The UK is not famous for its food. British people eat a lot of frozen or ‘convenience’ food. Sometimes British people don’t eat at mealtimes, but have a lot of snacks during the day. As lunch breaks can be short, families don’t always eat together. 


There are many different types of fast food restaurants, snack bars and bakeries, which sell savoury food. Greggs bakery chain is very popular, particularly with poorer families or young people, because it is cheap. They sell salads and some healthy food, but many school kids buy a sausage roll or a pasty for lunch. It’s not easy to find traditional British food. British people love food from other countries and there are many Indian, Chinese and Italian restaurants. 


There are many British adaptations of foreign dishes. Spaghetti Bolognese is a favourite meal. It is a combination of spaghetti cooked for a long time with a lot of meatsauce. Some Brits don’t like cooking, so they defrost and cook frozen spaghetti bolognese in a microwave. You can even buy spaghetti bolognese in a tin! The name sounds Italian, but it’s probably impossible to find tinned spaghetti bolognese in Italy! 

Funny British food

a tinned DELICACY

Another favourite is ‘macaroni cheese’. This is pasta cooked in a cheesy béchamel sauce. If you don’t like cooking, you can also buy this in a tin. British people sometimes enjoy it on toast! If food and cooking are important in your culture, you probably think this food sounds disgusting. However, on a cold winter’s day in Britain, it can be a delicious snack!

scottish indian food

Another famous foreign dish is chicken tikka masala. In fact it is one of the most popular dishes in the UK. The recipe— chicken in a creamy spicy sauce — sounds Indian, but many people think it originally came from a restaurant in Glasgow.

strange combinations

Sometimes you can find very strange combinations on British menus. A small restaurant near Oxford Street in London has these: tandoori chicken pizza – a pizza margherita with sweetcorn, mushrooms and tandoori (Indian) chicken; and ‘chicken Milanese’ –thin pieces of chicken served with ‘spaghetti napolitana’ (probably spaghetti in tomato sauce). 

Of course you can eat delicious traditional British food in some restaurants. Unfortunately, the good restaurants are usually expensive. So if you are a tourist in the UK and you want to save some money, why not try some of our funny food inventions.