Closeup view of the London foods, roast beef with vegetables on a plate

18 London Foods & Dishes You Must Try in 2023 (By a Local)

British cuisine is all about comfort and history, and you’ll have no trouble finding traditional London foods and beverages at restaurants all over the city.

I’m a London local, and in this article, I’m going to share some of the most famous sweet and savory London foods. You may have heard of British classics like fish and chips, bangers and mash, English breakfast, afternoon tea, and Sunday roast, but there are so many more London foods to be sampled. 

While you’re on your London food tour, be sure to also check out my guide to the best things to do in London to enjoy local activities while you indulge.

Let’s dig in!

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18 Best London Foods & Drinks to Try

Fish & Chips

Crispy fried filets of fish with chunky chips that are fluffy inside.

A plate of battered fish and chunky chips with slices of lemon
Crispy fish filets and chunky chips, an English staple

🍽️ Where to Find Fish & Chips: Poppies (Camden NW London, Spitalfields East London, Soho, Central London), Toff’s (Muswell Hill, North London)

Arguably the most famous national dish in the British Empire, fish and chips are a London food staple. 

When you visit London, your trip will truly not be complete without paying a visit to a fish and chippie shop where you can enjoy a nice large piece (or two) of fried fish, chunky chips, and mushy peas. The portions are normally very large, making this dish perfect for sharing and also very affordable for the family.

Afternoon Tea

A fancy lunch of finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and petit fours.

View of the people at the entrance of the Dorchester Hotel
Entrance to the Dorchester Hotel, serving up some of London’s best Afternoon Tea

🍽️ Where to Find Afternoon Tea: The Dorchester (Mayfair, Westminster), Fortnum & Mason (Piccadilly, Westminster)

Take part in a great British tradition by booking an afternoon sea session during your trip to London. This is the perfect way to indulge in some delicious cakes, scones, and flavored teas, and is a great activity for couples, a lovely spot to take your mother or grandmother, or just a nice friend’s day out. 

Afternoon tea traditionally includes a selection of finger sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and jam, small and elegant cakes, and of course, tea. It’s also a great excuse to get dressed up and eat cake for no good reason.

Sunday Roast

Tender meat, seasonal vegetables, potatoes that are both crispy and fluffy, and a large Yorkshire pudding.

A plate with a big serving of roast beef with vegetables
Roast beef with all the trimmings, topped with rich gravy

🍽️ Where to Find a Sunday Roast: The Old Pig’s Head (Clapham, SW London), The Phoenix (Chelsea, SW London)

Sunday Roast is one of the top reasons I love living in London. A thoroughly British tradition taking place in family households every Sunday, you can pop by pretty much any local pub and see this offering on the menu. Roasts tend to go quickly, so make sure you secure a booking for Sunday afternoon so you don’t miss out.

Typically this dish comes with your choice of pork, beef, chicken, or even sometimes lamb. There are also vegetarian options at most places. Roasts are served with traditional British roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables, and topped with a large Yorkshire pudding and gravy. Hearty is an understatement!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

A caramel-flavored dessert made of moist sponge cake, dates, and smothered in a rich sauce. Paired with vanilla custard or ice cream.

A plate of sticky pudding topped with vanilla ice cream and sauce
Sticky toffee pudding enrobed in a rich toffee sauce and topped with ice cream

🍽️ Where to Find Sticky Toffee Pudding: The Abingdon (West London), Hawksmoor (several locations across London )

Sticky toffee pudding is the ultimate traditional British dessert. The flavor of this dish speaks for itself, and everything about it just works. It’s a soft sponge cake with finely chopped dates that’s smothered in a decadent toffee sauce and topped with vanilla custard or ice cream.

Make sure you save room for dessert because you’re definitely going to want to try this! 

Full English Breakfast

Otherwise known as a ‘fry-up’, this comes complete with sunny eggs, baked beans, bacon, sauce, toast, mushrooms, and black pudding.

A big plate of Full English Breakfast including sausages, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, egg, bacon, baked beans and toasted bread
A standard English fry-up

🍽️ Where to Find a Full English Breakfast: Regency Cafe (SW London), Riding House Cafe (Soho, Central London)

Another hearty meal the Brits love is a good ol’ full English, which will definitely provide you with enough protein for a full day of activities. Each restaurant puts its own spin on this plate of food, but items you’re likely to see include baked beans, fried mushrooms, toast, fried egg, bacon, black pudding, sausages, and fried tomato. 

You’ll likely only need a light lunch if you’re starting your day with this masterpiece.

Chicken Tikka Masala

A popular Indian food comprised of roasted and marinated chicken in a creamy spiced sauce.

View of the Chicken Tikka Masala served in a pan
A sizzling pan filled with the popular Indian food chicken tikka masala

🍽️ Where to Find Chicken Tikka Masala: Sheba Brick Lane (Brick Lane, East London), The Mughal’s Indian Restaurant (Paddington, West London)

One of the best things about London is its incredibly multicultural population, with people moving and visiting from all over the world. London has a huge South Asian population and is known for having spectacular Indian food because of this, particularly on a street in East London called Brick Lane. 

One of the most popular Indian and Pakistani foods ordered in London is the creamy and tender dish of Chicken Tikka Masala. You’ll be able to find this popular curry dish comprised of tender pieces of chicken in a rich spiced sauce served with rice, in most South Asian restaurants in London. 

Gin & Tonic

Arguably the UK’s most popular refreshing and simple cocktail.

Two glasses of Gin & Tonic with lemon, rosemary and ice
The classic G&T served in a fishbowl glass (Oksana Mizina / Shutterstock)

🍽️ Where to Find a Gin & Tonic: Colonel Fawcett (Kentish Town, NW London), The Bull (Streatham, SW London)

For those that like a drink, which is a common theme in London, the G&T is a classic staple. Gin is the most popular spirit in the UK, and with many local distilleries creating specially crafted gin, it’s no surprise that London has some of the best gin & tonics you’ll ever taste.

Despite being a very simple drink, the quality and flavor of the gin are quite important in this cocktail, as it’s typically only made of the two ingredients listed in the name. Many London bars and restaurants offer a wide selection of gin brands and flavors, giving you the opportunity to try several fun variations. 

Pie & Mash

A savory meat or vegetable pie served over creamy mashed potatoes and gravy.

A plate of meat pie served with mash, mushy peas, and gravy with a knife and fork on the side
A hearty meat pie served with mash, mushy peas, and gravy (photo: Sophie Sparks Photography / Shutterstock)

🍽️ Where to Find Pie & Mash: Mother Mash (Soho & Covent Garden, Central London), Goddards at Greenwich (Greenwich, SE London)

I grew up eating frozen pot pies for dinner every now and then, and believe me when I say that nothing compares to a decadent and savory pie from a specialty shop or a London food market

This is a simple, yet very satisfying, dish of savory meat, fish, or vegetable pie, normally served with a healthy serving of mashed potatoes and smothered in gravy. Sometimes they are also served with mushy peas, an English staple vegetable. 

Try this on a day when you have a big appetite or share it with someone – the portion sizes of this dish are normally very generous.

Yorkshire Pudding

A savory pastry that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Closeup view of the huge Yorkshire Pudding on a plate
The large majestic Yorkshire Pudding

🍽️ Where to Find Yorkshire Pudding: The Pig & Butcher (Islington, North London), Knife (Clapham, SW London)

Roast dinners vary around the world, and the defining feature that makes a Sunday roast quintessentially English is the large Yorkshire Pudding. The pudding sits on top of the meat and vegetables and is a perfectly golden pastry that is crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.

When you think about the carb that completes a meal, that’s exactly where this fits in. A Sunday roast would truly not come together without the famous Yorkshire pudding, one of the best traditional foods in the UK.

Pornstar Martini

A sweet passionfruit cocktail with a hint of fizz.

A glass of copper martini with the pornstar martini cocktail
A passion fruit-flavored martini otherwise known as a pornstar martini

🍽️ Where to Find a Pornstar Martini: 45 Jermyn St. (St James’s, SW London), Homeboy (Islington, North London)

I’d recommend trying the pornstar martini in London if you’re a fan of sweet and fruity cocktails. This cocktail can be found at many cocktail bars and even some pubs, as it tends to be popular among the locals.

This drink is a concoction of vanilla vodka, Passoã (passionfruit liqueur), passionfruit juice, and lime juice. You will normally see it served with a chilled shot of bubbly, to give it that extra pizzaz.  

Banoffee Pie

A sweet British pie comprised of whipped cream, banana, and caramel.

A slice of banoffee pie topped with whipped cream, caramel sauce and tea leaves on a plate
Famous English dessert banoffee pie, flavored with banana, caramel, and whipped cream

🍽️ Where to Find Banoffee Pie: Pierre Victoire (Soho, Central London), The Harrison Pub (King’s Cross, Central London)

If banana cream pie and a caramel sundae had a baby, you’d end up with Banoffee Pie. This traditional English dessert combines the flavors of those two popular American desserts and leaves you with a little slice of heaven.

This sweet dessert pie is simple – made with bananas, whipped cream, and a thick caramel sauce on a buttery biscuit base. Some bakers like to have fun with it and throw in chocolate for a twist.

Scotch Egg

A deep-fried guilty pleasure snack consisting of a boiled egg enveloped in sausage and breadcrumbs.

A plate of Scotch eggs with dipping sauce on the side
Famous English snack scotch eggs (photo: Koarakko / Shutterstock)

🍽️ Where to Find a Scotch Egg: The Wigmore (Oxford Circus, Central London), The Sands End (Fulham, SW London)

This is a dish that you’ll find all over London, particularly in street food stalls or served as a starter at many pubs. Scotch eggs are all the rage with Brits and visitors alike, boasting a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat and deep-fried in a layer of bread crumbs to coat the outside. This is certainly not a healthy snack, but holidays are the best time to splurge. 

There are also pubs that offer a vegan version of the dish so that meatless foodies don’t have to miss out on trying this famous English snack.

Fruit Crumble

A light and simple fruity dessert that is both sweet and tart.

Berry crumble on a white baking dish
Simple dessert combining sweet and tart flavors (photo: Anna_Pustynnikova / Shutterstock)

🍽️ Where to Find Fruit Crumble: Humble Crumble (Old Spitalfields Market, Shoreditch), Maggie Jones’s (Kensington, West London)

For those of you who don’t like overly sweet desserts but still appreciate a little treat at the end of your meal, fruit crumble is definitely the perfect dish to satisfy your cravings. The benefit of this dish is that you get a fresh, tart, and sweet taste all in one, leaving a great sensation after every bite. 

This was one of my favorite desserts growing up as my mum often made the apple version. I’ve created a few variations myself and this dessert never disappoints. You can find different flavors across London, and the crumbles are often topped with custard or cream.


Sweet, sour, hoppy, or crisp, there’s a flavor for everyone.

A woman's hand holding a glass of fruity pint of sour beer
A fruity pint of sour beer

🍽️ Where to Find Pints: The Counting House (Bank, East London), Bermondsey Beer Mile (Bermondsey, SE London )

This would not be a comprehensive list of London food & drinks without the inclusion of the humble pint. What seems to be a very simple alcoholic beverage has the ability to make many Brits, ex-pats, and visitors happy, especially on a sunny day.

You’ll often see people enjoying their pints after work all over the City of London. The pubs in London often have a generous selection of beer on tap, with everything from IPAs to lagers and fruit ciders. 

I highly recommend checking out the breweries along the Bermondsey Beer Mile for craft beer and a unique experience. It also makes for a fun day out with friends!

Sausage Roll

Pastry perfectly cooked and filled with sausage, what’s not to love?

Closeup view of the crispy and savory baked sausage rolls
Crispy and savory baked sausage rolls

🍽️ Where to Find a Sausage Roll: Greggs (locations all across London), The Ginger Pig (Borough, SE London)

One of the most popular London foods that you can pick up and enjoy on the go is a sausage roll. This makes a great afternoon snack to have when you’re walking around and viewing the sites and attractions London has to offer.

These savory pastries are addictive and will leave you filling full until you have room to try one of the many fantastic restaurants in London. You can find these delights in food markets, butcher shops, pubs, and even grocery stores. Similarly to scotch eggs, some places also offer vegan options for these, one of which is the infamous Greggs, home of the sausage roll linked above.

Black Pudding

Blood sausage traditional to the UK and Ireland that is often served in a fry up.

Closeup view of the sliced blood sausages with sunny side up eggs and tomatoes
Blood sausage accompanied by other English breakfast foods (Robyn Mackenzie / Shutterstock 

🍽️ Where to Find Black Pudding: Pellicci’s (Bethnal Green, East London), Terry’s Cafe (Southwark, SE London)

This British food is not for the faint of heart. Blood Pudding is one of the foods that many Brits love for good reason, but can be intimidating to try once you find out what it’s made of. You will often see it served as part of a fry-up at diners and breakfast restaurants across the city.

Originating in the regions of England, Ireland, and Scotland, this blood sausage is one of London’s, and the whole of the UK’s, favorite traditional foods. If you’re feeling adventurous, give it a try and earn some bragging rights with your friends and family back home.

Bangers & Mash

Sausages, mash, and onion gravy – comfort food at its finest.

A plate of mashed potato topped with two sausages and gravy
Plump sausages lying on a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes (Joe Gough / Shutterstock)

🍽️ Where to Find Bangers & Mash: Davy’s (locations all across London), The Garden Gate Hampstead (Hampstead, NW London)

A popular pub dish, this meal is one of the most traditional dishes in London. The meal is composed of exactly what it sounds like – sausages served with pillowy mashed potatoes and topped with onion gravy. The onion gravy is what makes the dish unique, as I’ve been told by an English man who’s grown up on this meal.

Fun fact, the term bangers supposedly originates back to World War I. Especially during the cooler months, it’s a meal that is perfect for enjoying in a cozy pub and will leave you feeling full, warm, and fuzzy.

Pimm’s & Lemonade

The English spin on Sangria you didn’t know you needed.

A man holding a crate with glasses of Pimm’s & lemonade
A crate of Pimm’s & lemonade at Royal Ascot

🍽️ Where to Find Pimm’s & lemonade: The Avalon (Balham, SW London), Netil360 (Hackney, East London)

Pimm’s and lemonade is a fun and refreshing drink that is served at most bars and pubs around London during the warmer months. My own father is a huge advocate of this enjoyable concoction of fruity gin-based liqueur, lemonade, fresh fruit, and mint. 

The drink is also famously served at high-profile London sporting events including Wimbledon and Royal Ascot. You can get this by pitcher or pint, with its presence marking the start of English summer.

FAQs About London Foods

What food is famous in London?

Arguably the most famous meal in London is a Sunday roast. You will often find chicken beef, pork, and vegetarian options at your local pub, and perhaps even lamb if you’re lucky. This is often served with gravy, roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and a very large Yorkshire Pudding to top it off.  

What is the famous food in the UK?

Across the UK, you’ll find that fish and chips are a very popular dish. Whether you’re in London or a seaside town, you are guaranteed to find some of the best and freshest fish and chip shops in the world.

What are 3 of the most popular British foods?

Three of the most popular traditional foods in the UK are fish and chips, Sunday roast, and English breakfast. These items have stood the test of time and are known as popular London foods, along with being widely recognized across the whole of England. 

What are popular British snacks?

Some of the most popular snacks that the Brits enjoy are a scotch egg, crisps (called potato chips in the US), local Cadbury chocolate, biscuits, and ‘chips’ which are otherwise known as french fries in the US. 


Thanks for reading along and I hope you’ve learned a thing or two about London foods! Before you head to London, be sure to check out my article on where to stay in London. Have fun!

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