As pubs offering ‘substantial meals’ open back up for business later from tomorrow to serve meals to their sorely-missed regulars, we decided to ask our readers where they are looking forward to heading first.

We have quite the range of options in today’s list from across our region, and if you are looking for inspiration for somewhere new to try in north Cumbria, you have come to the right place.

Anyway, in no particular order, here are the best places for a pub lunch, as decided by our readers...

Crown & thistle, Rockcliffe

Geraldine Cremin, who is looking forward to some pub grub and a watch of the night’s football, said of this pub north of Carlisle: “I can’t wait until Wednesday – I eat there twice a week, love it.

“City kick off at six so will make it just after eight!”

Jackie Park added that the popular haunt is “simply the best!”

Dave Robinson also chipped in saying: “The Crown & Thistle at Rockcliffe, hands down the best food around since they were at The Queens at Warwick.

“The best fish pie I’ve tasted, and I’ve never had a bad meal from them.”


Mark Nellist’s poetic description of Emily’s Black Lion would be enough for anyone to be tempted to this Ireby pub. “tucked away in the small village of Ireby. All home cooking and real ale with a roaring fire,” he describes.

John Brown added “They have pie! No contest!”


Nicci waxed lyrical about this Carlisle favourite: “Food is lush, staff are really friendly and the Sunday roast is to die for!”

Steven Hayton simply added: “Best scran and brill staff”.

Anita Day will also be heading to this popular pub: “Great food and lovely, friendly staff.”


Bridget Botha had nothing but good things to say about this pub in Appleby: “Friendly staff, great value for money and freshly prepared delicious food.”

Joeleen Allen added: The King’s Head pub in Appleby is amazing. Food is great and fresh. Friendly staff and great atmosphere.”

Another added that this might be the place to go for anywhere wanting to try somewhere new:

“Under new management since June and have done a total revamp,” says Stephanie West.


The pub on Main Street has a number of rave reviews on Tripadvisor.

One customer said: “Excellent food as always, never had a bad meal to date, friendly staff, good crack, and overall the best place for Sunday dinner ever.”

Another said: “Never had a bad meal at this place, always spot on. Friendly, helpful staff, food is excellent.”