What is gastro pub food?


Dylan Mitchell

The great British gastro pub is a contemporary take on the traditional pub experience. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned gastro-pub diner, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the gastronomic delights on the menu. Gastro pubs have transformed the British dining scene with modern takes on British classics. You will find dishes deeply rooted in British culture with a modern twist that tantalises your taste buds.

Here at tastecard, we are big fans of gastro pubs. With both Beefeater and Brewer’s Fayre on our menu, as well as independent pubs, tastecard holders across the UK have access to some of the best British gastro-pub food in the country. But what is gastro pub food and what should you order? Let’s open the door to British gastro pubs and find out about some of the great meals and deals waiting for you.

What is a Gastro Pub?

The term ‘gastro pub’ might be relatively new in British dining, but its impact is undeniable. Born from a desire to blend the relaxed, sociable atmosphere of your local pub with the refined culinary experience of high-end restaurants, gastro pubs have redefined ‘pub-grub’ in the UK.

Gastro pubs maintain the charm and character of traditional pubs with rustic wooden tables, a friendly bar, and a warm welcome, but the food is on a higher level than an old-school pub hot-pot and ploughman’s lunches. The focus here is on the quality of ingredients and culinary innovation, turning a casual drink and a meal into a special dining experience.

What is Gastro Pub Food?

Gastro-pub food is where the heartiness of traditional British cuisine meets the finesse of modern cooking. It is an exciting style of food where chefs experiment with the best classic British foods and give them a contemporary twist. Your plate might feature a traditional shepherd’s pie,  with an edge that elevates it from the familiar to the sublime. 

Ingredients are often locally sourced, supporting regional producers and ensuring freshness. Gastro pub menus often change with the seasons too, offering you variety and comforting classics. Whether it is a tender, slow-cooked beef stew in winter or a light, vibrant seafood salad in the summer, gastro-pub food is about celebrating British produce and culinary creativity, making each meal a delightful surprise waiting on your doorstep.

Top Dishes at Gastro Pubs.

Starters and Lite Bites.

Even if you only have a lunch break to spare, or want a quick pit stop during some retail therapy, gastro pubs have something on the menu for you. Starters and small, lite bite dishes are perfect for casual, spur-of-the-moment dining.

At Beefeater, tastecard holders can get 25% off their total bill from Sunday to Thursday and enjoy a calamari or classic prawn cocktail for lunch, or get stuck into a Beefeater Cobb Salad topped with a choice of chicken, Halloumi, or a vegan-friendly chicken style fillet. These simple, fresh dishes are perfect for a quick bite and pint!

The Main Event at Gastro Pubs.

As we move on to the main courses, you are in for a treat that celebrates the rich history of British cuisine. No one cooks beef quite like the British and at gastro pubs you can usually find a celebration of steak. Grills are popular at gastro pubs, and a traditional mixed grill is an opportunity to show off the finest British meats accompanied by contemporary condiments.

Brewer’s Fayre gives tastecard holders a choice of steaks from the grill, with 25% off their total bill. There is also a glorious mixed grill with a steak, sausages, half a chicken breast, and half a gammon steak with all mixed grill trimmings. These dishes are hearty, satisfying, and steeped in tradition. The main courses are the main event at a gastro pub, and it is where they truly shine, showcasing the best of British produce.

Desserts and After-Dinner Delights.

No gastro pub visit is complete without indulging in the sweet finale – the desserts. Here, you will find classic British puddings reimagined. These desserts are home-style comfort in a bowl, a delightfully nostalgic end to your meal.

Whether you like a warm, gooey sticky toffee pudding, drenched in a rich toffee sauce, or you want to indulge in some ice cream with a knickerbocker glory, Brewer’s Fayre has tastecarders covered. Beefeater fans can find fresh apple pies, chocolate brownies, or the ultimate gastro-pub dessert - a Biscoff sundae. All these dishes are a sweet end to a gastro pub meal, and 25% off the total bill for tastecard holders makes it even sweeter.

Images sourced directly from partners and/or their Instagram accounts. All restaurants available on tastecard at the time of publishing.

Start saving with tastecard.

With your tastecard in hand, you're not just stepping out for a meal; you're embarking on a culinary adventure that promises both comfort and discovery. Gastro pubs offer a unique blend of traditional charm and modern culinary innovation, making every visit a memorable experience. So why wait? Grab your tastecard, gather your friends or family, and set off to uncover the hidden gems of British gastro-pub cuisine.

Whether it's a casual lunch, a hearty dinner, or a special occasion, there's always something new and exciting to discover at your local gastro pub. Join the tastecard community today and start enjoying the best of British dining at unbeatable value. Your next delicious meal and delightful experience are just around the corner!