Wonderfully friendly Mexican Tapas restaurant with a dedicated vegan menu, including desserts.
Cuisine: Mexican – Tacos and enchiladas and a wide variety of tapas, garlic breads and nachos
Opening Hours: 4pm-Late (last seating at 9pm)
Location: 2 St Mary’s Ln, Ambleside LA22 9DG
Date Visited: August 2020
Price Range: £13 for tacos and enchiladas, around £5 per tapas dish
Contact: 01539 422282
Charging: No obvious power points
The first thing to say about Bar eS in Ambleside is just how great their staff are. When we walked past there was a sign saying they were fully booked that evening, but it was 4.30pm and we were very hungry so we thought we’d see if they could fit us in. They were wonderfully helpful, found space for us and were friendly and engaging throughout our meal. One server stopped us from ordering too much food on their tapas menu when other places might have just taken our money. They also offered water without us asking for it, which is always a considerate touch in restaurants.
They have a specific vegan menu which makes choosing your food a much more pleasant experience – no squinting to find little ‘ve’ letters printed at the end of a dish on a regular menu. They recommend 2-3 tapas per person. The larger dishes – tacos or enchiladas are equivalent to 2 tapas. Gluten-free options are plentiful and clearly labelled too.
It’s worth noting that they serve the food tapas style – as it’s ready from the kitchen – rather than waiting to serve you everything at once. We enjoyed this but the couple sitting at the next table clearly hadn’t understood, even though the server does explain when taking your order. They kept chasing up their various dishes which probably rather soured their experience. It wasn’t really Bar eS’s fault though.
We’d probably bore your if we went through every dish detailing how good it all was, so we’ll stick to recommending the patatas bravas, enchiladas and garlic bread with cheese, olives, sundried tomatoes and roasted peppers. All were excellent and good examples of somewhere making an effort to do vegan food well. We had churros for dessert which finished off the meal nicely.
The restaurant is decorated in a muted Mexican cantina style. There was good music, not too loud. We went as a couple and it was great, but Bar eS would excel as a venue for a group meal. The tapas style and friendly, relaxing atmosphere would make for fantastic sociable evening.
Overall this should definitely be very high on your list of places to eat in Ambleside.