From pie shops in London's East End to the haute cuisine of some of the UK's top chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Gary Rhodes, English restaurants cover a rainbow of cuisine.
The English have long had a reputation for cherry picking cuisine from around the world and making it their own. Dishes like, Lasagne, Spaghetti Bolognese and Chicken Tikka Masala all regularly feature in the diet of English people, but you won't find anything like that on the menu at a true English restaurant.
As with many other global cuisines, the English cuisine of today draws on the cultural influences of the past, but this has always been the case. Even Anglo-Saxon food enjoyed in England in between 410 AD and 1066AD benefited from influences from the Bronze-age Celts, Ancient Romans, and the Scandinavians. Later the conquering Normans brought recipes from Arabia and even the Crusades influenced the English cuisine of today as it encouraged the English to use more spices like ginger and pepper.
If all that has whetted your appetite for a taste of English cuisine, see what English restaurants have to offer by checking out the sections below.
English Restaurants - Flavours to Savour
If you want an idea of what you'll find on the menu at an English restaurant think English Sunday Roast, with its basis of roast meat and two portions of vegetables. Many gourmet English restaurants have a menu that offers “a new twist on old classics”, so expect to see updated versions of Lancashire Hot Pot, Sheperd's Pie and of course the Sunday roast. Also keep an eye out for some typically English desserts revamped for the 21st century including Jam Roly Poly, Spotted Dick, Bread & Butter Pudding and Sticky Toffee Pudding.
English Restaurants - First Visit Food
Well if it's your first visit to England and you're hoping to try some typically English cuisine you may find it difficult to find an English restaurant amidst all the Chinese restaurants, Indian Restaurants, fast food restaurants and other restaurants offering global cuisine found in most city centres. However if you look close enough you can enjoy a whole day of English cuisine at the range of English restaurants across the country.
To start your day with in a traditional English way, you'll need to head to an English café for a full English breakfast. If this is something you'd like to try make sure you wake up hungry as the traditional English breakfast consists of sausages, bacon, eggs, baked beans, black pudding and toast, accompanied by a pot of tea.
Then for lunch you should head to a Fish 'n' Chip shop for a portion of battered fish and deep fried chips which has been part of English cuisine since the 1800s, with the first Fish & Chip shop believed to have opened in London in 1860. Alternatively, for something lighter you can go for a sandwich, invented by the 4th Earl of Sandwich in 1762. British favourites include tuna and cucumber sandwiches, Egg and cress sandwiches, and cheese sandwiches.
In the evening, why not head to a gastropub or local English restaurant for some English favourites, like a Lamb Roast or some Toad in the Hole.
Get a Feel For English Cuisine
English restaurants are diverse and so the décor and ambience will vary considerably from venue to venue. When searching for an English restaurant in the UK you could end up eating fish & chips out of paper on the street or dining in a Michelin starred establishment, the choice is yours.
Find English Food in the UK
You'd think that finding English restaurants in England would be a simple matter but because the English enjoy global cuisine, the task may be harder than you first expect. Probably the best way to find an English restaurant in the UK is to check out our listings pages which includes gourmet English restaurants, pie shops, fish and chip shops and English cafés too.
Things to look out for at English restaurants in the UK
Despite all the negative comments about English cuisine, fourteen of the countries restaurants featured in the 'Top 50 restaurants', voted for by chefs around the world. Many of the restaurants chosen serve English cuisine, so if you get the chance why not stop by a few and taste some of the best cuisine in the world. These restaurants include:
• The Fat Duck, Berks SL6 2AQ
• Gordon Ramsay, London SW3 4HP
• The Ivy, London WC2H 9NQ
• St John, London EC1M 4AY
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