In the Lake District Each pretty rural village seems to have its own food icon, from Kendal mint cake to Cartmel sticky toffee pudding and Grasemere gingerbread.
The area is also famed for its mature lamb (called hogget) and Cumberland sausages, which you will find on almost all pub and B&B menus. There are numerous celebrated restaurants on the shores of the lakes and many fantastic gastropubs too.
With so much delicious food to fit in, however will you choose where to eat?
Luckily, BabyBreaks has researched the best family restaurants in The Lake District, so you can plan your mealtimes with ease.
Also take a look at our selection of activities in The Lake District for the perfect stay.
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1. Baba Ganoush, Kendal
A great place for a quick bite and takeaway lunch boxes. This popular deli serves amazing vegetarian food with a Mediterranean influence. Think tasty quiches, zingy colourful salads and freshly squeezed juices. The kids will certainly love the meze style eating which allows them try a little taste of lots of dishes. In other words, perfect for small appetites!
Address: Unit 4, Berrys Yard, 27 Finkle St, Kendal LA9 4AB
Phone: 01539 731072
2. Picnic by the Lake
Picnics are a really popular way for families in the Lake District as they are a great way to refuel halfway through your walk or cycle. Most importantly, rest your legs and admire the amazing views as you tuck into tasty treats bought from your local shops. There are numerous dedicated Picnic Sites around the lakes where you can set up, with facilities like toilets and tables with benches.
Three of our favourite picnic spots are Tarn Hows which has a 3km circular walk around it. Also Latrigg for magnificent views over Derwent Water. And Castlerigg Stone Circle, a neolithic monument offering a 360 degree view of the surrounding fells.
3. Hazelmere Bakery and Café, Grange-Over-Sands
The smell of warm pastry emanating from this bakery is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. Even more so if you have spent the morning hiking, kayaking or cycling. The cafe has a buzzing atmosphere all day long as it does a roaring trade serving freshly made sandwiches, cakes and coffee to tourists and locals. In addition, the outdoor seating is a lovely spot to sit and relax in the summer.
Address: 2 Yewbarrow Terrace, Grange-over-Sands LA11 6ED
Phone: 015395 32972
4. Cartmel Village Shop
This now world-famous shop is the home is the home of Cartmel’s most famous export, sticky toffee pudding. The cafe upstairs serves the original recipe pud in all its sickly sweet glory, as well as other cakes, soup and light bites. A must try for your stay in the Lakes! In the shop you can pick up some edible souvenirs, with sticky toffee flavoured everything on offer – biscuits chocolates, fudge and more. One of the best family restaurants in The Lake District!
Address: Parkgate House, 1 The Square, Cartmel LA11 6QB
Phone: 015395 36280
5. Cuckoo Brow Inn, Ambleside
A charming, traditional pub situated in a quiet village near the National Trust home of Beatrix Potter. Family and dog friendly, it is popular with walkers and cyclists, being surrounded by some beautiful routes winding through the countryside towards Lake Windermere.
Downstairs you’ll find roaring fires, real ales and local produce on the menu, while upstairs there are 14 classic bedrooms, in case you want to stay the night.
Address: Far Sawrey, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0LQ
Phone: 015394 43425
6. Fresher’s Cafe, Ambleside
This relatively new cafe (opened 2017) has quickly shot up the list of favourite family cafes in the Lake District, thanks to its welcoming staff and delicious food. It’s a short walk from white platts park, so children (and dogs!) can let off some steam before you refuel with freshly baked scones, home made quiche or a warming soup. The smoothies and shakes are sure to be a hit with the kids. The outdoor seating is ideal for active families too.
Address: 3 The Courtyard, Rothay Rd, Ambleside LA22 0EE
Phone: 07969 578517
7. Fellpack, Keswick
Inspiring artwork of the surrounding Lake District landscape adorns the walls of this trendy yet welcoming cafe in Keswick, popular with tourists and locals alike. It is a relaxed cafe during the day and a cosy restaurant in the evenings, serving great local food, coffee, beer and cocktails. Families love the friendly, accommodating staff who make a fuss of small children and will happily whip them up a them scaled down portion of the main menu’s dishes. Fellpack also host regular events such a live music , quiz nights and film screenings.
Address: 19 Lake Rd, Keswick CA12 5BS
Phone: 017687 71177
8. Granny Dowbekin’s Tearooms, Penrith
Overlooking the River Eamont, this dog and child friendly cafe is a beautiful spot for lunch on a sunny day. One of our favourite family restaurants in The Lake District, Granny Dowbekin’s offers lots of outdoor seating from which to admire views of the river and Ullswater Lake. The food served is simple and delicious, from generously filled sandwiches using local, thick cut ham to a tempting selection of homemade cakes.
Address: Pooley Bridge, Penrith CA10 2NP
Phone: 017684 86453
9. Folk, Bowness-on-Windermere
This light and airy cafe is great for families as it’s close to Beatrix Potter World – one of our top Lake District Activities for families. They serve delicious dishes for the whole family, including great waffles, sandwiches and salads, as well as a special children’s menu. Offering a little bit of tranquillity away from the main high street, there’s lots of outdoor seating too which is lovely on a warm day.
Address: 4 St Martin’s Parade, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3DY
Phone: 07454 615133
10. Sugar & Spice, Windermere
A quaint and cosy cafe serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon teas in the heart of Windermere. The breakfasts are particularly good, and will set you up for a day of hiking. Like most places in the Lake District, Sugar and Spice is also dog friendly, so great for accommodating the whole family of walkers!
Address: 11 Main Rd, Windermere LA23 1DX
Phone: 015394 22979
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