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Everyone knows that their own country’s traditional cuisine is the best, but sometimes it’s good to branch out and try new things! British food is often popular around the world – have you tasted any of these classic dishes yet?
Known for its bad weather, terrible passion for queuing and even worse political decisions, Britain knows it’s got some work to do. But on the food front, we actually have some amazing dishes and you need to try them all!
One of our most popular dishes may be an Indian-style curry (I don’t know whether I’m proud or embarrassed to admit that) but there are plenty of perfect meals that started back home.
7 travel bloggers shared their favourite British food, and we added in ours too. Try to get to the bottom of this list without thinking about finding a British pub immediately!
British food can’t be mentioned without someone drooling over their mum’s roast dinner.
Soft, roasted meats, crispy potatoes, buttery vegetables, fluffy Yorkshire puddings, traditional stuffing balls … the it doesn’t get better than this on a Sunday. Pour over your gravy, mint, cranberry or bread sauce – or take a spoonful of each!
Everyone adds their own special touch to a roast dinner, be it cauliflower cheese or mashed potato, but you can guarantee you won’t leave the dinner table hungry!
Pie and Mash – Up&AtEm Travel
Fans of the American potpie will likely enjoy the deconstructed British version: “pie and mash.”
In the USA, golden-crusted potpies enclose cooked vegetables and meat swimming in gravy. However, pies in the UK are served with gravy, usually made with some sort of beer, on the side.
Diners then pour the gravy over the pie as they eat it, which allows the crust to remain flaky. Pies with beef and chicken are available at most pubs, but Brits eat fish pies, too.
If you’re lucky, you may find a sampler platter of mini pies to try three of four types in one sitting. Additionally, at most restaurants, diners can opt for chips (or thick cut French fries) instead of mashed potatoes and salad instead of cooked seasonal vegetables.
Bangers and Mash – The Little Den
Despite living in the gastronomic capital of France, there is some British food that we simply can’t live without and one such meal is the famous ‘Bangers and Mash’. Comfort food at its best.
Every time we go back to the UK, it’s one of our must-eat dishes as we loving nothing more than tucking into a hearty plate of sausages & mash in a traditional pub.
Given that we can’t easily pop back to Edinburgh for our fill, hubby has become a dab hand at producing a homemade version worthy one of some the best pub lunches in the UK.
Think caramelised onion gravy sauce, buttery mashed potatoes accompanied by some delicious local (French!) sausages. Bon appétit!
Scotch Eggs – Happiness Travels Here
Scotch eggs are definitely my favourite British food. A farm fresh soft boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat covered by a coating of crispy fried breadcrumbs.
Cutting it in half and finding a perfectly runny oozing yolk makes my heart sing.
Living in Germany it had been a long time since I had had a scotch egg, so when I saw them on the menu at a quirky cafe in Prague called Maso A Kobliha I had to give them a try.
Wow, sorry to my English relatives, but they were some of the best I have ever eaten.
Full English Breakfast – Pack The PJs
A short time ago, as a mum-and-daughter treat, we got up early and headed into Hitchin, Hertfordshire town centre. Our destination was Chilli B’s on Bucklesbury; a small welcoming coffee lounge that gets very popular at peak times.
We had one plan and that was to head straight for their breakfast menu!
Along with a mouth-watering American stack of pancakes (with crispy bacon, warm blueberry compote and maple syrup), they also serve the most amazing Full English Breakfast.
The Chilli B’s Breakfast consists of traditional butcher’s sausages, butcher’s thick-cut bacon, Award Winning black pudding, local free-range eggs (however you want them – we always have fried), baked beans, and buttered toast (wholemeal or white).
It’s easily the best breakfast around. I must also ‘big up’ their flat white coffees – never had a bad one there!
Steak and Ale Pie – Orient Excess
You’ve all heard it before: British food, something of a punchline throughout Europe, and unlikely to ever be the subject of an article of praise.
At least, that’s what I thought before I spent a year living in the north of England. Before I discovered pub food!
Granted that it’s not gastronomic food, and it’s unlikely to attract the attention of many Michelin starred chefs, but British pub food is good, honest, everyday food, similar to what we would get in a Bistro back home in France, and that’s what I like the most.
A year in the UK made me crave things unheard of in haute cuisine circles, things like mushy peas & gravy, ‘bangers & mash’ and most of all, steak and ale pie.
A pie that combines beef and beer, I guess that’s almost as British as it gets! Serve it with mash, peas and some extra gravy and that’s Yorkshire for you!
And it’s just so easy to find, walk through the door of any of the estimated 50,000 pubs in the UK and you can bet it’ll be on the menu.
Hard to pick a favourite, but wherever possible, avoid the mass-produced nonsense peddled by the chain pubs and seek out homemade fare.
Fish and Chips – From Real People
One of the most quintessentially British dishes is the traditional seaside dish of fish and chips.
As a British expat who now lives in Germany, it’s one of the biggest things we miss from home.
In fact the time we had the Fish and Chips in the photo was from a weekend when we woke up on a Saturday morning with a craving for a perfect piece of cod and a sea view that overwhelmed us so much we booked a ferry there and then with a night in a hotel in Kent.
After a 4 hour dash across 4 countries (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France) and a relaxing ferry journey, by tea time on Saturday evening we were in Peter’s Fish Factory in the seaside town of Ramsgate. Crazy, but so worth the trip for our favourite British food.
A simple British food, and not a pie in the typical sense, Shepherd’s Pie is usually a huge family favourite.
Traditionally cooked with minced lamb and chopped vegetables (it’s a Cottage Pie if you use beef!), mashed potato is smoothed over the meat, and grated cheese is added to the top to bubble away under the grill.
You’ll want a huge jug of gravy for this meal. Portions always tend to be large and you won’t want to stop eating!
You can also easily make this meal vegetarian by swapping the mince for lentils – so good!
Toad in the Hole
This dish does sound quite rude, we get it, but the combination of sausages cooked in Yorkshire pudding batter is just to die for!
Just flour, milk and eggs with a sprinkle of seasoning make up the mix. Add in the ‘toads’ to the ‘hole’ and voila – an indulgence you can’t resist!
It’s definitely a winter meal too. A cosy night in with a hearty dish like this will make you forget all about those light summer evenings in a heartbeat!
Haggis – Trips Get
Haggis, Neeps and Tatties are a world-famous British (read Scottish) dish.
Most people have a love-hate relationship with it.
People know it tastes good, but when they learn what is it made of, they refuse to continue eating it. Haggis is a mix of sheep’s heart, liver and lung, wrapped up in the animal’s stomach lining. It’s usually served with neeps and tatties, which are swede and potatoes!
In my opinion, Haggis is totally unhealthy but very very very delicious.
I tried haggis, neeps and tatties multiple times while living in Edinburgh for 1.5 years and it can either be fancy (in a Scottish restaurant) or simple and tasty – in a pub.
Packing List Essentials
Have you tried any of the food on this list? What’s your favourite British dish? Let us know in the comments below!