We’ve compiled a list of the best British food in London, which I hope will help dispel poor old Britain’s international ridicule for having no food culture! You’ll have to try each of these dishes when you visit London before you could possibly join in on that rhetoric again! Unfortunately, travellers do not tend to realize the variety in British cuisine until they actually visit UK. Being the capital, you can try most of the best British food in London during your travels. Here is our INSIDR guide to the best British food in London, as well as where to eat it!
To get things started…
Best British food in London #1: YORKSHIRE PUDDING
First on our list of the best British food in London is the Yorkshire Pudding. Even though it sounds like a dessert dish, Yorkshire pudding is actually a savoury dish and a staple of Sunday Roast in the UK. The pudding is actually a fluffy and light muffin-like dish. The ingredients are very simple: Egg, milk, flour, salt and most importantly beef dripping. The dripping is the essential part of the Yorkshire pudding as this is what gives the batter an airy texture. The batter used to be cooked under the meat roast in old times and the drippings of the meat would complete the process to turn the batter into Yorkshire – back then it was referred as dripping pudding.
Traditionally, the British eat Yorkshire pudding with roast beef made by their grandmother. However you don’t need to worry, when you are visiting London you can stop by at The Wolseley for the best Sunday Roast with a crispy and yet soft inside Yorkshire pudding along with a perfectly roasted beef.
Address: 160 Piccadilly, London
Phone:+44 20 7499 6996
Best British food in London #2: TRIFLE
Trifle is another dish which everyone has their own family versions of. It is a very classic British dessert, also known as a foole in the UK. Traditionally, the trifle is served in a large glass bowl known as a trifle bowl. The glass allows seeing the layers of the dish. The layers include a sponge cake usually soaked with brandy or sherry, raspberry jam, egg custard and whipped heavy cream. Other ingredients used might change according to the fruits available in season. Since the dessert is served in a glass, it is important to create flawless layers which require great consistency and texture within each part of the trifle. Simpson’s in The Strand makes their own version of trifle – “Simpson’s Trifle” on the menu. Here the trifle is made with Yorkshire rhubarb and Ridgeview sparkling wine, crème Chantilly, and strawberries – wow!
Address: 100 Strand, London
Phone: +44 20 7836 4343
Best British food in London #3: SCOTH EGG
Scotch Egg is one of those dishes that no one exactly knows where it comes from. The true origin of the dish is still not clear, but it’s definitely a must-try on the best British food in London list. The name might be coming from an eatery, the word scorch or maybe even from a department store. However, the best part of this dish is its fulfilling taste. The Scotch Egg is simple an hard boiled egg covered with sausage meat and then covered again with breadcrumbs. This covered egg is either baked or fried. You can have this snack in supermarkets along with quail-egg options and also it is a very popular dish at pubs. The Harwood Arms is kind of like the place you would want to taste Scotch Eggs – simple, hearty, no fuss but great eggs just like a home-cooked one but in a fancier atmosphere.
Address: Walham Grove – Fulham, London
Phone: +44 20 7386 1847
Best British food in London #4: ETON MESS
If you have ever prepared some meringue before you know how fragile they can be. The Eton Mess is an absolute class and easily makes it onto the INSIDR list of the best British food in London, as a sweet option. It’s a dessert that uses up the broken meringue so they don’t go wasted! The dessert simple contains broken meringue pieces, whipped double cream and fresh strawberry and puréed strawberry mixture. As the name suggests, the dessert looks quite messy in the beginning. However, the taste of it is more satisfying than you can imagine. Well, the ingredients are pretty basic but after all, it is up to your imagination what to use else. Taste this classic dessert at Hero of Maida, a local favorite pub and eatery in London that serves a traditional Eton Mess.
Address: 55 Shirland Road, London
Phone+44 20 3960 9109
Best British food in London #5: BANGERS AND MASH
Sneaking its way in at #5 on the INSIDR guide to the best British food in London is a dish that may sound like a popular pop song, however, Bangers and Mash is truly a part of English cuisine and it’s well embraced by the people. Maybe it is because the dish is the ultimate comfort food both in England and Ireland. Banger stands for pork sausage links and mash stands for mashed potatoes. Literally the easiest but on the most delicious things, you could eat in the UK. You would probably receive the dish along with onion gravy. You can find it in the pubs mostly but it is possible to the bit more sophisticated version in the restaurants as well. Mother Mash serves a very good menu for you that you build your own plate: Choose a main – either a meat pie or sausage, choose a mash and gravy. It is advised to go for a sausage and potato mash for the best “bangers and mash” experience.
Address: 26 Ganton Street – London
Phone: +44 20 7494 9644
Best British food in London #6: LANCASHIRE HOTPOT
A Lancashire addition to the best British food in London; the Lancashire Hotpot. This entrant into the best British food in London might resonate with the popular Asian hotpot. Although by cooking method, the hotpot is more like a stew. The name suggests that when the meal was cooked it was wrapped in the blanket to keep the pot warm, so the farmers or miners could still eat the dish warm enough by the lunchtime. Traditionally, the dish includes lamb or hogget- only one-year-old lamb. The top is covered with round sliced potatoes. The hot pot may include onion, carrot, leek or some other root vegetables according to the season. In the old times, one of the ingredients used was oyster simply because they were cheap especially for poor people. Of course, the best would be to eat in Lancashire, don’t miss the one The Clog and The Billycock, made by true locals here.
Address: Billinge End Road, Pleasington – Blackburn, Lancashire
Phone: +44 0125 420 1163
Best British food in London #7: BEEF WELLINGTON
Beef Wellington is not only one of the most demanding dishes to cook in English cuisine, but also one throughout the world. The whole process of preparing the dish takes a very long time and it needs fine work. Executed to perfection, it’s easily placed among the best British food in London. Beef Wellington consists of few layers. From outside to inside, there is decorated puff pastry, duxelle – a mix of mushroom and some green herbs, sometimes foie gras and at the center, there is a seared beef tenderloin. The dish was made for the honor of the Duke of Wellington in the 19th century and he used to serve this dish when he hosted any kind of event. By the time, the dish got so popular that the fame of it went beyond the borders. You can taste one of the most elaborate dishes from the English Cuisine at Bob Bob Ricard. Make sure you go there hungry!
Address: 1 Upper James Street – Soho, London
Phone: +44 20 3145 1000
For those of you with a strong stomach…
Best British food in London #8: BLACK PUDDING
You are mistaken, this is not a sweet addition to the best British food in London. It’s not a pudding is not your regular sweet pudding – just like Yorkshire one, the black pudding is also a savory dish. Most likely, you already know the popularity of English breakfast and black pudding is one the staples of this breakfast. It is rather like a pork sausage but mixed with some cereal, tallow and pork blood. The color of the sausage is a result of pork blood addition. If you don’t feel like eating the bloody version, there is another type called white pudding which is made without the pork blood. The Jugged Hare makes a different version of black puddings – covers with breadcrumbs fry them. It is such a big hit here and for sure you have to give it a try at The Jugged Hare.
Address: 49 Chiswell Street – London
Phone: +44 20 7614 0134
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One more for you…
Best British food in London #9: COLCANNON
Colcannon is the Irish addition to the best British food in London. It’s the Irish version of the dish known as “bubble and squeak” in British cuisine. The whole idea is to use up what it’s left after Sunday Roast. The dish is vegetarian and based on vegetables and cabbage or sometimes with kale. The main ingredient of Colcannon is mashed potatoes and all other vegetables are chopped up and then added to the mixture. The name of the dish comes from Gaelic which stands for white-headed cabbage. The recipe is super simple and usually eaten on St. Patrick’s Day. However, it is consumed more in autumn and winter. The one you can eat is probably in Ireland, have it at Brown Bear a family owned restaurant with its own farm.
Address: Main Street , Two Mile House – Naas Ireland
Phone: +353 45 883 561
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Oh go on, one more then!
Best British food in London #10: SHEPHERD’S PIE
A strong finish to the list of the best British food in London; it’s the shepherd’s pie. Also referred to as cottage pie sometimes – if made with beef, the infamous Shepherd’s pie is a long time favorite from Scotland and northern England. The meat is usually lamb, either diced or minced according to the liking and then covered with mashed potatoes to be baked in the oven. As a result, you get a golden browned layer of mashed potatoes on top. It is another recipe invented as an outcome of Sunday Roast. For the sake of not wasting meat and simply increase the volume, they added potatoes and voila! Here comes the Shepherd’s Pie – the food for peasants has now become one of the most famous dishes in British cuisine, and rightly finds its place among the best British food in London. Try the outstanding Shepherd’s pie of The Ivy Restaurant, you will not regret it.
Address: 1-5 West Street, London
Phone: +44 20 7836 4751