5 Quaint Cafés in the Central Lake District

If there’s one thing we know, it’s a thing or two about where to find some good coffee in the wonderful Lake District! This place is brimming with quaint cafés, which makes our job here super easy. Think adorable country-vibe with a modern twist, serving light bites with locally sourced ingredients and a wide array of tasty hot and cold drinks.

Below, we have listed our top 5 quaint cafés in the central lakes including Ambleside, Windermere, Bowness-on-Windermere and Grasmere.

1. Mio Mondo, Bowness-on-Windermere

If people watching is your thing, this charming café perched on the edge of Lake Road in central Bowness-on-Windermere is the perfect spot for you. It’s super cosy inside but the outside seating is where it’s at in the summer. Not only does this café look like it belongs in Italy, the coffee and light bites rival those you would find across the pond.

It’s the ideal place to sit back with a signature iced coffee blend and a hearty breakfast while watching the world go by. Given its convenient location, you can easily take a leisurely stroll around the shops before finding your way down to the shore.

Find it here: Lake Road, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3BJ | Open 7 day a week from 8am | 015394 22327.

Photo credit:

2. Heidi’s Café, Grasmere

Situated in the heart of Grasmere village, Heidi’s Café is one of the quaintest spots around. Inside, you’ll find a range of illy coffee, loose leaf tea and a delicious selection of cakes. For something more filling, opt for a full cooked breakfast with vegan and vegetarian options available. You can even purchase some jams, chutneys and other Lakeland miniatures which make for a great gift idea.

Heidi’s is conveniently located in central Grasmere, which is a starting point for many of the fell walks around the village. We recommend setting off early on either of our favourite walks – Silver Howe or Easedale Tarn – before heading to Heidi’s for a delicious lunch afterwards.

If you’re wanting to stay in Grasmere, Heidi’s is also a lodge offering the sweetest shabby chic rooms with prices starting from approx. £90 per room per night.

Find it here: Red Lion Square, Grasmere, Ambleside LA22 9SP | Open 7 days a week from 9am | 07834 602709 | www.heidisgrasmerelodge.co.uk

Photo credit: Fooser

3. Ghandi’s Café, Ambleside

Ghandi’s Café offers a relaxed and cosy atmosphere to enjoy some delicious home cooked vegetarian and vegan dishes. Enjoy a classic veggie breakfast or chilaquiles until 11.30am or indulge on Indian-themed main dishes such as Pad Thai, George’s Korma, or Falafel Kebab during lunch hours (11-3.30pm).

Ghandi’s café is located in the centre of Ambleside where you’ll find quaint gift shops, parks, waterfalls, and access to many walks in the immediate surrounding area.

Find it here: The Slack, Ambleside, LA22 9DQ | Open Wednesday – Sunday from 10am | [email protected] | www.gandhiscafe.co.uk

Photo credit: Happy Cow

4. ChoccoBar Hot Chocolate House, Bowness-on-Windermere

To all chocolate lovers – please do not leave the Lakes until you have visited ChoccoBar!

Combining their creative flare with tasty flavours, they’ve created individual tastes that you wont find elsewhere. Come here to indulge on Nutella, Orea Cookie or Brownie Waffles, hot Spanish churros, and ice cream sundaes. Oh, and you can’t leave without trying their original, luxurious, thick hot chocolate!

But it’s not just about sweet things here, you can enjoy sandwiches and paninis, cream tea, and even smoothies made with fresh ingredients such as Kale, Mango, Açai and Matcha. It’s located in the centre of Bowness-on-Windermere, surrounded by gift shops and just a short 10 minute walk to the shore.

Throughout August, you can enjoy 50% off on Monday – Wednesday as part of the Government’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme.

Find it here: 57/58 Quarry Rigg Shopping Center, Off Lake Rd, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3DU | Open from 10.30am-5.30pm every day except Tuesday | www.choccobar.co.uk

Photo credit: Fooser

5. Sugar & Spice Café Bistro, Windermere

At Sugar & Spice Café Bistro, you can enjoy coffee and loose leaf tea accompanied by homemade cakes and scones. Expect fresh sandwiches, warming soups and dishes such as scrambled egg on toast. Whatever you choose, you can guarantee it will arrive beautifully presented while the high quality ingredients make it super delicious. Why not accompany your meal with an alcoholic tipple – choose from local ales, fine wines and prosecco.

Find it here: 11 Main Rd, Windermere LA23 1DX | Open daily from 9.30am-5pm | 015394 22979 | www.sugarspicewindermere.business.site

Photo credit: Sugar & Spice

Have you tried any of these cafés before? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!

For more delicious food the Lake District, check out the best spots for vegan food here.


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