28 Foods You Must Try Before Leaving: UK & Ireland Edition

Food. A magnificent part of any travel experience. Some of the best study abroad memories involve food in one way or another. So while you’re living in the UK & Ireland, I hope you spend some time tasting the foods that the locals love!

Allie (the Programme Officer) and I are big fans of foodventures, so we collaborated to create this list of foods you must try before leaving the UK & Ireland. In case you’re wondering, plenty of these foods can be made vegetarian and some can be made vegan! So there’s lots of options for all of us to explore. We hope you enjoy 😉

A Scottish veggie breakfast

1. Haggis, neeps & tatties

The traditional Scottish meal consisting of regular or veggie haggis served with mashed parsnips and potatoes. This is a special one because it’s famous and infamous at the same time!

2. Cornish pasty

Similar to an empanada, this is a pastry filled with meat, potatoes, swede and/or cheese.

3. Sticky toffee pudding

A sweet, warm caramel-flavoured cake covered in warm toffee sauce. The cake itself is actually made with lots of dates.

4. Full Scottish/English/Irish breakfast

The classic! This is a must-try no matter where you find yourself in the UK & Ireland. Each place puts its own special spin on it, so you get extra points if you try all three!

5. Fish & chips with mushy peas

Another classic that’s often found at chippie shops around town & enjoyed with a bit of vinegar.

6. Afternoon tea with wee sandwiches & desserts

Your tea intake will no doubt increase while you’re over here, so why not enjoy it in the fabulous, traditional way. This is usually way more filling than it sounds!

Tea with some very cute desserts

7. Colcannon

Creamy Irish mashed potatoes usually mixed with cabbage, kale and scallions.

8. Irn-Bru

The Scottish soft-drink that’s orange in color and tastes a bit like bubble gum.

9. Tikka Masala

Okay so this one’s a delicious Indian/Pakistani dish that’s usually made with either chicken or paneer (cheese), but it can be found in many places across Britain!

10. Bacon butty

This one’s a bacon roll/sandwich on bun-style bread, commonly eaten as a grab-n-go breakfast.

11. Chicken fillet roll

A common Irish take-away sandwich that can be found almost anywhere when you need a quick meal.

12. Fish, pork or macaroni pie

Savory pies are very popular over here, and you can try them with a variety of yummy fillings! These can be eaten as a take-away meal or served up for a hearty dinner.

13. Pie with mash & liquor

The savory pie of your choice topped with mash potatoes and a warm parsley sauce.

14. Welsh cakes

A smushed scone filled with dried fruit and coated with sugar, usually toasted and eaten with butter.

15. Barmbrack

The Irish fruitcake-like bread that’s filled with raisins. When served on Halloween, its filled with additional surprizes that tell your fortune based on what you find in your slice.

16. Crumpets with butter & jam

A crumpet is a sponge-like breakfast item made of fluffy dough – a delicious way to start the day!

Allie’s original British food checklist

17. Falafel wrap

This one’s a middle eastern classic, filled with fried chickpeas, hummus and spices, that’s incredibly popular in Britain and can be found in shops around most cities.

18. Irish Stew

A common meal made usually made with whatever’s available, often containing vegetables, meat and spices.

19. Scotch egg

A soft-boiled egg inside a layer of sausage and a breaded outer layer, eaten as a snack on the go.

20. Sausage roll

Sausage (or veggie sausage) wrapped in a puff pastry. Another popular breakfast or snack item.

21. Eggy soldiers

Strips of toast (the soldiers) dipped in a soft-boiled egg – a cute and yummy breakfast indeed.

22. Shepherd’s Pie

A pie filled with meat and veggies, topped with a mashed potato crust. This ultimate comfort food has already made its way to the US from the UK.

23. Soda bread from a local bakery

A delicious, fresh-baked brown bread that’s often served warm with butter or on the side of soup. Very popular in Ireland.

24. Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding

This dinner traditionally has a roast chicken or beef, but really any meat or vegetarian option would work. Served with a fluffy, savory roll made of pancake-style batter.

Fresh baked scones

25. Scone with jam & clotted cream

You can find fresh scones in plenty of the local coffee shops. Enjoying them with jam and cream makes them next-level delicious, and it’s how the Brits do it!

26. Eton mess

Crunchy meringue with whipped cream and summer berries, all mixed together to create quite a tasty mess.

27. Boxty

A traditional Irish potato pancake, often served with breakfast or supper.

28. Apple crumble

Sweet, stewed apples with crumbles on top, best when served warm!