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5 British Foods You Have to Eat When You Study English in the UK

Top Five Traditional British Foods

Everyone knows that England does not have the best reputation for good food. In fact, many students travel to the UK extremely worried about what they are going to eat when they are here. Of course, you can find a huge variety of restaurants in the UK (especially in London) serving food from all around the world. I have to admit that I often order Thai take away or eat in my favourite Turkish restaurant but there’s nothing I like more than a traditional English meal in a local pub or restaurant. Here are a number of British foods you have to try whilst staying in England – some of which you may have already heard of.  


popular british foods fish and hips

By Charles Haynes from Bangalore, India (Fish, Chips, and Mushy Peas) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Fish and chips

Of course I had to start the list with probably the most well-known traditional English dish – fish and chips. This is usually a piece of cod or haddock coated in batter and deep fried and is served with chips and peas (or mushy peas). There is a simple reason why this dish is so popular in Britain and why there are so many fish and chip shops (or chippies) – it’s because it is delicious!! Some places even serve it in the original way – wrapped in newspaper!

traditional british foods - a sunday roast

By by robbie jim ( [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Traditional Sunday roast

You definitely cannot leave the UK without trying one of the best British foods to ever be created! Traditional Sunday roast (also known as roast dinner or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding) is roasted meat (you usually have a choice of beef, chicken, pork or a vegetarian option) plus roast potatoes, vegetables, Yorkshire puddings and gravy. The hardest part about eating this meal is deciding what to eat first (or if you’re anything like me you’ll pile your fork high with a little piece of everything and eat it all at the same time!)

shepherds pie

Cottage or Shepherd’s pie

This is an old favourite in the UK but it’s nothing like a typical pie you can find in many British shops and restaurants (e.g. steak and kidney pie – another British favourite). It is a layer of minced beef (cottage pie) or minced lamb (shepherd’s pie) covered in a layer of mashed potato and cooked in the oven. The combination of the two is delicious, warming and very easy to eat.

bangers and mash

Bangers and mash

Bangers and mash is a really comforting British meal – it’s best to eat this if you’re feeling a little down or if the weather is really bad outside! It is basically sausages served with creamy mashed potatoes and gravy – yum!

full english breakfast

Full English breakfast

No list of British foods would be complete without a mention of the tastiest but often most unhealthy British meal – a full English breakfast. This includes sausages, bacon, eggs, baked beans, tomato and bread. It is also often called a ‘fry-up’ for the simple reason that most of the food on your plate will have been fried in a lot of oil! I would not suggest eating this every day for breakfast (your heart probably won’t be too happy!) but it is definitely the best cure for a hangover!!

Study English in London at Bloomsbury International and learn more about British culture, including tips from teachers of the best local restaurants to try out these traditional British foods!

Have fun with English

British food word search

Can you find the listed words hidden in this word search? They are all British foods that you should try!

british foods word search


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