Reds True BBQ

So my other half has been begging me to take him here since it opened a couple of months ago. I have to admit I had been a little apprehensive about going. Usually there is a general consensus about a place but the feedback I have had from my friends has ranged from Reds being noted as a ‘posh Maccy d’s’ (a little bit harsh) to it serving the best fast food in Leeds. There has also been mixed reviews on the service so I was somewhat intrigued to say the least.

You can see the neon red signs of Reds from right down Call Lane. I love the one offering the people passing by ‘free smells’ of their slow roasted barbecue meat. The signage reminds me of somewhere  you would see on the US TV programme Man Vs Food.


Reds is packed, and it seems it does not matter when you go. You can only reserve seats if you book as part of a large group. Whether you’re a fan of this approach or not, Reds have tackled this issue head on. On both their website and Facebook page they explain why they have opted for a first come first serve policy. With this in mind, we set out to get to Reds for 6:30 hoping for a table around 7ish.

When we arrived we were in luck, the member of staff at the front desk offered us two seats at the bar area or a table for two. We would only have that table  for 45 mins (or maybe a bit longer). Wanting to grab a drink elsewhere, we opted for a table in 1/2 hour.

The Reds branding is very tongue and cheek. With its evangelical calling to bring us mortals the true barbecue experience of smoked low n’ slow, infused meats.

reds menu


“He swore that no rib, sausage, breast nor burger would be cremated in his name. The people of Britain must be led to the light by a true saviour. Let there be Meat. Let there be flavour. Let there be Red’s.”

This mantra is set out in the sauces on your table, each paired to a particular cut of meat to the cross made by cutlery on the tops the waiting staff wear.

table sauces at reds


I also was impressed by the fact that all the meat and produce served at Reds is locally sourced, something that it very important in this current climate.

The kitchen is open plan so you can watch the food as it is being served and see the meat as it slowly turns in the rotisserie style ovens. Seeing how busy the restaurant was, it was good to see the level of attention that each meal that was set on the pass was getting.

The menu was pretty overwhelming, but, for research purposes I had to go for the ribs. Not any ribs but the ‘Bucket o bones’. This was a selection of rib tips, baby back, St. Louis and beef long ribs. My other half, thinking that I had truly lost the plot opted for the Pit Burger. We both also ordered the milkshakes.


The milkshakes came in old fashioned pint milk bottles and were delicious. The strawberry marshmallow was fruity, creamy and smooth, you could instantly tell that this was made with some top quality ingredients.

My ‘bones‘ were served in a trash can on a tray, the waiter sensing my fear did say that I could always take them with me if I did not finish them. A good call on her part.


As you lift the  lid you are instantly hit with the sweet deep smokey flavours of the meat. To be honest, I never knew that there were that many different varieties of ribs but I do know good quality meat when I taste it.

The Pit burger was enjoyed by the other half, he did note that it was an interesting choice for it to be served in a soft bun.

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We enjoyed our time at Reds and would definitely recommend it as going there is truly an experience not to be missed.

What they do, they do well and this is clear to see as nearly six months down the line they are as busy as they were on their first week.

reds bill

Reds True Barbecue
Unit 1 Cloth Hall Street
LS1 2HD Leeds
telephone:0113 834 5834


Reds True Barbecue on Urbanspoon

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