Best Places to Eat in the Lake District

Tableware in a restaurant

Nearly 16 million visitors come flocking to the Lake District every year for the magnificent scenery and adrenaline-inducing activities. But increasingly, visitors are also coming to sample all the fabulous food on offer in this growing culinary hotspot! There are plenty of amazing places to eat that cover all kinds of dietary requirements, from vegan food, to cracking gluten-free cakes and halal options too.

Whether you’re after fine dining, top-notch pub grub to tuck into after a long hike, or a lovely brunch spot close to your holiday cottage, we’ve got you covered.

Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes with 5* Reviews

Lanty Slee’s, Elterwater

With multiple reviews calling this charming spot a Lake District ‘hidden gem,’ you’d be missing out if you didn’t pop in for a meal whilst staying in the Elterwater area. With delicious innovative food, their line of home-crafted spirits and a great terrace with fantastic views on offer- what’s not to love?

Graze, Bowness-On-Windermere

Graze serves up bold Asian flavours in healthy yet still hearty meals like delicious rice and noodle bowls, in a quaint café setting. Family and dog-friendly, this cracking café also boasts top-quality coffee.

Tacos Del Sol, Ambleside

If you’re staying in Ambleside and looking for something a little different for dinner, look no further than Tacos Del Sol. Run by a Mexican family, this authentic food is bursting with flavour! You can eat in the small and cosy restaurant, soaking up the good vibes, or take away to enjoy wherever you want.

The Manor House, Oxen Park, Ulverston

This characterful country pub, complete with a stone fireplace and roaring wood burner, boasts one of the best Sunday lunches around. Their main menu options are also fantastic- don’t miss out on the rhubarb souffle!

Best Spots to Take in the View

Waterhead Coffee Shop, Ambleside

Right on the pier, overlooking the serene waters of Lake Windermere, you can’t get a better location than this. Serving up fantastic lunch options, you can sit and enjoy a cup of specialty coffee on the balcony, a stone’s throw from the lakeshore. The blueberry scones are to die for!

Blue Smoke on the Bay, Windermere

Tuck into delicious, wood-grilled food, whilst overlooking the boats in the marina, right outside the window. Whether you fancy steak, fresh fish, or a burger, you’ll be in luck here.

Forest Side, Grasmere

Situated in a stunning Lakeland mansion just outside Grasmere, enjoy fine dining cuisine with a magical view over the valley and forest below. Enjoy bold flavours and exquisite wine pairings with their four-course lunch tasting menu. They also offer a full vegetarian menu.

The Drunken Duck, Ambleside

Looking out from the top of a hill at the heart of the Lakes, views of the surrounding fells from The Drunken Duck are simply wonderful. Sit inside in the cosy pub interior, or outside in the scenic beer garden, enjoy elevated pub classics, and beer from the brewery onsite.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Cafes

Old Dungeon Ghyll, Langdale Valley

This favourite walker’s pub at the head of the Langdale Valley welcomes furry friends and muddy boots. The tasty pub food is only surpassed by the breath-taking views.

The Yan at Broadrayne, Grasmere

This modern bistro serves up rustic Cumbrian classics and is fully dog friendly. The warm welcome and delicious food will ensure you and your pup leave very satisfied!

Queen’s Head, Troutbeck

This traditional Lakeland pub has cosy, beautiful interiors and is one step above being dog friendly- they absolutely adore dogs here. So much so that there is even a doggy menu, so you and your four-legged friend can enjoy a scrummy meal together! Safe to say, the human food is very tasty too.

The Rattle Ghyll Fine Food and Deli, Ambleside

This excellent, dog-friendly café/deli is a must for foodies, as they have a great range of mouth-watering meals to choose from. It’s all about local, hearty produce here, and the cute interiors provide a homey atmosphere.

Michelin Star Restaurants

The Old Stamp House, Ambleside

There’s a reason that this is one of the most celebrated Michelin-star restaurants in the Lake District. The food is inspired, drawing on the local Cumbrian heritage to create the finest dishes centred around locations all over the Lakes. The restaurant is intimate and the service impeccable- you won’t be disappointed.

 L’Enclume, Cartmel

The jewel in the crown of Simon Rogan’s several, outstanding Michelin restaurants, L’Enclume was the first ever restaurant in the North of the UK to be given a third Michelin star, and it’s easy to see why. More than just dining, eating here is a sensory spectacle. The ingredients from the restaurant’s farm are showcased front and centre on their extraordinary tasting menu. It’s the perfect venue for a special occasion and an unforgettable meal.

The Samling, Ambleside

This charming, country house restaurant has wonderful views down to Lake Windermere, and a delightful terrace to enjoy a refreshing cocktail from their ‘Reverie’ bar. Plus, the food isn’t half bad either. Offering a sumptuous tasting menu, plus a chef’s table experience if you’re feeling fancy, it rests assured that you’ll leave feeling full- and wanting to come straight back! They also serve beautiful afternoon teas.

Allium at Askham Hall, Penrith

Enjoy the very best food that the Lake District has to offer, in elaborately furnished, country house surroundings. Celebrating seasonal food, the dishes here serve up the very best of Lakeland produce to create an unforgettable experience.

Best Vegan and Vegetarian Food

Fellinis, Ambleside

This fully vegetarian Mediterranean restaurant is an Ambleside institution and for good reason! Far from boring, with dishes ranging from twice-baked, smoked Applewood cheddar souffle, to shakshuka and cardamom crème brulé- it’s the place to come to try something different- and delicious!

Plant by Kat’s Kitchen, Keswick

A 100% plant-based bistro and café, Kat’s Kitchen is the place to go in the Lakes if you want mouth-watering vegan food. From Sunday lunch to a big slab of delicious, homemade cake, Kat’s has it all.

Green’s, Grasmere

A favourite for breakfast and lunch in Grasmere, the café prides itself on its many vegetarian and vegan options. It’s rare to find not only a fully vegetarian/vegan full English, but also a veggie sausage butty on offer! Greens also caters to gluten-free customers.

The Apple Pie Café, Ambleside

In the heart of Ambleside, this family-run café is famous for its melt-in-the-mouth apple pie- which is fully vegan and can be served with yummy Madagascan plant-based vanilla ice cream! They also serve a good selection of vegan and veggie lunch options.

Halal Restaurants in the Lake District

H3: Lake Raj, Bowness-On-Windermere

This top-notch Indian restaurant in Bowness serves up flavoursome classic dishes. All the food is halal, and they also have lots of great vegetarian options. Apparently, the chicken shaslik is magnificent!

Taste of Bengal, Penrith

This Bengali restaurant and takeaway is in Penrith, just off the M6, so makes a great place to stop if you are travelling to the Lakes and need a pick-me-up. The food is completely halal, and finger-licking good! All the options are reasonably priced, the portion sizes very generous, and the staff friendly and amendable.

Shahib’s Indian Restaurant, Bowness-On-Windermere

A great option if you’re looking for halal food in the central lakes, Shabib’s serves up a wide range of Indian meals, accompanied by buttery naans, and delicious sides. The chef’s speciality dishes are particularly good, plus they offer Cobra beer on tap-perfect!

Has this list of the very best Lake District restaurants got your taste buds tingling? Book a stay in one of our charming holiday cottages to be within touching distance of these incredible eateries on your next UK break.

Got questions about holidaying in the Lakes? Give our friendly, Elterwater-based team a ring on 015394 37635.