Zeffirellis

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 35 reviews )
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+44-1539433845
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Compston Rd, Ambleside, England, LA22 9AD

Pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert. All vegetarian except for parmesan cheese. The entire complex has 4 cinemas, a cafe, a restaurant, and a jazz bar. Open Mon-Sun 10:00am-9:30pm.

Categories: Lacto, Ovo, Pizza, Italian, Non-veg

35 Reviews

First Review by jonnie

Uninspiring pizza/pasta place - Edit

The starters were nothing special. The green salad was just that! A few lettuce leaves with not a single additional item or flavour. None of the mains appealed so I chose a pizza. When it arrived it resembled something that came in a box from the supermarket. And tasted like it. I prefer a pizza to be hand made and wood fired. Nothing like that here.
The service was hit and miss and unfriendly/unsmiling.
We probably won't return.

Cons: Joke salad, Bland pizzas, Bland service

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Amazing cake!!! - Edit

I visited here after a "tip off" from a friend. I was not disappointed. The menu clearly marks what is Vegan or can be adapted. Because this place is vegetarian I was fully expecting to have a main (I had a lovely avocado,hummus and cucumber sandwich) but i was sceptical as to weather there would be any vegan cake. I need not have worried. There were 3 or 4 options. I chose the "bounty cake". Oh my,it was good. A crumbly crumb base,large wedge of coconut ice type layer topped with dark chocolate. I have had similar in the past but usually as a thin tray bake. This however was as a slice of cake. It made it all feel that extra bit special. Great cappacinno too :-)

Updated from previous review on 2017-11-02

Pros: Really great staff, Fantastic atmosphere, Fantastic cake and cappacinno

Cons: It isn't closer to where I live :-)

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amazing!! - Edit

The food was unbelievable. We went to felinis for a disappointing meal but decided to give this a shot and oh my god the Wellington was the best thing ever. The service was awful, not a single smile - almost rude. But the food was really good

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A Giant Meh. - Edit

We were excited to eat here as our family that generally only eats at pure veg*n places but it was ultimately disappointing. The vegan pizzas were dire. Have any of the staff actually tried them? A thin smear of sauce on a lifeless base with a very bland cheese alternative. The vege toppings on another were way too sparse. The Wellington was good but other places (e.g. Lancrigg before it went to the dark-side) did it better. The salad was a bowl of leaves. The service and ambiance are good but the chefs and/or owners need to discover some inspiration and revisit their offerings for vegan customers.

Pros: Ambiance, Service, Great if it was 1990

Cons: Bland, Dull, Thinks it's 1990

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Nice place for a special night out - Edit

Professional service and calming decor. Vegan options clearly marked out. Great portion of vegan cheese to go with pasta. We were wondering why they could not use vegan mozzarella for pizzas. Fantastic cashew wellington.

Pros: Good service, Great vegan dishes

Cons: No vegan option for pizzas

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Amazing Place - Edit

Me and my mother came to eat here for an evening meal and it was amazing! We booked a table earlier on in the day and it looked pretty busy so I'd recommend to book just in case.

We got mixed potato/sweet potato oven roasted wedges with pomodoro sauce and it came with some salad too that we shared which was really good, and then for my main I got the pecan and cashew nut wellington which came with mash potato, roast vegetables and a red wine sauce and it was all so delicious! The best kind of nut roast I've ever had and the best ever vegan mash I've had, and the sauce really topped it off.

There are still more vegetarian options than vegan options, although you can ask for vegan cheese on your pizza. We didn't get a dessert because we were too full but there weren't many vegan options on there, but I'll try it next time.

The actual restaurant is very well decorated and very relaxing, and the service was amazing, the waiters were very quick and efficient and never left us hanging.

For 1 starter, 2 mains and a half pint of beer the bill came to £30 which we thought was pretty reasonable seeing as the food was very delicious, good quality food, lovely place and great service.

Pros: Amazing food, Great service, Reasonably priced

Cons: Could do with more vegan dessert options

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Good food and reasonable prices - Edit

Great to have a fully veggie restaurant that also has a good selection of vegan options.
Food was good and prices reasonable.
Good atmosphere.

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absolutely lovely - Edit

This is a must go for visitors!! Absolutely adorable environment inside, friendly staff and absolutely wonderful food. Not everything is vegan, but mostly everything can be turned vegan. Just a suggestion: vegan sticky toffee please! ;)

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lovely restaurant - vegan options & wine - Edit

Vegan options clearly marked on menu and on wine list.Beautiful interior. Would recommend.Vegan cake.

Pros: Vegan options marked, Decor , Staff lovely

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Vegan Food Is Fabulous -Try The Nut Wellington - Edit

Zefferellis opened in 1980 as a vegetarian restaurant, but now includes a cafe, jazz bar and cinema. I have been visiting Zefferellis for more years than I care to remember and hope to visit for many years to come.

We were staying at its sister venue Ambleside Manor on a three night break, including dinner at Zefferellis one night, though we did in fact end up dining there two nights in a row.

The menu is extensive, with clearly labelled vegan options and being recommended the Nut Wellington I was disappointed to hear they had sold out. The wine list has clearly labelled vegan wines, which makes life so much easier. Starter was avocado caponata and main course was a vegan version of Pasta alla Genovese. I chose elderflower and lemon sorbet to finish...I could not fault the food.

I was so determined to try the Nut Wellington, I went back the following night and lucky for me, there were two portions left. The Wellington made of pecans and cashews, served with mashed potato, roast vegetables and a red wine sauce, has to be the best rendition of this dish, I have ever eaten.

Pros: Vegan options, Vegan wines

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Amazing food - Edit

Went today for the first time and I was amazed at all the vegan options I could chose from. Had the Wellington and it tasted incredible, the red wine sauce complemented perfectly the plate.

The rest of the family party (all omnis) had vegetarian main dishes and desserts and also enjoyed the food.

Big portions and good quality. The menu had around 8 vegan dishes, and the possibility of veganising 2 more (stated in the menu), plus 3 desserts. Will come back when visiting the Lakes.

Pros: good value, about 8 vegan options

Cons: nothing

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Great Vegan/Vegetarian Cafe in Ambleside!! - Edit

Visiting Ambleside for the day and arrived with an appetite for lunch. Used Happy Cow to locate this great cafe. Lots of Vegan/Vegetarian options!! Has the Mexican Red Bean Chilli stuffed baked potato along with organic ginger beer. Excellent!!

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Great meal out for the whole family - Edit

Zeffirelli's provided me and my non-vegetarian family with an amazing meal out.
The menu was clearly marked, there were many vegan options and all of the dishes were cooked and presented beautifully.
It is classic Italian food done incredibly well and the service was very quick (we had a the course meal in under an hour with no more than 20-30 minutes waiting). We booked a table and, although quiet at first, it soon got busy in an atmospheric way.
The staff were very friendly and helpful, explaining what things were to my sister and being very kind and knowledgeable about my vegan diet (they even replaced my coffee when it came with chocolate powder on - I felt so bad

Pros: lots of options and delicious food, friendly and helpful staff, lovely atmosphere

Cons: None other than the pizza could have had a bit mor

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Great place but no proper breakfast - Edit

We were on our way back and came here for a breakfast. Very disappointed we had to eat junk food for breakfast cakes and coffee. They wouldn't make us a proper meal and we had no time to wait for lunch time. I hope they will improve their breakfast menu. This was mid Feb 2015

Pros: Vegan options

Cons: No good breakfast options, Serves flesh and secretions

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Loved it! - Edit

Went here twice during my stay in the Lake district, but was most impressed by the Pecan and Cashew Nut Wellington. Really really good! Staff is really friendly and I would def visit again.

Pros: Pecan and Cashew Nut Wellington, Nice staff, Cinema

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A must for the itinerary of anyone in the Lakes - Edit

I've been to Zeffirellis several times - most recently last week with my father on a visit to Ambleside. I've always found the food and service excellent. A surprisingly large restaurant for one that is exclusively vegetarian, and it always seems to be busy.

Vegan options are clearly marked on the menu, and there is a choice of starters, main courses and puddings (I recommend the summer pudding!) In an ideal world there would be vegan ice cream, but other than that I can't fault it. Definitely 5 stars for a vegetarian and 4.5 for a vegan. Reasonably priced too, and they do special offer cinema evenings.

Pros: delicious food, excellent service, reasonably priced

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Tasty meat free food - Edit

This place gets busy very quickly, so I'd recommend booking. The food is tasty and the portions are generous. I had the vegan wellington, and it was really flavoursome and delicious. It would be nice to have a few more vegan dessert options - there was only sorbet and a summer pudding. Service was fast and friendly.

Pros: Good vegan options for mains and starter, Tasty food

Cons: Only 2 vegan dessert options

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Lovely way to spend a rainy few hours in the Lake District - Edit

The meal and cinema ticket was a good deal and would be a great way to spend a rainy afternoon/evening in the Lake District. The starter I had was excellent and the pizza was OK. Overall I would thoroughly recommend it.

Pros: meal and cinema ticket a good deal

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vegan paradise - Edit

I'm just finishing my vegan wellington and have nothing but rave reviews for the food. The red wine special is fantastic as well. Quite happy. Presentation of food was lovely. I came early and I'm glad I did as it gets quite busy. Highly recommended.

Pros: excellent

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Probably best in Cumbria - Edit

Zeffirellis has been reliably excellent over the many years I've been going there. High-class place with delicious food. Staff are very aware of vegan concerns and the one time they gave me a cheese pizza by mistake I got a grovelling apology! Some good and interesting desserts, which vegans sometimes struggle to find. And on top of all that you can go straight to their cinema!

Pros: Good main meals, good vegan desserts, convenient cinema

Cons: None I can think of

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Fantastic vegan pizza! - Edit

Great meal. The Vegan cheese on request made this the most enjoyable pizza experience we've had for a long time. Both pizzas we ordered were delicious. Along with the sweet potato and potato wedges, it made for a very tasty, filling meal. Luckily we got a doggy bag to take away the pizza we couldn't finish at the time! Made a for a lovely supper snack ;)

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Vegan pizza! - Edit

I have been to Zeffirelli's a number of times since about 2008 and I have always liked it. On my most recent visit in June 2014 the menu seemed to have been updated.

It now includes more vegan main course options, such as a pasta and artichoke salad and a veggie version of beef wellington (i.e. lentil roast wrapped in pastry).

I was very happy to see that there is now the option to have vegan cheese on your pizza - I ordered 'The Big One', which was delicious, but it was so big I had to take half home with me!

I would recommend Zeffirelli's to anyone - especially cinema-loving vegetarians - but it is still a lacto-ovo vegetarian restaurant with some vegan options, rather than a restaurant that caters primarily for vegans. Hopefully the most recent menu changes are evidence that vegan dishes are becoming more central to their menu. I hope so!

Pros: Cinema+meal deal is good value, Vegan cheese on pizzas, Good for mixed omni-veggie-vegan groups

Cons: A little expensive (esp. drinks)

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Pretty good - Edit

Tasty food in a pleasant and cheerful setting. A decent number of vegan options, but a mostly vegetarian menu. We had antipasti followed by stuffed onion and red beans, which were good.

Pros: Tasty, Pleasant atmosphere

Cons: A few more vegan options wouldn't go astray

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Zeffs is so fabby! - Edit

I went to Zeffirelli's as one of a party of five. We had booked but showed up early -- they didn't seem to mind and made us comfortable in the bar upstairs while they made our table ready. This was done quickly and we were welcomed and seated by friendly staff.

Unfortunately the five of us were seated at a table that was really only big enough for four, with bench/booth type seats and no space to put a chair at the end... so we were a bit squished! A bigger table would have been appreciated! But it was a weekend and very busy.

I was extremely excited to see the sheer choice of vegan options on the menu. The Lake District is busy and cosmopolitan but vegan options are usually still quite limited. I was impressed! And all the food was delicious. In particular the vegan summer pudding with cashew cream which I ordered for dessert. A big portion and absolutely heavenly! My vegetarian friends were actually jealous of my vegan option! Everyone in the party was super happy with their meals and again, the desserts were especially popular. My partner raves about their frozen yoghurt to this day!

The restaurant is very busy and can be quite noisy, but personally I like quite a lively atmosphere. The decor is a bit, er, 'cruise ship', with lots of coloured lights/fountains/fake Italian stonework/statues and whatnot... kind of tacky but also fun and not taking itself too seriously! The staff seem very busy and sometimes rushed but they are still pleasant and make sure you have everything you need. Prices are medium range -- perfect for special occasions. Thanks, Zeffs!

Pros: Loads of vegan choice, Desserts om nom nom, Try the summer pudding!

Cons: Teeny tables!, Quite busy/noisy, Cruise ship decor ;) Not really a con...

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Dinner at Zeffirellis - Edit

I had a lovely dinner at Zeffirellis.
Pros: They had quite a few vegan options on the menu and even specified the vegetarian wines on the wine list which was brilliant! The raspberry pudding (vegan) for dessert was excellent, I was tempted to order two.
Cons: The restaurant was a little expensive but that whole area is expensive so was not out of the ordinary. And they were very busy so the service was a little slow.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday July 06, 2011

Pros: Vegan options, Vego wine

Cons: Staff a bit slow, Expensive

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Vegan choice - Edit

We ate there twice while on holiday in the Lake District. The vegan options were good but limited and they can not (in my experience) 'veganise' dishes. I ordered a pasta dish which the waitress said they could make vegan. It was terrible I ordered a tomato sauce to go with it as it was completely tasteless and dry and I wouldn't have eaten it. I am not a fussy eater (apart from my veganism) so for me to say this really is bad. I can veganise most dishes and they always are tasty so basically the chef lacks imagination. If they can't do better than that they should stick to the vegan choices and not veganise dishes. They could do with some more vegan sweets - chocolate! Ice-cream would be good as well.

Pros: All veggie, Friendly staff, Good value

Cons: Poor vegan choice

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Average food - Edit

Basic menu, international, but largely pizza & pasta based with the odd soup/casserole was uninspired, as was the food itself. Nothing bad going on here, just nothing special, the type of dishes you get too bored to eat, rather than full, before finishing your meal. Decent location, good staff, just nothing to write home about. And that's the crux of it: there's very little to say, because we are in the land of acceptably average.

Pros: Location, Large Portions, Prices

Cons: Mundane menu, Mundane Cuisine

1 Response
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Mimi 16 Jul 2014 - I love the phrase "acceptably average". Where, I would love to know, is the land of "delightfully delicious" or "amazingly ambitious"? Please tell me!
I love Zeffs . . . but I think you are right about the context ;)  


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