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Food In Britain Online


Eating out in one of the gastronomic capitals of the world is bound to be a treat and doesn't need to be expensive. Once people thought of London cuisine as simply fish-and-chips. Today, however, London is home to over 80 different cuisines and you will be spoilt for choice. In the past decade, London has become one of the best food cities in the world.

Many restaurants, even some of the most famous names, offer set menus or pre-theatre dinner at special prices from about 10 pounds. Or head from Brick Lane for authentic Bangladeshi curry or to Soho's Chinatown for Oriental specialities. Do afternoon tea in one of London’s famous hotels. And don't forget the great English pub for inexpensive fare like sausage and mash or shepard's pie.

London's dining scene alone, boasts more than 6,000 restaurants representing the cuisines of more than 60 countries, and is still booming. London has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any city but Paris.

If you are looking for somewhere to picnic, London's parks are ideal-they are also great places to see miltary displays, listen to concerts, play sport to simply watch the world go by! You will find them all over London and entry is fee. Excellent sandwich bars, such as Pret a Manger, abound and shops such as Boots and Marks & Spencer sell delicious sandwiches at reasonable prices. Perfect for that al fresco meal with no tipping required!

Time for Tea
Regional Specialties
Additional Restaurant Information

Time for Tea

Another popular British institution is afternoon tea, a delicious tradition in tea shops and grand hotels, often including tempting regional specialties such as Welsh Barra Brith, Bakewell Pudding and Scottish shortbread, as well as scones with clotted cream.

Cuisines from all over the world are represented (there are in fact more Indian restaurants in Britain than fish and chip shops!), so you're sure to find something to please. Nostalgic yearnings for British food have also produced a revival of hearty traditional dishes, though modern British cooking adopts a lighter, more innovative approach with a smattering of Mediterranean flavors thrown in. All restaurants are obliged by law to display prices outside the door. Set menus are a good way of keeping costs down, and there are a number of price-coded restaurant guides available in bookshops to help you make your choice.

Some Like it Hot

If you like spice in your food, you’ve come to the right place. Indian and Chinese are the most popular ethnic takeaways and restaurants in Britain. Expect to pay about £6.00-£15.00 at a high street restaurant, less for a takeaway meal. In the larger towns and cities there’ll be Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Malaysian and more. In London, visit Chinatown for some of the best Chinese food you have eaten (head for Gerrard Street, just off Shaftesbury Avenue W1).

Vegetarian Eating

Pizza and pasta chains are good hunting grounds, along with Asian restaurants which specialize in meat-free southern Indian cuisine (look for a Bel Phoori restaurant). In Greek restaurants, choose a selection of mezze. In major cities, look out for Cranks vegetarian restaurant or visit Neal’s Yard near Covent Garden in London, which has a vegetarian bar, bakery and a wholefood shop. Holland and Barrett is a nationwide chain of health food shops.

For more great ideas on eating out and the latest restaurant news see Gourmet Magazine online.

In the Kitchen

For our favorite British recipes, check out In the Kitchen or take a break at one of Britain's famous Cookery Schools.

The Best of Britain

Food from Britain and other British goods are now available online:

Speciality Foods, the UK's official shopping mall for regional and specialty foods has more than 100 stores online.

BBCAmerica's online British Grocer's store has some of Britain's most popular grub available.


You must be at least 18 to purchase alcoholic drinks. In England, Scotland and Wales, the weekday and Saturday opening hours are 11:00am to 11:00pm (Northern Ireland 11:30am to 11:00pm). However, many pubs in quieter areas close in the afternoon (3:00pm to 5:30pm). On Sundays, pubs are open in England and Wales between 12:00pm and 10:30pm. In Northern Ireland from 12:30pm to 10:00pm and in Scotland from 12:30pm to 2:30pm (sometimes later) and 6:30pm to 11:00pm. Children accompanied by an adult can usually enter pub gardens, family rooms or dining areas, and certain bar areas deemed suitable environments until 9:00pm. Check with the pub's landlord.

Check out an online Pub Guide.

Eating Out Glossary




Bucks fizz












My shout


My round



Meat balls

Spotted dick


Steamed suet pudding







More 'Britspeak'

Additional Restaurant Information

Restaurant Finder
Where to Eat

The Good Pub Guide

London Restaurants -Everything to do with Dining in London




MORE from the Government service of Travel Britain

Great British food is no longer just Bangers & Mash, Fish & Chips or Bubble and Squeak (check out Talk Like a Brit for more on this delicacy!), although these are all still very popular. Britain now has some of the world's most highly regarded chefs featuring cuisines from every nation.

But the very best "true British" dishes are, of course, old regional favorites based on fresh local produce and ingredients. Some of these are now more famous than the places in which they were first created, e.g., Yorkshire Pudding, Bath Buns, Dundee Cake and Bakewell Tarts.

The following is a sampling of some of our favorite and delicious "real British" recipes–from some of our favorite British chefs and places.

Most have been converted to US measures and can easily be adapted to use local US produce:

Sara Moulton – Editor of Gourmet magazine and Food Network TV Chef – shares her seasonal dish: Lamb chops with White Beans, Gremolata and Roasted Asparagus

From Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, just as famous for its golf course as its cooking, and a member of the Jewels of Britain – a selection of the finest British accommodation and restaurants – comes this local favorite: Oban Scallops with Truffle, Ayrshire Bacon and Langoustine Broth

Prime Angus Beef with Garden Aspagus and Scottish Chanterelles

Bushmills Irish Hot Toddy – from the Bushmills Irish Whisky Distillery in Northern Ireland

In Honor of the Queen Mother's 100th Birthday - August 4, 2000 - try our special Queen Mother's Cake.



Appetizers I Main Courses I Cheeses I Desserts I Snacks and Sweets I Drinks


Whitstable oysters / Colchester oysters / Cromer crabs / Dover sole
Fished from the Kent coast, all these seafood dishes have been popular since Roman times.

A soup made of boiled chicken and leeks, as its name suggests!

Black pudding
A sausage made from dried pig's blood. To sample authentic black pudding, take a trip to Bury market.

Thin, unleavened cakes made of oats, a fitting accompaniment to many foods.

Main Courses

Pan Haggerty
A Northumbrian supper made from pan-fried layers of potatoes, onions and meat.

Yorkshire pudding
A batter mixture that is cooked in smoking fat till it's light and crispy. This is traditionally served with the famous British roast beef.

Melton Mowbray pork pies
World famous pork pies that are baked by a handful of local firms, following age-old recipes.

Stargazy pie
Herrings cooked whole in a pie, with their tails in the middle and heads at the edge of the pastry.

Lancashire hot pot
A stew consisting of vegetables and lamb.

Made from minced offal of sheep boiled in an artificial bag with oatmeal, this dish is a lot more enjoyable than it sounds!

Scotland is famous for its freshwater salmon, caught when the fish come back up-river to spawn. The smoked salmon is superb.


The oldest of the English cheeses, with a slightly salty flavour thanks to the saline Cheshire soils, this cheese comes in red, white and blue varieties.

Probably the most popular of the English cheeses, hailing from the south west.

A semi-hard, white cheese which is moist and crumbly.

Made in the area around Hawes in Yorkshire, Wensleydale and Blue Wensleydale are traditionally eaten with apple pie and Christmas cake.

A firm cheese. Sage Derby is marbled, with green veins.

With white and blue varieties, stilton is mostly made in the East Midlands. Village Stilton comes from Cambridgeshire.


Wet Nelly
A delightful name for a delightful pudding, made from pastry and cake scraps soaked in syrup. Wet Nelly hails from Liverpool.

Manchester Pudding
They have sweet teeth in the north! This pudding contains thick layers of apricot jam and firm egg custard, all of which is topped with a vanilla meringue.

Strawberries and Cream
There's no British summer without this delicacy. While every supermarket stocks them, for the real thing head out to the countryside where you can buy freshly picked berries or even pick your own!

Bakewell Tart
A sweet delicacy that takes its name from a town in Derbyshire.

Clotted Cream
Another Cornish delicacy, you won't find a thicker cream than this!

Snacks and Sweets

A spicy cake, made of oatmeal, ginger, syrup and treacle, parkin is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night (November 5th).

Cornish pasties
Originally made for tin miners to take to work as their packed lunch, with meat at one end and something sweet at the other.

Chelsea Buns
A rolled currant bun which, as its name tells you, hails originally from London.

Bath buns/ Sally Lunn buns
Round, spiced buns with currants and icing.

Eccles cake
Hailing from Eccles in Lancashire, this is a round pastry cake filled with currants.

Oatmeal or cereal boiled in water or milk, porridge is traditional breakfast fare.


Lindisfarne mead
A fermented drink which is also used to make liqueurs, honey and marmalade. You're welcome to visit Lindisfarne island and sample this ancient drink.

Stronger than British beer, cider is brewed from apples. Visit the Bulmers cider factory in Hereford to see the brewing process. Cider is also used in many recipes, such as Old English Cider Cake, Pears in Cider, Bacon in Cider and Apple Cider Flan.

The most potent of ciders, scrumpy is brewed in the West Country, mainly Devon, Somerset and Cornwall, and served on draught in the pubs. Be careful!


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