Have you tried these traditional British dishes?

traditional fish and chips with a slice of lemon and pot of tartare sauce

The Britain I live in today has amazing food from all over the world. It is perfectly normal to eat Swiss food for breakfast (muesli), Japanese food for lunch (sushi) and Moroccan food for dinner (tagine). However, we haven’t forgotten about our beloved traditional British food:

Fish and Chips

From a good chip shop, also known as a Chippie, chips are made from freshly cut potatoes. They are deep fried until crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

The fish is usually cod, haddock or plaice. It is coated in batter, then also deep fried. Usually, fish and chips are seasoned with salt and vinegar and served with mushy peas.

Traditional British fish and chips are wrapped in newspaper as a take-away food. Nowadays, some restaurants serve ‘posh’ fish and chips.

I enjoy sitting outside and eating my chips from the paper wrapping. In some seaside towns, seagulls have started liking chips. They wait and watch people leaving the shop, then swoop in to steal their chips. 


A pie is a pastry case filled with various possible ingredients; fruit, meat, or vegetables. In my home town there is a famous traditional British pie shop called ‘Sweeney Todds’, named after the man who killed people in his hairdressing shop and put their bodies into pies. The shop in Reading sells delicious pies, some of which are even vegetarian, so they can’t have people in them! Pies are usually served with mashed potatoes (mash), vegetables like peas or broccoli, and a good glug of gravy.

Haggis, tatties and neeps

The most famous traditional Scottish food is haggis. It is made from finely chopped and well-seasoned sheep’s heart, lungs and liver. This is then sewed into the sheep’s stomach and boiled. It is served with mashed potatoes (tatties) and mashed turnip (neeps).

Cornish Pasties

Cornwall is a beautiful part of Britain with many historic copper and tin mines.  A pasty is a delicious, crescent-shaped pie with a crust, designed for miners to eat for lunch. In the past, miners held the crust with their dirty hands, ate the main part, then threw away the crust. Now, people eat pasties for lunch all the time, but we also eat the crust.

A full English breakfast/ a fry-up

This comes from the days when manual workers (farmers or miners) needed a lot of energy at the start of each day. All the food is fried in oil and it includes; sausages, bacon, eggs, potatoes, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, and even fried bread. These days, a traditional fry-up is eaten as a hangover cure or a lazy weekend treat.

Roast dinner

French people nickname the British ‘Rosbif’ because of this meal. Often referred to as a ‘Sunday roast’ (because it’s often eaten as a family on Sundays!), this traditional dish consists of a big piece of oven-roasted meat, maybe beef, lamb or chicken, served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and lots of different vegetables and gravy. Lots of families eat this traditional British meal on a Sunday at lunchtime.

Check your understanding:

  • What kind of birds enjoy stealing chips?
  • Can a pie be sweet or savoury, or both?
  •  Some people say that a Haggis is a wild animal found in Scotland. Is this true?
  • Where do pasties come from?
  • In the past, what kind of people ate full English breakfasts?
  • On which day do people often eat a roast dinner?

Post your answers in the comments below. Alternatively, you can book a one-to-one lesson with an Intrepid English teacher today to discuss this topic in more detail.

So, if you are still wondering if online English lessons are right for you, why not book a free trial lesson today and talk about your English goals with an experienced and friendly English teacher. It’s never too late to reach your English goals!

This blog was written by Intrepid English Teacher, Jo.

Find out more about Jo on her Intrepid English Teacher profile page.

If you have any questions, or you would like to request a topic for a future blog, you can contact us by using the chat box in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, or email us at Intrepid English.

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