Looking for famous London foods? From Fish & Chips to Sunday Roasts, here’s 5 famous London foods to try if you’re ever in the capital.
When you move to a new city you pack with you a hoard of stereotypes that may or may not be true. In London’s case, “the food is terrible!” is one that kept coming to mind.
Luckily, I’ve learned that’s a myth of the past. London’s food scene is bustling with every and any variety of cuisine under the sun, and it’s pretty good too.
Whether you’re visiting the Big Smoke or moving to London be sure to put these famous London foods on your bucket list.
5 London Famous Foods You Have to Try During Your Trip
(in no particular order): Your Traditional London Food Guide
1. Fish and Chips
It doesn’t get more British than Fish & Chips. Probably the most famous food in London, there’s nothing that compares to this UK staple, especially if it’s near the seaside.
Although it’s easy to think Fish and Chips originated in England, its roots go back to 15th century Portugal. In fact, up until 200 years ago there wasn’t a fish and chips shop in sight!
At that time, the Spanish Inquisition led many Jews to flee to Portugal — followed by England. White fish was then prepared as it could last over 24 hours into the weekend (when Sabbath was practised). It picked up and the rest is history!
The dish usually consists of a deep-fried battered cod or haddock with a side of chunky chips, peas, tartar sauce — and lemon and vinegar to taste.
2. Afternoon Tea
Did someone say…tea time?
Okay, okay — so it’s doesn’t exactly make the cut for famous London foods, more of an experience I suppose. But oh will you be glad you tried it.
As you can imagine traditional tea time in England spans back centuries. Making its way to England via the Duchess of Bedford, afternoon tea originally solved a very practical problem for the royal and elite.
Lunch was mid-day, dinner was at eight — what to do in between?? And thus, afternoon tea was born.
Typical afternoon tea consists of an array of carefully cut sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, buckets of cakes and pastries and a lovely big pot of tea.
Check out my favourite affordable tea spots on Instagram!
3. English Breakfast
Even talking about a Full English makes me want a Full English.
A famous London food that’s hard to miss in the capital, starting your day with an English Breakfast is bound to make you feel like a proper Brit.
The tradition of this hearty breakfast dates back all the way to 1300’s, sustained proudly throughout British history.
And what’s in an English Breakfast you ask? Well, it’s typically a pile of juicy bacon, sausage, Black pudding , baked beans, mushrooms, tomato, and a spot of toast. Oh, and tea (or coffee).
Lucky for you it’d be near impossible to find a British restaurant or cafe that doesn’t have a Full English on the menu. In other words, you’ve got no excuse not to try this famous London food.
4. Sunday Roast
If you just so happen to be in London, on a Sunday, from noon to 5 — have a Sunday Roast!
Coming into its prime in the 13th century, this traditional British food is a bonified London favourite. Stacked to the brim with hearty meat, soft potatoes, gravy, veggies and of course, Yorkshire Pudding.
Depending on where you go in London, Sunday Roasts spots can fill up quite fast, so always book a table in advance.
5. Pie & Mash
To finish off the most famous London foods, we’ve got to mention good ole Pie & Mash. Don’t let your eyes fool you. It’s delicious.
Practically dripping with savoury meat and piles of creamy mashed potatoes, it’s no wonder this once ‘working-class only’ food spread to all Londoner’s stomachs. Just be sure to get an extra lashing of gravy!
If you’re looking for the best Pie & Mash in Greenwich, I’ve got to hand it off to Goddard’s in Greenwich, a family business serving handmade pie since the 1800’s!
Other London & U.K Famous Foods to Try
Okay okay, so there’s actually tons more famous London foods you should try on your trip, but hey, I didn’t want to overwhelm you!
If you get through the recommendations above be sure to add these to your foodie bucket list.
• Curry on Brick Lane
• Bangers and Mash
• Jellied Eels
• Toad in the Hole
• Scotch Egg
• Cornish Pasty
• Eton Mess
• Sticky Toffee Pudding
Best Foodie Books on London
For the ultimate foodie guidance for your time in London, I highly suggest these books!
A Foodie’s Guide to London: Over 100 of the Capital’s Finest Food Shops and Experiences (IMM Lifestyle) Tour the Best Bakers, Butchers, Cheesemongers, Chocolatiers, Farmers’ Markets, Grocers, & More
Eat Like a Local- London: London England Food Guide
Eat London: All About Food