Food, glorious food

The 9 Best Bowness & Windermere Restaurants and Cafes

Looking for the perfect self-catering accommodation in Windermere & Bowness?

Here’s our pick of what’s on the menu.

There are so many places to eat in Windermere and Bowness (over 100 at least) that you could easily have breakfast, lunch and tea somewhere different every day. Sounds like our kind of holiday.

From simple, homely cafes serving soups, sandwiches and toasties to fine dining tasting menus at Michelin-starred restaurants, and everything in between, including all the usual takeaways and a wide range of pubs, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste and budget.

The Best Breakfast in Windermere or Bowness

…or brunch, if you’re making the most of not needing an alarm clock while you’re away 😉

Homeground Coffee + Kitchen

Main Road, Windermere

Get yourself to Homeground in Windermere for a breakfast (or brunch if you got up late) that’ll set you up right and proper for whatever the rest of the day might bring.

Chances are you’ll have to queue but, it’s worth it – and you can peruse the menu and get your mouth watering in drooly anticipation while you wait.

When you get inside it’s all rustic and cosy, and then there’s the food.

We highly recommend the Homeground Sarnie – a towering stack of smoked back and streaky bacon, smashed avocado, hash browns, caramelised red onion, leaves, and a fried egg (if you like – we like), on sourdough ciabatta.

You can probably skip lunch after that little lot.

Brambles Café Bar

Main Road, Windermere

If you like your breakfast traditional and reasonably priced, point yourself in the direction of Brambles Café Bar. The owner, Karen, gets a lot of love in the reviews on Trip Advisor.

Slap bang in the middle of Windermere, this cosy, friendly little place will fill your plate with bacony, sausagey, eggy, black puddingy, beany, tomatoey, toasty goodness without you having to cough up an arm and a leg.

We haven’t found a better-kept secret than their Full English in terms of quality, quantity, and value. They’re dog-friendly too!

We’ll drink a big mug of steaming hot tea to that.

Ubuntu Cafe Bar

4 St Martin’s Parade, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3DY

Something a little less traditional! Discover a cute little cafe off the main high street, where the decor is as out there as the style.

Homemade paintings adorn the walls, and the upstairs section offers a plethora of board games for your entertainment.

The owner’s friendly and accommodating nature, coupled with a perfect background soundtrack, enhances the overall charm of Ubuntu Cafe.

It’s not just a cafe; it’s an exceptional experience filled with lovely people. Trust me, you can’t recommend it enough!

Lovely for lunch

Urban Food House

Lake Road, Bowness

How does this little lot sound? Crispy Calamari. Roast Veg Flatbread. Korean Chicken Wings. Buttermilk Chicken Burger. Cauliflower Satay. Not bad, eh? You’ll find all these taste bud-treaters and more on the lunch menu at the Urban Food House in Bowness.

Dishing up great food with urban style and old-fashioned rural charm, the two friends who run the show are strongly committed to recycling and using British materials and local suppliers – 90% of the furniture and fixtures are recycled.

They like dogs too and have been known to offer up the odd sausage to lucky tail-waggers.

Graze

Helm Road, Bowness

It’s easy to walk straight past Graze, but our advice is don’t – especially if you fancy something light and healthy for lunch that isn’t paninis or toasties or jacket potatoes.

We’re talking palate-pleasers like Udon Noodle Soup, Japanese Curry & Rice, and Teriyaki Salmon Rice Bowl, to name but a few.

The two-person team in this tiny restaurant cook everything on the short Asian-style menu to order and it can get busy, but the deliciously different food is worth it.

Bandito Burrito

30 Main Rd, Windermere, LA23 1DY

The nachos steal the spotlight – a genuine surprise that you must try! The burritos are equally exceptional.

For those seeking the best burrito in the UK, look no further – with portions so generous you’ll be sharing them with the family Bandito Burrito delivers an outstanding experience. The use of tomatillos sets their burritos apart, earning a solid 10/10 recommendation.

The friendly staff, live up to the restaurant’s impressive near-perfect 4.9-star rating.

Whether you’re a local or just passing through, Bandito Burrito is a tiny culinary gem worth the detour. There’s not much seating (just a couple of tables inside and out) but, with an unmatched combination of flavourful dishes and inviting hospitality, you’d be daft to miss out, even if it’s just a click-and-collect meal to go.

Top-notch for tea

…or do you call it dinner?

Porto

Ash Street, Bowness

On cobbled Ash Street in Bowness, you can find a whitewashed stone building that looks like it belongs somewhere much hotter. But luckily for us, it’s here and serving some of the finest food in the area.

Slav is the man at the stove at Porto, and he spent time learning his craft under renowned chef Steven Doherty, who used to run the 3-Michelin Star La Gavroche in Mayfair. Ooh, fancy.

Slav’s dinner menu, which changes with the seasons, includes such delights as Lobster Arancini, Herdwick Lamb Chump, and Wild Mushroom Risotto. And, you must try his homemade Porto focaccia, which is made fresh every morning and served as a complimentary pre-starter.

Francine’s

Main road, Windermere

Francine’s is probably the only restaurant in Windermere that has snails on the menu – and having tried them, I can vouch for their gloriously garlicky gorgeousness. But, if that spiral-shelled mollusc doesn’t tickle your taste buds, then how about Lobster thermidor? Or Seafood Casserole? Or Pan-Fried Turbot?

As you’ve probably noticed, Francine’s is a little bit different. A little bit continental. And a little bit special. Heavy on the seafood but with plenty of choice for carnivores and one or two dishes for vegetarians too.

This friendly bistro in the centre of the village has been a Windermere institution for many years.

Source at Gilpin

Crook Road, Windermere

Fancy a sophisticated, Michelin-starred culinary treat for dinner? Of Source you do? Head chef, Ollie Bridgewater, came from the legendary Fat Duck.
The seasonal ingredients come mostly from local suppliers. And the oohs, aahs, and mmmmm that tastes good, will be coming from you.

With three and six-course tasting menus to choose from, and a wonderful setting to enjoy it in, if you feel like giving your wallet a workout, this is the place to do it.

Working with a local organic farm to take a nose-to-tail, low food mile, pesticide-free, no-waste approach, the team at Source are cooking up a Cumbrian storm.

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Windermere & Bowness Cottages

Windermere’s allure lies in its picturesque setting along England’s largest lake, offering leisurely cruises, lakeside vistas, and a vibrant town ambience.

Meanwhile, Bowness exudes sophistication with its heritage charm, quaint streets, and a delightful array of shops, eateries, and cinemas.

Combined, Windermere and Bowness promise an unforgettable fusion of natural beauty, rich heritage, and captivating experiences at every turn.

Start your journey now. Discover your perfect Bowness & Windermere Cottage >

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