Having been born and raised in London, England, I was surprised to realise that I actually knew more about Asian street food than I did British street food! I have already written about the Full English Breakfast, British Pub Grub, The Best Desserts from the UK, the British Sunday Roast, and English Afternoon Tea, so I also decided to remind myself of some of the tastiest roadside bites that are available in my own back yard – and who would have thought that British street food would be so unhealthy?!
You cannot visit the UK and not experience eating some traditional Fish & Chips! Whether you’re beside the seaside, or in the middle of a city, freshly cooked fish (cod, plaice, or haddock) with chips sprinkled in salt and vinegar are a delight to behold!
The number one snack in the whole of the UK (in terms of number sold) is the classic Sausage Roll. This simple snack is basically a sausage wrapped in pastry and it can be eaten hot or cold. Despite its simplicity, it is very filling, and the best rolls are the ones with the flakiest pastry!
Cornish Fudge may very well be an American speciality, but it seems the best kind (in my opinion) heralds from the UK, in particular from Cornwall. Cornish Fudge is available to buy as a snack in most touristy areas of the country, as well as in speciality shops and from street vendors.
Pork Pies are a classic cold treat in the UK, and while they now can be sold by the bucket load in supermarkets, the most authentic ones can be found peddled by street vendors in markets across the country.
One of the more famous items in this list is the Ploughman’s Sandwich. This used to be a way of old housewives using leftovers from the previous day’s dinner to make their husband’s lunch, but nowadays it seems the Ploughman’s Sandwich has become an industry in itself, and the pickle used inside is what makes this sandwich so different from the others.
Scones are one of the most popular snacks in the UK, and are a key element of the traditional English Afternoon Tea. However, scones are also eaten as a street food in some parts of the country, and are especially popular at street fetes and festivals. They are usually filled with jam or clotted cream.
Jellied Eels were once found on every street corner in the UK (especially London), and although they are not as popular as they once were, they are still a fishy treat to be eaten from time to time!
Much like the Scones, Cherry Bakewells are part of English Afternoon Tea, but they are really popular at any time of the day, and are even used in kids’ school lunchboxes! The icing on the tart tastes delicious, but for many people the cherry itself is the part they save ’til last!
Going back to the southwest county of Cornwall again, we have the Cornish Pasty. This is another popular street food in the UK, and is similar to an Empanada from Spanish-speaking regions (even Argentina). Cold meats or vegetables are placed inside the pastry, rolled, and then baked to perfection!
When people think of British food, they usually think of pies. And why they think of pies, they will probably mention Steak & Kidney Pie! All working class men enjoy a Steak & Kidney Pie from time to time, and the pie’s renaissance of late has introduced it to a new generation of locals (and tourists!).
Hob Nobs are arguably the most famous biscuit associated with the UK (like the British version of an American cookie), and are an integral part of the street food scene here. They come packaged and sold in supermarkets, but homemade versions always taste nicer!
Strawberries & Cream is the quintessential British summertime dessert. Fresh whole strawberries and fresh cream (either whipped or spray) are mixed together to create a fusion that tickles the tastebuds. Although there are plenty of equally famous desserts from the UK, really only Strawberries & Cream is offered as a street food to eat on the go!
So that concludes my look at a dozen of the best British street foods and party foods. Please check out my other posts from Snack Attack series to sample the best street foods from around the world. In the meantime, what British snack do you enjoy the most?!