If there’s one thing that London does well, it’s food. From Indian curries to fish and chips, the city has a wide variety of traditional dishes to offer. If you’re looking for a taste of London, you need to try some of its most famous foods.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the best London food traditions and tell you where to find them. So whether you’re visiting London or just want to get a taste of what the city has to offer, read on for the inside scoop!
London Food Culture
London is big city and a great place to try different kinds of food. There are lots of restaurants that serve excellent versions of traditional dishes from all over the world. Because of this, it’s easy to skip past London’s famous food traditions, and that would be a grave mistake.
Below are many of these great traditions sprinkled throughout the streets of London. You’ll find lots of comfort food, some sweet treats, and beverages unique to England.
British Food Traditions to Try in London
Fish and Chips
Fish and chips is a classic British dish that consists of fried fish and potatoes. The dish is typically served with malt vinegar, ketchup, or tartar sauce.
Try fish and chips at Rock & Sole Plaice, The Mayfair Chippy, or Camden Market.
Roast beef is a traditional English dish that is typically served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, gravy, and vegetables. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting a friend, Sunday roast is a popular home cooked meal and comfort food.
Try roast beef at The Bull and Last, The Harwood Arms, or Rules Restaurant.
Full English Breakfast
A full English breakfast is a hearty meal that typically includes eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, toast, and grilled tomatoes, sometimes including black pudding.
Have a Full English breakfast at The Breakfast Club or B&H Buildings.
Bubble and Squeak
Bubble and squeak is a traditional English dish made from leftover vegetables that are fried together. The dish is typically served with roast beef or pork.
Try Bubble and Squeak at The Wolseley, and The Black Penny.
Shepherd’s pie is a traditional English dish made from ground lamb (or mutton), vegetables, and mashed potatoes. The dish is typically served with peas or carrots.
Try the shepherd’s pie at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese or The Mayfair Chippy.
Toad in the Hole
Toad in the hole is a traditional English dish made from sausages that are cooked in batter. The dish is typically served with gravy and vegetables.
Try a Toad in the Hole at The Hoop and Grapes.
Yorkshire pudding is a traditional English dish made from batter that is cooked in the oven. The dish is typically served with roast beef and gravy.
Yorkshire pudding can be found at Rules Restaurant and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.
A Scotch egg is a traditional English dish made from a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage, covered in breadcrumbs, then deep-fried. This fried egg is a very hearty snack and a very traditional London food.
You might find Scotch eggs at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.
Cottage pie is a traditional English dish made from ground beef (or lamb), vegetables ,and mashed potatoes .The dish is typically served with peas or carrots.
Try cottage pie at The Coal Hole or The Hoop and Grapes.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky toffee pudding is the ultimate traditional British dessert made from sponge cake that is soaked in date syrup. The dessert is typically served with whipped cream or ice cream. If you don’t already have a sweet tooth, sticky toffee pudding will grow one for you!
Try the sticky toffee pudding at Rules Restaurant or Hawksmoor Spitalfields.
Afternoon tea is a tradition that dates back to the 19th century, when the Duchess of Bedford began eating light meals between lunch and dinner to stave off hunger pangs. These days, afternoon tea typically consists of finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones with clotted cream and jam.
Take afternoon tea at The Berkeley, The Ritz London, or Claridge’s.
Pimm’s cup is a British drink typically made from Pimm’s liqueur (gin based liqueur), lemonade, fruit, and mint.
You can find Pimm’s cup at just about any bar in London, but The Crown and Shuttle is a quaint spot to enjoy one.
There are many styles of beer found in the city, but London Porter is important because it was the first to be mass produced and distributed. Porter is dark and rich with flavors of coffee, chocolate and dark berries.
Try a pint of London Porter at Euston Tap.
Bangers and Mash
Bangers and mash is a traditional English dish made from sausages and mashed potatoes. The dish is typically served with gravy and peas.
Try bangers and mash at The Three Tuns, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, or Mother Mash.
London Food Beyond British Cuisine
Chicken Tikka Masala
London is a melting pot of cultures where you can find amazingly authentic food from all over the world in one place. Of all the multicultural foods available, Indian and Pakistani foods have deep roots in London.
You will have no trouble finding great Indian food or curry like chicken tikka masala, which is rumored to have been created in England.
Try the chicken tikka masala at Aladin on Brick Lane.
Another food that can be found all over London is the Turkish kebab. Kebabs are skewered and grilled meat, mainly lamb or chicken. They are usually minced but can be cubed as well.
Try the kebabs at Fez Mangal in Ladbroke Grove.
Best Markets in London for Foodies
If you want to take a quick tour of London food culture, why not visit one of its many markets? Brixton Village, Broadway Market, and Borough Market are three great places to find a collection of food stalls representing some of the most delicious foods found in London.
Why Visit London
London is filled with a rich history and culture that can only truly be experienced by visiting. The city boasts iconic landmarks such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben, but it also has hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
Take a stroll through one of the many beautiful parks or explore the renowned art scene at the Tate Modern. Don’t forget to indulge in some traditional British cuisine, from fish and chips to a classic afternoon tea.
Tips for a First Time Trip to London
Planning a trip to London for the first time can be overwhelming, with so many attractions to fit into your itinerary. Here are some tips that might help make your trip go smoother:
- At the beginning of your trip, take a tour of London on a hop-on-hop-off bus. It’s a great way to see a lot in a day and familiarize yourself with the different neighborhoods.
- Snag a London Pass, which includes admission to over 80 of the top sights and attractions
- Another helpful tool is the Oyster card, which allows you to quickly and easily pay for buses and trains.
- When it comes to accommodations, be sure to book early to secure the best deals. Consider staying in areas like Kensington or Camden for easy access to popular tourist destinations.
- Fashion is big in London, so leave some extra space in your luggage for shopping!
Ready to explore traditional British cuisine? Get started by booking a trip to London. Once you’re there, make your way through the city and taste as many of these dishes as possible. And when you’ve had your fill of classic English food, don’t forget that London is one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
With influences from all over the globe, there are endless opportunities for food lovers to explore new flavors and cuisines. So what are you waiting for? Get ready to indulge in some truly unique culinary experiences.