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Traditionally British foods to try on your next trip to the UK

March 19, 2017

Okay, let me start with this, I love food. Like really really love food. My mother is an excellent cook, specialising in anything from traditional British food, to West African and even Indian. My father had an Italian restaurant when I was growing up, so specialises in everything from Italian to Moroccan – Moroccan being the food of his home country. Put them together and you have one food inspired lady. Through life, I have developed a deep appreciate for food, and in relation to travel love to discover local culture through culinary experiences.

I live in London and was born in London (a rarity – I know!) So thought it might be nice to do a round up of the typically British food/ culinary experiences that you have to try when you are next in the UK.

Full English Breakfast

Quite simply the breakfast of champions! The photo is a breakfast my housemate prepared at home and is missing a few things. But generally the meal comprises: beans, bacon, sausages, eggs, hash browns, tomatoes. This isn’t generally something we eat every day but most definitely on the weekend and even more definitely after a night on the town. But how do you like your eggs in the morning? I’m a fried egg fan myself, but I won’t judge if you like scrambled.


Fish and Chips

Battered fish and chips are a combination synonymous with British culture. You can have this for lunch or dinner and usually you’ll find a ‘chippy’ nearby to your home; it’s as regular to see as a corner shop. I personally don’t like vinegar but it is very usual to drench your chips in salt and vinegar. Although they are everywhere I once had a really good fish and chips from Poppies, a diner style food place in Shoreditch London. I mention this as Shoreditch is a pretty cool area to go – so if you dine here it’s sort of killing two birds with one stone.


Sunday Roast Dinner

But why is it Sunday? Not sure really but this is when you typically have a roast. Having it on another day honestly feels quite weird, but if your trip to the UK doesn’t include a Sunday then I would totally forgo the rules. Roast dinners include: a roast meat (beef, chicken, turkey; or a vegetarian alternative like nut), roast potatoes, vegetables and Yorkshire puddings. I had a great Roast Dinner near London Southbank/ Waterloo area which I blogged about and whole heartedly recommend.


Afternoon tea

Oh did you hear that British people love tea? Ha I’m joking, of course you knew. This experience is specifically going to meet someone for tea, that is generally accompanied by finger sandwiches and an assortment of sweet cakes and pastries (scones, Victoria sponge cake, brownies). Fun fact: some Afternoon Tea is also served with Prosecco. Although it usually takes place in the afternoon, you could easily fit this in to a morning if you so pleased. If you don’t have loads of money to spend, I’d recommend heading to Groupon and getting a deal there. I’ve linked to the London based Afternoon Tea experiences here.


Indian Curry

So I know you might be looking at this like: I’m pretty sure this is indian. But no, having a curry is one of the most typical dishes in British culture. A curry and a beer is a regular deal in British pubs and we really do have the taste for Indian curries. Are they as good as the curries from India? Probably not, but you can still get some really tasty dishes made by some truly passionate independent restauranteurs. One of my favourite Indian restaurants is in Forest Gate, East London, called Aromas – it’s a little out the way, but for me it’s unrivalled (and very cheap). Fun fact: they allow you to bring your own alcohol.


This list is by no means exhaustive, but highlights some typical British culinary experiences.  Looking for other things to do in the UK? Here are some of my London recommendations and here is a fun hiking experience in the UK (about an hour away from London). I hope you find it useful, as ever.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I’m heading to London next month and this is great! Do you have a favorite place that serves curry? I’m so excited 🙂

  • Reply
    Tracey spooner
    March 25, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Love that you have listed quite a few of the great English traditional dishes ha, since we are talking about traditions, you missed the kebab after a night out 😂 Reading this has made me yearn for fish and chips tonight, I’m supposed to be good though!

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      March 25, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      LOL you are very right. But I didn’t want people thinking it was the best of what we had to offer 😂 (I’m slightly ashamed of my kebab consumption). RE fish and chips, I feel your pain!

  • Reply
    Sara MacIntosh
    March 25, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Afternoon tea is my life! Always the first thing I get when I go back to the UK.

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      March 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Ahh I love love it so I don’t blame you.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Totally craving an English breakfast now, thanks! Blood pudding is my favorite.

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      March 25, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      Haha sorry! I’m craving them all because I am so hungry right now.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I lived in London for a year and totally agree with this list. I recently found a great place for Sunday roast in NYC and it made me SO happy. I’ll also never turn down an afternoon tea! Hands down one of the best food experiences ever 😉

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      March 25, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Oh no way, awesome. Which is it out of curiosity? I may be in agreement RE the afternoon tea! It’s got so many things in the experience to look forward to.

      • Reply
        March 25, 2017 at 6:15 pm

        It’s called the Jones Wood Foundry on the Upper East Side 🙂 I also found a place in NYC that sells proper scones with clotted cream and jam. It makes me miss London so much!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    I think my stomach just growled looking at all these yummy pics! I can’t wait for my next trip to London. My favorite fish and chips place in London is The Golden Hind in Marylebone. I actually like it with regular peas instead of mushy peas. The battered fish is done just right. 🙂

    p.s. I love Shoreditch and always try to stay near there.

  • Reply
    Mica (@senyoritamyx)
    March 25, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    I am staying here in England at the moment and I am not afraid to admit that the Full English Breakfast rocks! I never get tired ordering it (even if my mom is suggesting I should try other dishes lol). I love eating my fish n chips outdoors. The experience of unwrapping it and using your hands instead of utensils just gives me that joy. Love food forever! 😀 – Mica of

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Oh, man. I’m hungry now 😛 I was actually thinking how I hope she’s gonna include Indian food on here (everyone in Edinburgh jokes that curry is beating haggis as their national dish)! Awesome!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Yum I could totally go for some fish and chips right now! I also discovered English Breakfast after backpacking with a few British backpackers. Perfect hangover meal!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Afternoon tea, one of my favorite moment ! Afternoon tea is always a gorgeously decadent treat, no matter where you are… Now, I’ve got one question: is there a proper way to eat a scone ? Indeed, there is :-)… Break it apart horizontally first (left), or break off small bite sized pieces (right) with your hands. Now, you can use your knife to slather on the jam and cream to your small bite-sized pieces of scone !

  • Reply
    Vrithi Pushkar
    March 25, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Yay. Looks like i have tried all of them. Afternoon tea and fish and chips are my favorite! Thanks for sharing.

    Vrithi Pushkar

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Brittish food isn’t the most prettiest but it certainly is amazing comfort food.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    I spent a summer semester at Oxford University and it reminds me of all the food I ate over there! Now I’m hungry 🙂

  • Reply
    Suzanne (PhilaTravelGirl)
    March 25, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    I’ve been visiting London a few times a year for over 20yrs and these are spot on foods to eat in London and the U.K.
    loved that you included curry – I tell my friends in US it’s the equivalent to our American pizza or burgers in terms of popularity

  • Reply
    Jay Artale
    March 25, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    There are so many great places for cream teas in London, you really are spoilt for choice. I think it should be mandated as part of every visit, don’t you? @rovingjay

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    I’m vegan, so I’ll have to pass on the Sunday Roast, but have had all the other ones in great vegan varieties! (Our local chippy does fried vegan sausages with chips!) I’d probably add Haggis to bring in some traditional Scottish cuisine (also available veggie/vegan btw.). I’m hungry now haha

  • Reply
    Migrating Miss
    March 26, 2017 at 10:43 am

    This is just the tip of the iceberg too! I’d definitely add haggis, neeps and tatties to the list, but I suppose you could just have haggis on a Full Scottish Breakfast too. Now I’m hungry…

  • Reply
    March 26, 2017 at 11:55 am

    I always love food posts. English breakfasts are the best and I was lucky to have one in the radisson in london thanks to my flight that was cancelled. they put me up in the radisson where the next morning i had a full english breakfast.

  • Reply
    March 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    I’m from India but I tend to stay away from Indian food when I travel. Not because it isn’t cooked well but because I am always itching to try something new. That being said I think the Sunday roast has definitely caught my attention and who doesn’t love a proper English breakfast?

  • Reply
    March 26, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    I love that you grew up in a foodie family. I, too, come from a restaurantuer family, so I can completely relate to your love of food. I’ve only just started to really appreciate British cuisine. I love Roast restaurant in Borough Market. Their menu is such an innovative take on British food culture!

  • Reply
    April 25, 2017 at 6:06 am

    This actually answered my issue, thank you!

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      April 25, 2017 at 7:20 am

      Great! 😃 what was your issue out of curiosity?

  • Reply
    July 5, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Looks good

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