Compared to our neighbours on the continent (France and Italy, I’m looking at you in particular), British food sometimes gets a bad rap and doesn’t always get the praise it deserves.
French food is renowned for being so sophisticated yet utterly-delicious and Italian food is regarded as real comfort, indulgent food all across the world.
British food, on the other hand, is synonymous with British weather; dull, boring and sometimes grey! Figuratively speaking in most cases, but this is so far from the truth!
There are so many tasty British culinary delights and here is a list of recommended everyday foods enjoyed and eaten quite regularly all across the UK.
When you visit the UK next, do ensure you take some time to try out one of two or even all of the foods on the list. 🙂
1.) Fish and Chips
Perhaps the biggest staple and most popular of all British meals. Pretty much liked (or in some case, loved) by everyone and if you don’t, you’re probably doing it all wrong.
Fish and chips in the UK are amazing when done correctly but unfortunately, not everywhere does great fish and chips and this includes even some nice restaurants. The best fish and chips I’ve had have actually been from proper chip shops (so have the worst) so it’s best to do a bit of research to avoid being disappointed.
Some of the best we’ve had have been in seaside towns now that we come to think of it through quite a few in London have very pleasantly surprised us and of particular note is the Anstruther Fish Bar in the gorgeous kingdom of Fife. Which, if I’m honest, has the lightest crispiest batter imaginable and the best chips ever (which is why it a host of famous fans and clientele ranging from Tom Hanks to Prince William).
In any case, whatever you do when you visit the UK, make sure you take a little time to try out some Fish and Chips.
2.) Haggis, Neeps and Tatties
Of which, Haggis is definitely the star of this show. Haggis is a traditional Scottish pudding which is supposed to be of sheep’s heart, liver, lungs, onions, oatmeal, spices and some stock.
It effectively tastes like a spicy meaty sausage and is really quite delicious! A favourite on Burns Supper, which is an annual event celebrating the famed Scottish poet Robert Burns.
This is when Auld Lang Syne is recited his poem ‘Address To A Haggis’ (the full poem is available here). Also, if you’re lucky, you might even get some bagpipes playing and a céilidh (Gaelic music and dancing) after supper.
This year, at Cambridge University, I remember listening to this poem and I remember thinking it was a fairly new experience but it turns out that I may have been suitably liquored up before other Burns Nights suppers in the past and hence not the ‘Address To A Haggis’ before… I blame the Scottish Whisky.
Plus, lest I forget, neeps and tatties are turnips and potatoes. Haggis is typically served with these two and preferably washed down with some nice whisky.
3.) Bangers and Mash
Sausages and Mashed potatoes is a proper homely and traditional meal in the UK.
In truth, it’s one of the simplest meals to make but one of the most satisfying and filling meals. This is especially so if you get some really creamy (or cheesy) mash and regardless of what anyone else says, add a little extra butter when it comes to your table.
If you’re making this at home, maybe tell the cook (even if the cook is you!) to not add the butter at the start and let the diners add it themselves to their desired quantities. Though be warned, it all ends up being filled with calories! 😉
4.) Steak and Kidney Pie
Pies! Pies!! Pies!!!
Can’t get enough of them and this is easily one of the most British and of the most popular pieces.
A strong rival would be the Chicken and Leek pie for people who don’t like red meat but the steak and kidney pie is a truly justifiable British favourite.
5.) Sunday Roast
Lamb, Chicken or Beef? A Sunday roast is so yummy.
In my case preferably all three! I kid you not, if all three are available I will have all three.
The only exception is if there’s an extra choice of Turkey and/or Pork in which case I will have all 4 or 5! I feel like from previous posts we’ve already established my gluttony so let’s just move past the judgement. 🤣
Thanks to this obsession with food, I’ve learnt to make a mean Sunday Dinner which I will share with you all in the near future. The Sunday dinner is a family tradition in which everyone gathers round to eat this stacked plate of vegetables, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes and whatever else you can stack onto your plate. This is then all washed down with some thick gravy!
Extra points are given if you can manage to stack your plate and not spill any gravy on yourself when you walk to your table at home. Okay, no is keeping the score here but imagine your distress when you sit down to eat your meal and find a huge trail of gravy down your clothes. Ha!
6.) Bacon Sandwich
This is nothing special, especially in how it looks – but it tastes totally great!
A bacon sarnie is literally a bacon sandwich but is a quick breakfast favourite across the UK. This is made even more special when the buns have just been baked and the bacon has just been cooking (preferably ever so slightly crisp). It’s typically quite cheap as well so it’s a good grab-and-go option if you have a full morning/day of sightseeing ahead.
7.) Full English Breakfast
The King AND Queen of breakfasts! Of course depending on where you are in the UK, these can also be Full /Irish/Welsh/Scottish Breakfasts.
Effectively, every breakfast food you can think of all piled on your plate – sausages, eggs, beans, toast, hash browns, tomatoes, black pudding and much more if you can get it to fit on your plate.
Never has breakfast been so varied, so delicious and so satisfying! The biggest challenge when trying to make this though is timing everything so not one item arrives at your table too cold.
8.) Beef Wellington
The finest fillet steak, often smothered in pâté, covered in a rich and light puff pastry!
It’s safe to say I’ve never met a beef wellington I didn’t like and if you’re into your meats chances are you can probably say the same too. Another pie of sorts that is a truly fantastic British delicacy.
9.) Welsh Cawl
Having never been a fan of soups (and by inference stews too) due to how hungry I am shortly after and how bland some soups are but I am quite surprised at how much I love Welsh cawl.
It is such a perfect winter warmer and is comprised of swede, potatoes, carrots, leek, some stock and a meat of some sort (my favourite is lamb) though you can quite easily make a vegetarian version.
It is so surprisingly filling (which could explain why I love it so much) and very healthy too! There’s nothing better than coming home a blisteringly cold winter evening, warming up by the fireplace with a bowl of Welsh Cawl, Cheese and some crusty bread in hand. #WinterPerfection
10.) Sticky Toffee Pudding
Consistently a favourite across the UK (and my personal favourite), Sticky Toffee pudding when done right is one of the most indulgent desserts in the UK.
As the name implies, it’s a steamed cake drench in liquid toffee and sometimes served with a side of ice cream or custard.
11.) Bread and Butter Pudding
It is quite literally a pudding made of bread and butter which for some reason I never thought about when I first had it – mostly because it doesn’t taste like just plain bread and butter but instead is this delicious sweet dessert that is a firm British favourite.
One of the best twists I’ve had of this is using a croissant or a brioche instead of regular bread (which is a bit of a cheap departure from the British theme) but it makes it even tastier!
12.) Welsh Cakes
A tasty treat, Welsh cakes are one of my favourite things when I’m in Wales (or have someone coming to visit me from Wales).
These aren’t dessert food that you would have on its own after a meal but curled up on the sofa, mug of tea in one hand, these are sheer perfection.
13.) Fried Mars bar
It’s safe to say deep frying any food is probably of one the most unhealthy things you can do when it comes to food. That being said, it’s certainly a pretty famous meal in Scotland.
Truth be told, Scotland is famous for deep-friend mars bars though that being said, I lived in Scotland for years and never saw one let alone tried one.
That being said, but my friend from down south did try it on a trip to Scotland and loved it. I recommend trying it even just for the curiosity/tick-list factor but would not recommend making a habit of having this all the time.
This being said, I did, however, see loads of other deep fried stuff, deep fried pizzas, deep fried pies! Effectively if it was edible, could be dipped in batter and fried, it was in this shop. 🤣
Dessert you don’t have to feel too guilty about. 🍰
Fair enough there that huge cream layer but there’s also jelly (which barely has any calories in it) and when done right, contains fresh fruit to your 5 (or has it changed to 7 now) a day.
15.) Spotted Dick
A cake with dried fruits (raisins and currants) and served with custard!
Particularly popular in the UK (not really so keen on them, to be honest) and hence it’s inclusion on the list.