Top 10 Must-Try British Foods To Eat In The UK

Top 10 Must-Try British Foods To Eat In The UK

Britain sometimes has a bad reputation for food and, let’s face it, it’s no Italy or Japan for a foodie destination.

And when sampling the foods of Europe, you probably wouldn’t have high expectations for the UK. But when it comes to British cuisine, there are some amazingly flavorsome traditional dishes that must be experienced in the UK.

And there are some real surprises that you might not have expected….

There has traditionally been a common focus on potatoes in British cuisine, which you might spot in many of the dishes below! So here we have it, the absolute must-try British foods from the UK….

Top Must-Try British Foods And Dishes

Sunday Roast Dinner

The Sunday roast dinner is one of the most famous, typical British dishes
A beef Sunday roast dinner with yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and vegetables

The Great British roast dinner, eaten every Sunday almost without fail, is an absolute mainstay of UK culture.

Adored by young and old, it is very much a family meal due to the sheer amount of food being cooked!

There are so many different elements you can have in a Sunday roast dinner. First choose the meat, the main ones being chicken, beef, lamb or pork, and slow roast it for hours to make it juicy and tender.

Then roast, boil or steam vegetables to suit your taste (seasoned, of course). The most common are the famous roast potato, carrots, parsnips, peas, sprouts, leeks, cauliflower cheese, broccoli, swede and white onions.

Then add the pivotal Yorkshire pudding.

If you don’t know what a Yorkshire pudding is, it’s a simple but highly effective savoury bowl made of batter (see the picture). It’s crispy, light and unequivocally adored by the British.

Finally, and most importantly for any roast dinner, the gravy. Gravy is made with the juices of the meat, stock, seasoning and water. It’s also quite common to use gravy granules added to boiling water.

Either way, the gravy is the icing on the cake, so to say. Bringing all of the deliciously roasted ingredients together in a warm, comforting, hearty meal that perfectly optimises the image of British family dining.

Jamie Oliver has a nice, short guide to cooking the ingredients of a Sunday Roast for a more detailed overview.

Scotch Eggs

Scotch eggs are a British favourite of soft boiled eggs encased in meat and bread crumbs.
Traditional British Scotch Eggs

Scotch eggs might look a little bit odd, but they’re a delicious little snack commonly enjoyed by the Brits!

Scotch eggs are quite simply an egg (soft boiled for hand-made scotch eggs or hard boiled for shop-bought), wrapped in sausage meat and then coated in bread crumbs. It is then baked or deep fried.

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People usually eat scotch eggs as part of a picnic or buffet, but they are also often brought in supermarkets for a quick snack.


Chicken tikka masala curry is a favourite British dish
Chicken tikka masala is one of Britain’s favourite dishes

Surprised? Don’t be! The British and the Indians have had a long and… complicated… history which resulted in the wonderful immigration of the curry to the UK shores.

Once in the UK curry took on a life of its own and the British are credited with creating some of the most well-known curries in the world. The famous chicken tikka masala was first invented in Scotland, whereas Birmingham is famous for creating the balti.

So integrated is the curry into British culture, that chicken tikka masala was voted the UK’s most popular dish.

In fact, it is quite common for people to come to the UK from Europe simply looking for good curry, which is less available on the continent.

If you’re in London you can actually take part in an Indian food tour around Brick Lane where you can sample the absolute best of British-Indian food!

Scones With Clotted Cream And Jam

Scones with clotted cream and jam, served with tea
Scones with jam and clotted cream

Scones with clotted cream are a bit of a British food cliché but scones served with a lovely cup of tea are a delicious match made in heaven!

Best enjoyed in an an English tea house or cafe, scones are a type of baked cake served as the base for the cream and jam.

Enjoying scones with tea is also known as ‘having cream tea’. You can ask for this in a teahouse (particularly common in Devon and Cornwall) and you will be served a teapot with scones, jam and cream to gorge yourself!

For a bit of a unique experience you can also have afternoon tea on a boat tour around Windsor!

Fish and Chips

Typical British fish and chips in newspaper as eaten in the UK
Traditional British Fish and Chips in Newspaper

The number one dish that comes to mind when you mention British food? Fish and chips!

There is no other dish quite as synonymous with Britain as fish and chips. Traditionally consisting of battered fish (cod or haddock) and deep fried chips (thick fries to those from North America), covered in salt and vinegar.

Additions or variants to fish and chips entirely depend on the household. Most agree on the “chip butty” which is putting the chips in bread to make a sandwich on the side. But other variants include ketchup, curry sauce, gravy, tartare sauce and, of course, mushy peas!

Other popular (unhealthy) alternatives to eat at the “chippy” include a battered sausage, a saveloy, a pie or more recent additions such as kebabs and fried chicken.

Shepherd’s Pie/Cottage Pie

Shepherds Pie of minced meat, gravy, vegetables and potato

The Great British Shepherd’s Pie – just another way of eating meat, potatoes and vegetables!

Made by using minced meat, Shepherd’s Pie is usually made with beef whereas Cottage Pie uses lamb. A hearty, warming winter dish eaten by families throughout the UK, it’s both filling and incredibly flavorsome.

Consisting of browned minced meat, carrots, peas, gravy, stock, mashed potatoes on top and grated cheese on top. It is then placed under the grill (broiler) to brown the top nice and crispy and then served with a big chunk of white bread.

Full English Breakfast

Full English Breakfast - a British favourite
Full English Breakfast or Fry Up

An absolute masterpiece of a breakfast, the Full English is a national favourite, enjoyed in greasy cafes throughout the world.

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There’s no real secret to the Full English Breakfast (or Fry Up as it’s also known in Britain), no herbs, spices or seasoning are used, the flavors take care of themselves.

Typically a Full English Breakfast consists of fried eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, mushrooms, tomato, black pudding, fried bread (or toast), beans and a side of buttered white bread to clear up all the juices. Serve with a cup of tea and your day is off to a perfect start (albeit, an unhealthy one!).

Spotted Dick with Custard

Traditional British spotted dick pudding
British Spotted Dick Pudding, usually served with custard

Ok very funny. Yes it has a naughty word in the name!

Spotted dick is a deliciously rich, sweet dessert made from suet and dried fruit, served with custard. It is still a very popular household favourite and common feature in restaurants in the UK. For many, the pudding evokes memories of British school dinners, giving it a somewhat nostalgic feeling.

There are hundreds of amazing British puddings to sample, but spotted dick is particularly popular with tourists due to the funny name. You can try cooking spotted dick at home to bring a taste of Britain to your own kitchen. You can also order Spotted Dick and custard online.


Haggis is a Scottish favourite
Traditional Scottish Haggis

Most people know about haggis because, well, it sounds a little bit gross!

Haggis is more of a Scottish dish than a British one, but you couldn’t say you had fully visited the UK unless you took a trip up to the Highlands and tried some haggis.

Haggis consists of a sheep’s heart, liver and lungs (all minced), mixed with suet, oatmeal, onions and spices, packed into a sheep’s stomach and boiled. It is then served with vegetables and mashed tatties (potatoes).

You might possibly think haggis looks and sounds a little gross but the flavours from the spices and texture actually make it quite enjoyable!

Toad In The Hole

British Toad in the Hole Dish
Toad in the Hole – A British Favourite

A giant yorkshire pudding with sausages in the middle, covered in onion gravy. What’s not to like?

Don’t ask me why British dishes always appear to have funny names, maybe it makes it more interesting? Either way, toad in the hole is another hearty, warming, traditional, family favourite dinner in the UK.

Served with onion gravy, vegetables and potatoes – it is once again, another vessel for delivering meat, potatoes and vegetables!

The sausages are slightly browned before placing in the batter to cook, meaning that the Yorkshire pudding rises around it. It is then cut up and everybody receives a nice big chunk each. Yum!

You Can Eat British Food Anywhere In The World!

If you enjoyed reading this list and you’ve bursting to try some British Foods, fear not! You can buy some of the crucial ingredients online and bring a little taste of the UK to your kitchen:

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