Eating economically and enjoyably in the UK

by Viv Quarry (


Most of the blue hyperlinks will show a photo of this type of food.



These can be bought in most supermarkets and department stores. These range from more expensive pre-prepared sandwiches to snack foods like:


Scotch eggs (a boiled egg cooked in sausagemeat)

beef/chicken pies (not very tasty eaten cold)

pork pies (minced pork in a pie - a good cold snack, but best eaten with bread and mustard)

Cornish pasties (see below).


Cornish pasty snackbars

These fast food joints sell a variety of hot cornish pasties (meat and vegetables in a pastry 'pocket'). These are a delicious snack which isn't very expensive (try the 'traditional' pasty before the exotic variations).


Fish and chip shops

Filling food at a good price. Most fish 'n' chip shops (known as 'chippies') serve both fish and chips in three sizes (large, medium and small). Only choose the large size if you are VERY HUNGRY! Medium or small is usually enough food for lunch. You'll see various options in most chip shops (cod, haddock, plaice or other types of fish - use a dictionary to check the translation of these fish). The first time you go into a fish and chip shop, I recommend saying "One medium cod and chips, please." You may have to wait while the food is cooked in front of you. As the attendant is wrapping the food, they will usually ask "Salt and vinegar?". If you would like them to add salt and vinegar to the chips, just say "Yes, please". If you are taking the fish and chips home to eat it there, say "No, thanks".

After experimenting with the different types of fish and chips, why not try: Saveloy sausage and chips, Steak and kidney or steak and mushroom pie and chips or other alternatives available on the price list. English people will sometimes eat their fish and chips accompanied by 'curry sauce' (spicy Indian sauce) or 'mushy peas' (peas cooked for a long time).


Pub meals

The next cheapest way and most comfortable way to eat out in the UK is to have a pub meal. Most pubs serve food at lunchtime or in the evenings, but some have an all-day menu.


Here are some traditional pub meals:


Ploughman's* lunch = fresh bread and butter, with a big piece of tasty cheese and salad

Scampi = prawns in mayonaise

Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding

Roast chicken/lamb/pork

Lancashire hotpot = stewed lamb, carrots and onions cooked in the oven under sliced potatoes

Shepherd's pie = minced beef and onions cooked in the oven under mashed potatoes.

Toad in the hole = sausages cooked in the oven in batter

Faggots = meat balls

Steak and kidney or steak and mushroom pudding = meat steamed in a fluffy pastry

Stew = meat and vegetables boiled together


Served with vegetables or rice. Potatoes are the staple food in UK and may be served






or as chips


For more information on British food see this site.

For Portuguese speakers, there is a comprehensive list of fruit and vegetables at these links.


* Pronunciation guide

ploughman's /PLAU MUNZ/

pasties /PAS TIZ/

Yorkshire /YORK SHUH/

Lancashire /LAN KUH SHUH/

shepherd's /SHE PUDZ/

toad /TOWD/

stew /STCHOO/