Culture Guides

Best classic British foods.


Dylan Mitchell

It used to be the case that British food was mocked by our continental cousins, wasn't it? We were forever being told by our counterparts across the channel that we, the Brits, didn’t have a national cuisine unless you considered the much-derided fish and chips to be THE quintessential Anglo-Saxon menu choice. 

Much has changed, thankfully, and here at tastecard towers we are proud custodians of our nation’s taste buds and cannot imagine a problem with fish and chips so we thought it was high time to have a look at a rundown of just what are the best classic British foods.

The roast dinner.

Let’s hear it for the Sunday classic, a roast dinner with all the trimmings! The UK has a love affair with this supremely satisfying dish, and we can see why. An intoxicating yet plate-challenging combo of roasted meat, potatoes - in various ways if you’re anything like team ‘taste’ - vegetables (al-dente, unless you’re Susan from finance who likes mushy peas with every meal) and Yorkshire pudding is the perfect way to end the weekend. 

For a great British roast, we can often be found frequenting the Bird's Nest Pub in south east London. Not only is it a great gastropub, but one of the last live music venues in this part of London, so you don’t need to sing for your supper because someone more talented can, and the roasts here are legendary. 

What is a gastropub we hear you asking? Well, it’s a pub offering high-quality foods and a great selection of traditional ales. The furniture and surroundings might have a slightly more up-market feel and yet you should still get the sense you are in a classic British hostelry. The Bird's Nest Pub is an archetypal gastro pub and If you head to this established watering hole on a Sunday evening you are sure of a warm welcome, a little entertainment, and an excellent roast with all the trimmings. 

Don’t forget to mention to your server that you’ll be using your tastecard restaurant discount card and you’ll get 2 for 1 on all your food - a real steal for this exceptional quality of hearty British fare. You’ll find this lovely local establishment at 32 Deptford Church Street, SE8 4RZ. 

The full English breakfast.

You just can’t beat a full English. With its button-busting combination of eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, and fried bread, it’s a breakfast fit for kings! But have you ever wondered why we love this meal so very much and why it forms such an intrinsic part of our national identity? Here at tastecard, we consider ourselves absolute aficionados of classic British fodder so we’re here to unlock the answers to all your culinary questions. Let’s go!

It all started with our working-class communities of the Industrial Revolution. In the factories and mines, the stretched labour force needed a substantial meal to fuel their highly physical job roles. This meant that a substantial breakfast spread, providing a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates was required to sustain them throughout the day. Enter stage left the full English. 

Happily, national working practices have moved on a little since the nineteenth century and the full English breakfast is no longer the preserve of only the working class. We’re no snobs at tastecard and the full English we encountered at Billy Jean's Café in Holywell had to be seen (and eaten!) to be believed. There are so many breakfast options at this classic Welsh cafe you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Billy Jeans is a family-run eatery which has been a local institution in this part of North Wales for 40 years. Newly owned by Rob and Brioni (R&B), their aim is to keep the legend that is Billy Jean’s cafe alive, kicking and offering up magnificent breakfasts into its next chapter. Because Billy Jean's is such a well-loved spot the new owners are not only retaining but increasing the breakfast options on their menu - offering plentiful vegan and vegetarian options. But don’t worry, the full English remains centre stage and you can load your plate with up to fourteen breakfast items. 

You’ll find this cute and welcoming cafe at 2 The Haven Garage, The Nant, Holywell, CH8 8BD but be sure to mention your tastecard as you place your order and you can then be assured of not only a heaving plate but also 25% off your total bill. 

Fish & chips.

When thinking about what are traditional British foods we have to return to base. We said it at the start and we’ll say it again because it is ignored at the peril of all our hungry British bellies; fish and chips is the national dish we should be most proud of. Indeed, according to a survey in 2023, 61% of us think that the classic British feast of fish and chips is what we should ALL be most delighted with when thinking about British ‘institutions’. This dish was front runner ahead of Buckingham Palace and Wimbledon. Who are we to argue?

The best fish and chips we have ever wrapped our mouths around was eaten in Beefeater, Newport when we were out and about on our travels. Served with triple-cooked chips,

tartare sauce and mushy peas this absolutely heaving plate stole our hearts and our taste buds. At all Beefeater restaurants, you can use your tastecard to get 25% off your total bill between Sunday and Thursday but you’ll need to remind your waiter or waitress before you make your order. Trust us, it’s worth it. The fish is delectable and the chips are ‘chef’s kiss’!

tastecard is a British Institution

When we think about the best classic British foods, it’s important to remember that tastecard itself is a classic British food partner. We don’t serve you the food; we let other far more capable folk do that, but we do bring you the very best in classic British money-saving ideas and if that’s not to be celebrated then we don’t know what is! So, what are you waiting for? Join tastecard today!