20 Classic British Dishes Besides Fish & Chips Worth Trying

20 Classic British Dishes Besides Fish & Chips Worth Trying

While the first thing you might think of when asked about British cuisine is fish and chips, there are a lot of underrated, underappreciated classic British dishes that go unnoticed. While the UK doesn't exactly have a good rep for having amazing food, we'd like to shine a light on some hidden gems that are worth trying if you ever visit.

1. Sunday Roast

If America has comfort dishes like mac n cheese and casseroles, then the UK has their Sunday roast. Served, as you probably guessed, on Sundays, this traditional meal features every heartwarming British food you can think of. Just picture some delicious roasted meat with a side of roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, a vegetable medley, and hearty gravy.

Sundayroastby robbie jim on Wikimedia Commons

2. Shepherd's Pie

Another example of traditional British comfort food, shepherd's pie is as good as it gets. This dish consists of minced lamb, vegetables, mashed potatoes, and a rich gravy smothered all over. It's the perfect meal that lifts your spirits up and reminds you of mom's cooking.

1024Px-Bermuda (Uk) Image Number 123 Shepherds Pie Dinner Dish At RestaurantTomwsulcer, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Bangers and Mash

We can safely say this dish is a certified banger. Bangers, aka sausages, and mash is a delightfully filling and satisfying meal that hits the cravings every single time. It's so hearty, rich, and meaty, making it a fantastic meal if you're wanting something a bit more substantial. 

Bangers And Mash 1avlxyz on Wikimedia Commons

4. Cornish Pasty

The UK does their pastries right! If you're looking for something savory, the Cornish pastry is a must-try; it's got a nice flaky exterior, and it's filled with beef, potatoes, turnip, and onions. It's a great on the go snack to bring whenever you're out and about.

1024Px-Cornish Pasty - CutDavid Johnson [1] on Wikimedia Commons


5. Beef Wellington

If you follow Gordon Ramsay, you've likely heard of the Beef Wellington before. Known for being a rather refined dish, you can commonly find it at high-end restaurants due to its complexity and amazing taste. It's a great option if you're eating out for a special occasion; you certainly won't be disappointed by its beautiful presentation and complex flavours.

Pexels-Nadin-Sh-78971847-11267448Nadin Sh on Pexels

6. Toad in the Hole

Love a good Yorkshire pudding? Well, you'll definitely love a Toad in the Hole then which is just an elevated Yorkshire pudding dish! By baking sausages into the batter and serving it with a rich onion gravy and some vegetables, you end up with the heartiest of dishes. We can easily see anyone helping themselves to a second serving.

1024Px-Toad In The HoleRobert Gibert, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

7. Ploughman's Lunch

Having quite the unique name, the ploughman's lunch is typically a cold meal often served in many pubs. It consists of a platter of cheese, pickles, bread, sometimes some meat, and a salad. It's a rather basic and plain meal, but it definitely highlights each ingredient's freshness.

1024Px-An Elsecar Ploughman's LunchGlammmur on Wikimedia Commons

8. Scotch Egg

While we've got deviled eggs here as a unique way to serve eggs, over in the UK, they've really taken it up a notch. Ever heard of a Scotch egg? You can either have it hard-boiled or soft-boiled, but what makes it different is that it's wrapped in sausage meat, then coated in breadcrumbs, then deep-fried or baked until golden on the outside. It's a huge punch of different flavours and textures, and it's quite the popular picnic or pub snack.

Sebastian-Coman-Photography-Efnvqrk-Qbg-UnsplashPhoto by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash

9. Bubble and Squeak

Having such an adorable name, Bubble and Squeak has to be good right? Made using leftover vegetables, usually after a Sunday roast, it's all mixed together with mashed potatoes, then fried until nice and crispy. It's a wonderful way to create a delicious dish out of what's left in the fridge.

1024Px-Bubble Breakfast - Belchers 2024-03-07Andy Li, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

10. Eton Mess

Time to mention some sweets. Eton Mess, named after the well-known Eton College, is a very classic and traditional British dessert made with simple ingredients. It features a mixture of strawberries (sometimes other berries too), broken meringue, and whipped cream. There's not much to it, but it's incredibly delicious and satisfying after any meal.

1024Px-Eton Mess At Black Horse Inn, Nuthurst West Sussex England 2 Slightly Different Focus PointAcabashi on Wikimedia Commons


11. Steak and Kidney Pie

Over in the UK, they've really nailed the art of meat pies. If you ever get the chance to fly over, you definitely need to try their iconic steak and kidney pie. It's filled to the brim with diced beef, kidney, onions, and gravy, all wrapped up in the flakiest, buttery pastry. The combination of them both creates the most beautiful bite.

1024Px-Steak & Kidney Pie - 3 3 2019 (46565695054)CharmaineZoe's Marvelous Melange from England

12. Black Pudding

Not every traditional dish is going to be appealing to everyone. If there's one dish in the UK that only more adventurous eaters will want to try, it's black pudding. The name already sounds a bit grim, but when you find out it's a blood sausage made with pork blood, fat, and oatmeal, it might turn you off even more. 

1024Px-Scottish Mixed Grill Pudding PackMutt Lunker on Wikimedia Commons

13. Welsh Rarebit

We don't know exactly what rarebit means, but one look at this delicious dish is all you need to want to try it. Welsh rarebit is like an open-faced grilled cheese. Just get a perfectly toasted slice of bread and top it with a decadent, rich cheese sauce (typically made with ale, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce) and voila. It's great as a side, a tasty snack, or light meal.

1024Px-Welsh Rarebit (3436445626)Jeremy Keith from Brighton & Hove, United Kingdom on Wikimedia Commons

14. Lancashire Hotpot

A staple in northern English cuisine, this hotpot dish is comparable to the slow-cooked casserole we're more familiar with. Made with gamey meat like lamb or mutton, it's paired with onions and tons of sliced potatoes. It's got very simple ingredients, but that's what makes it so comforting.

Lancashire Hotpotalexcwood on Wikimedia Commons

15. Full English Breakfast

You'll never be hungry in the morning out in the UK. With the full English breakfast being a commonly served item on any breakfast menu, this classic fry-up is going to fill you to the brim. Loaded with bacon, sausages, eggs, black pudding, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, and toast, you'll never get bored of this plate. Try pairing each component with something new to keep things interesting!

1024Px-Full-English-North-WalesJakednb on Wikimedia Commons

16. Treacle Tart

Let's head back to the sweets with this traditional dessert, treacle tart. Though it can be made many different ways, it typically has a buttery, shortcrust pastry that's filled with a unique mixture of syrup, breadcrumbs, and lemon juice. Top it off with some clotted cream or custard and you're ready to dig in! It's definitely not like the tarts we're used to here in America.

512Px-Mary Berry Treacle Tart (8131434026)Tony Hall from London, UK


17. Victoria Sponge Cake

With this dessert being named after Queen Victoria, you know it has to be delicious. They wouldn't name it after her otherwise, right? If you love cake, you'll definitely appreciate this dessert; just imagine two light and airy sponge layers filled with sweet jam and whipped cream. It's rather simple, but that's why it's so delicious. Each flavour gets its own moment to shine.

1024Px-Victoria Sponges - 4433486778euphro on Wikimedia Commons

18. Pimm's Cup

We're throwing in one drink on this list too! With such a fun and cute name, Pimm's cup is definitely what you want to drink this summer out in the patio. This British cocktail is fruity, refreshing, and is always a crowd-pleaser. Nothing about it is too overwhelming and it has beloved flavours, making it the ideal drink for most people.

512Px-Pimms No 1 Cup - GlassDinner Series on Wikimedia Commons

19. Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam

You've likely heard about the popular online debate "cream first or jam first." This has to do with the order British people serve their scones. It's a staple snack served alongside British afternoon tea, perfectly complementing every sip. Which side do you think you fall on?

Alexandra-Kusper-R32Fhid1Ltc-UnsplashPhoto by Alexandra Kusper on Unsplash

20. Sticky Toffee Pudding

Another dessert made popular by the iconic celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, sticky toffee pudding is a decadent treat you have to try. It features a dense but moist sponge cake covered in the most creamy toffee sauce. To elevate it further, most restaurants will serve it with a healthy spoonful of vanilla ice cream or custard. This British classic is a favourite, and it's not hard to see why.

1024Px-Sticky Toffee Pudding (4935903321)Neil Conway from Oakland, USA on Wikimedia Commons