The best way to get a sense of a country’s culture and history is through its cuisine. These traditional British dishes will help you find the best places to find them when you visit the UK.
Traditional British Foods: Where to Find Them
1. Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s Pie is a classic British dish. It’s a healthy and delicious version of the traditional British dish. Shepherd’s Pie was created in Scotland and North England. It’s primarily made of minced lamb and potatoes. Although many families make this dish with beef, Cottage Pie is a better name for it, since shepherds tend to only raise sheep. The majority of Brits agree that Shepherd’s Pie is best enjoyed at home with family. In fact, it is rarely served in restaurants. If you’re looking for a truly memorable Shepherd’s Pie, the Ivy London is the place to go.
2. Beef Wellington
Beef Wellington is a steak fillet that has been seasoned with pate and then wrapped in pastry. The dish is named after the Duke of Wellington but has no connection to the British nobility. It is believed that Beef Wellington was actually based on the French dish filet en boeuf en route (fillet of beef and pastry). Beef Wellington can be found in many restaurants and pubs across the country. But if you want something truly special, then visit the House restaurant in Brighton’s Lanes.
3. Fish and Chips
Fish and chips are perhaps the most iconic British dish. Unfortunately, this dish can sometimes be disappointing if it isn’t prepared correctly. It is a good idea to search for chip shops that prepare their fish fresh-to-order. Avoid chippy’s that display stacks of precooked fish behind glass. There are many fish and chips shops across the UK. However, this dish tastes best when it is accompanied by the ocean. If you want to enjoy a British delicacy, it is best to go to the coast. The Melrose is a great option for those who are studying at the English language school, Brighton.
4. Chicken Tikka Masala
Although the dish may be rooted in South Asia, there is a lot evidence that suggests Chicken Tikka Masala originated in Britain from a Bangladeshi chef based in Glasgow. It’s one of Britain’s most loved dishes, and can be found in many curry houses across the country. Manchester’s curry mile has some of the finest British-Asian food. You might also like to visit our guide to Manchester’s Halal restaurants if you are studying at BSC Manchester.
5. Steak and Kidney Pie
Or any other kind of pie. Pies are a great antidote for the British winter, whether they’re covered with pastry or potatoes. If you’re looking for the best home of pies, then it’s worth heading to the North of England. You can find great homemade pies at local markets and restaurants. Pieminster has a wide range of pies for those who live in the South. It also has branches across the UK.
6. Eton Mess
Eton Mess, a dessert with meringue and a variety of fruits, is the perfect summer treat. This dish, which was first made famous at Eton College’s school cricket matches in the late 19th-century, is still very popular across Britain. Eton Mess is simple to make and so delicious it can be taken on a picnic. This Eton Mess recipe will show you how to make this classic British dessert.
7. Afternoon Tea
What could be better than scones, finger sandwiches and cake with tea? Even though the Brits are known for their afternoon tea at 5pm every day, that is a myth. Afternoon tea, a rare treat, is usually taken between 3-4pm. Betty’s Tea Room is York’s best place for traditional afternoon tea.
8. Cornish Pasty
Cornish pasties are a pastry filled with meat and vegetables. They were first popularized by tin miners because they could be easily transported and could be eaten without any cutlery or plates. The humble pasty is an integral part of British food culture. It is even believed that the humble pasty was the inspiration for the South American empanada. You will find it in Cornwall, of course! If you don’t live in Cornwall, there are delicious Cornish Pasties available at most bakeries and markets. You can also grab one from the West Cornwall Pasty Company.
9. Enjoy a Full Breakfast
A full breakfast, also known as a fry-up, is a meal that includes eggs, bacon and sausages. It can also include tomatoes, eggs, bacon, sausages and beans. This hearty breakfast is very popular in England, Ireland and Scotland, and can often be enjoyed on weekends. You can also find regional variations like the Full Scottish, which is served with black pudding or ‘tattie Scones’. There are many greasy spoons in the UK that offer fry-ups. However, if you’re studying at our English school in Edinburgh, we recommend the Quick & Plenty cafe.
10. Roast Dinner
Roast dinner was originally a simple meal that could be prepared after Sunday church services. The meat and vegetables could then be cooked in the oven while the family went to worship. A Sunday Roast is an integral part of British life. Around one-fifth of British people still enjoy a roast each week. A Sunday roast dinner is a standard pub menu. You can find almost any type of roast if you do some research. For a delicious Jamaican roast, visit Rudie’s London’s Shoreditch or one of these Vegan Roast Dinners.