Proper British Food: Best foods in Britain to overindulge in!
Foods from Britain
British cuisine, British foods, and British food traditions embrace culinary traditions and foods from England, traditional cooking and foods from Scotland, common cooking styles, and foods from Wales. But typical British foods and cooking absorbed also significant culinary influences of former countries and territories of the British Empire, probably most notably of India. It is hardly surprising that Chicken Tikka Masala is the national dish of Britain.
So, when we talk about British culture food, we refer to English traditional food, Scottish traditional food, Welsh traditional food, and some food from countries of the former British Empire.
This British food list covers the most popular traditional English food, the most famous traditional Scottish food, and the most well-liked traditional Welsh food.
In fact, this selection of the best British food covers from common British food, classic British food, and authentic British food to famous British food, iconic British food, and popular British foods. And it ends up with classic British beverages.
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MUST-TRY BRITISH FOODS IN BRITAIN
If you are heading to Britain (England, Scotland, Wales), here is a list of British foods you need to try.
TRADITIONAL BRITISH DISHES AND TYPICAL BRITISH MEALS – BEST BRITISH FOODS
1. ENGLISH BREAKFAST
Famous English Breakfast, also known as Full Breakfast, is a synonym of England and the United Kingdom.
Typical English breakfast comes with fried eggs, English sausages, Black Pudding (English blood sausages), bacon, tomatoes, baked beans, mushrooms, and is traditionally served with tea or coffee. If you want to start your day as a true Englishman in England, then you should have an English breakfast in the morning. Although these days English Full Breakfast is served as ‘all-day breakfast’.
2. SCOTCH EGG
When you boil an egg, wrap it up with breaded sausages and then deep-fry all together, you get one of the most popular British dishes ever.
The delicious Scotch egg is traditional British picnic food, strongly beloved by all true Brits.
3. SHEPERD’S PIE
If you want to taste a genuine British pie, then shepherd’s pie should be on your British foods list. Shepherd’s pie is a traditional British meat pie with mashed potato crust. Authentic shepherd’s pie is prepared with lamb meat.
4. COTTAGE PIE
British Cottage pie is another famous British dish. It’s similar to Shepard’s Pie. But while Shepard’s Pie traditionally comes with lamb meat, Cottage Pie comes with beef meat.
5. STEAK AND KIDNEY PIE
If you are after good savory British pie, then Steak and Kidney Pie is your best bet in England. Steak and Kidney Pie is a signature dish of British cuisine.
This traditional British pie is made with beef broth, gravy, and fried onions. It is also popularly called Kate and Sidney pie.
6. YORKSHIRE PUDDING
Yorkshire pudding is a national dish of England. Actually, this simple baked pudding is traditionally a side dish in England made from eggs, flour, milk, or water. Typically it is served as a first course with onion gravy or as a main course with beef and gravy.
7. BLACK PUDDING
When you hear someone mentioning Black Pudding in England, please be aware they are not talking about a dessert but about blood sausages. English Black Pudding refers to traditional British sausages made of pork blood, pork fat, onions, and oatmeal.
8. CORNISH PASTY
England has its favorite pastry and it is called Cornish pasty. Traditional Cornish pasty is basically a baked D letter-shaped pastry filled with meat. The main ingredients of authentic Cornish pasty are beef and vegetables (swede, potatoes, and onions). This traditional English dish originates from the county of Cornwall in southwestern England.
9. PLOUGHMAN’S LUNCH
British Ploghma’s Lunch is a classic pub’s meal including cold meats, cheese (usually cheddar cheese), bread, onions, and accompaniments (pickles, hard-boiled eggs, butter, fruits,). Ploughman’s lunch was originally a traditional meal of British farm workers packed for their lunch.
If you are in a pub in lunchtime, you should order a traditional Ploughman’s lunch and a pint of ale or beer of course.
10. BANGERS AND MASH
Sausages are called bangers in England. Thus, Sausages and Mash, or popularly called Bangers and Mash, is a simple British dish consisting of sausages and mashed potatoes. This ultimate English food and classic British dish is traditionally served with beans and gravy.
11. LANCASHIRE HOTSPOT
If you want to taste a traditional British stew, then you have to try Lancashire Hotspot. Classic Lancashire Hotspot is a lamb stew made from lamb meat and onions, topped with sliced potatoes, and then baked.
12. FISH AND CHIPS
Fish and chips might be a synonym for England as this classic English dish is enormously popular across the country. Even more, crispy fried fish in batter with chips is not only well-liked in the UK but also in all of the Commonwealth. Indisputably, fish and chips go on the list of favorite foods from around the world. Famous Fish and chips are an essential item of the traditional menus of every British chippy (fish-and-chip shop). But, the dish is a popular take-away food in Britain and the Commonwealth. If you are after comforting takeaway British food in Britain, you should grab Fish and Chips traditionally wrapped in newspaper.
13. PIGS IN BLANKETS
Small sausages wrapped in bacon in England are called Pings in Blankets. But in Scotland, this British dish is popularly known as kilted sausages. Kilted sausages are traditionally eaten for Christmas in Scotland. Just, to remind you, Edinburgh is one of the best Christmas destinations in Europe. So, if you are planning to visit Edinburgh in Christmas time, don’t miss out on tasting Scottish kilted sausages.
14. ROAST BEEF
As the name says, Roast beef as an English dish refers to roasted beef.
But Roast beef in England is more than roasted meat, it’s a national dish of England. In England, Roast beef is traditionally served as a main dish for Sunday lunch or Sunday dinner along with Yorkshire pudding as a side dish. But in England Roast Beef can come as a cold cut in sandwiches as well.
15. SUNDAY ROAST
Legendary Sunday roast is a favorite British Sunday lunch meal.
As the name suggests, the Sunday Roast refers to roasted food served traditionally for Sunday lunch. This traditional British dish includes roasted meat (most typically beef) and roasted potatoes as a main meal served traditionally with Yorkshire pudding, mint sauce, gravy, and vegetables (most commonly carrots, beans, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, broccoli) as side dishes. While the dish originates in England, it is a popular Sunday dish also in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
16. ENGLISH CHRISTMAS DINNER
England’s Christmas dinner refers to a traditional Christmas meal including roasted Christmas meat (turkey most commonly) with popular cranberry sauce, stuffing, roasted potatoes, and English pudding (dried fruit dessert) with brandy butter. If you want to have the best Christmas in Europe, consider visiting London, strolling prestigious London Christmas markets, and celebrating Christmas with traditional English Christmas dinner in a fancy restaurant!
17. BRITISH STUFFING
Roasted turkey meat is traditionally stuffed with onions and herbs (most typically sage, thyme, or rosemary) for Christmas dinner. Traditional British stuffing can come inside of the turkey, but also as a side dish.
18. BEEF WELLINGTON
Iconic Beef Wellington is a pie and a classic steak dish from England. Finest Beef Wellington is a prosciutto-wrapped beef steak covered with a pâté and paste mixture and all together baked in pastry. Traditional Beef Wellington is made of beef tenderloin, the finest and the most expensive cut of beef. British Beef Wellington is similar to French Filet de Boeuf en Croute. First-rate Beef Wellington is the ultimate Christmas dinner in British homes.
England’s Toad-in-the-Hole is a puffy and crispy traditional English dish of baked (pork) sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter.
This inexpensive dish was originally poor men’s meal made of meat leftovers. It is traditionally served with onion gravy and vegetables. The dish got the name after the look – a toad sticking the head out of a hole. This common British dish is also called Sausage Toad.
20. GAMON STAKE, EGG AND CHIPS
Gamon in Britain stands for ham. Ham, egg, and chips is a common UK dish served in pubs along with fish & chips, and meat pie across the kingdom. Gamon stake, egg, and chips are typically served with a ring of apple pie or with beans.
21. DEEP-FRIED ONION RINGS
If you want to try some of the most popular British foods ever, go for deep-fried onion rings.
Believe it or not, deep-fried onion rings originate from the UK. The first recipe for deep-fried onion rings was found in The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined cookbook written by John Mollard dating back to 1802.
Crispy deep-fried onion rigs are staples of British Cuisine and American Cuisine.
22. BACON ROLLY POLLY
Classic Bacon Rolly-Polly is a suet pastry pudding with bacon and onions. More precisely, the suet pastry is filled with bacon and onions, rolled up, and then traditionally steamed. It is a popular British snack and a side dish served usually with gravy, potatoes, and peas.
23. CUMBERLAND SAUSAGE
English Cumberland sausages are very long chopped pork meat sausages seasoned with spices and herbs, like pepper, thyme, sage, nutmeg, and cayenne what create their distinctive flavor. The Cumberland sausages are unusual long sausages up to 50 cm and typically sold bent. The most popular British sausages were named after historic Cumberland county in northwest England.
24. WELSH RAREBIT
Welsh rabbit is a traditional dish of Wales. Quite opposite to the name, this traditional Welsh dish doesn’t consist of rabbit meat. This famous Welsh dish consists of melted cheesy sauce on toasted bread. Welsh cheese on toast is often voted as the best cheese on toast in the world. The sauce is prepared with cheese, butter, Worcestershire sauce, flour, pepper, mustard, and beer or milk. To make this Welsh meal you need a chafing dish.
25. WELSH LAVERBREAD
Laverbread is one of the most popular dishes from Wales, popularly known as Welsh caviar. It is prepared of laver seaweed commonly found along the Irish Sea coast. The seaweed is boiled, minced, and then fried resulting in the delicious paste in a form and texture similar to caviar.
Laverbread is typically eaten for breakfast in Wales, most commonly accompanied with cockles shellfish (a typical food in the Welsh cuisine), and bacon.
26. SCOTISH HAGGIS
Iconic Haggis is a national dish of Scotland.
This most famous traditional Scottish dish is made from sheep liver, heart, and lungs with oatmeal, onions, and salt and spices. This well-liked dish of Scotland was traditionally cooked in a sheep’s stomach but in modern times it is cooked in an artificial casing. This famous Scottish meat pudding is a hearty dish with a peppery flavor, traditionally served at Burns Night festival dedicated to famous Scottish poet Robert Burns on January 25. It’s worth mentioning, as food containing sheep lung. haggis has been banned for importing into the USA since 1971. Therefore, if you want to try unique food in Scotland, Haggis is a must-try-
27. CULLEN SKINK
Scottish dishes are typically hearty. Ergo, Scottish soups are hearty too.
Cullen skink is a famous Scottish soup. This traditional Scottish soup is made with smoked fish, milk, potatoes, and onions. Typically it is prepared with smoked haddock (cod). This thick and creamy soup got its name after ‘Cullen’, a village in Scotland where the soup originates from, and ‘Skink’, meaning soup or pottage. Cullen Skinks is traditionally a winter comfort food in Scotland.
28. BUBBLE AND SQUEAK
If you are looking for a vegetarian dish in Britain, the Bubble and Squeak might be your cup of tea.
Classic Bubble and Squeak is a vegetarian British dish made from fried leftover vegetables (like carrots, potatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and similar). It is typically made without meat but it is served with cold meat for a breakfast. Even more, Bubble and Squeak is one of the most popular breakfast dishes in Britain ever. It is named after the sound of the frying dish.
29. AFTERNOON TEA
British Afternoon Tea is a meal, not a drink, traditionally served at 4 o’clock. Authentic afternoon Tea includes tea, freshly baked scones, afternoon cucumber sandwiches, and pastries. Originally high-class ladies in Britain invited their friends to their houses for an afternoon tea, but today you can enjoy English afternoon tea at English tea rooms across England at 4 o’clock.
FAMOUS BRITISH CHEESES
Popular British cheese are some of the top must-try British foods in Britain
30. STILTON CHEESE
Delicious Stilton cheese comes from England. There are two types of creamy Stilton: Blue Stilton and White Stilton cheese. If you are after a cheese that melts in your mouth on your trip in England, then you should go for English Stilton cheese.
31. CHEDDAR CHEESE
English Cheddar cheese is one of the most famous British foods in the world.
Cheddar cheese is one of the best-selling cheeses in the world, along with Italian Mozzarella and Parmesan and French Brie, and Camambert. Classic Cheddar cheese is a hard but smooth cow’s cheese with colors ranging from natural white to orange and flavors ranging from mild to sharp and extra sharp. Cheddar cheese is named after the village of Cheddar in Somerset in southwest England. The best quality Somerset Cheddar takes 9 months to mature.
FAMOUS BRITISH DESSERTS
Traditional British desserts are some of the most delicious British foods in Britain every traveler to Britain should enjoy.
32. VICTORIA SPONGE CAKE
Called also Victoria sandwich cake is another classic teatime treat. This British classic is quite a simple cake but nothing less than the ultimate delight. After all, it is named after Queen Victoria. This buttery and layered cake is made of fluffy vanilla sponge cake filled with whipped cream and raspberry or strawberry jam. Easily found in very bakery, cafe and coffee shop in England.
33. ETON MESS
A classic English dessert made of sliced strawberries, meringue, and whipped cream. This traditional English dessert has been invented in Eton college and soon became not only a favorite dessert of Eton students but also a well-cherished dessert across England.
A similar dessert to Eton Mass is Lancing Mass from Lancing College with bananas instead of strawberries.
34. SCONES, JAM AND CLOTTED CREAM
If you want to try, classic English tea-time sweet treat, then you should go for British scones with jam, clotted cream, and strawberries. Authentic British scones are traditionally baked with currants, raisins, dates, or cheese. Scones in Britain are traditionally eaten for breakfast and served with tea, jam, and clotted cream.
35. SPOTTED DICK
Traditional English cuisine comes with some great English desserts. While Spotted Dick might sound vulgar, in English cuisine it represents one of the most delicious English cakes. Spotted Dick is a pudding cake traditionally made with dried fruits (most commonly black currants), vanilla custard, and beef suet (fat). This iconic British dessert apparently got its quirky name after ‘spotted’ dried fruit and ‘puddick’, an old English word for pudding.
36. (PROPER) BRITISH APPLE PIE
Sorry, but no one can visit Great Britain without tasting proper apple pie.
Apple pie originates from England. Toothsome apple pie is considered an English national dish in England. Today apple pie might be one of the most iconic baked dishes in the world.
So, if you want to try authentic apple pie with a generous filling of apples, please don’t leave England without trying it!
37. CHRISTMAS PUDDING
Famous Christmas pudding is a cake traditionally served for Christmas dinner in Britain, the UK, and beyond. English Christmas pudding is a traditional Christmas dessert made with dried fruits and breadcrumbs, aged for Christmas dinner for days before Christmas, and doused with brandy just before serving. Traditionally a silver coin or trinket was placed inside the cake bringing luck to the person who would found it.
38. ECCLES CAKE
England likes pastries with black currant, and Eccles cake serves as a perfect example for it. These flaky, fast and round pastries with black currants are served traditionally with Lancashire cheese and go well afternoon tea too. Eccles cake is named after the town of Eccles in the Great Manchester area.
39. YORKSHIRE PARKIN
Parkin is a spicy British cake made with oatmeal, ginger and treacle. While it originates in Yorkshire, Parkin is eaten primarily in northern England. It’s traditionally prepared on Bonfire Night on November 5. Picante Parkin was historically a poor man cake. Today Parkin is one of the classic northern English cakes enjoyed in winter.
40. BANBURY CAKE
Banbury cake is another popular back currant cake in England. While Eccles cake Is round in shape, Banbury cake is oval. The Banbury cake has a very distinctive aroma as the main ingredients beside black currants are rose water, rum, and nutmeg. Again, English Banbury cake perfectly goes well with English tea. The cake was named after the town of Banbury in Oxfordshire in England.
41. WELSH CAKE
Wales likes cakes with black currant too. Welsh Cakes, popularly known as Griddle Cakes in Wales and sometimes even as Bakestones, are traditional cakes made from eggs, milk, flour, butter/lard, currants, and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and similar ) and cooked on a griddle (not baked). Welsh Cake is traditionally served on St David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales celebrated on 1 March.
42. STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING
When you cover moist sponge cake with sweet toffee sauce and add some vanilla custard or vanilla ice-cream to it, you get one of the most popular English deserts, and one of the yummiest desserts in the world ever.
Flavorful sticky toffee pudding is another British classic and a popular English dessert.
Fudge might originate from the US, but Great Britain is the place where fudge has become enormously popular. Even more, Brits claim fudge to be originally theirs. Cornwall in England is claimed as the hometown of chocolate fudge. Regardless of the origin, fudge is considered to be a traditional British confectionery in Britain. British fudge is a creamy butter-rich candy and a must-try dessert in the UK.
Traditional English trifle is a mouthwatering dessert. This classic English dessert is made with 3 main ingredients: ladyfingers soaked up in fortified wine (most commonly sherry wine), fruits (most usually fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries), and custard. Jam and whipped cream optionally can be added. Favorite Brits’ dessert for Christmas time.
45. YULE LOG
Yule log is a traditional Christmas cake in many European countries, including the UK. Yule Log is a favorite Christmas cake in the UK. Chocolate Yule log roulade cake depicts an actual wooden log burnt for Christmastime. British Yule log is one of the most popular Christmas desserts in Britain along with English Pudding.
46. GINGER SNAP BISCUITS
Sweet and spicy ginger biscuits are popular sweet treats in the UK. The most famous British ginger biscuits are traditional ‘Cornish fairings’ from Cornwall. Hence, don’t miss crunchy Cornish fairings when in Cornwall!
TRADITIONAL BRITISH BEVERAGES
47. BRITISH TEA
British food culture is unthinkable without a cup of proper British tea. This comforting beverage is an institution in the UK tracing back in the early 17th century when the East India Company introduced tea to Britain. Tea is a national drink of Britain and a national drink of Ireland. Today there are more than 1.500 different teas in Britain, and the most popular are Indian teas (Darjeeling, Ceylon, Assam most notably) and Chinese teas (Lapsang Souchong and Yunnan). Traditionally Brits drink strong and dark tea with lots of milk.
48. BRITISH BEER
If you want to feel like a true Brit, you should head to a traditional British pub and order ‘pint’ or ‘halves’ of Bitter, Stout, Lager, or Cider.
Dark and heavy beer in Britain is called Bitter and it is the most popular British beer sold in every British pub. A dark and creamy beer like the world-famous Irish Guinness is called Stout in Britain. Cider is a popular British beer made of apples. Cold larger is also well-liked in Britain. In British pubs and clubs, you can say cheers with bigger ‘pint’ or smaller ‘halves’ of beer.
49. EGG NOG
Eggnog is a popular beverage originating from the UK.
Today egg milk punch is popular in many countries worldwide, but the first egg milk punch was made in Eastern England in the 17 century.
Traditional eggnog is made with whipped egg whites, egg yolks, sugar, milk, and cream, but there are versions of eggnog with alcohol as well. Eggnog with whiskey, brandy, or rum is especially popular at Christmas time.
BRITISH COOKBOOKS TO READ
What do British people eat?
Some of the most popular British dishes are English breakfast, scotch egg, shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, steak and kidney pie, Yorkshire pudding, Black pudding, Cornish pasty, Bangers and Mash …
What is British food?
British food refers primarily to culinary traditions and food from England, Scotland, and Wales. But it also embraces culinary influences of former countries and territories of the British Empire, most notably of India.