British Pub Grub

Despite being close to culinary powerhouses of France and Italy, despite the multitude of Indian and Chinese takeaways, and despite the continued influx of fast food from America, you may be very surprised that Britain maintains a lot of traditional food. I want to give you an overview of what you can expect from eating in traditional pubs in Britain – and hopefully this will encourage you to try some when you visit!

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In Britain, traditional pubs and alehouses are designed to be very social places where working class men (and women) can come and let off some steam as they enjoy a pint of beer or two. Sometimes, with the alcohol flowing around, pubs can get quite boisterous, although nowadays things are much calmer in the age of the Gastro Pub – a pub that serves food as well as drink. It is in these gastro pubs where Britons can find the very best pub grub.

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While some people choose to drink alone, most patrons of British pubs come with small groups of friends to enjoy a night out. Sometimes a visit to the pub occurs in the afternoon, such as on a Sunday, but generally pubs do not open until 11am at the earliest. Ordering the beer and bar snacks like pork scratchings and peanuts usually occurs immediately, and then you go to sit down at a table and have some quality time with your party. If you are ordering pub grub, then you probably need to place a further order at the bar, where one of the bartenders will see to your request. But what kind of food should you expect to eat in British pubs?

Traditional British Fish & Chips
Traditional British Fish & Chips
Bangers and Mash
Bangers and Mash
Kippers
Kippers
Pie and Mash
Pie and Mash
British pork pies and meaty bite-sized treats!
British pork pies and meaty bite-sized treats!
Sausage Roll
Sausage Roll

Fish & Chips are usually the first thing you think of when talking about British food. While not quite as popular as they once used to be, it is still always a good thing to eat some traditional chips. Although the fish and chips served in newspaper is usually found beside the seaside, as pub grub, this dish is served on a plate with plenty of salt and vinegar – just like the good ol’ days! Read more about the traditional British fish and chips!

Bangers & Mash is traditional pub grub. It is usually served with onion gravy, fried onions, or baked beans, and peas. It is one of the easiest sausage dishes to make and this makes it perfect for sale in pubs!

While Kippers are eaten all over the world, they are generally known as a British delicacy, and are affectionately called the Bacon of the Sea due to their enduring popularity in pubs up and down the country.

Even though the mashed potato remains, you can substitute the sausage for a classic British pie to make the ever-popular Pie & Mash dish. This is quite possibly the most common pub grub of the lot, and it is not uncommon for tomato ketchup to be used as a condiment instead of gravy!

Sausage Roll is generally a sheet of puff pastry formed into tubes around sausage meat and glazed with egg or milk before being baked. They can be served either hot or cold and this makes them perfect for pub grub.

Pork Pies are traditional British meat pies. It consists of roughly chopped pork and pork jelly sealed in a hot water crust pastry. It is normally eaten cold in pubs with a pint of ale.

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So thanks for taking a look a the very best of British pub grub. I hope I have persuaded you to try some of this “authentic” British cuisine when you next visit my country!

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20 thoughts on “British Pub Grub

  1. As Hairy Bikers quoted ” Britain’s got the best food in the world” After read this, made me look forward to go back to Britain again for Sunday Roast 😉 (and some other quality food with great beer)

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  2. Despite living in the land of great home-cooked food, this does make me miss food from home and a god pub meal!
    One small note; the cheesy toast dish is called welsh rarebit. It’s not as humorous in writing but it still sounds funny when you say it!

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    1. Thanks for the correction about the Rabbit 😉 I have changed it now. Pub meals are a typically British thing – maybe I should blog one day about the traditional British alehouse? 😉

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  3. Yum!! I’d never heard of jellied eels- looks interesting, at least! And now I know what kippers are- I remember Dumbledore offering Professor McGonagall a ‘kipper’ at the Christmas feast in book 3 and I’d always assumed it was some kind of sausage 🙂

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    1. Haha, no a kipper is certainly a fish. I didn’t know it was referred to in Harry Potter though – you learn something new every day! 😉 Ever heard of the English phrase “done up like a kipper”? It means you have been fooled and mucked around. I have no idea where the saying came from though… :S

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  4. They all look yummy… mmm… not sure about the jellied eels, but might give them a try next time I’m in London… Now I have to ask you, how do you make a perfect cup of tea? 🙂

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