British Food Traditions: 20 Great Eating Habits Of The UK

British Food Traditions

We people of Britain have some peculiar habits when it comes to food. At least, that’s how it probably seems to the rest of the world. But to us, they’re just tradition, and we’re ridiculously proud of them. Even if it has people wondering whether British food is the worst in the world 🤔

If you want to learn about British food traditions, then clearly, the British Grub Hub is the place to be.

Traditional British dishes are one thing, but right here we’re talking food traditions from Great Britain, like turkey at Christmas, chocolate eggs at Easter, and rolling down hills after cheese (seriously!)

So, without further ado, get ready for a bunch of British food traditions to marvel at, or more likely, reaffirm your beliefs that the best cuisine in the world is anything other than British.

Food Traditions In Britain 

Here’s those British food traditions you were wondering about:

Three Meals A Day

For most Brits, breakfast, lunch, followed by dinner (a.k.a ‘tea’ or ‘supper’) are the three meals each day which is ‘tradition’, unless of course you’re a Brit who’s prone to get peckish in between. Which is where brunch, afternoon tea and British snacks come in, naturally.

The Sunday Roast

As well as a typical British breakfast, lunch and dinner,  one of the ultimate food traditions in Britain is eating a classic Roast on a Sunday, and that’s just a fact.

Classic British Dishes 

The Sunday Roast is just one of the many classic British dishes. Other mouth-watering traditional meals from the UK include the Full English Breakfast, Fish & Chips, Pie & Mash and Shepherd’s Pie; not to mention traditional British delicacies like the Scotch egg and Pork Pie.


Great Britain is famous for its many traditional desserts, with it being tradition to enjoy dishes such as a classic apple crumble or sticky toffee pudding as the end to a meal. 

Valentine’s Day Dining 

It’s again just tradition in Britain, this time for the 14th day in February to creep up on 50% of a relationship. There’s nothing quite like the traditional last-minute panic over where to eat in the UK on Valentine’s Day. 😉

Pancake Day

Officially known by Christian observers as Shrove Tuesday, ‘Pancake Day’ is a key food tradition on the British food calendar, the day before Ash Wednesday each year.

Easter Food

Spring lamb, hot-cross buns and chocolate eggs are practically all that’s eaten at Easter time in Britain, if you follow tradition. Oh, and the odd tip of asparagus.

Summer BBQs

Another food tradition in Britain says that you must cook food on a BBQ as soon as you spot a glimmer of sun through the clouds.

Scary Snacks at Halloween

Nothing says scary like cakes with spider legs, jelly and ice cream with eyeballs, or chocolate eggs filled with snot.

Weird Food Names 

A further food related tradition in Blighty is the historic naming of our dishes in the weirdest ways possible. Spotted Dick and Toad in the hole are two examples of weird British food names that make it hard to believe that British cuisine is actually the best in the world.

Defending British Food

It’s no secret that most of the planet considers that British food is the worst in the world, so it’s pretty much a tradition for us Brits to stubbornly defend our cuisine by over-emphasising that modern British food is different. 😃

Eating Any Other Cuisine But British Food

As much as we Brits love our own cuisine, we also enjoy food from plenty of other countries around the world. So it’s practically now a tradition (and a tad ironic) that Britain actually eats more international food than its own. 😆

Supermarket Snobbery

The British food tradition that may well run longest into the future is the UK’s (perceived) supermarket hierarchy. Showing our reluctance at getting involved, here it is in alphabetical order for you to rearrange as you see fit:

  • Aldi
  • Asda
  • Co-op
  • Iceland
  • Lidl
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Morrison’s
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Tesco
  • Waitrose

Food on TV

It’s fair to say that shows like Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch, Great British Menu, Masterchef and obviously The Great British Bake Off mean that TV shows are a firmly fixed food tradition in the UK.


Britain loves a takeaway, or nowadays, a home delivery, especially at the weekend. Whether it’s Chinese, Indian, Italian, American, Fish & Chips or anything else, as long as we don’t have to cook on a Friday or Saturday night, we’re traditionally happy.


The traditions continue thick and, well, fast, when it comes to food in Blighty. We’re all about convenience in the UK, which you might say is proved by 100 million fast-food meals being served annually (as of 2017).

Eating Food In Pubs

As much as the restaurant scene in Britain is second to none, there’s nothing quite like the tradition of eating in a traditional British pub. As well as the traditional British ‘boozer’ that serves the UK’s classic dishes, modern British food is also a thing, meaning that nowadays there’s even pubs in Britain with Michelin stars.

Hangover Food

It’s well known that traditional British breakfast items are among the best in the world for helping a hangover, and the people of Britain made this a tradition long-ago. Whether it’s a bacon butty, sausage and egg sarnie, or the holy-grail of the Full English Breakfast, British food tradition means there’s a solution to getting sloshed at those British pubs we rave about.

Christmas Food Traditions in Britain

Everyone knows by now that the ultimate British food tradition is eating turkey at Christmas with ‘all the trimmings’ of a classic Roast Dinner, not to mention scoffing mince pies from 1st December and wolfing down Christmas pudding an hour before an evening spread.

New Year Food Traditions in the UK

While Britain in general doesn’t necessarily have many specific food traditions related to New Year,  Hogmanay is a Scottish event which is essentially the last day of the year, when it’s traditional to eat the classic dishes of Scotland, such as Haggis.

So that’s your menu of British food traditions. Which ones will you experience on your visit to Blighty…?

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