Traditional British food to eat in the UK

If you are heading to the UK soon and wondering what are the best British dishes then this article is for you! You will find a list below of the best traditional British food. Everything you must eat in the UK.

We all know that British cuisine doesn’t have the best reputation abroad, however you will be surprised by how amazing the following dishes are! You can find them anywhere in the UK and they will for sure change any opinion you may have about British food.


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1 – English breakfast

manchester food


This is THE classic! The one everybody wants and the one everybody should get!


It might be a bit odd for a lot of people to think about breakfast as something savoury. In some countries like France, people are used to eating sweet brekkies with croissants or pains au chocolat and the idea to start the day with meat and eggs seems completely unreasonable.


Yet, you should give it a go! Because it’s one of the best food experience ever! The typical English breakfast includes: fried or scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, baked beans, black pudding, hash browns, tomatoes and mushrooms. 


There are different variations with more or fewer elements but this is the classic and if you’re going to try it, you might as well go for the full English breakfast. 


It is important to note that black pudding has nothing to do with any kind of cake but is a version of the French “boudin” which is a pork blood sausage. It’s been imported to Manchester by the French a few centuries ago and became fully part of the British cuisine.


A reasonable price would be anywhere between £4 and £8. Prices always vary a bit. An English Breakfast in London will always be more expensive than in Manchester for example. But it’s safe to assume that anything above £8 would be too expensive.


2 – Sunday Roast


Sunday Roast is the traditional British Sunday lunch meal. It includes roasted meat, gravy and vegetables. It can either be chicken, pork or beef. Vegetables generally include potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips and red cabbage. It is from far my favourite British meal. Not only because it’s delicious but also because it’s a nice Sunday outing. Sundays become very special, it’s Sunday Roast day. 


You will find Sunday Roasts in pretty much any pub in the UK for about £10. The beef generally comes with horseradish sauce and Yorkshire pudding and the pork with apple sauce. No matter what meat you chose, it will be delicious so there is no bad choice although my preference is for pork. Very often, they will also offer a vegetarian alternative which is Nut Roast. I highly recommend it as well.


3 – Afternoon Tea


afternoon tea with scones, cakes and sandwiches


Afternoon tea is way more than just food, it’s a proper British concept and moment. Tea rooms all offer afternoon teas. They are a great way to share a good moment with friends as you get pots of tea and a selection of sandwiches and cakes. It’s all about sharing, maybe the British version of tapas 😉


4 – Pies


Pies are one of the main dishes within the British food scene. By pie, I mean fish pie, cottage pie and Sheppard pie. They are not pies with pastry (quiche) or even less sweet pies.


In the UK a pie is made with mash potatoes as a base.


Back in the days, they used to be made in order to use up the leftovers of Sunday roasts mainly. The meat is mixed with a sauce (bechamel for fish pie, tomato sauce for cottage and shepherd’s pie) and placed at the bottom of the oven tray. This is then topped up with mashed potato and baked in the oven.


Traditionally, they were served on Monday as they would use the leftovers of the Sunday roast/lunch (beef for cottage pie, pork for shepherd’s pie). Nowadays they are just made with fresh ingredients. They are really good and very unique to the UK.


5 – Fish and chips


Here it is! The most famous of them all! Fish and chiiiips! (Can you feel the excitement in my voice?).


Nothing can get more British than a good ol’ fish and chips. So let’s deep in more details here.

What is a fish and chips? Well, it’s actually quite simple! It is a battered cod with chips (British English for French fries) and if you want to get even more British you’d add salt and vinegar as well as mushy peas.


You can find fish and chips everywhere in the UK and it generally cost about £6. If you get a chance to go to the seaside, that’s where you will find the best fish and chips.


They are usually better if you get them from a take away (aka chipie) rather than in a pub or restaurant.


6 – Scones with clotted cream and jam


A scone is a British baking speciality. The easiest way to describe it would be a crumby brioche (or biscuit if you are American). You can find three types of scones:

  • Cheesy scone (salty), to be eaten warm with butter. 
  • Plain 
  • With sultanas, to be eaten with butter and jam or (best option) with clotted cream and jam. 


Whether you want a quick, but yet filling, breakfast or an afternoon snack, scones are the way forward! They generally cost between £2 and £3.


7 – Scotch Egg


With the scotch egg, we fall completely into the British Pub food category!

You will usually find them in pubs and believe me, they go very well with a pint!


What is it, you say? Oh yes sorry, let’s go back to basics! A scotch egg is an egg wrapped in a sausage and crumbs coat. You can find them hard-boiled in supermarkets but I’d recommend the soft boiled version available in pubs for a better experience. They generally cost between £3 and £5.


8 – Welsh Rarebit


If you want to discover traditional welsh food, this will be perfect! A Welsh rarebit is a delicious upgraded version of cheese on toast.


The sauce poured on the toast is usually made of beer, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and melted cheese. It generally comes with a salad.


You can find welsh rarebits in any tea room, deli and sometimes pubs in Wales. My favourite one is the welsh rarebit from the Bay Tree in Welshpool.


You may also be interested in:


Things to do in London

Things to do in Manchester

Best French foods


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