The Best Foodie Destinations in the Lake District

The Best Foodie Destinations in the Lake District

Last Updated on November 28, 2023

The Lake District has long been a paradise for foodies, with some of the UK’s most well-known dining establishments setting up a shop here. While it’s famous for its stunning landscapes and many scenic hiking trails, the region has its share of delightful eateries to indulge in after a rigorous hike.

With so many dining options in the Lake District, you won’t struggle to find somewhere to eat whatever you’re craving. Whether you want to reward yourself with a Michelin-starred tasting menu or cosy up in a pub with fish and chips and a glass of beer, the Lake District has something to satisfy your hunger.

Here are some of the best foodie destinations in the Lake District

Ambleside     

Ambleside is busting with many excellent places to drink and dine, making it a top destination for foodies visiting the Lake District. It’s a vibrant hub of delightful restaurants, cosy pubs, and lovely cafes that cater to all tastes, guaranteed to offer whatever you crave. Whether you’re in the mood for Cumbrian delicacies made from locally sourced ingredients or international cuisine, Ambleside has something to offer.

If you’re feeling fancy and want to splurge in a Michelin-starred restaurant, check out The Old Stamp House, loved by locals for its creative menu. Housed in the former office of William Wordsworth, it serves delectable dishes inspired by Cumbrian cuisines. You will also find authentic Cumbrian food made from local rare-breed meats. Don’t forget to order one of the extraordinary desserts with your meal, such as the elderflower meringue with sweet marinated strawberries.

If it’s refreshing drinks you’re after, check out the Golden Rule. Tucked in the backstreets of Ambleside, this traditional pub is open all year round. Treat yourself to a Cumbrian pint, fine wine, draught lager, and other non-alcoholic beverages while sitting beside a fire indoors or outside in their lovely beer garden.

Penrith          

Nestled along the northeast edge of the Lake District, Penrith is renowned for offering numerous outdoor adventures with its abundance of walking and cycling trails. It’s also a destination for fishing, canoeing, and other fun water activities. But the best part about visiting Penrith is you’ll find plenty of excellent dining areas to sample the local Cumbrian cuisine. Here, you’ll find everything from sausages to regional cheeses and gingerbread!

You’re spoilt for choice when eating out in Penrith, no matter what you crave. The best place to start your day is at one of the bakeries, specialising in homemade bread and pastries. The Narrowbar Cafe is a popular breakfast place, serving filling meals to start your day and a range of home-baked cakes. You’ll also find places that cater to plant-based diets, such as the Simply Goodness Vegetarian Takeaway Bistro, which offers wholesome vegan dishes.

The Lake District is renowned for its pubs, and Penrith has its share of traditional British pubs to enjoy good drinks before calling it a day. There are plenty to choose from, but the best ones are The Board & Elbow Inn, The Castlegate Arms, and Dappers Bar.

Keswick

Keswick is another town in the Lake District renowned for its scenic hiking trails. Thus, it’s a favourite destination for avid walkers, families, and groups of friends looking to explore the great outdoors. In fact, you will find some amazing group accommodation options in Cumbria, great for foodies looking to extend their stay here.

After a day of adventures, the best way to relax is to gather everyone and share a feast of delicious meals. Thankfully, Keswick has ample places to eat and drink, which cater to different tastes. Aside from modern bars and traditional pubs, there are fancy restaurants and lovely cafes.

No visit to the Lake District is complete without dropping by a pub. In Keswick, plenty of traditional bars delight locals and visitors with their Classic British fares and a wide range of beer. Check out the Dog & Gun, a popular dog-friendly pub with a welcoming atmosphere and is renowned for its delectable meals such as the Hungarian goulash.

Health-conscious eaters will find plenty of dining places to cater to their diet preferences, such as Merienda, a relaxed café with an exciting menu of superfoods.

Windermere 

Windermere is a popular destination in the Lake District, boasting stunning natural scenery. While many would come here to marvel at its natural wonders, others are here to indulge in the tastiest Cumbrian cuisines. Windermere is full of restaurants, bars, pubs, and cafes, giving foodies plenty of options.

A local Windermere favourite is Francine’s Restaurant, a bistro-style eatery in the centre of the village, specialising in fresh seafood and an impressive selection of British and International fares. Open for breakfast and lunch, diners especially love their lobster bisque and seafood casserole, best served with delightful wine.

For a creative and modern take on British food, check out Porto Restaurant. It’s an elegant restaurant with a good selection of modern British dishes, including vegan and vegetarian options. Some popular items on their menu are the pan-roasted chicken and the traditional smocked haddock. Finish off with a dessert of sticky toffee soufflé or a scoop of mouth-watering sorbet.

Sedbergh       

Nestled at the foot of the Howgills, the charming market town of Sedbergh is an ideal base for exploring the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. It’s renowned for having some of the UK’s most scenic mountain biking trails, making it a top destination for avid mountain bikers.

If you’re a foodie, Sedbergh is a delight to visit. It has a fantastic selection of cafes, traditional pubs, and restaurants, perfect for enjoying a meal after your mountain biking adventure.

Check out the Black Bull Inn, a former coaching inn transformed into a remarkable hotel. It’s one of the best places to stay in Sedbergh, not only because of its stylish and contemporary accommodations but also because of its fantastic restaurant. The menu features a combination of influences from Japan, Germany, and the UK, making it one of the most interesting places to dine in the Lake District.

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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