14 Must-Try Restaurants In Windermere That Locals Love!

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Last updated on October 18, 2022 by Wandering our World

Bowness-on-Windermere is a picturesque town situated on the banks of the famous Lake Windermere, making it a popular tourist destination. The charming architecture and stunning natural scenery here draw visitors from all over the world, who come to admire the beauty of this special place. Thankfully if you’ve worked up an appetite from exploring this gorgeous part of England, there’s plenty of restaurants in Windermere to enjoy!

Whether you’re exploring the town’s winding streets, taking a walk along the lakeshore, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee in one of the pretty cafes, this is a wonderful place to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

As we know this place so well, we have picked out what we believe are the 14 best restaurants in Windermere for food and dining experiences.

So whether you’ve been to the region before, or are a new visitor, we know one of these places will be right up your street. Bon appetit!

Chef cooking
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The 14 Best Restaurants In Windermere

As you wander through the quaint town of Bowness-on-Windermere, you’ll find an abundance of restaurants to choose from. From fine dining establishments that serve exquisite cuisine to cosy pubs with traditional British fare, there’s something for everyone. But what makes these restaurants so special?

Well, many of them boast beautiful views of Lake Windermere. And what could be more romantic or wonderful than enjoying a delicious meal while enjoying tranquil scenery!

Many restaurants in Windermere are interesting and unique in their way, offering a truly memorable dining experience – as we’ll show you right here. So whatever your preference, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you.

Burger and fries
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1. Boardwalk Bar and Grill

Boasting exceptional panoramic views of the mesmerising Lake Windermere, Boardwalk Bar & Grill offers freshly made and palate-pleasing food in an inviting and relaxed atmosphere.

Dogs are welcome on their wonderful outside terrace and ground floor, making it the perfect spot to bring your furry friend along. Situated right on Gilly’s Landing, it’s hard to find a better place to enjoy a meal.

This restaurant offers a variety of dishes, from seafood to steak, and everything in between. But what makes the Boardwalk stand out is its atmosphere. It has a very dreamy and romantic feel, thanks to its lakeside location. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a delicious meal with someone special.

We recommend their Roasted Lamb Rump, which is a dish that is best savoured slowly. The lamb is succulent and tender, while the vegetables and potatoes provide a delicious accompaniment that perfectly offsets the richness.

Another popular favourite dish is their Fillet which is served with chunky chips, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes. A meal fit for royalty, this dish is great for any occasion.

You can expect not only fantastic food, but arguably the best views of any of the Windermere restaurants too.

Address: Gilly’s Landing, Glebe Rd, Windermere LA23 3HE

beef steak display
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2. Porto Restaurant

Porto is a family run independent restaurant that offers some of the best food in town.

This place serves modern British fine dining with unique flavours. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening out, a leisurely lunch with friends, or a family gathering, there’s something for everyone. From snacks and nibbles to classic British dishes and beyond, Porto is sure to satisfy.

From the cosy downstairs area to the relaxed atmosphere upstairs, this vibrant eatery is a great place to grab a bite to eat. When the sun is shining, make sure to check out their rooftop terrace – it’s always open!

The friendly welcome and stylish surroundings are always a good start, but it’s the fresh, full of flavour good food that keeps us coming back for more.

Their rooftop sun terrace is the perfect place to share some small plates and cocktails with friends. And the location on a cobbled street in the heart of town is ideal for tourists who want to be in the middle of the action.

Address: 3 Ash Street, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3EB

Chef adding drizzle to fine dining plate
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3. The Albert

Situated just a stone’s throw away from Lake Windermere, this gastropub boasts a very cosy and beautiful outside seating area and offers a great choice of wine, ales and beer. Including beer by some of our favourite brewers – Robinsons!

Famous for their scrumptious Sunday roast, it isn’t hard to see why people are willing to wait – their roast silverside of beef, accompanied with veggies, mashed potatoes or crispy roasted potatoes, as well as the obligatory Yorkshire pudding never disappoints.

Looking for a good pub meal and great beers? The Albert is a fantastic choice. It’s also one of our favourite Windermere restaurants for Sunday roast. (Recommended: The Best Pubs in Windermere).

Address: Queens Square, Bowness-on-Windermere

Sunday roast display
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4. The Magic Roundabout

The Magic Roundabout is a quirky restaurant with a lot to offer visitors looking for a great meal. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner here, as well as quintessential English afternoon tea.

There’s also a bar where you can enjoy evening drinks and cocktails. The menu offers a variety of items that will appeal to a wide range of tastes, and the staff are always happy to provide recommendations. Alongside a variety of classic British dishes and meaty mains, they also serve vegetarian and vegan options.

What makes this place truly unique, however, is the fact that it serves up some of the best breakfast in Windermere.

From pancakes and waffles to eggs and bacon, there’s something for everyone at this wonderful establishment. And not to forget the classic Full English Breakfast! Plus, the charming atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to relax and refuel before heading out to explore the town.

They’re also known for very generous portions, so you’ll leave this place with a smile on your face and feeling full. No wonder it’s one of our favourite restaurants in Windermere!

Address: 8 Queens Square, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3BY

English breakfast display
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5. Folk Cafe

The Folk Cafe is a great place to start your day if you’re looking to explore Lake Windermere. They have a huge focus on using locally sourced products and specialise in craft coffee and tea with an array of delicious home-baked goods.

The atmosphere is cosy and relaxing, and it’s the perfect place to get lost in a good book or catch up with friends.

This place is a locals’ favourite, and features an exquisite menu with a variety of dishes that span different cuisines. Whether you’re in the mood for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this establishment will provide. Their very filling sandwiches and delicious burgers come highly recommended.

The Folk Cafe is the perfect spot for those looking to get away from the crowds. It’s located a little off the beaten track, but it’s dog friendly – which is perfect if you’re travelling with your furry friend. There’s a great selection of local ales and beers too.

The food is fantastic, but what makes the Folk Cafe unique is the ambience. It has a dreamy, rustic, welcoming feel that will make you feel right at home.

Address: 4 St Martin’s Parade, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3DY

Beer and burger display
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6. Sail N Dine

If you are looking for a unique Windermere restaurant experience, Sail N Dine offers you just that as you will be dining on a yacht!

Whether you fancy a romantic evening with your loved one at sunset, or a fun and unforgettable experience with the kids who can get hands on with the yacht, this quirky way of fine dining is a great option.

The choice of fine wines and first class food prepared on board and catered to your requirements is excellent. As is the service and unbeatable views as you cruise pretty Lake Windermere.

Address: Glebe Rd, Windermere

Red wine
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7. Graze

Graze is a great place to pop in for a quick bite. The menu has a range of tasty snacks to choose from, and the atmosphere is pleasant and relaxing. The staff are friendly and always happy to help, and the restaurant itself has a charming rustic feel.

Graze focuses on homemade food, with a strong emphasis on vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. But they also serve up some delicious meaty dishes for those who crave them.

The location is ideal for tourists but it can get quite busy during peak months, however it’s definitely worth the wait.

The food here is amazing and they serve a range of cuisines that will tantalize your taste buds. The atmosphere is cosy and inviting, making it the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a delicious meal.

Address: Crag Brow House, Helm Rd, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3BU

Buddha bowl
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8. Blue Smoke on the Bay

This unique fine dining experience offers exquisite meals prepared on an open fire using British hardwoods – and all with great views of the lake.

We recommend their Crispy Duck Pancake, lobster and their Bricklayer Steak; which is Blue Smoke on the Bay’s signature dish. When it comes to dessert, you will not be disappointed by their Pecan Brownie and amazing cheesecake.

The best wood-fired dining experience in Windermere, and one of the best lakeside restaurants in Windermere too.

They also do an amazing savoury afternoon tea!

Address: Ambleside Road, Windermere

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9. The Easy Breeze Piano Bar & Restaurant

The Easy Breeze is a charming piano bar and restaurant located in Bowness on the tranquil shores of Lake Windermere. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a delicious meal in beautiful surroundings.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a hearty meal with friends, the Easy Breeze is sure to please. The staff is warm and welcoming and always happy to help.

Plus, what makes The Easy Breeze unique is its live entertainment, which is audience-led and sure to get everyone in a fun mood. Their resident pianist can take audience requests, and it often turns into a real sing-a-long affair!

They have both indoor and outdoor seating options. The cuisine is excellent, with seafood, grilled meats, stone-baked pizzas, and even burgers on the menu. So there’s plenty of choice and variety. In fact there’s even an outside area to dine al fresco if the weather is nice.

Their wine list is superb and the cocktails are delicious too. So if you’re looking for live music, great food and a place where drinks flow, then this is one of the best restaurants in Windermere for you!

Address: 5 Church Street, Bowness-on-Windermere LA23 3DG England

Wine and pizza display
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10. The Ship Inn

This Windermere lakeside pub is in a great location with unbeatable views of the water and marina. With its friendly atmosphere, great service and an outside seating area, this traditional pub is ideal for dinners and catching up with your favourite people.

The Ship Inn offers a nice selection of beer and traditional keg ales, and has some great hearty British pub grub.

We highly recommend trying their Gammon & Rump Steak, and if you have a sweet tooth like us, the Sticky Toffee Pudding is superb. If you’re a fan of full bodied, dry beer, then get a pint of Theakston when visiting.

Address: Glebe Rd, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3HE

Selection of beer
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11. Hyltons Restaurant

The quaint cobbled Ash Street in the heart of Bowness-on-Windermere is home to the charming Hyltons Restaurant. This restaurant, which mainly serves British and American cuisine, is a great place to relax over a coffee or glass of wine. But if you’re feeling hungry, they serve light lunches and evening meals with scrumptious puddings.

However, it’s worth noting that they don’t accept bookings, so be sure to drop by and just grab a seat!

The wine list here is truly exceptional, with an array of options to choose from by glass or bottle. If beer is more your style, they have a great selection of brews to wet your whistle, or you can explore their tantalizing cocktail menu for something special. Whatever your drink of choice, you’re sure to find something to love at this charming restaurant.

As for food, we recommended their steaks which are excellent – tender and juicy with a generous helping of chunky chips. If you want seafood, then we highly recommend opting for their Mussels Marinier with chilli, garlic, cream & white wine sauce. The desserts are fantastic too!

Address: Ash Street, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3EB, United Kingdom

Mussels and fries display
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12. Shahib’s Restaurant

Shahib’s is a popular Indian restaurant in Bowness-on-Windermere that is well-known for its amazing cuisine and intimate atmosphere.

The menu features a variety of traditional Indian favourites and unique dishes from all over the world, making it the perfect place for a romantic dinner date or special celebration. The restaurant has a modern and sleek design, with dim lighting and soft music creating a relaxing and intimate ambience.

Whether you are in the mood for a hearty lamb biryani or something a little lighter, such as the fragrant chicken tikka masala, Shahib’s has something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

The place also has a wide selection of vegetarian dishes to choose from, and is one of the most affordable restaurants in Windermere too. 

Address: The Arcade, Crag Brow, Bowness – On – Windermere, LA23 3BX

Indian food display
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13. Village Inn Bar & Grill

The Village Inn is one of the most popular places to eat in the area. It’s well known for its good food and great atmosphere. The staff are always friendly and welcoming too, and the location is perfect – right by Lake Windermere.

If you’re looking for a fantastic meal in a charming setting, you’ll love dining at The Village Inn. It’s one of our favourite spots to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the area. Especially as they have a lovely outside area for enjoying dinner and drinks.

The Village Inn has been a resounding success ever since it opened its doors in 2011. Winning three international accolades for its food and ambience, so unsurprisingly, this restaurant bar is a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike.

Boasting an impressive selection of real ales and an excellent range of beers, as well as fine brandies and a marvellous wine list, there’s plenty of options to choose from.

As for food, the menu is varied with many grill dishes, UK cuisine, and popular international dishes too. Do get your hands on their delicious fish and chips! The cocktails are also worth trying – their Butterbeer Cocktail is particularly delicious. In fact when night falls, the bar comes alive with tunes and cocktails!

Address: The Village Inn, Lake Road, Bowness on Windermere, LA23 3DE

Fish and chips with beer
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14. Tower Bank Arms

We had to mention this quirky 17th century inn, which was even featured in Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck! Which isn’t much surprise as it’s situated just a few minutes of Potter’s farmhouse.

It’s a ferry journey across Lake Windermere to Ambleside, but the scenic journey is well worth it, especially for the fantastic classic English pub food you will find here.

This relaxed pub is known locally for their fantastic selection of award winning local Cumbrian ale. This historic classic English pub, with good food and great ale, was always going to make our list of best restaurants in Windermere.

Address: Near Sawrey, Ambleside


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