Keswick is a popular town for walkers, climbers, families and couples and offers something for absolutely everyone. The town caters well for the volume of visitors with ample places to eat and drink. You'll find a good mix of modern bars, traditional pet-friendly pubs and cafes that have excellent reputations. Here are some of our favourite places to eat in Keswick, tried and tested by the staff at Sally’s Cottages and perfect to visit if you're staying at one of our Keswick Cottages.
The Dog & Gun is possibly the best known dog friendly pub in the Lake District. On a typical night you can expect to be outnumbered on the dog to people ratio. The pub's speciality is Hungarian goulash, a legendary dish that is perfect after a day's fell walking. This pub is popular with local Cumbrians and holidaymakers alike and has a warm welcoming atmosphere.
The town has two excellent pizzerias, the Loose Box and Woodstone. The Loose Box is long established having been converted from the horse stabling for the Skiddaw Hotel. Woodstone is a newer pizza joint and relatively recently and has a vast menu plus an open plan kitchen with a stone fired oven.
Keswick is full of coffee shops including Java (serving very moreish hot chocolate), The Wild Strawberry (great breakfasts) and Treeby and Bolton (part of a contemporary art gallery and shop). The Square Orange Cafe is virtually opposite our office and serves excellent tapas and hosts regular live music evenings. Merienda is a fairly new coffee shop to Keswick with an already established reputation in Cockermouth and Carlisle. The cakes are divine and the menu is outstanding! Abraham’s Tea Room is on the third floor of the George Fisher outdoor shop and offers homemade food and a stunning view across the rooftops to the Coledale fells.
Keswick has a mix of world cuisine, including Italian at Casa Bella and Luca's, Indian at the Lakeland Spice, Chinese at Golden Hills and Silk Road and Thai at the Star of Siam and She mara. For a more formal dining, check out for Morrell's on Lake Road.
Fancy some traditional fish and chips? There are three chippies in Keswick town, the Old Keswickian, Bank Street Chippy and the Kingfisher on Main Street. If you fancy a bit of a walk, it is worth the ten minute stroll to find out why all the locals tend to go to the Windebrowe Chippy!
The Market Square is lined with pubs, we recommend The Royal Oak, the Bank Tavern and The George. Oddfellows is worth a visit if you are interested in horses - the interior is decorated in racing silks, photos and memorabilia. The George serves a mammoth Cow Pie, you would need to have walked a fair few miles to be able to attempt it!
For something a bit more modern and contemporary, try the Lakes Bar and Bistro on Station Street or Magnolia on Lake Road. Both serve an interesting menu that strikes a balance between pub and restaurant. Magnolia is truly eclectic when it comes to drinks from global beers to cordials.
One of the best things about a summer holiday is to find a warm sunny spot for a picnic. For me, a picnic is not complete without a Cranston’s pork pie, Hawkshead Cumbrian Relish and a slice of cheese from the Cheese Deli in Packhorse Court.
Here are some of our recommendations for picnic supplies:
Booth’s supermarket is part of a small regional chain selling eclectic local foods. The Keswick branch has a cosmopolitan deli counter and a great selection of self service salad items.
Bryson’s supply a vast selection of local cakes, bread and pastries. I recommend the Lakeland Plum Bread, simply divine with lashings of butter.
The Cheese Shop in Packhorse Court is well stocked with every variety of cheese available plus local imaginative pates, olives, garlic and continental dried meats.
Keswick market has a number of food stalls offering fresh fruit, homemade pies, cheese, baked goods and, curiously, fabulous hot Indian food.
We have written a detailed article about The Great Lake District Picnic.
…and finally, I know we’re not supposed to eat sweets these days but we have to mention Keswick’s famous sweet emporium, Ye Olde Friar’s!