The Most Popular British Food (A Tasty Top 50!)

Most popular British food

Popularity of the UK’s cuisine hasn’t always reached the dizzying heights around the world that we at the home of British food fantasise about.

But at least we Brits know how good our grub is. In fact, it’s reported that 91% of us enjoy what’s typically known as traditional British cuisine.

Except, there’s just one question: what is the most popular British food?

The most popular British food is the Yorkshire Pudding, according to an official YouGov poll. And if you want to know what the three most popular British foods are, it’s Yorkshire Pudding with the gold medal, followed by the Sunday Roast in second place, with Fish & Chips in third.

Modern British food is also a thing of course, but Britain’s favourite food is apparently Yorkshire Pudding and a load of other traditional dishes and classic delicacies. Naturally, we’ve just got to go through the top 50…

The Top 50 Most Popular British Foods

Most popular British food

The thinking behind this YouGov poll is explained down below, but for now, let’s just take a look at this epic list of traditional British grub.

It’s official*. These are the top 50 most popular British foods:

1. Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire puddings

The holy grail of British cuisine. It’s official: Yorkshire pudding is a taste sensation! The best of the best British delicacies is the classic Yorkie, with 85% of Brits loving them.

2. Sunday Roast

Roast Dinner

The Sunday Roast takes the runner-up spot (or you could say joint-first place), being enjoyed in pubs and at homes across the UK every week. 

3. Fish and Chips 

Fish and Chips

Best enjoyed by the seaside, fish and chips holds off stiff competition and takes its place in the top three favourite dishes in the UK.

4. Victoria Sponge

Victoria sponge

Bringing a touch of class to this British food party is the Victoria sponge, or Victoria sandwich. Deservedly placed at number 4.

5. Crumpets

English crumpets with butter

Difficult to go wrong with the classic English crumpet and a cuppa Tea. 

6. Scones

Scones

‘Scone’ or ‘scon’? Jam first or cream? Who cares. Just get one down you with your Afternoon Tea, whatever you do.

7. Full English Breakfast 

Full English Breakfast

No poll of the most popular British grub would be right without the classic Fry Up.

8. Bacon Sandwich 

Bacon sandwich

Britain’s favourite quick breakfast and hangover cure, the bacon butty, sneaks in at number 8.

9. Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Not only the most decadent of the UK desserts, but sticky toffee pudding is also the nation’s favourite it seems.

10. Bangers and Mash 

Bangers and Mash

Bangers and mash is still a top rated meal among the British public, as you’d expect.

11. Bakewell Tart 

You might say the Bakewell tart puts the cherry on the top of this British food poll.

12. Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie

Despite the differences between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie, they’re both high up on the list of British foods we love.

13. Hot Cross Buns

Typically around for Easter mainly, although try stopping us the rest of the year. Hot cross buns are epic, but to toast or not to toast? 

14. Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie

Ahhh, Shepherd’s Pie… one of the stalwarts of British cuisine. A party in the mouth and a reliably tasty one at that. 

15. Eton Mess

Traditional British Desserts - Eton Mess

Eton mess… a quintessential British dessert. That is all.

16. Toad in the hole

Toad in the hole

One of the ultimate classic British dinners is toad in the hole. Highly underrated in our humble opinion. 

17. Trifle

Trifle

We struggle to think of a better crowd pleaser than the traditional British trifle. One of our retro dishes, but as popular as ever. 

18. Cauliflower Cheese 

Quite possibly Britain’s favourite Sunday Roast accompaniment after the Yorkshire Pud and roast spuds, cauliflower cheese is a worthy addition to the list.

19. Mince Pie

Only on the scene for about one month of the year, but we Brits still can’t get enough of the moreish mince pie.

20. Cornish Pasty 

Cornish Pasty

Another one of the regional British delicacies that’s loved across Blighty. The Cornish Pasty completes this top 20 most popular foods from the UK.

21. Jam Roly-Poly

We can’t help but reminisce over this classic dessert being served as part of a school dinner back in the day. With custard, obvs!

22. Pie and Mash

Pie and Mash

Whether eaten at home, in a restaurant, gastropub or a traditional East End shop, Pie and mash will always be a British food staple. 

23. Madeira Cake

While you might think this is a baked-good from Portugal, Madeira cake is actually a popular British treat. 

24. Chicken Tikka Masala 

Chicken tikka masala is not only a popular British food, but also one of the UK’s national dishes

25. Knicker-Bocker Glory

Knicker-bocker glory is retro on a whole different level. 

26. Ploughman’s Lunch 

What Is A Ploughman's Lunch?

Possibly the most basic but yet one of the best British lunches, The Ploughman’s Lunch remains a pub grub classic in the UK.

27. Bread and Butter Pudding

Bread and butter pudding might well be the ultimate retro British dish. 

28. Treacle Tart

It doesn’t get much sweeter than a British Treacle Tart. 

29. Welsh Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit: another one of the classic Welsh dishes that makes the cut.

30. Banoffee Pie

One of the most overlooked traditional British desserts if you ask us. Banoffee pie is incredible. 

31. Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak

The ultimate Boxing Day treat and a critical part of a proper traditional Full English Breakfast, bubble and squeak claims 31st.

32. Battenberg Cake

The garishly bright pink and yellow cake that is the Battenberg is still apparently wolfed down by some.

33. Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington is undoubtedly one of the UK’s ultimate dinner party showstoppers, so should surely command a higher spot than 33rd!

34. Spotted Dick

One of the proper retro British desserts, is Spotted Dick, albeit with the least appetising name.

35. Scotch Egg

British Delicacies - Scotch Egg

Quite possibly our favourite of what we call British delicacies. You can’t go wrong with a scotch egg.

36. Christmas Pudding

Still enjoyed by loads of Brits after their turkey Roast, even if they don’t enjoy it!

37. Lancashire Hotpot

Lancashire Hotpot

The regional wonder that’s still enjoyed throughout the UK, Lancashire hotpot will surely never go out of favour.

38. Eccles Cake

The sweet treat that is the Eccles cake only made it into the ‘low tier’ of YouGov’s results.

39. Pork Pie

Pork pie

This top-notch snack and picnic delight from Melton Mowbray is unsurprisingly included in this top 50. 

40. Welsh Cakes

Welsh Cakes

One of the best and most traditional foods from Wales

41. Steak and Kidney Pie

Another one of the traditional British pub meals, steak and kidney pie.

42. Steak and Kidney Pudding

What’s the difference between steak and kidney pudding and steak and kidney pie, you might wonder. Well steak and kidney pie is typically encased with shortcrust pastry, whereas steak and kidney pudding uses a suet pastry. 

43. Black Pudding

Black Pudding

Black pudding: one of the ultimate ‘love it or hate it’ British delicacies.

44. Kippers

The old-school breakfast dish of choice, kippers now sits amongst the less favourite UK dishes. 

45. Liver and Onion 

One of the classic British pub dishes, but liver and onion is another one of those acquired tastes.

46. Haggis

Haggis

It’s well known that Haggis is an acquired taste, but we still thought one of Britain’s national dishes would’ve been more popular to be honest.

47. Faggots 

Faggots: an oh-so tasty, but definitely one of the most underrated British delicacies.

48. Laverbread

Laverbread

One of the most traditional Welsh delicacies is Laverbread (a seaweed dish), albeit regional and less common.

49. Jellied Eels

Ok, jellied eels are an acquired taste. But they’re also a regional British food (originating in East London), so we’ll go with that as an excuse for their low ranking.

50. Deep Fried Mars Bar

Deep Fried Mars Bar

Finally, the deep fried Mars bar in 50th place. Not so popular, but an incredible British invention all the same.


*According to YouGov.


So, that’s our humongous list of the most popular British foods. If you’re interested, see below for how it was put together. If not, maybe just take a look at some popular places to eat in Blighty.

Britain’s Favourite Food – The Official Poll

The YouGov poll had the mission of finding out what the top-rated classic British foods are (in the opinion of the Great British public) and in case you hadn’t noticed, we’re just thrilled that they did.

In what we’re imagining to be the best ever episode of Family Fortunes, people were asked “In general, how much do you like or dislike each of the following foods?” The survey asked this about savoury dishes and then again for sweet dishes.

So, the contenders included all the big hitters, including some of the favourites mentioned above, like Shepherd’s Pie, Fish & Chips, Beans on Toast and Sticky Toffee Pudding. Ever reliable dishes such as the Ploughman’s Lunch, Cornish Pasty and Trifle were all involved too. Then not forgetting the unforgotten minnows, like Faggots, Jellied Eels and the trusty Battenberg cake.

YouGov ranked each dish based on the percentage of people who’d tried each dish and said that they liked it.

They used the following categories for ranking:

  • <50% – Crap tier 
  • 50-59% – Low tier 
  • 60-69% – Mid tier
  • 70-79% – Top tier 
  • 80+% – God tier

This official YouGov survey data from 2019 not only tells us what the UK’s favourite dish is, but what the top 50 classic British foods are.

Most Popular Savoury British Foods

Image courtesy of YouGov

As we said, the traditional Sunday Roast is practically joint-first place with Yorkshire pudding, with them usually being on the same plate (and with there being only 1% in it).

Fish and chips also secured a score of 84% enjoyment, of those people that’d tried it. 

The Full English Breakfast, bacon sarnies and crumpets weren’t far behind on 81%. 

All scoring a respectable 75-76% were bangers and mash, cottage pie and shepherd’s pie.

Of the foods languishing further down the list included one of the most traditional Welsh dishes, Laverbread, scoring just 20%, along with poor old jellied eels, with a measly 6%. 

YouGov’s tiered results for savoury British foods:

80+% – ‘God’ tier:

  • Sunday Roast 
  • Yorkshire pudding
  • Fish and chips 
  • Crumpets
  • Full English Breakfast 
  • Bacon sandwich 

70-79% – Top tier:

  • Shepherd’s Pie 
  • Cottage Pie 
  • Bangers and mash 

60-69% – Mid tier:

  • Welsh Rarebit 
  • Ploughman’s Lunch
  • Chicken tikka masala 
  • Pie and mash
  • Cornish pasty 
  • Cauliflower cheese 
  • Toad in the hole 

50-59% – Low tier:

  • Bubble and squeak 
  • Scotch egg
  • Beef Wellington 
  • Lancashire hotpot
  • Pork pie 
  • Steak and kidney pie

<50% – Crap tier:

  • Jellied eels
  • Laverbread 
  • Faggots 
  • Haggis
  • Liver and onion 
  • Kippers 
  • Black pudding 
  • Steak and kidney pudding

Most Popular Sweet British Foods

Image courtesy of YouGov

Arguably the best part of Afternoon Tea, it’s hardly surprising that scones topped the list of British foods when it came to the sweet stuff. We were just shocked that only 85% of people said they liked them.

Coming in just behind scones, was the great Victoria sponge, with still a huge 81%.

Other favourite desserts and sweet-treats are sticky toffee pudding (obviously), Eton mess and Bakewell tart. 

It seems that at the lower end of the table, classic British desserts were sometimes enjoyed more by a certain generation. 

For example, just a third of 18 – 24 year olds that have tried Christmas pudding actually enjoy it, whereas nearly three-quarters of the over 55s like it.

Maybe unsurprisingly, 62% of our elders are said to enjoy Spotted Dick, whereas just 37% of younger people can see past the name to like it.

It might be bottom of the pile with less than a third of people overall enjoying it, but the deep fried Mars bar is actually loved by the younger generation of Britain. Almost half of 18 – 24 year olds that have tried one, like the Scottish invention. 

YouGov’s tiered results for sweet British foods:

80+% – ‘God’ tier:

  • Scones
  • Victoria sponge

70-79% – Top tier 

  • Hot cross buns 
  • Sticky toffee pudding
  • Bakewell tart 
  • Eton mess 

60-69% – Mid tier

  • Banoffee pie 
  • Treacle tart
  • Bread and butter pudding 
  • Knicker-bocker glory 
  • Madeira cake
  • Jam Roly-poly
  • Mince pie
  • Trifle

50-59% – Low tier 

  • Welsh cakes
  • Eccles cake
  • Christmas pudding
  • Spotted Dick 
  • Battenberg cake

<50% – Crap tier

  • Deep fried Mars bar

Feel free to check out the full YouGov survey results.

In Summary 

It’s official, the most popular British foods include: 

  • Yorkshire Pudding
  • Sunday Roast
  • Fish and chips 
  • Crumpets 
  • Full English Breakfast 
  • Bacon sandwich 
  • Scones 
  • Victoria sponge

…and the least favourite British foods are: 

  • Jellied eels
  • Laverbread 
  • Faggots 
  • Haggis 
  • Liver and onion 
  • Kippers 
  • Black pudding 
  • Steak and kidney pudding 
  • Deep fried Mars bar

Aside from these results, everyone’s got their own views on what the best traditional British food is.

One thing’s for sure, if you want your say on the most popular British food, you just need to find yourself some awesome places to eat in Britain 😉

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