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15 Best London Foods You Must Try – Where to You Get Them

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English food has a bad reputation. Those unfamiliar with London foods may find the food boring and uninspiring – the usual cliché about English cuisine. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, planning to try food in London is one of the best itineraries you can create. When you visit, you must have a list of must-try London dishes.

Top British Food To Try in London

In this guide we will present you the best of the best. You’ll sample Yorkshire puddings in hearty Sunday roasts and try curries like the simple Chicken Tikka Masala in curry houses across London. And that’s before we even get to classics like fish and chips and desserts like Eton Mess and sticky toffee pudding. It’s safe to say that your meals in London will be extremely enjoyable.

1. Sunday Roast with Yorkshire Pudding

London Food Sunday Roast with Yorkshire Pudding

The Sunday roast is one of the most classic things you will ever taste in London. The Sunday roast is the emblem of British culinary culture. For many families it is a meal and a weekly ritual. Historically, it was a meal eaten by a large family every Sunday after church. It was also an opportunity for those who couldn’t afford to eat meat all week.

The dish itself consists of fried meat, usually beef or chicken. There’s also mashed potatoes or chips, Brussels sprouts, onion gravy and a huge Yorkshire pudding. A Yorkshire pudding is simply a batter, a savory dish, a bit like a savory, crunchy pie. The Sunday roast is undoubtedly one of the most delicious dishes to try in London, especially if you love savory foods.

There are thousands of Sunday roast options available across London, especially given the abundance of gastropubs. We recommend a Sunday roast at the Harwood Arms in Fulham.

Where to try it: The Harwood Arms in Fulham

2. Sticky Toffee Pudding

London Food Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky toffee pudding is for greedy London tourists. Pudding is a delicious treat made with chopped dates and caramel sauce. It is usually served piping hot, with whipped cream, custard or ice cream. With its luxurious dark color and rich texture, it’s a warming treat that’s on trend in winter.

Exactly where toffee pudding was made in Britain is a mystery. However, most people agree that it was probably in Cumbria, an area of the picturesque Lake District in northern England, in the 20th century. Since then, however, the dessert has spread like wildfire and can be found throughout the UK and even in Australia and New Zealand, where it is called sticky date pudding. You will definitely find this dessert in London.

Where to try it: The Swan London in Bankside

3. Chicken Tikka Masala

London Food Chicken Tikka Masala

There is a massive influence of Indian cuisine in London cuisine. Indeed, for many residents and visitors, the number of fantastic Indian restaurants is a highlight of London cuisine as a whole. If you’ve never visited a curry house in London, you haven’t visited London yet. The East End is best known for its world-class curry houses and delicious dishes. Brick Lane is the most famous area, lined with rows of incredible curry house after curry house.

The most famous Indian dish in London is Chicken Tikka Masala. It consists of fried chicken in a thick orange sauce made with ginger, yogurt, cream, onions, garlic and tomatoes. It’s slightly spicy and super rich.

If you’re planning on eating Indian food in London, we recommend heading to London’s East End and trying a classic masala. Your biggest challenge will be choosing which Brick Lane restaurant to dine at.

Where to try it: Preem Brick Lane

4. English Breakfast With Baked Beans

London Food English Breakfast with Baked Beans

The full English breakfast is the most popular meal you can enjoy in London and across the country. Includes a set of paper clips. The classic English breakfast dish consists of fried eggs, baked beans, bacon, fried mushrooms, fried tomatoes, hash browns and sausages.

Optional extras are black pudding or differently prepared dishes such as a boiled egg instead of a fried egg. It’s a hearty dish and one of the most traditional ways to start the day in London.

The full English breakfast is definitely one of the staples of the British breakfast. The traditional dish was created in the 14th or 15th century. You can find it in most pubs and restaurants around breakfast time.

Where to try it: The Breakfast Club SoHo

5. Scotch Egg

London Food Scotch Egg

Scotch eggs are a famous British dish created in the northern coastal town of Whitby in the late 19th century. The slightly larger snack is delicious. A Scotch egg is a true savory treat.

The outside is sprinkled with breadcrumbs, but the food is layered, a bit like a culinary Russian doll. You bite into the breadcrumbs to reach a layer of sausage meat containing a hard-boiled egg. The egg and sausage combination packs a protein punch and is a popular brunch snack.

If you want to try a Scotch egg in London, we recommend a visit to the beautiful Borough Market. This huge market is full of individual stalls and occasional vendors where you can find delicious classic snacks like Scotch eggs. Or there is the Ginger Pig, a butcher branch across London.

Where to try it: The Ginger Pig

6. Salt Beef Beigels

London Food Salt Beef Beigels

Salt beef beigels are an absolute London classic. You won’t find these bizarre-looking bagel sandwiches anywhere else in the country. Think of them as a niche London dish.

The bagel is split in half and filled with corned beef, peppery English mustard, and pickles. The result is a feast of protein-rich meat that’s best known as a grab-and-go lunch. You can find them in various sandwich shops, especially near Brick Lane, the curry hotspot we talked about earlier.

Salt beef beigels are the best choice for a take-out lunch if you love meat. English mustard makes it even more irresistible.

Where to try it: Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery

7. Oysters

London Food Oysters

London may be offshore but has excellent connections to some of the UK’s best oyster fishing destinations. Essex is a real oyster hotspot and is right on London’s doorstep.

The famous slimy seafood treat can be found around London in upscale oyster bars such as J Sheekey or Dorset Oyster Bar. The suburb of SoHo is particularly suitable for oyster bars.

If you haven’t tried oysters before, they are served on the shell, usually in packs of six or a dozen. They are eaten cold and raw and swallowed without chewing. A quick squeeze of lemon is the secret to taste bud success, balancing the briny neutrality of the oyster itself.

Where to try it: J Sheekey 

8. Eton Mess

London Food Eton Mess

The Eton mess is another classic English dessert, created during a cricket match between the prestigious schools Eton and Harrow. The strawberry, meringue and cream pudding have been eliminated, leaving a “mess” that is all too easy to imagine. The result? A mess at Eton.

This late 19th century event gave birth to one of the country’s most famous desserts. It is widespread in late spring and summer. However, this delicious dessert is available all year round throughout London. The best place to try this dish is of course Windsor, home of Eton College.

This sweet dessert is simply a mix of white meringue, berries (traditional fresh, summer) and whipped cream. It’s a delicious surprise. It is a must for garden parties and outdoor parties when the weather is nice.

Where to try it: Gilbey’s Bar, Restaurant & Townhouse

9. Fish and Chips

London Food Fish and Chips

We can’t go any further without mentioning fish and chips, England’s national dish. This isn’t just London food, it’s a true British icon. Most pubs serve this iconic dish and there are also cheerful shops all over London where you can buy numerous other variations such as chips and breaded sausages. This is one of Britain’s most popular dishes and is a must-try when you visit.

The classic dish consists of fried fish in a light and crispy batter. This results in chunky, coarsely chopped chips that are usually served with curry sauce or pea puree. For the full experience, soak the fries and fish in vinegar and then add a generous pinch of salt.

Where to try it: The Blue Anchor 

10. Beef Wellington

London Food Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington is a crispy noodle dish with a hearty filling. It consists of a beef steak covered in pate and then wrapped in puff pastry for baking. Cut through the hot pasta for a medium rare steak, and Beef Wellington is a popular, hearty dish for family or pub dinners. If you like hearty meals and beef steak, this is one of the best dishes to try in London.

Beef Wellington was created to celebrate the Duke of Wellington’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo. This famous battle marked the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte: a significant event in the history of Europe. Be sure to consider this when trying this traditional savory dish.

Where to try it: Heliot Steak House 

11. Shepherd’s Pie

London Food Shepherds Pie

Whether shepherd’s pie originated in Scotland, England or Ireland is a mystery. Experts can trace it back to the 18th century, particularly in old cookbooks. However, it’s safe to say that this potato and meat classic is a must-try in London today.

Unlike a classic cake, it gets its “cake” element from potatoes. The mashed potatoes sit on a layer of ground beef or lamb, cooking together and becoming slightly crispy.

London Food Shepherds Pie close up

This is real London pub grub. If you visit a traditional pub in London you will find this simple but delicious dish on the menu.

Where to try it: Museum Tavern 

12. Toad in the Hole

London Food Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole is undoubtedly one of the most fun dishes to try in London. No one really knows the true story of its creation, but its funny name doesn’t refer to real toad meat. It got its name from the fact that the sausages looked like toads peeking out of the dough.

This dish consists of sausages swimming in a Yorkshire pudding batter that has the light texture of bread. It is eaten with onion sauce and steamed vegetables such as broccoli and carrots. It’s a new dish with a fun name and great if you want a quick protein and carb fix.

“Toad in the Hole” originated in the 18th century and is considered an adaptation of a much older “Pigeon in the Hole” recipe. Some crazy creation stories involve a toad dislodging a golfer’s ball from the 18th hole of a Northumberland golf course.

Where to try it: The Dog And Duck  SoHo

13. Afternoon Tea

London Food Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea is a culinary experience in London and an absolute must to feel part of London’s high society. We recommend it as an enjoyable Sunday afternoon activity. This one-pot meal features a tiered cake stand that serves small samples of several mini dishes.

For example, on a sweet tier there are slices of Victoria sponge cake, scones and coffee cake. On the savory levels, you’ll find traditional sandwiches like chicken, egg mayonnaise, cheese and smoked salmon.

Historically, afternoon tea was invented in 1840 for the Duchess of Bedford. The Duchess was simply hungry between lunch and dinner and asked her servants for a daily snack of sandwiches and cakes. The idea caught on. And now you can experience it for yourself.

Where to try it: Afternoon Tea at Cafe Royal in SoHo

14. Ploughman’s Lunch

London Food Ploughmans Lunch

A farmhouse meal was a hit in the 1950s and remains a novelty today for those wanting a traditional lunchtime dish. Lunch essentially consists of cheese, bread and pickled onions. However, chefs often add ham, pork pies, hard-boiled eggs and fruit.

This dish is a fresh and light selection of different staples: a mix that will fill your stomach at lunchtime. The cheese selection is the real highlight of a Plowman’s lunch, with Cheddar, Brie or Stilton cheese.

This English classic is still served in many London pubs. It’s less popular than it was in the 1950s, but there are still quite a few places to try it.

Where to try it: The Clarence pub 

15. Shawarma

London Food Shawarma

Last but not least, there is the delicious shawarma. Shawarma is a fantastic Middle Eastern dish to try in London. There is much debate about the origins of this dish. It is claimed to have been manufactured in Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and other countries. The dish consists of slices of meat cut from a hot rotisserie and wrapped in a flatbread with lettuce and sauce. You can also find shawarma meat with fries.

There are many Middle Eastern dishes in London, but shawarma is undoubtedly the most popular. This dish is a craving for many night owls after a long night. And it’s also a hearty meal that fills the stomach during the day.

There are plenty of kebab shops across London where you can grab a quick takeaway doner kebab. But for a real treat, head to Brick Lane and experience a seat at Damascus Bite, a Syrian restaurant with outstanding shawarma. Brick Lane offers excellent Middle Eastern cuisine, not just the famous range of Indian restaurants.

Where to try it: Damascus Bite 

 

Top London Food

Top London Food

Are you feeling nervous before your trip to London? As you know by now, the culinary scene is something to be excited about, not something to shy away from. Whether you sample the food of East London or head to a sandwich shop near London Bridge, you’ll have plenty of delicious dishes to try. 

Plan Your Trip to London With These Resources

 

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What is the national food for London & England ?

Fish and chips are the national dish of England, but we would say Indian cuisine is also a national dish of London. London is a fantastic place to enjoy a delicious, authentic Indian curry.

What are 3 popular dishes in England?

The three most popular dishes in England are a roast dinner with Yorkshire pudding and mashed potatoes, fish and chips and a chicken tikka masala.

What are the 10 traditional British dishes?

The top 10 British dishes are a roast dinner, fish and chips, chicken tikka masala, banger and mash, a full English breakfast, shepherd’s pie, salt beef, toad in the hole, Cornish pasty and sticky toffee pudding.

What is the staple food of London?

One of the highlights of London is definitely the sandwich scene. Here you will find lots of sandwiches, wraps and buttes. It’s more your classics like Sunday roasts and various cakes in pubs

About author

Articles

Daniyal is an accomplished travel blogger boasting two years of extensive experience. Proficient in captivating narratives, Daniyal unveils the allure of undiscovered destinations and divulges insights into everything regarding traveling. Beyond the prose, he serves as the editorial architect, seamlessly incorporating editing finesse, SEO mastery, and strategic content deployment to ensure a sophisticated and enriching online travel experience.
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