Ambleside restaurants, cafes, and takeaways

We’ve rounded up our favourite places for you to try on your next visit to this hot spot of culinary delights!

Home > Lake District Guide > Ambleside Restaurants, Cafes, and takeaways

In Ambleside, the cafes are plentiful, and restaurants dot every street

You don’t have to walk far in Ambleside in search of something delicious to eat. From simple toasties, to Michelin-starred extravagance, and everything in between, you can find it all in this bustling Lake District hot-spot. But where do you eat first?!

Click a link in the lists below to jump straight to that section…

The Best Restaurants in Ambleside

The Old Stamp House

Serving food inspired by Cumbria – its heritage, people and landscape – is the ethos of The Old Stamp House. Run by Cumbrian brothers Ryan (chef) and Craig (manager) Blackburn, not only is their exciting menu influenced by the rugged Cumbrian landscape, but it also draws heavily upon the county’s rich seafaring past and its use of imported spices such as pepper, mace, rum and ginger.

The cosy, welcoming restaurant (formerly William Wordsworth’s office) with its whitewashed walls and stone-flagged floors is designed to be a showcase for Ryan’s cooking and a celebration of the farmers who supply his meat, the fishermen who catch his fish, and the local artisan producers whose ingredients elevate his dishes to Michelin-star standard.

It’s no wonder The Old Stamp House was judged the best restaurant in the world in 2021!

Old Stamp House website >

01539 432 775

The Old Stamp House
Church Street
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0BU

Map >

Lake Road Kitchen

Let’s take a look at what food critics have to say about the Lake Road Kitchen:

Josh Glancy, writing in the Sunday Times goes with “A restaurant of rare audacity.” Marina O’Loughlin from the Guardian writes “It’s all a gal could hope for… A meal without a single missed beat.” And the AA Guide describes “Remarkable combinations of taste and texture. A revelatory meal.”. And then there’s the Michelin star!

We think it’s fair to say it’s a pretty special place – with a price tag to match, mind you. But what a treat for the senses the 5, 8 and 12 course tasting menus are.

Expect Nordic vibes, sheepskin-covered chairs and top-drawer food and service you won’t forget in a hurry.

Lake Road Kitchen website >

01539 422 012

Lake Road Kitchen
Sussex House
Lake Road
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0AD

Map >

Dodds

There’s a distinctly Italian flavour to Dodds. Open during the day for light lunches and snacks – or just pop in for a reviving brew – they’re also open in the evening for a relaxing meal to round off your day perfectly. So, what’s cooking?

On the pasta menu there’s Lobster Ravioli, Seafood Spaghetti, and Mushroom Carbonara to name but three. Mains include Crispy Pork Belly, Braised Shin of Beef Ragu, and Home-Made Potato Gnocchi.

Pizzas come piping hot and variously topped. While for lunch you can slurp on soup, tuck into a sandwich, or chow down on a juicy burger.

And there’s good news for kids too – every meal comes with a drink and a scoop of ice cream.

Plus everything on the main menu can be ordered to take away back to your holiday cottage if you just don’t feel like cooking one night.

Dodds’ website >

01539 432 134

Rydal Road
Ambleside
LA22 9AN

Map >

Lucy’s on a Plate

With quirkily named dishes such as I Spy Ribeye, All About the Bass, Lambshank Redemption and Chish and Fips, you can tell there’s a sense of fun in the air at Lucy’s on a Plate.

An Ambleside institution, Lucy’s has been around in some form or other since 1989, beginning as a specialist grocers, before opening as a restaurant and café in 1996.

Serving delicious, home-cooked dishes that cater for all foodie persuasions, in a relaxed and informal setting, a visit to Lucy’s is a must.

While not entirely vegan or veggi, there are some mouthwatering options on their otherwise expansive menu.

Book to go between 5 and 5.45 and you can even get Lucified for Less with their earlybird menu. On Sundays they serve Ravishing Roasts, and their Little Lucy’s menu makes sure the kids are well fed too.

Lucy’s on a Plate website >

01539 432 288

Church Street
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0BU

Map >

Matthew’s Bistro

A small & friendly family-run bistro where you can be sure of good food and a warm welcome. Born and bred in Windermere, the owner and award-winning classically trained chef Matthew first opened the doors of the Bistro in 2001 with a vision to serve hearty home cooked food to locals and visitors alike.

Together with his wife Dominika they pride themselves in working closely with local suppliers to bring you the best of what The Lake District has to offer.

Whether it’s traditional British, classic French or Mediterranean, there’s something for everyone and the hand-picked selection of delicious wines and craft beers is carefully designed to create an enjoyable dining experience for all.

Matthew’s Bistro Facebook page >

01539 431 234

Compston Road
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9DJ

Map >

Doi Intanon

Family-run Doi Intanon has been dishing up Thai flavours in Ambleside for over 20 years. Expect all the usual Thai delights such as pad Thai, green, red and jungle curries, Thai fish cakes, tom yum soup and salads, plus daily specials – all freshly made to order.

There’s loads of choice for vegetarians too, and everything is served in beautiful surroundings, with handcrafted Thai decorations and ornaments creating such a warm and welcoming ambience, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to southeast Asia.

The Cumbrian climate might tell a different story – not that you’ll care after such a delicious feast.

Doi Intanon website >

01539 432 119

Market Place
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9BU

Map >

Ambleside’s vegan and vegetarian restaurant options

In Ambleside, the culinary scene isn’t just about traditional fare – it’s a vibrant hub for vegan and vegetarian cuisine too!

Here’s a taste of what you can expect from the town’s plant-based eateries and cafes:

Zefferelli’s

Not only can you see a film at Zefferelli’s, you can also enjoy a meal at their award-winning vegetarian restaurant.

Italian-inspired, they serve up antipasti and salads, along with home-baked pizza and pasta dishes, and decadent desserts.

Highlights include Stilton Soufflé, Mushroom & Leek Pappardelle, Butternut Squash Risotto, and the Rain Forest pizza – topped with Zeff’s tomato sauce, aubergines, courgettes, jalapeno peppers, red onion, grated cheddar and mozzarella. Bellissimo!

Zefferellis’ website >

2 Compston Road
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9DJ

Map >

Fellini’s

Serving up arthouse movies in the cinema and a ‘vegeterranean’ menu in the restaurant below, Fellini’s is the place to go for vegetarian fine dining with a Mediterranean twist in Ambleside.

Expect to be wowed by star performers such as Burrata with Rucola Salad, Fig Jam and Roasted Pistachio; Zucchini and Halloumi Fritters with Baby Potato, Harissa Sauce and Herb Yoghurt; and Moroccan M’hancha with Lemon Cous-cous and Miso Sauce.

And for the perfect ending, how about walking off into the sunset accompanied by a slice of Chocolate Mousse Cake and Morello Cherries?

Zefferellis’ website >

Church Street
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0BT

Map >

Dog Friendly Restaurants in Ambleside

No need to leave the dog behind, they are welcome to come and dine with you at Luigis’!

Luigis – Dog Friendly Italian Restaurant

Luigis is a dog friendly Italian restaurant. With a menu featuring rustic Italian dishes & wine in a homey, family-run setting with a fireplace. The authentic Italian recipes here have been passed down through the generations.

They have a full dog-friendly floor, so your pooch can enjoy a meal out too! Separate from the main restaurant area and equipped with dog beds, treats and water.

And, of course, if you’re looking for a dog friendly cottage in Ambleside, we’ve got plenty to choose from!

Luigis website >

01539 433 676

Kelsick Road
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0BZ

Map >

The Priest Hole

A great option for a relaxed meal, especially if you’re exploring the Lake District with your furry friend. You’ll want to check the weather though as they only welcome dogs on their outdoor terrace.

The Priest Hole is located in a historic building, Kelsick Old Hall, one of the oldest in Ambleside. Inside, it has a warm and relaxed feel with original features, while the outdoor terrace offers a chance to soak up the sunshine and watch the world go by.

They specialise in fresh, homemade traditional Cumbrian and British comfort food and pub classics (stop by for the Sunday Lunch if you get the chance). They also have a selection of wines, beers, and cocktails. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, offering a taste of the region with friendly service.

The Priest Hole website >

01539 433 332

Church Street
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0BU

Map >

Cafes in Ambleside

Bellis Café & Bistro

Serving the best local ingredients in a relaxing atmosphere. Bellis offers a Breakfast and lunch menu with a separate evening menu offering salt aged steaks, fresh fish, vegan options available and local produced lager and ale.

With steak and lamb cooked to perfection, there’s plenty for the carnivores to dig in to. There’s also salmon, and salads if you’re in the mood for something lighter.

Bellis Facebook page >

01539 425 201

Rydal Road
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9BS

Map >

Vegan and Vegetarian Cafes in Ambleside

Bumble’s Rest Café

Tucked away down a little street by the stream on Stock Ghyll, you’ll find Bumble’s Rest Café. Dishing up home-made soups, seasonal stews, sandwiches, chilli, cakes and the best coffee in Ambleside (their words), this tiny vegetarian café is a welcome respite from the hustly bustly high street.

Vegans are well catered for too and they even let well-behaved meat eaters in.

There are a few colourful chairs and tables outside, where you can enjoy your creamy hot chocolate and listen to the water rushing downstream.

Bumble’s Rest Instagram >

2 Bridge Street
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9DU

Map >

Dog Friendly Cafes in Ambleside

Force Cafe & Terrace

A little outside town, close to the mighty Stock Ghyll Force, you can find the Force café.

Primarily aimed at walkers and their families (parking is limited if you’re on foot) hiking their way up to or down from the waterfall, over Wansfell or to Kirkstone and further afield, it’s open every day for banging breakfasts, belly-filling brunches and lush lunches – the best shepherd’s pie in the Lake District, anyone?

During the summer months, the wood-fired pizza oven slings out flame-singed discs of deliciousness on Friday and Saturday nights – with booking essential if you don’t want to miss out on a slice of the action.

And even better, they donate 1% of their turnover to environmental charities. Truly a force for good and good food.

Force Cafe website >

O1539 468 335

Kelsick Grammar
Stockghyll Lane
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 OQY

Map >

The Apple Pie Café and Bakery

There’s nearly always a queue at The Apple Pie – especially in the summer months – and once you’ve been, you’ll see why this family-run café and bakery in the heart of Ambleside has been voted one of the best places to eat in the Lake District by the Guardian.

Now on its third generation of Fieldings, it’s expanded over the years to include five seating areas over two floors and a takeaway counter.

So what is it on the menu that keeps tourists and locals alike flocking to its door? Could it be the amazing array of cakes, traybakes and breads that come down every morning from the bakery upstairs?

Or the pies, pasties and sandwiches that can be eaten in the café or taken away to be enjoyed elsewhere? Or their famous apple pie that gives the café its name? The answer is yes, yes and yes.

Apple Pie website >

01539 433 679

Rydal Road
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9AN

Map >

Copper Pot

Like the sound of Truffle Mushroom Toast? Or Whipped Goats Cheese Salad? How about a Cumbrian Reuben, or fully loaded naughty chips? Decisions, decisions. You can choose what to have when you get to the Copper Pot, a small but perfectly formed café in the centre of Ambleside.

And there’s lots more home-cooked food and cakes on the menus besides, along with great coffee and even brunch cocktails, should you so desire.

Go for breakfast and the Lakeland Large ‘Un will set you up right for the day ahead – crispy bacon, Cumberland patty, fried egg, pepper shrooms, beans, tomato, hash brown, black pudding and toast. Now doesn’t that sound like a reet good bellyfull?

Copper Pot website >

Church Street
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0BU

Map >

Ambleside Takeaways

Tacos Del Sol

Go down Mexico way down Ambleside way at Tacos Del Sol. Run by Chris (Carlisle) and Marisol (Mexico), they whip up freshly made Mexican street food using the best ingredients from local producers.

And, there’s cold beer, tequila, and frozen Margaritas to help it all go down. You can feast on flavour-filled quesadillas, burritos, tacos, and nachos (home-made, of course) – but don’t leave it too late in the day to go as everything is prepared and cooked to order, and they close up when everything is sold out.

Seating is limited, but happily, everything on the menu can be taken away too.

Tacos Del Sol website >

07454 654 027

2a Cheapside
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0AB

Map >

The Picnic Box

Offering hot and cold food options to take away, The Picnic box is perfect for grabbing a bite to eat before or after exploring the Lake District.

They open at 8:00am so pop in and grab a sandwich bag to fuel you up the fells and round the lakes. The prices are fair for tasty, freshly prepared food on the go.

They are based at the end of the road you follow to get to Stock Ghyll Force, so they’re ideal for stocking up for a picnic at the falls.

01539432475

1 Lake Road
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0AD

Map >

Walnut Fish Bar

The Walnut chippy is a good option if you’re looking for fish and chips in Ambleside.

The fresh haddock, and an option to dine in, offer a good escape if you’re caught out by hunger or weather while out and about in town.

Being just up the road from Rothay Park, it’s especially hand to grab some chips on the way to play in what we’d say is one of the best, most scenic parks in the country!

01539 432 521

Millans Park
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9AD

Map >

The Lucky Dragon Chinese takeaway

The Lucky Dragon is a popular choice for Chinese takeaway in Ambleside, with a good selection of quality dishes.

Offering a convenient option for enjoying Chinese cuisine in the comfort of your own space.

Struggling to choose? Give the steak in garlic sauce a try!

They usually open from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Tuesday through Sunday.

01539 431 818

1, Unicorn Building
Compston Road
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9DJ

Map >

Cottages in Ambleside

Experience the beauty of Ambleside and the Lake District with our selection of self-catering accommodation. Your perfect retreat awaits.

Book today

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