Every city and larger town will have the customary fast food joints like McDonald;s, Burger King and Pizza Hut. And you will also find the traditional 'greasy spoon' or 'caff' (cafe) - establishments that are pretty much a national institution! They will invariably look tacky and seedy from the outside, but the atmosphere inside is usually friendly and warm.
At a greasy spoon you will probably find meals such as huge but very reasonably priced English breakfasts, numerous dishes served with an enormous side order of chips and traditional British meals such as roast dinners.
Expect exquisitely served, original dishes of the finest ingredients and you'll probably be disappointed, but for cheap and cheerful you can't beat a greasy spoon.
||Unfortunately Britain doesn't have a very good reputation for food, but things have changed enormously in recent years. Now there is a host of award winning restaurants, which have raised the standards of British cuisine enormously.
The highest concentration of is naturally in London, but most of the larger towns and cities will boast an excellent restaurant where you can eat any number of delicious dishes. There is also a wide range of international cuisine available, from Indian and Chinese to French, Spanish and Latin American.
So nowadays you should be able to enjoy a delicious meal wherever you go.
You will also find the epitome of British cuisine, the Fish and Chip Shop or 'Chippy', wherever you go. Some have seating, but most are takeaways and so the sight of someone munching their fish and chips whilst walking down the street is commonplace. The quality of fish and chips can vary enormously, so if you are staying in particular area it might be worth asking a local to recommend a good one.
Pubs are also a traditional place to go for food. Pub meals used to have a dismal reputation, but in recent years the quality has improved enormously. Pub food can vary from inexpensive bar meals to expensive restaurant-style menus so whatever your budget you should find something to suit.
The diverse ethnic communities in Britain have also ensured that the variety of foods offered is enormous. Most towns will have at least a Chinese and Indian, and other Asian flavours such as Thai are becoming increasingly common. French and Italian restaurants are widespread, and Japanese sushi bars and Spanish 'tapas' bars are common in the larger cities.
Latin American restaurants are less common, but if you look you will find one.
A curry is often a very inexpensive way to enjoy a good meal, and a trip to an Indian Restaurant after an evening in the pub is a ritual that takes place at weekends throughout the country - an experience not to be missed!
|Traditional pub meals include dishes such as lasagne, steak and kidney pie and steak and chips. And at lunch time you can usually get very reasonably priced snacks such as soup and a roll, jacket potatoes or the traditional 'ploughman's lunch' of bread, cheese, salad and pickle. And on Sunday traditionally a full roast dinner of beef, chicken or pork is served (right). However nowadays you will probably find a much more extensive and increasingly innovative range of food is served.|
The times when food is served vary from pub to pub. Traditional serving times are between 12noon-2pm and 7pm-9pm, although some do now serve food all day.
|Cornish Pasties, Cheddar Cheese,|
Bath Cake and Cumberland sausages...
There are many varieties of regional specialities to be discovered all over the UK. Each place or area will invariably have its own delicacy which locals will claim tastes better there than anywhere else in the world. Some specialites, such as those above, you may have heard of, but others will be unknown and just waiting to be discovered.
Some areas will also be known for a certain type of food, usually related to the characteristics of the region. For example the highlands of Scotland are renowned for its game, whilst the coasts of Cornwall have made it famous for its seafood.
But wherever you go in the UK, you will find traditional favourites. Fish and chips, English breakfasts, bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes), steak and kidney pie and toad in the hole (sausages in batter) are loved all over the country.
It is the full English breakfast that you are most likely to come across as this will be served in hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfasts wherever you stop. The basic ingredients are bacon and eggs and tomatoes with toast on the side. However, you might be offered a mammoth affair that also includes sausages, baked beans, mushrooms and fried bread!
Obviously not the healthiest breakfast, but it should be tried at least once during your stay. And don't worry, if you are watching your diet you should quite easily find healthier alternatives like cereals and fruit juices available.
Vegetarians are very well catered for in the UK and the vast majority of menus will offer at least one vegetarian alternative.
Vegans will have a few more problems but the increasing number of Vegetarian restaurants that are springing up all over the country should cater for Vegans.
Kosher diets, however, are not particlarly well catered for in the UK. If you keep a strict kosher diet, try finding a nearby synagogue who may be able to advise you on where to find suitable restaurants. Only larger cities tend to have synagogues so you should also be prepared to accept that you may just have to prepare your own food.