Food in the UK
You can get any cuisine you like in the UK. Chicken Tikka Masala with rice is claimed to be the UK’s most popular dish, though a Sunday Roast is more traditional.
With the obsession with weather in the UK picnics are hugely popular. You’ll find a nice line in decent picnic foods in the supermarkets; items such as sandwiches, cakes, crisps, fresh fruit, cheeses and drinks are readily available. If you’re flexing your backpacker budget you should check out the street markets where you can pick up fresh fruit and local cheeses at bargain prices.
Hot snacks at bakeries like Greggs and supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Morrisons and Asda are tasty and cheap, and really bad for you. Yum. There’s a big campaign in the UK to encourage people to shop at independent sandwich bars and bakers, as the quality of the food and value for money that they provide is far superior and there is such an emphasis on supermarkets that they’re driving the little man off the high street.
Smoking is now banned in all restaurants, cafe’s, bars and pubs – there are no exceptions. There will usually be somewhere outside though, if you like to indulge.
Breakfasts in the UK
Breakfasts in the UK are huge and each nation – Welsh, Irish, English and Scottish – will have their own twist on the classic. Whether they include haggis, egg, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms or fried bread you’ll definitely enjoy the indulgence.
Larger hotels may also offer croissants, pastries, porridge or kippers for breakfast. Some very large hotels will also provide an international selection including cold meat, cheese, boiled eggs and a variety of different kinds of bread.
Fish and chips
Fish and chips are a national treasure in the UK. You get your fish, you get your batter, and you deep fry the hell out of it. Serve it up with some deliciously greasy fat potato chips and serve with mushy peas and salt and vinegar. Back street chippies are the best – don’t go for trendy ones or kebab houses as the chips won’t be right.
In Scotland you can get anything you damn well like deep fried. From meat pies, to pizza to Mars or Snickers bars they’ll stick it in the deep fat fryer.
Takeaways are great. In the likes of London, Manchester and Birmingham you can get whatever cuisine you damn well like delivered straight to your door. You can get anything from Indonesian to Thai to Bangladeshi to Chinese. Indian takeways are probably the most popular – if you feel you can venture out of the house be sure to check out the Curry Mile in Manchester – the choice is epic. Take a look at justeat.co.uk for the takeaways available in your area. You’ll pay around £10 for a full on feast of a meal.
Pubs in the UK
The food in pubs in the UK can vary greatly. The new wave of gastro pubs are a good bet if you want something extra special, but you can get a cheap and tasty meal at the likes of Wetherspoons or Sam Smiths pubs for your backpackers budget. You’ll have to order at the bar and the food will be delivered to your table.
Restaurants in the UK
Again, restaurants in the UK vary greatly on their output depending on the price and location. Waiters generally expect a 10% tip, but you don’t have to pay this and if it’s added to your bill you can ask not to pay it.
The usual fast-food restaurants (McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, Subway and Wimpy) are widespread in larger towns and cities and even on the motorways too. They’re open late and you can even get a drive thru, if you fancy.