England: The 10 best places to eat traditional British food in the UK


This humble dish is elevated to an art form at an unprepossessing fourth generation family-run chippie in the North Yorkshire town Haxby, eight kilometres north of the city of York. With lightly battered soft and flaky haddock and cod that tastes fresh from the ocean, crisp, crunchy, chunky-cut chips, home-made tartare sauce and sweet mushy peas, it's little wonder Millers Fish & Chips was voted the 2018 winner of the National Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Awards. And there's more … All their fish is certified sustainably wild-caught, potatoes are sourced locally, and there are gluten-free and halal versions available too. Prices aren't bad either, with cod and chips at £6.70 and haddock and chips at £6.30. See millersfish.co.uk


HK9M98 Chicken tikka masala spicy curry meat food in cast iron pot with rice and fresh naan bread on wooden background str15-trav10britfood

Chicken tikka masala. Photo: Alamy

Nominated Britain's most popular dish, it's believed to have been invented in Britain by a Bangladeshi chef who added the masala sauce to the typical Indian chicken tikka to satisfy the locals' fondness for having their meat in gravy. Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook declared it the country's favourite in 2001. One of the best served in Britain is in London's East End: the multi-award-winning "Queen of Curry Houses" Sheba, at 136 Brick Lane. This no-frills eatery has been grilling boneless pieces of chicken over charcoal and then cooking them in tomato gravy with butter, cream and home-made spices for 44 years now, so you're in excellent hands. Today's price is £11.95. See shebabricklane.com


FB7P5C Traditional British pudding of Spotted Dick and custard - studio shot with a black background str15-trav10britfood

Traditional British pudding of Spotted Dick and custard. Photo: Alamy

Brits spend entire childhoods smirking at the name of this currant suet pudding (thought to have derived from the old English "puddick'') but that could soon become a thing of the past if party pooper pollies have their evil way. At the 19th-century Strangers' Dining Room in the Houses of Parliament, it's been renamed Spotted Richard. But it will always be Spotted Dick at the traditional British restaurant Panteli's, close to Canterbury Cathedral. For lunch or afternoon tea, it offers a nice, light version – very different to the stodgy ones of the past – served with a good dollop of creamy custard for only £3.60. See panteli.biz



It's said Britain was founded on the quality of its roast beef, and that's the reasoning behind the old French slang for the English, "les rosbifs". But you just can't eat slices without an accompanying Yorkshire pudding, a puffy delectation made from flour, salt, eggs and milk and baked in the oven, the bigger the better. In the heart of Yorkshire is traditional historic British pub the Hole in the Wall in York, that serves up a giant pud with its roast beef, horseradish sauce, potatoes, vegetables and gravy for £9.50. What better surroundings, with a selection of real ales or a good glass of red, to enjoy it? See holeinthewallyork.co.uk


Naturally, you have to travel "Oop North" for the best, and quite possibly it's the steaming serve of tender lamb and traditional seasonal vegetables topped with a layer of sliced potatoes, served with red cabbage at Annies Restaurant & Tea Shop in Manchester, which used to be in Lancashire. It's a hearty dish for £13.95 but what makes it feel even more authentically local is the fact that the restaurant is owned by actor Jennie McAlpine, one of the stars of that beloved British TV institution Coronation Street. She started in 2001 playing troubled teen Fiz Brown, and that probably accounts for the Rover's Return-type welcome from the friendly wait staff. See anniesmanchester.co.uk


This favourite, with its origins traced back to an old English cookbook in 1899, has been enjoying something of a revival in recent years, with Harry Potter declaring it his favourite food for Hogwarts' feasts and introducing it to a whole new generation of children. With a shortcrust base and a sticky filling of treacle, lemon juice and breadcrumbs, it's usually served with cream, custard or ice-cream. For the ultimate posh serve, check out Michelin-starred the Goring near Buckingham Palace, which holds the royal warrant from the Queen, with its hotel the last stop for Kate Middleton before she became the Duchess of Cambridge on her marriage to Prince William. There it's served with a natural yoghurt sorbet and fresh vanilla. If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it. See thegoring.com


You can't get more Cockney than this – a beef steak pie, served with creamy mashed potato and a parsley sauce, traditionally made with stewed eel broth. Since 1890, the Goddard's Pie business has been supplying this hand-made dish, in its early days to manual workers after a cheap lunch and now to a rather more well-heeled crowd. The pie shop, now operated by the fourth generation of the same family, is still in its original site in Deptford High Street, south-east London, with another branch opened at Greenwich in 1952. A more recent development is online orders – and 10 pies will cost just £29.50. See pieshop.co.uk


There aren't many dishes that have a famous poem written about them, but haggis is one. In Scotland's national poet Robert Burns' 1787 Address to a Haggis, he declares, "Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!". Traditionally, it was a savoury food served in a sheep's stomach and made of sheep's heart, lungs and liver minced with oatmeal, onion, suet and spices. A more modern version is served as a starter at the Michelin-awarded Glaswegian restaurant Stravaigin, along with neeps (turnips) and maris piper mash (potatoes) with a whisky sauce and sage crisps for £7.25. And for the more faint-hearted, which might include the third of American visitors to Scotland who were found to believe that a haggis is an animal, there's even a vegetarian version for £6.95. See stravaigin.co.uk


BJPGDF Bubble and squeak (Cabbage and potato dish, UK). Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown. str15-trav10britfood

Bubble and squeak (cabbage and potato). Photo: Alamy

This is a traditional British breakfast of leftover vegetables from the night before, mashed together, seasoned, pan-fried and transformed into a classic. With the cabbage bubbling and squeaking during the cooking, the dish itself has enjoyed something of a retro renaissance. It's a staple of the menu at Maria's Market Cafe at London's Borough Market in Southwark, with Maria Moruzzi's version acclaimed by no less than Jamie Oliver. Maria's serves it with either egg, bacon and beans on a plate on a plastic tablecloth or in a bap, either for a bargain £5. See boroughmarket.org.uk/traders/maria-s-market-cafe


E8FC9B Picture of a Cornish pasties / pasty in the display of a pasty shop. Mevagissey, Cornwall. UK.. Image shot 2014. Exact date unknown. str15-trav10britfood

Cornish pasties in Cornwall, UK. Photo: Alamy

Britain's Cornish Pasty Association – yes, there is one – lays down strict rules about what constitutes an authentic Cornish pasty. It has to be made of no less than 12.5 per cent of diced or minced beef, and no less than 25 per cent of potato, swede and onion, and then slowly baked. One chain of eateries, across Cornwall of course, getting this consistently right is the Cornish Bakery, which scores regular wins in the annual World Pasty Championships. Its flagship of "Cornwall Cool' is its first bakery in the pretty old boat-building village of Mevagissey, eight kilometres south of St Austell. But it does break the rules, with other pasties of beef and stilton; bacon, leek and cheese; and pork, apple and Cornish cider. See thecornishbakery.com

Sue Williams travelled at her own expense.