The best things I ever ate in the UK

Travelers and expats, don’t believe the persistent stereotype that British food is the pits! After spending four years in the country, I developed a few favorites that always bring back good food memories. Here are some of the best things I ever ate in the UK.


Doner kebab

Although originally Turkish, you’re bound to find a kebab shop on any high street in the UK. These delicious shavings of roasted meat tucked in a soft flatbread, similar to the Middle Eastern shawarma or Greek gyro, is often the perfect end to a night out to soak up all that excess grog.


Sunday roast dinner

Roasted veggies, roasted potatoes, roast beef, crispy Yorkshire puddings, all smothered in gravy. Can Sundays get any better?


Think about the easiest way you can make a granola bar. English flapjacks are simple but so good: rolled oats, golden syrup, butter, brown sugar, and raisins cooked on the stovetop, baked, and then cut into chewy bars! Warning: they are addictive.


British pancakes

These babies are thinner than Scotch or American pancakes and resemble the French crepe. They’re also traditionally served with lemon and sugar and especially enjoyed on Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday).


Mince pies

Don’t be fooled by the name. These little Christmas pastries are filled with minced dried fruit rather than minced animal meat.

Sausage rolls

These are made with lightly seasoned pork rather than frankfurters.

Jaffa cakes

The combination of chocolate, a sponge cake-like cookie, and orange jam is pure heaven.


Fish and chips

Battered fish and thick-cut fries never tasted better!


Fry up/Full English breakfast

Fried egg, fried tomato, fried mushroom, bacon, sausage, baked beans, toast. This is often recommended as the best way to get over a long night at the pub.



Did you know that the UK’s favorite curry, chicken tikka masala, was invented there, not in India? Also, my favorite thing about some curry restaurants in the UK is BYO (bring your own alcohol). If you like it spicy, my top picks are lamb rogan josh and chicken jalfrezi.

Shepherd’s pie

This one-pot dish really hits the spot especially when it’s wet and cold outside. The gooey combination of minced beef, cheese, and mashed potato also makes the perfect pub lunch.


Bangers and mash

Great name for such a simple dish of sausages and mashed potatoes.

Who else loves #stickytoffeepudding? #BritishFood #Yummy

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Sticky toffee pudding

It’s a rich sponge cake made with chopped dates and smothered in a toffee sauce.

Banoffee pie

Ooey gooey combination of bananas, toffee, and cream in a pie shell.


Remember when Rachel from Friends made a trifle with peas, onion, minced beef, jam, custard, and bananas? She almost got it right but not quite. The trifle recipe varies from family to family but is a layered dessert with ladyfingers/sponge cake pieces, jam/jelly, custard (made from scratch), whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.

Christmas pudding

Some Brits don’t really like this but I loved it because it reminded me of Trini black cake. It’s a dense cake made with minced fruit, soaked in brandy, lit on fire, then doused with custard!

Cornish pasty

This pie filled with meat and veggies is usually a great way to have lunch on the run. You can pick it up in any supermarket or convenience store.

Pickles and chutneys

Think beyond the dill pickle! Branston’s (made with a host of pickled vegetables) is usually found in any British pantry and really livens up a regular Cheddar cheese sandwich. One of my favorite chutneys is also fruity tomato chutney which pairs well with cold sandwiches.

Cream tea

You cannot beat this afternoon delight which includes fresh pots of tea and baked scones served with real clotted cream, butter, and strawberry/raspberry jam. The best I had was in a conservatory tea room in St David’s, Wales.

Cadbury Flake

It’s a vanilla ice cream cone served with a stick of Cadbury Flake, a crumbly chocolate bar. This is only served in summer from those eponymous ice cream vans.

Have you ever tried British food? How was it?

best thing I ever ate UK

10 thoughts on “The best things I ever ate in the UK

  1. I live right by a Waitrose, so it’s a regular treat for me to have a Sunday roast! You can’t go wrong with sticky toffee pudding, or fish and chips. Jaffa cakes are scrummy, I can never eat just one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Guilty of being hungry after going through each image and its caption 😀 I had English breakfast in my list to do once in UK, but you have given me so many things 🙂 I – being Indian – thought chicken tikka masala was Indian…I never knew I could go wrong there 😉 Pinning it to my foodie guide for my UK travels!


  3. Okay, I’m officially hungry now lol! I’d love to try some of the mince pies, the sheperd’s pie, and plenty of others. Some of these names take me back to reading Harry Potter–that’s where I learned the names of many basic “British” foods, though I didn’t know what they were half the time!


  4. Omigosh, these photos are luscious! Funny how different flapjacks are in the U.K. from what we call flapjacks in the U.S. My mother (who is part Scottish) used to make a delicious shepherd’s pie, but fish and chips and scones are probably my favorite foods from the U.K. That banoffee pie, though, looks amazing!!


  5. Wow! That’s an extensive list. I’ve had a lot of Flapjacks in UK. They’re a good breakfast when you’re on the go. Love Pancakes and Minced Pies too. Yes, the dried fruit ones are indeed yummm. And yeah, the Britons are excellent in their pastries…


  6. I’m away from home at the moment and you’ve made me crave my food with this one. I’d love to but myself some fish and chips right now. A Cornish pastie would be perfect too!


  7. I don’t understand the hate over British food either. Your roundup here justify exactly what makes British food amazing. As a foodie and dessert lover myself, I can’t get over the fact that the UK has some pretty good selection of sweet stuff. But I have to say the trifle, sticky toffee pudding and the jaffa cakes caught my eye the most. Love a good fish & chips and Sunday roast dinner too! This post is giving me all the cravings right now!!


  8. A lovely compilation of some mouthwatering food. I do think and agree that British food is often underrated. They are good with their baking products and some of the other offerings like minced pies, roast, scones, the proper full English breakfast and of course Indian food are all pretty good. Lovely photos.


  9. I’m sure if I went on this vacation I would have gained five pounds eating all this delicious food.This is the perfect time of year to make Christmas Pudding. I’m also going to be dreaming of Banoffee pie all day!!


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