Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say that the Lakes District is vegan heaven, however it wasn’t an impossible battle either. There are a couple of completely vegetarian restaurants in Ambleside, but £15 for a fancy (probably tiny) main is a little out of my price range.
Full Disclaimer- If you know me even just a little bit then you will know just how much of a greedy guts I am and just how emotional I get over food. If you’re new here then prepare for one dramatic, emotive article right here because food is my life- I actually fantasise about what I’m going to eat later when I already have a mouth full of food. Is that weird or do other people do that? Let me know…
Anyway…here’s where I recommend eating in the Lakes;
Graze is literally everything. EVERYTHING! How I wish I was eating there right now. Graze is a cute little café tucked away just off the main high street in Bowness, unfortunately it’s not 100% vegan, yet (maybe that will change due to the amount of vegan food me and my family consumed there over the weekend). Pretty much everything I ate there was delicious but you simply HAVE to try the American pancakes and the chocolate brownie- they’re to die for.
Kimi’s Gelato Bar: Bowness-on-Windermere
Kimi’s Gelato bar was actually quite a surprising find. Nestled right on Lake Windermere and attached to a Wacky Warehouse soft play area, I would never have imagined it would sell vegan ice cream… but it did. I always chance my luck with these type of places and just ask to see if they have anything dairy free; usually just lemon sorbet (which I hate but will always settle for). This place had quite a few different flavours of ice cream made with soy milk, I tried caramel and oh my god I think I died and went to heaven. It was pretty much the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted, do yourself a favour and get down there- I’m considering the 3 hour drive to get some more.
*The cones from here have skimmed milk powder in them, boo!
The Little Ice Cream Shop: Hawkshead
While we’re on the topic of Ice cream I may as well tell you about The Little Ice Cream Shop in Hawkshead. The shop itself is so ditsy and cute I could have sat by the window and watched the World go by all day. This place had a couple of vegan flavours, not as many as Kimi’s and were by no means exotic so I opted for Raspberry. BUT their cones are vegan AND they have crushed oreos available as a topping, so it’s still well worth a visit.
Grasmere Gingerbread Shop: Grasmere
Let me just take a second and personally thank Sarah Nelson (RIP, you were taken from us too soon) for creating Grasmere Gingerbread, you are my Queen and I love you dearly. When I die, I can only hope that my house in heaven is made from Grasmere Gingerbread, it is the love of my life (no exaggeration) and I could eat it all day, every day- in fact I have eaten it every day since I got back from the Lakes.
I can’t even explain the taste to you, just get to Grasmere, queue up outside the shop (which is a guarantee because this place is no secret) and buy 1000000000 packs of gingerbread, trust me you will not regret it. I ran out of my gingerbread a couple of days ago and I could have cried.
*If anyone from Grasmere Gingerbread is reading this please please send me some more.
Taylors of Windermere: Bowness-on-Windermere
If it’s lovely weather in the Lakes (or even if it’s not) and you want to go out on a picnic- Taylor’s is the place to go. It’s a deli shop that sells so many incredible things it’s almost crazy. Joe had a roasted vegetable and pesto sandwich the size of his head that was so good I could have cried and my mum and I had a salad from the bar where everything barr two things were vegan and really delicious.
Magic Wok: Windermere
Magic Wok is a Chinese Shop on the main high street of Windermere and is 100% average. Okay, maybe I’m judging it a little harshly, it is 100% okay/good-ish food. Having said that there is a whole page of vegetarian options of which features lots of tofu (or bean curd) so it will do in a pinch. One thing the Lakes is missing is good veggie restaruants, there are plenty of café’s but nowhere to eat in an evening. BUT, this place will do you fine.
Shahib’s Indian Restaurant: Bowness-on-Windermere
Shahib’s, much like Magic Wok was okay. I had my favourite Aloo Palak/ Saag Aloo and, although it looked nothing like it, it tasted pretty good. Indian’s in the Lakes are pretty strange though, they all have a sign on the door saying something along the lines of ‘Everyone in the party must spend over £10, we don’t sell starters on their own and if you’re ordering a side dish it MUST come with a main’…it’s really bizarre.
Where I DON’T recommend…
House of Siam: Bowness-on-Windermere
Now, where do I start with House of Siam? First off, as I’m sure most of you’re aware because I shout it from the rooftops any chance I get- I lived in Thailand for almost a year…I know Thai food, and this place WASN’T Thai. House of Siam had Laab on the menu that was served with chicken; Laab for anyone who doesn’t know is a spicy sort of salad, which usually includes minced meat/tofu with red onion, mint leaves and chilli’s and it’s BEAUTIFUL. I asked the waiter if I could substitute the chicken for tofu, he just says ‘No, it wouldn’t taste good.’ I’ll leave it there, but Mr.Waiter, if you’re reading this- it DOES taste good because I’m the customer and I say it does AND (I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this?) I LIVED IN THAILAND SO I KNOW! The dish I did get in the end wasn’t great and it was clear that everything was frozen which is why they couldn’t customise my meal.
They also ruined my mum’s birthday by ruining the fact I was surprising her with a cake when they came over and asked ‘errrm is it somebodies birthday? Shall I bring the cake out now?’ Just no, House of Siam.
As you can still I’m over the whole thing…
Where are your favourite places to eat in the Lakes District? Or your favourite places in the UK in general, I am willing to travel for tasty vegan goodness!