Glass of Lemonade at Apple Pie Cafe in Ambleside

Apple Pie Cafe – Ambleside

Vegan-friendly cafe with plenty of seating in the heart of Ambleside.

Cuisine: Filled rolls, Falafel Warp, Burger, Vegetable Pie, Chips, Apple Pie!
Opening Hours: 9.00am – 4.30pm
Location: Rydal Rd, Ambleside LA22 9AN
Date Visited: July 2018 & 2019
Price Range: £6-9 for food
Contact: 01539 433679
WiFi: Yes
Charging: To be confirmed

From the front it’s easy to assume the Apple Pie is just a small bakery. However, if you go through to the back or round the side there is a cafe with plenty of seating, even on busy days. There are some outdoor tables too, perfect for a refreshing drink when it’s hot.

The lunch menu has two clearly labelled vegan rolls and two ‘specialtys’ (their spelling) including the Mexican Black Bean Burger which we had and thoroughly enjoyed. The burger is dense and filling, different from the usual ‘beige’ veggie burgers but not a meat-substitute style burger either. Well worth a try.

New on the menu since we last visited is a Brinjal Vegetable Masala Pie which we’re looking forward to trying next time we’re in Ambleside.

Their drinks menu is comprehensive. Alongside the usual coffees and teas there are is a homemade lemonade, raspberry lemonade and elderflower cooler which hit the spot on hot days. When it’s cold or raining the hot spiced apple juice or mulled wine are warming alternatives. Either go down nicely with their twice cooked chips if you’re peckish but don’t want a full meal.

The thing that makes The Apple Pie stand out is that their signature dish, the ‘Famous Hot Apple Pie’ is vegan. It would be tempting for them to try to enrich it with dairy, so we appreciate their keeping it vegan. It’s offered in a plain or ‘mixed spice and sultana’ version. Both are superb and even your most ardent omnivorous friends won’t be disappointed if they join you for a slice.

There is a breakfast menu with a vegan breakfast. We haven’t tried it but it looks like a good selection of the usual vegan English breakfast options. We’ll report back when we’ve had a chance to sample it.

One pet peeve of ours is places that charge extra for soya milk, which unfortunately The Apple Pie does. We understand charging for some varieties of plant milk as they can be expensive. But soya milk isn’t these days, so paying more for it does feel a bit like a tax on vegans, especially when so many places don’t do this. However, The Apple Pie is good enough overall that we overlook this.

So when you need a break from exploring the delights of Ambleside (still our favourite Lake District town), the Apple Pie Cafe is the stopping place, whether it’s for a drink, a full lunch or just a slice of apple pie.

2 thoughts on “Apple Pie Cafe – Ambleside”

  1. I visited the cafe this week (July 2022) and they still charge a 50p vegan-tax for soya milk. I mentioned to the waitress that this was a dated approach and that it felt like a con, but she just shrugged her shoulders. I don’t think any establishment that charges extra for non-dairy should be included in a vegan guide to the Lakes.

    1. Hi Alex, I sympathise, and well done for raising it with them. Even if the staff seemed disinterested at the time the more people who challenge it the more it will stick in their minds in the long run.

      Given how few vegan places there are in the Lake District I felt it was overkill to exclude it completely, as people may still want it as an option. Plus I thought the food and apple pie were very good. That’s why I gave it an entry with a caveat rather than excluding altogether.

      Thanks for giving us the update – are there any other vegan places you visited that we should add to the site?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.