Ambleside sits right at the top of lake Windermere in the Lake District, and has become one of the most visited towns in the Lake District for walkers, tourists and holiday makers. A bustling town with plenty of unique shops, a big selection of places to stay including hotels, holiday homes and traditional cottages, very dog friendly, and plenty of restaurants to enjoy make it a very popular spot. If you’re visiting Ambleside you’ll want to make sure you have good food, so here’s the Ambleside restaurants worth visiting.
In case you’re wondering why you should listen to me, I’ve been visiting Ambleside with my family since I was a kid, and still make multiple trips a year. Between us all we’ve tried many places, but it’s these cafes and restaurants in Ambleside that stand out and see us returning time and time again.
Ambleside Pub Restaurants
You can’t visit Ambleside without enjoying some traditional pub food, like the Cumberland sausage, or a steak and ale pie. These pubs are all a good choice if you’re wanting no frill, British food and big portions.
The Priest Hole
The Priest Hole is in the heart of the town centre and is one of the oldest buildings, you can tell when you’re inside with it’s fireplaces and low beam ceilings. They also have an outside terrace which is a sun trap in summer, and is dog friendly. They serve traditional Cumbrian food, and they’re always big portions. The Priest Hole is great for a pub lunch or evening meal.
Wateredge Inn is part of the Inn Collection group, and they have a cracking spot right on the lake. They serve hearty food in a casual setting, with seasonal menus playing a big part in what’s on offer at the time. No bookings are required here you can just walk in.
The Flying Fleece
A popular Ambleside restaurant and bar with an outside terrace and a view of the famous Ambleside tiny house, they are a good one for families, and dogs are welcome in the bar area too. The food menu is typically British and locally sourced, and they have a big selection to drink too.
The Drunken Duck
A table at the Drunken Duck is one of the most sought after in Ambleside, and although it’s a five minute drive from the centre of the town, it’s well worth it for every aspect – the character, the picture perfect view, the food, and the atmosphere. Although it is technically pub food, it goes way beyond what you’d expect as standard, enough to have earned it Michelin status.
There is a restaurant area, that books up weeks in advance, but you’re guaranteed a table if you’re staying in one of the rooms, and a bar area. This one is likely to be the best meal you’ll have in Ambleside.
If you’re looking for Ambleside restaurants that aren’t just British pub food, including fine dining, Michelin awarded, set tasting menus, and just good quality restaurants to enjoy an evening from, then these ones are all worth visiting.
Old Stamp House
A really unique restaurant, as it was once the office of William Wordsworth, and this tiny spot is now a Michelin restaurant. Because of this it’s pretty pricey, with a set menu at £95 per person, and bookings are taken quite far in advance via their website. The menu changes with the seasons, but the local landscape and produce plays a heavy part.
Find more details on the Old Stamp House visit their website here.
Dodds is in the town centre of Ambleside on Rydal Road, and you can’t book so there’s always a queue waiting outside ready for opening at 5pm. They do lovely cocktails as well as a varied menu including pastas, seafood and pizza. The service is great too, it’s well worth a visit.
Part of Rothay Manor Boutique hotel, the Rothat Manor restaurant is an award winning fine dining experience in Ambleside. It’s a good spot for an occasion, with a seasonal menu, or a more casual option in a separate room.
See more on Rothay Manor dining options here.
This place has a reputation for being a really good Thai restaurant, and it can be found on Market Place in Ambleside. The food is authentic and high quality with lots of flavours, and can also be ordered as takeaway.
See the menus and book online here.
A bistro referred to as the little sister of the ‘Old Stamp House’, serving casual but good quality food sourced from local suppliers. It’s family and dog friendly, but bookings fill fast and far in advance so make sure you don’t miss out.
Book Kysty here.
Other Ambleside Restaurants
Above are some of the most popular and sought after Ambleside restaurants, but these are also some good alternatives. If you like a Chinese takeaway, The Lucky Dragon or China Cottage are both options. Out of both of them I’d probably go for China Cottage.
For an Indian take a look at Ishaas. Another pizza place I’d go to if you can’t get into Dodds would be Zeffrirelli’s. Sheila’s Cottage that I mentioned earlier and the Copper Pot also do British food in the evening as a restaurant too.
The main thing due to the popularity of Ambleside these days is to book ahead, sometimes even months if you want to visit one of the Michelin Ambleside restaurants. You’ll have a great experience at any of the restaurants mentioned above, in a beautiful town that has a lot to offer. Read my full guide to Ambleside for more things to see and do.
Other posts you might like: