The Lake District – with its penchant for sheep farming and Cumberland Sausage – might not seem like the most likely place to cater for vegetarians and vegans. But prepare to be surprised! We've put together a list of tried and tested meat-free and vegan-friendly eateries. From fine restaurants, quirky cafes and even a vegetarian pub, you'll never have to settle for veggie lasagne again!
Kat's Kitchen, Keswick
Overlooking the River Greta and a skyline of mountains, Kat's Kitchen in Keswick is a cosy cafe offering a wide choice of homemade vegan dishes. The staff are a lovely, friendly bunch: everyone from omnivores, thirsty cyclists, and dogs are given a warm welcome inside to sample their plant-based meals and drinks.
Kat's menu has plenty of choice, including hearty full English breakfasts, tasty curries and homemade gluten-free cakes. There’s also a great list of Fairtrade loose leaf teas and locally roasted coffee. Be sure to check out the dedicated burger menu; they're all delicious, but the Moving Mountains burger is a tasty meat imitation without the guilt!
Fancy staying in Keswick? Take a look at our available cottages.
The Garden Cafe, Kendal
The Garden Cafe in Kendal has humble beginnings, starting life as a garden food truck before moving into its own premises in Kendal. Located in the quiet courtyard of the Quaker Tapestry Museum, this is a lovely spot to enjoy a homemade lunch with the sound of the town bells in the distance.
The cafe is entirely vegan, operating with a zero-waste ethos and an emphasis on using local speciality ingredients. Pastry lovers will want to check this one out, as the pasties here come very highly rated!
Have a browse of our Kendal cottages.
Fancy a good night out after dinner? With a state-of-the-art cinema, live music, and great veggie food, Fellini's in Ambleside ticks all the boxes! Describing itself as a 'Vegeterranian' restaurant, the modern and seasonal menu offers Mediterranian-style meals catering to both vegetarians and vegans.
Post-dinner, head upstairs to the five-screen cinema playing the latest blockbusters along with critically acclaimed arthouse films and live arts screenings. If you’re feeling lively, head to the jazz bar for a drink and a dance to some fabulous live music!
Browse all of our Ambleside cottages.
Quince and Medlar, Cockermouth
Set inside a beautiful old building near Cockermouth's high street, the Quince and Medlar provides vegetarian fine dining in a cosy, intimate atmosphere. The menu also offers vegan options as well as a fantastic drinks list featuring organic, vegan wines and beers.
Making good use of fresh, seasonal ingredients, the dishes here are really creative. It's perfect for those who fancy something a bit different to the usual staples (sorry falafel and hummus, we still love you!).
Have a look at our cottages in Cockermouth.
Grasmere Gingerbread, Grasmere
Here's one for the 'surprisingly vegan' list! The original recipe is top-secret, but Grasmere Gingerbread has no nasty surprises as it’s dairy-free and devoid of animal derivatives (a veggie/vegan's bugbear!).
This sweet treat is something of a Lake District legend, going back to 1834 when Victorian cook Sarah Nelson began baking in her tiny schoolhouse home in Grasmere. The building is now home to the official gingerbread shop, filling the village air with its warm, delicious smell.
Check out our holiday cottages in Grasmere.
The Heights Hotel, Keswick
At first glance, The Heights Hotel looks like your standard traditional Lake District pub. But you won't find Cumberland Sausage or Tattie Pot on the menu here! Instead, hungry punters can enjoy homemade vegetarian and vegan meals, all washed down with a selection of local ales.
With a name like The Heights, the pub is unsurprisingly located on a steep hill on the outskirts of Keswick town. But the journey up has its rewards, with panoramic views of Keswick, including Skiddaw, Blencathra, Catbells and Derwentwater.
Find your perfect holiday home in Keswick.
Tucked away in the maze of Ambleside's side streets is the wonderfully quirky Gandhi's. With locally sourced homemade food, Fairtrade teas and vegan beer, this ethical cafe is the perfect antidote to today’s processed fast food trends.
Even on the dreariest days, Gandhi's provides an instant mood boost, with a reputation for its friendly atmosphere and good music. Starving? Go for the Gandhi Burger, a hemp-based burger that comes with the full works of tasty sauces, fries and coleslaw.
Take a look at our Ambleside holiday cottages.
Cakes and Ale, Carlisle
Love books, tea and cake? Us too! Just north of the Lakes is the historical Cumbrian city of Carlisle, home to Cakes and Ale. Located near Carlisle Cathedral, this bustling cafe offers plenty of veggie and vegan lunches, as well as afternoon tea and homemade gluten-free cakes.
The cafe shares a building with Bookends, an impressively large independent bookshop comprising of four floors of books. But this isn't your average bookshop coffee shop: in the evenings, it becomes a lively hotspot for open mic nights, live music and author events.
Stay near Carlisle in one of our North East Cottages.
The Yard Kitchen, Penrith
Penrith is a bustling little market town in the Eden Valley, situated on the fringes of the Lake District. It's also home to the Yard Kitchen, a popular cafe that offers plenty of choices for vegetarians and vegans. Along with dairy-free lunches – often made with ingredients grown onsite – visitors can enjoy homemade vegan cakes and a selection of plant-based milks in their tea and coffee.
The cafe is located in Brunswick court, a courtyard packed with independent shops including a bookshop, grocers and a wine merchant. If the weather is being kind, there's a lovely terrace where you can enjoy lunch and watch the world pass by.
Why not take a look at some of our available cottages in the Eden Valley?
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