Britain has a hugely diverse range of food on offer – from India and Chinese, to Mexican and Italian. However, there are still plenty of traditional British favorites to choose from. Here are some of the most popular classic British dishes that you should try when visiting the UK.
This is a staple of British culture that dates back to 1840. Traditionally served between 2 pm and 4 pm, afternoon tea consists of a selection of finger sandwiches (cucumber and cream cheese is a classic option), an assortment of small cakes, and scones with clotted cream and jam. This is all served with a generous pot of British tea. Afternoon tea is a delightful experience that shouldn’t be missed on a visit to the UK. It’s the perfect way to enjoy this indulgent British tradition or celebrate a special occasion with your friends and family. Some of the best afternoon tea locations in the UK include Brighton, home to Choccywoccydoodah, and Peacocks Tearoom in Cambridgeshire.
Pie and mash
Pies are one of the UK’s most loved food items. Steak and kidney pie is a firm British favorite, but there are plenty of tasty variations, including chicken and leak, and also vegetarian options. British pies are usually served with mashed potatoes or chips and often come with the choice of garden peas or baked beans. Going to a traditional British pub is one of the best ways to try these iconic British dishes like pie and mash. The Flint Gate Pub in Weybridge offers an extensive menu of classic local dishes, a lively atmosphere, and a great selection of ales and craft beer.
This is probably the UK’s most recognizable meal and can now be found in hotels and guesthouses all around the world. The typical English breakfast consists of a plate packed with a fried egg, sausage, bacon, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, and toast – with a cup of tea, of course! There are some regional variations to this hearty breakfast. For example, the Full Scottish Breakfast features black pudding and a square sausage, and The Ulster Fry comes with potato bread.
Fish and chips
According to Culture Trip, this has been a traditional meal enjoyed in Britain since 1865, and there are now an estimated 10,500 independent fish and chip shops throughout the UK. Cod is the most commonly used fish and comes lightly coated in a crisp, tasty batter. This is served with deep-fried chunky chips and accompaniments such as mushy peas, gravy, and curry sauce. Fish and chips is one of the UK’s most popular fast food choices and is best enjoyed on the beach, or while strolling along the pier of one of the UK’s seaside towns.
Roast dinners are another classic British meal. Typically enjoyed on Sundays, this meal was designed to bring the whole family together at the end of the week. A roast dinner typically consists of roast meat (traditionally lamb) served with all the trimmings. These delicious trimmings include roast potatoes, various seasonal vegetables, stuffing, Yorkshire pudding, and gravy. The meal is usually followed with a traditional British dessert like sticky toffee pudding or trifle. Cooking a traditional Sunday roast can be a lengthy process, so many families go to a local British pub and have a roast served in the form of a self-serve carvery.