10 Best Foods to Try in the UK


If you ask anyone what is the homeland of the two of the most famous chefs in the world, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, you are most likely to hear the answer "The United Kingdom" almost immediately. But if you ask someone to name several traditional British foods, the chances are that you won't hear anything but Fish & Chips and five-o'clock tea. And this is an oversight as British cuisine is just as rich and unique as the culture and traditions of this incredible country are. If you are determined to experience the best that Britain has to offer, on this page we've gathered several traditional English recipes you can't miss a chance to try during your UK holiday.


What to Eat & Drink in the United Kingdom

1. English Breakfast
Full Breakfast

Traditional English cuisine is all about comfort food, and one of the most famous examples is English Breakfast. It's also called "Full" due to the impressive number of various components. A proper English Breakfast includes fried eggs, sausages, bacon, tomatoes, baked beans, mushrooms, buttered toasts, a slice of black pudding (a blood sausage, cooked with pork blood and fat and cereals), and a mug of hot tea or coffee. Clearly, eating it every day is not an option, so this dish is usually saved for holidays or for weekends at least.

2. Fish & Chips
Fish & Chips

Probably the most famous British dish, Fish & Chips is among the most popular street-foods in the United Kingdom. As the name suggests, it's made of a deep-fried fish fillet and chips (also known as "French fries"). As a rule, cod, haddock, and flounder can be used to cook fish and chips, but any white-meat fish can be used as well. Plus, it's essential for a fish fillet to be dipped in butter before cooking. There are eight "Fish & Chip" shops for every McDonald's restaurant in the UK, making this dish a British favorite take-away.

3. Yorkshire Pudding
Yorkshire Pudding

Another traditional British food is called Yorkshire Pudding. In this case, "pudding" doesn't imply a sweet dessert. On the contrary, it is a savory dish, served with the main course. Yorkshire Pudding was created at the times when meat was very difficult to obtain. Originally, it was cooked beneath roasting game so the fats and juices of the meat would drip on the baked goods, adding smells and flavor. Nowadays, Yorkshire Pudding can be cooked as desserts, appetizers, and are a "must" accompaniment to the Sunday Roast.

4. Sunday Roast
Sunday Roast

Ranking among the most popular UK foods, the Sunday roast can fall under the "loved traditional foods on the British Islands" category. It is often compared to a mini version of the traditional Christmas dinner! Originating from England as a meal to enjoy after a church service on Sunday, the traditional recipe consists of juicy roasted meat (beef is the most common option), crispy roasted potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, vegetables, and gravy. Also, it can be accompanied by a slice of bread, mint sauce, and stuffing.

5. Beef Wellington
Beef Wellington

This traditional English food is definitely one of the dishes you can't miss during your British getaway! The legend says that its name commemorates a legendary victory of the Duke of Wellington over Napoleon in 1815. The traditional recipe includes beef tenderloin and duxelles wrapped in parma ham and puff pastry cooked until golden and crispy on the outside while pink, juicy, and tender on the inside. Interestingly, Beef Wellington was a favorite course of Richard Nixon and is included in the White House cookbook.

6. Welsh Cakes
Welsh Cakes

An essential part of Welsh cuisine, these little perfections are very popular desserts in Britain. They are cooked using the same ingredients as a scone, are about the size of an average biscuit, and are cooked in a pan (not baked!) as a pancake, but at the same time are unlike anything you might compare them with in terms of texture and taste. These cakes are a perfect treat for afternoon tea and can be served hot and cold. Usually, they're sweetened with dried fruits and sugar so don't require jam or cream to go with them.

7. Bangers and Mash
Bangers and Mash

In 2009 this traditional English dish was voted the best comfort food in Britain. The "bangers" stand for the traditional pork sausages and "mash" simply means mashed potatoes. They can be served with peas, fried onion, and onion gravy (sometimes a pan is deglazed with red wine to add extra flavor). The sausages got their names during WWII when due to meat shortages they were made with so much water that tended to pop when heated. Although traditionally Bangers and Mash is cooked with pork sausages, lamb and beef can be used as well.

8. Ginger Beer
Ginger Beer

Originated in Yorkshire, this traditional drink is as British as a beverage can be. But don't mix it up with ginger ale. Although both of them are soft nonalcoholic drinks, ginger ale is basically just carbonated water, flavored with ginger, while ginger beer is properly brewed and fermented, boasting a much richer taste. Most often ginger beer is used as a cocktail ingredient ("Moscow Mule" is the most well-known example) but this tasty drink can also be enjoyed on its own and is a great substitute for a glass of non-alcoholic beer during the summer heat.

9. English Tea
English Tea

When it comes to traditional British drinks, nothing can match a cup of tea. The love of the British nation for this delicious drink is well-known all over the world. There are whole doctrines on how to properly brew and drink tea. What is more, the question of whether one should put milk into the cup first and tea after or vice versa was the bone of contention since the mid-twentieth century. But regardless of the way you make it, a cup of tea always tastes better when in Britain, especially if it's 5 o'clock and accompanied by the freshly-baked scones.

10. Scotch Whiskey
Scotch Whiskey

Another iconic drink from the glorious United Kingdom is Scotch. Apart from spelling, there are quite a few differences between Scottish whiskey and its Irish brother. Aside from the technical distinctions, the distilling process plays a key part in the production of Irish whiskey while Scotch mostly depends on the master blender's skills. And even if you firmly believe that you are in the team of Irish whiskey fans, a guided tour with degustation of one of the numerous Scottish distilleries is a sure way to have a change of heart.