The Ultimate Guide to the National Food of England: From Roast Beef to Fish and Chips

The Ultimate Guide to the National Food of England: From Roast Beef to Fish and Chips

Navigating the vast culinary world of England can often leave one overwhelmed. Did you know that English gastronomy boasts a wide variety of iconic dishes dating back centuries? This blog provides an insightful journey into England's national food, enlightening you on everything from Roast Beef to Fish and Chips.

Let's embark on this mouth-watering adventure!

Key Takeaways

  • England's national food includes iconic dishes like Roast Beef, Fish and Chips, Bangers and Mash, and Chicken Tikka Masala.
  • Roast Beef is served with Yorkshire Pudding and gravy, while Fish and Chips consist of deep - fried fish served with potato chips.
  • Bangers and Mash consists of sausages served with creamy mashed potatoes, while Chicken Tikka Masala is a grilled chicken dish in a tomato-based sauce.
  • Other traditional English dishes include the Sunday Roast, Bubble and Squeak, Shortbread, and Scotch Eggs.


The National Dishes of England

Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, bangers and mash, roast beef, fish and chips, and chicken tikka masala are all iconic national dishes of England.

Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

Beef and Yorkshire Pudding is a big hit in England. People cook beef until it's juicy and tender. The roast is then served with gravy made from the meat juices. Alongside it, there's Yorkshire pudding.

england national dish

It’s not like most puddings we know; this one is a baked treat that looks like bread but tastes much better! You pour more of that tasty gravy over both the roast and the pudding to make it even better!

Read More on Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

Bangers and Mash

Bangers and Mash is a classic British dish that consists of sausages and mashed potatoes. The sausages, also known as "bangers," are typically made from pork or beef, and they get their name from the popping sound they make when cooked.

The sausages are usually served with creamy mashed potatoes and smothered in rich onion gravy. Bangers and Mash is a hearty and comforting meal that has been enjoyed by the British for generations.

national food of england

It's a simple yet delicious dish that showcases the best of traditional English cooking.

Some popular variations of Bangers and Mash include adding peas, carrots, or other vegetables to the dish for extra flavor and nutrition. Additionally, some people like to serve it with mustard or HP sauce for an added kick.

Read More on Bangers and Mash

Roast Beef

Roast beef is one of the national dishes of England. It is a classic English recipe that has been enjoyed for centuries. Roast beef is made by slow-roasting a cut of beef until it is tender and juicy.

The meat is often seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs to enhance its flavor. Yorkshire pudding, which is made from a batter of eggs, flour, and milk, is traditionally served alongside roast beef.

traditional dish of england

This dish is not only delicious but also symbolizes the rich culinary traditions of British cuisine. So if you ever find yourself in England, don't miss the chance to try this iconic British food!

Read More on Roast Beef the most popular food in England

Fish and Chips

Fish and chips is one of the most popular and beloved dishes in England. It consists of deep-fried fish, usually cod or haddock, served with thick-cut potato chips. The fish is coated in a crispy batter made from flour, salt, and water before being fried until golden brown.

Traditionally, it was wrapped in newspaper for easy takeaway, but these days it's typically served in a paper cone or box. Fish and chips can be enjoyed with tartar sauce or malt vinegar for added flavor.

typical dishes in england

Whether you're grabbing them to-go or sitting down at a local chippy (fish and chip shop), this classic British dish is sure to satisfy your cravings for comfort food.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a popular dish that has become an integral part of British cuisine. It consists of grilled chicken pieces marinated in spices, such as turmeric and cumin, and then cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce.

This delicious dish originated from the fusion of Indian and British culinary traditions. The exact origins of Chicken Tikka Masala are debated, with some claiming it was created by Bangladeshi chefs in Glasgow or by Indian chefs in London.

food in london england

Regardless of its origin, Chicken Tikka Masala has become one of the most loved dishes in England, often served with rice or naan bread for a satisfying meal.

The History and Origin of Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a popular dish in England, but its history and origin are somewhat disputed. Some stories say that it was created by a chef in Glasgow, Scotland who accidentally added tomato soup to a dish of grilled chicken tikka, resulting in the creation of this iconic dish.

Others believe that it originated from Indian cuisine and was then adapted to suit British tastes.

Regardless of its origins, Chicken Tikka Masala is now considered one of the national dishes of England. It consists of marinated pieces of chicken cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce with various spices such as cumin, coriander, and garam masala.

This flavorful dish has become incredibly popular not only in England but also around the world.

Today, you can find Chicken Tikka Masala on the menus of many Indian restaurants across England. It is often served with rice or naan bread and enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

Whether you're looking for traditional English dishes or exploring international flavors in Britain, trying Chicken Tikka Masala is definitely a must-do culinary experience!

Other Traditional English Dishes

Other traditional English dishes include Sunday roast, bubble and squeak, shortbread, and Scotch eggs.

Sunday Roast

On Sundays in England, it's a tradition to have a special meal called the Sunday Roast. This meal usually consists of roasted meat, such as beef, lamb, or chicken, served with vegetables like roast potatoes and carrots, along with Yorkshire pudding and gravy.

The meat is often slow-cooked for hours to make it tender and flavorful. Families gather together to enjoy this hearty meal which has become an important part of British culinary heritage.

london uk food

Whether you're in a pub or at home, the Sunday Roast is definitely something you don't want to miss when exploring traditional English dishes.

Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak is a traditional English dish made from the leftovers of a Sunday roast. It's typically made by frying leftover mashed potatoes and cooked vegetables together until they're golden brown and crispy.

The name "bubble and squeak" comes from the sound the dish makes while it's cooking. This classic British comfort food is often served as a side dish with meats or as a main course with fried eggs on top.

roast dinner england

It's easy to make, delicious, and a great way to use up leftover ingredients. Give it a try if you want to experience authentic British cuisine!


Shortbread is a beloved traditional English dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a simple yet delicious treat made from just three ingredients: butter, sugar, and flour.

The buttery flavor and crumbly texture make it an irresistible delight. Shortbread can be shaped into various forms, such as fingers or rounds, and often decorated with a sprinkle of sugar on top before baking.

biscuits in england

It is the perfect sweet accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee, and is often served during special occasions like Christmas or weddings. Whether you prefer it plain or with added flavors like chocolate chips or citrus zest, shortbread will always be a classic favorite among British desserts.

Scotch Eggs

Scotch Eggs are a popular traditional English snack that consists of hard-boiled eggs coated with sausage meat and breadcrumbs, which are then deep-fried or baked until golden and crispy.

They are often served cold as part of a picnic or eaten as a bar snack. The origins of Scotch Eggs can be traced back to the 18th century, where they were created by London department store Fortnum & Mason.

england dishes

Today, you can find them in many supermarkets and pubs across England, making them a delicious and convenient treat to enjoy on the go.

Where to Try the Best National Dishes in England

Discover the top restaurants in England that serve the best Chicken Tikka Masala and indulge in an unforgettable culinary experience.

Recommended Tours and Activities

Explore the flavors of England through recommended tours and activities that showcase the country's national dishes. Take a food tour in London to sample traditional English cuisine like roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, bangers and mash, and fish and chips.

Visit local markets where you can taste authentic dishes prepared by talented chefs. Join a cooking class to learn how to make these iconic British meals yourself. Immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of England while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of its markets, restaurants, and cooking schools.

Top Restaurants for Chicken Tikka Masala

If you're looking for the best places to try Chicken Tikka Masala, here are some top restaurants in England. Taj Mahal, located in London, is known for its authentic and flavorful Chicken Tikka Masala.

Another popular spot is Dishoom, with branches across several cities including London and Manchester. They serve a delicious version of this iconic dish. For a unique twist on Chicken Tikka Masala, head to Mowgli Street Food in Birmingham or Liverpool where they offer a modern take on Indian cuisine.

Lastly, Punjab Express in Glasgow is recommended for its rich and aromatic Chicken Tikka Masala that will satisfy your cravings.

Exploring More of the UK

Discover the rich culinary traditions of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, as well as the Indian influence on British cooking. Delve into other national dishes in the UK and don't miss out on trying the must-try foods in Manchester.

National Dishes of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales

In Ireland, a traditional national dish is Irish stew. It is made with lamb or mutton, potatoes, onions, and carrots. Scotland's national dish is haggis, which is a savoury pudding made from sheep's heart, liver, and lungs mixed with oatmeal and spices.

In Wales, the national dish is Welsh rarebit, a delicious cheesy sauce served on toast. These dishes are all representative of their respective countries' culinary traditions and are loved by locals and tourists alike.

Indian Influence on British Cooking

Indian cuisine has had a significant impact on British cooking. The introduction of Indian spices, flavors, and dishes has added depth and variety to traditional British recipes. Curries, for example, have become a beloved part of British cuisine, with dishes like chicken tikka masala gaining popularity across the country.

Other Indian-inspired dishes such as samosas and pakoras are also commonly enjoyed in Britain. This cultural exchange between India and the United Kingdom has enriched the culinary landscape of both nations, providing people with diverse and delicious dining options.

Other National Dishes in the UK

In addition to the national dishes of England, there are also other traditional and popular dishes in the United Kingdom. These include dishes from Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

In Northern Ireland, one popular dish is the beef roast served with vegetables and gravy. In Scotland, a must-try dish is haggis, which is made from sheep's heart, liver, and lungs mixed with oatmeal and spices.

And in Wales, one famous dish is Welsh rarebit – a savory dish made with melted cheese on top of toasted bread. Each country within the UK has its own unique culinary traditions that are worth exploring for those interested in trying more traditional British food.

Must-Try Foods in Manchester

Manchester is a city in northern England with a vibrant food scene. There are several must-try dishes that showcase the flavors of this region. One popular choice is the Manchester tart, which consists of a shortcrust pastry filled with raspberry jam and custard, topped with coconut flakes.

Another delicious option is black pudding, a type of blood sausage made from pork blood and fat mixed with oats or barley. For those looking for something savory, the traditional Lancashire hotpot is a hearty dish made with lamb or beef, potatoes, onions, and carrots cooked in a rich gravy.

Don't forget to try Eccles cakes as well - these sweet pastries are filled with currants and have a flaky pastry crust. In Manchester, you'll find plenty of opportunities to indulge in these delightful dishes that represent the local culinary tradition.


While "Fish and Chips" is often considered a quintessential and beloved English dish, it's important to note that England does not have an official or formally designated national dish. The concept of a national dish can vary from one country to another, and in England, the culinary landscape is diverse and rich, featuring a wide array of traditional and popular dishes.

In addition to Fish and Chips, other traditional and well-loved English dishes include:

  1. Roast Dinner: A Sunday roast typically features roast beef, lamb, or chicken served with roasted vegetables, Yorkshire puddings, and gravy.

  2. Full English Breakfast: This hearty breakfast includes bacon, eggs, sausages, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, black pudding, and toast.

  3. Bangers and Mash: Sausages served with mashed potatoes and onion gravy.

  4. Beef Wellington: A dish consisting of beef fillet coated with mushroom duxelles, wrapped in puff pastry, and baked.

  5. Shepherd's Pie: A savory pie made with minced lamb or beef, topped with mashed potatoes.

  6. Cornish Pasty: A pastry filled with meat and vegetables, typically associated with Cornwall.

  7. Ploughman's Lunch: A cold meal featuring cheese, pickles, bread, and sometimes cold meats.

While Fish and Chips is a beloved and iconic dish, England's culinary heritage offers a wide range of dishes that can be considered national favorites, and the choice of a national dish may vary among individuals and regions.

Fish and Chips, often regarded as the unofficial national food of England, is just one of the many delectable and traditional dishes that make up the rich tapestry of English cuisine. The roast dinner, a beloved and time-honored tradition, stands as the quintessential English meal, celebrated by families every Sunday. These hearty roasts feature succulent meats like beef, lamb, or chicken, roasted to perfection and served alongside crispy Yorkshire puddings, a medley of roasted vegetables, and a generous drizzling of savory gravy.

In the bustling city of London, England's capital, culinary delights abound. London's food scene reflects the city's diverse and multicultural population, offering a captivating blend of flavors and cuisines from around the world. From traditional English pubs serving up fish and chips to fine dining restaurants showcasing the best of British ingredients, London's food culture is a dynamic and evolving culinary journey.

While Fish and Chips may hold a special place as the unofficial national dish, England's culinary heritage is a delightful tapestry of flavors and traditions. Whether you're savoring a roast dinner with family, enjoying a traditional Cornish Pasty, or exploring the diverse food offerings in London, you'll discover that English food has a story to tell and a taste that's uniquely its own.


1. What are some famous English dishes?

Famous English dishes include Roast Beef, Fish and Chips, Shepherd's Pie, and Beef Wellington.

2. Can I learn about traditional British meals from the guide?

Yes, The Ultimate Guide to the National Food of England covers classic English recipes and popular British meals including Northern Irish and Scottish too.

3. Is Toad in the hole a part of traditional English food?

Yes! Toad in the hole is a tasty United Kingdom dish that you can read about it in the guide.

4. Will this guide help me discover more about English culinary traditions?

Indeed! With it, you will gain insights into many well-loved United Kingdom dishes and their rich culinary traditions.

About the Author.

The author of this ultimate guide to the national food of England is a passionate food enthusiast and travel writer. With a deep appreciation for British cuisine, they have explored various traditional English dishes and sought out the best places to try them.

Their love for food has taken them on culinary adventures across the United Kingdom, discovering not only iconic British dishes like roast beef and fish and chips but also lesser-known treats like bubble and squeak and sticky toffee pudding.

Through their writing, they aim to share their knowledge and experiences with readers who are eager to delve into the world of English gastronomy.