Click here to visit our new homepage
This site uses cookies. See our Cookie Policy for information
Follow me on Twitter

Please note: We have mainly written about England, as that is the country within the UK where our students live. We would be very happy for schools and visitors to send us information we can add to our website on Wales and Scotland.

Back to food index

Traditional English dishes have had competition from other dishes over the years. Despite this, if you visit England, you can still be served up the traditional foods we have been eating for years.

This page contains some of our most popular traditional dishes.

"Harry’s mouth fell open. The dishes in front of him were now piled with food. He had never seen so many things he liked to eat on one table: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup and, for some strange reason, mint humbugs."

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J. K. Rowling

Main meal dishes

Click here to find out what we eat for Christmas dinner

Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding

This is England's traditional Sunday lunch, which is a family affair.


Yorkshire Pudding

This dish is not usually eaten as a dessert like other puddings but instead as part of the main course or at a starter.

Yorkshire pudding, made from flour, eggs and milk, is a sort of batter baked in the oven and usually moistened with gravy.

The traditional way to eat a Yorkshire pudding is to have a large, flat one filled with gravy and vegetables as a starter of the meal. Then when the meal is over, any unused puddings should be served with jam or ice-cream as a dessert. text taken from and copyright of


Toad-in-the-Hole Toad-in-the-Hole (sausages covered in batter and roasted.)

Similar to Yorkshire Pudding but with sausages placed in the batter before cooking. (See photo right) text taken from and copyright of


Roast Meats ( cooked in the oven for about two hours)

roast beefTypical meats for roasting are joints of beef, pork, lamb or a whole chicken. More rarely duck, goose, gammon, turkey or game are eaten.

Beef is eaten with hot white horseradish sauce, pork with sweet apple sauce and lamb with green mint sauce.

steak and kidney pie


These three platefuls of food were served up in a pub.

I would say that they are enormous portions and not what a typical British person would eat in one sitting.

Steak and Kidney Pie with chips and salad
pastie meal
chicken meal
Cornish Pastie with chips, baked beans and salad
Chicken Salad

Fish and chips

Fish and Chips

Fish (cod, haddock, huss, plaice) deep fried in flour batter with chips (fried potatoes) dressed in malt vinegar. This is England's traditional take-away food or as US would say "to go". Fish and chips are not normally home cooked but bought at a fish and chip shop ("chippie" ) to eat on premises or as a "take away"

Fish and chips sign


ploughmans lunchPloughman's Lunch

This dish is served in Pubs. It consists of a piece of cheese, a bit of pickle and pickled onion, and a chunk of bread. text taken from and copyright of

See a sample menu of food served in pubs

Shepherds' Pie

Made with minced lamb and vegetables topped with mashed potato)

Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie (pictured right)

Made with minced beef and vegetables topped with mashed potato. (Pictured right)


Gammon Steak with egg (Gammon is ham)

Lancashire Hotpot text taken from and copyright of

A casserole of meat and vegetables topped with sliced potatoes.


Pie and Mash with parsley liquor

A very traditional East End London meal.
The original pies were made with eels because at the time eels were a cheaper product than beef. About fifty years ago, mince beef pies replaced the eels and have now become the traditional pie and mash that people know.

The traditional pie and mash doesn't come without its famous sauce known as liquor which is a curious shade of green and definitely non-alcoholic. The liquor tastes much nicer than it looks (it's bright green!).

Jellied eels are also an East End delicacy often sold with pie and mash

Bubble & Squeak text taken from and copyright of

Typically made from cold vegetables that have been left over from a previous meal, often the Sunday roast. The chief ingredients are potato and cabbage, but carrots, peas, brussels sprouts, and other vegetables can be added. The cold chopped vegetables (and cold chopped meat if used) are fried in a pan together with mashed potato until the mixture is well-cooked and brown on the sides. The name is a description of the action and sound made during the cooking process.Traditional English breakfast


English breakfast text taken from and copyright of

Eggs, bacon, sausages, fried bread, mushrooms, baked beans

Bangers and Mash (mashed potatoes and sausages).

Bangers are sausages in England. (The reason sausages were nicknamed bangers is that during wartime rationing they were so filled with water they often exploded when they were fried.)

Black Pudding (Blood Pudding)

Looks like a black sausage. It is made from dried pigs blood and fat). Eaten at breakfast time Recipe

Black pudding recipes vary from region to region, some are more peppery and some are more fatty than others. text taken from and copyright of

More information

Bacon Roly-Poly (made with a suet pastry)

A Cumberland sausageCumberland sausage

This famous pork sausage is usually presented coiled up like a long rope


Favourite Children Meals

Three favourite meals with children are fish fingers and chips, pizza and baked beans on toast.

Back to food index

back to the top
Events and special days in the UK
British Life
Pooh down the River Thames

email© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013- please read
All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from Mandy Barrow.

© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

Google PlusFollow Project BritainTwitterFollow Mandy Barrow on Twitter

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.