vegan in the Lake District

Welcome to the next instalment of the Being Vegan In series! In this post, I will be sharing my experiences of some of the wonderful vegan spots and restaurants that the Lake District has to offer. I’ve been there many times but this is the first time I’ve ever eaten there as a vegan. So if like me, you are here because you want to find out how to eat vegan in the Lake District, keep reading!

Before I tell you about where I ate, it goes without saying that the Happy Cow app is a really useful tool for finding vegan restaurants wherever you go. Some of the places we’d chosen prior to our trip were actually closed when we got there, so it was useful to be able to search for somewhere else nearby.


Zeferelli’s is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant located in Ambleside. It specialises in Italian food and is also attached to a cinema and jazz club. (They regularly do offers too, for example, when we were there, two courses and a cinema ticket was £22). There is a lot of choice for vegans, and the food is absolutely delicious. It was the first vegan restaurant that I’ve been to that actually has a “posh” restaurant feel. Most other vegan restaurants are very quirky and quaint, so it was nice to experience a different kind of vibe.

vegan in the Lake District

For starter, we had the Pesto Bruschetta and the Goat’s Cheese Bruschetta. (Many of their non-vegan dishes can be made vegan, which is what we did here). They were both delicious and I could’ve had them for my main and dessert, too. My husband had the Pecan and Cashew Nut Wellington, which he said was one of his top 3 meals of all time. I had the Rain Forest Pizza, which was nice but nothing special. If I went there again I’d probably have something other than pizza. I liked the sound of this pizza because they donate 25p from every pizza sold to support several educational projects in southern India. For dessert, we shared a banana split, which was the perfect size after a big meal.

The White Lion

This was a pub restaurant in Ambleside that we stumbled on by accident when we were hungry and in search of vegan food. Typically, if we’d walked a couple of streets down in the other direction we would’ve found a vegan cafe. (This is, in hindsight, why Happy Cow is so useful!)

Nevertheless, the food here was very nice. They have a separate vegan/vegetarian menu which is a plus. It’s always nice when restaurants make the effort to offer something more than just a bean burger! We shared the Cajun Style Vegan Bites to start, which were lovely. For main I had the Sri Lankan Vegetable Curry which was delicious, and my husband had a burger which he enjoyed. We didn’t have dessert unfortunately as we were too full, and we had already planned to go out for dinner too. Nothing spectacular, but it was a very nice lunch.

vegan in the Lake District
Waterside Cafe

This cafe was such a great find! We planned to go somewhere for breakfast, then found that the road was closed so we decided to pop into Kendal as we were heading out of the Lake District. We’d originally planned to just have a Wetherspoons breakfast, but on this occasion, I remembered to use Happy Cow and I found this little gem. It was cold, rainy, windy, and my legs were tired from the day before, and when we finally got to this vegan haven there was a lovely dog waiting for us just inside. (OK he wasn’t actually part of the cafe but it made me happy nonetheless). Already this became one of my favourite places for eating vegan in the Lake District.

Their vegan hot chocolate went down a treat – I had mine with oat milk and Kristian had soya. They even had vegan cream to go on the top!

vegan in the Lake District

By the time we sat down to eat breakfast had long gone, so we decided to have lunch instead. I had their burger of the day, which was chickpea, sweet potato, and spinach (YUM!) with their fresh salad, and Kristian had the Hummus and Mediterranean Vegetable Open Sandwich, again with salad.

I’m usually a ‘chips-over-salad’ kind of girl,

and even though we did order a side of chips (we were on holiday after all), I actually really enjoyed their salad. The salad was probably my favourite bit. They had vegan potato salad, coleslaw, bulgar wheat, lentils, red cabbage, and a few other bits I can’t remember. They also let you choose your own or have a ‘surprise salad’, which was a nice touch. You could also buy boxes of salad to take away, too. It was a really healthy meal but it still felt like you were getting your money’s worth as it was so filling. I was really pleasantly surprised by this cafe and I will definitely return next time I’m in the Lake District.

vegan in the Lake District
Other vegan restaurants we didn’t visit this time:

There are many places to eat vegan in the Lake District, we couldn’t possibly do them all in one trip. Here are a few more that we wanted to visit, but couldn’t/didn’t for whatever reason. I know we’ll inevitably be going back again before long, so I’ll update this post with all the new places we try!

Kat’s Kitchen (Keswick)

This vegan & vegetarian cafe is located on the main road just as you go towards the west side of Derwentwater in Keswick. There is a car park opposite. I was really excited about eating here. Unfortunately, when we got to the door we saw a sign saying “Refurbishment extended – closed until Feb 1st”…which was two days after we were there! It was so annoying – but hopefully, we will go next time!

Granny Dowbekins – Ullswater

We were headed there on our last day to get breakfast, but the bridge over the lake was closed so there was no way to get there! I was very eager to try their all-day breakfast. Next time for sure!

The Heights Hotel (Vegetarian/vegan hotel) – Keswick

I’m so happy we phoned them up to ask for a reservation, as they told us on the phone that they were actually closed for the winter. (We ended up going to Zeferelli’s instead, so it wasn’t the end of the world).

Folk – Bowness on Windermere

No reason why we didn’t eat here – we actually didn’t spend much time in Windermere! Their menu looks good though.

Gandhi’s Cafe – Ambleside

This is the one which is close to the White Lion (which we missed by a few metres!). Their breakfast prices weren’t cheap, so we would likely do lunch there next time.

Fellini’s & Co (Ambleside)

They are partnered with Zeferelli’s, which can be confusing when you’re trying to decide between the two on the phone. Fellini’s are a “vegeteranean” restaurant which has more of a fine-dining feel. Both restaurants are also partnered with Yewfield and Ambleside Manor (both are vegetarian/vegan restaurants). With some of their packages, you can get meals at each of the restaurants included with your stay. This is something I’d definitely look into next time, as both hotels look gorgeous.

I hope you found this helpful – let me know what your favourite vegan restaurant in the Lake District is!

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