The Lake District Guide
Your eating out guide to the English Lake District!
We feature the best restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and takeaway food places.
Like many areas of the UK which have traditionally relied on farming as one of the main industries, Cumbria in general and the Lake District in particular are blessed with great food products.
The producers range from small, local artisan operations with a small-scale enterprise to brands that are known nationally and internationally, like the famous Kendal Mint Cake.
The meat is especially good. Herdwick sheep are raised in a natural environment on the flavoursome grass and herbs of the Lake District hills, and they are free to wander over the area they inhabit. The result is a slow maturing meat, which is full of flavour and rewards careful preparation as either mutton or lamb.
The Lakes were also renowned in times gone by for the pork products that it priced, and this tradition lives on in the naturally reared and often organic bacon and sausages which you'll find offered for breakfast at many hotels and guest houses. Once you've tried it, you'll be converted, as it's simply delicious.
As in many other regions of England, gastropubs, high-class fusion cuisine, the cafe-bar and modern bistros have spread through the Lakes and produced a host of places to eat and drink which offer far more than the traditional "roast and three veg."
There are now many places serving local meat, fish and vegetables in a style of cooking which is noticeably influenced by local tradition but which matches in sophistication the best England has to offer.
Some of the Lake District country house hotels bring modern cooking to its highest level: Miller Howe and Sharrow Bay are names which may be familiar to you, but there are many others, including several with Michelin stars to recommend them.
There are also gastropubs with a fine reputation, excellent cafes, and - as always - the good old British pub grub, which can be excellent. We've tried to offer you the best choice available in each category, though of course standards change - moreso, perhaps, at the lower end of the market - and we'd appreciate your feedback on anything we have described here, as well as the places you think deserve to be included.
Choose your style of eating in the English Lakes:
Gourmet restaurants - if you want a gourmet experience in the beauty of the Lakes, we have some suggestions for you, with a Michelin star or two thrown in for good measure.
Other recommended restaurants and Gastropubs - who said the Lakes was old-fashioned? With everything from Thai to Chinese, British to French, home-cooked traditional roasts to modern-day bistros, your satisfaction is guaranteed.
Other Lakes pubs - the Lake District has some of the finest hostelries you could ever hope to find! We list the better pubs, with good food, where we think you'll enjoy both the food and the drink.
Cafes, Tea Shops and Bars - great food, informal surroundings, in the beautiful scenery of the Lakes. Perfect!
Vegetarian restaurants and cafes - the Lakes has a few exclusively vegetarian restaurants; we list these and also list the places with specialist vegetarian options.
Great everyday eating - including takeaways, informal cafes, snack bars, and the occasional Lake District restaurant oddity that we wanted to share with you...