Pasta Romagna is a little culinary paradise in the middle of one of the busiest shopping districts in the country.

Its vintage-looking signage promises nostalgia for a northern Italian life you’ve probably never experienced – but a quick stop at this welcoming restaurant might almost convince you that you have.

The family business is housed in a modest space brimming with inviting Italian produce; the counter is stocked with torte and cannoli, while amaretto and limoncello compete for space on shelves lined with canned Mutti tomatoes, native to the restaurant’s eponymous region.

From my Thursday afternoon visit, it’s the subtle sweetness of the tomatoes that lingers in memory and sets Romagna’s pasta bolognese as a cut above the countless others served across the city. The freshness of the ingredients shines and the bite of the linguines is perfect. Afterwards, the tiramisu also hits the mark – fluffy and light, with a delicate flavor that isn’t overwhelmed by the alcohol.

Watching the world go by down a leafy boulevard, eating authentic Italian cuisine at Pasta Romagna can feel, for a while, like really enjoying a mini break from the continent – ​​for a fraction of the price. Pasta and pizza dishes cost between eight and ten pounds, while delicious desserts set you back four pounds and a crisp pint of Birra Moretti on tap costs just over five.

Although the atmosphere is laid-back, the food is served quickly by great staff, making Pasta Romagna as fine a destination for a mid-bite as it is for an extended afternoon of foreign cuisine.

Romagna pasta.

Decades later, the Pasta Romagna team still puts a smile on the Loiners’ face with quality, value food – it’s a must.

Address: 26 Albion Pl, Leeds LS1 6JS

Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-6.30pm

Romagna pasta.
Spaghetti Bolognese at Pasta Romagna.