Friends of Ham
4 New Station Street Leeds LS1 5DL
Let us count the ways we love the Friends of Ham – erm, still counting! They say 'bar and charcuterie' which sounds a bit wine-bar-ish and flash, but we say 'think of great Spanish bars you know and love and add Leeds hipsters', and that is the 'Amigos de Jamon', as we are going to insist on calling it. You cram in upstairs and hang on for dear life to your place at the very short bar, or you try for space downstairs (there are no reservations), where big platters of shaved pig and chunks of artisan cheese are periodically delivered to happy eaters and drinkers. Everything has been acorn-fed, cossetted and cured, and it all goes beautifully with a silky Castillian sherry, a glass of vintage Rioja or a craft fruit beer from Belgium. If you doubt their seriousness about prime sourcing, check out the beer fridge with its separate sections for 'sour and rice beers', 'limited and bottle aged' and 'porter and stout'. Even on a foul winter's day, there is a slice of Spanish sunnyness inside Los Amigos (we really aren't going to stop) and, right now, we can't think of a better bar in Leeds.