From the iconic fish and chips to the legendary Yorkshire pudding, the UK has plenty of tasty home-grown dishes to its name – but where in the country are they loved the most?
We wanted to find out if they really love Yorkshire puddings in Yorkshire, or if everyone really goes crazy for Cornish pasties in Cornwall. We trawled through a year’s worth of social media data to get a feel for what the locals are eating.
Here’s a round-up of the UK’s most popular foods, and where the locals can’t get enough of them.
Forget haggis, the humble sausage roll is the treasure of Scotland. Our research found the nation’s guilty pleasure is a big hit in seaside resort Ayr, north of Glasgow. In 2017, the UK’s longest sausage roll came to Scotland, highlighting just how serious the Scots are about eating the golden-baked treat. Take a trip up the coast to nearby family-run bakery The Kandy Bar where you’ll find sublime sausage rolls.
Total number of posts: 3,679*
Lerwick, Shetland Islands
Lerwick, on the Shetland Islands, gets a mention for much-loved British favourite – the beef Wellington. Duke Wellington might have given us the beef Wellington to remember him by, in honour of his victory at the Battle of Waterloo, but the Scots put their own spin on this indulgent dish, naming it the Scotch beef Wellington. Maybe it’s the tender Scottish beef that makes this dish so popular in Lerwick?
Total number of posts: 607*
Sheffield, South Yorkshire
It’s no secret Northerners love a chip butty, but the people of Sheffield have a special claim to this tasty delicacy – an entire song devoted to the chip-stuffed sandwich. The ‘Greasy Chip Butty Song’ is well-known among Sheffield United Fans, who sing it at matches to worship the city’s glorious chip butties (and Sheffield, in general). Whether it’s from a fish and chip shop or a local pub, you’re bound to wrap your hands around one that’s mouth-wateringly good in The Steel City.
Total number of posts: 937*
Fish and chips
An iconic British dish eaten since the 19th century, it goes without saying that fish and chips is a staple up and down the UK – but where is it eaten the most? Our findings point to Penzance on the Cornish coast as being the official fish and chip capital, and we can’t say we’re surprised. After all, it’s a well-known fact that fish and chips taste better by the sea. Take a trip to Fraser’s Fish & Chips where you’ll find perfectly cooked fish and chips just a pebble’s throw from the beach. Why not stay in Penzance on your self-catering cottage holiday?
Total number of posts: 18,931*
Britain’s love affair with curry is never-ending, and numbers of curry fans are particularly prominent in Luton, Bedfordshire. Our research revealed that the city’s inhabitants love to feast on this flavoursome dish. Interestingly, its neighbouring city, London, is said to contain more Indian restaurants than Mumbai and Delhi combined. If you’re ever in Luton, stop off for a curry at Stopsley Cuisine, which is renowned for its brilliant Indian cuisine and reasonable prices. Even better for authentic Pakistani and Kashmiri cuisine venture into the inner suburb of Bury Park for an endless selection of eateries.
Total number of posts: 51,407*
Though it’s served in tearooms all over the country, the cream tea is typically associated with the South West of England – and Penzance in Cornwall tops the list for cream teas. If you’re looking to indulge in a pot of tea served with scones and lashings of clotted cream and jam, this historic port is the place to head to. For the best cream tea in the county, visit The Elm Tree up the A30 in Penstraze where you can sip on exquisite tea while lapping up beautiful countryside views. Book a holiday cottage in West Cornwall to experience authentic local fare.
Total number of posts: 37,430*
York, North Yorkshire
York is, unsurprisingly, located in Yorkshire, and so it’s no shock the iconic Yorkshire pudding is a favourite in the city. Perhaps people are predisposed to be loyal to hometown grub? For the finest Yorkshire pudding you’ll ever taste, head to The Hole in the Wall, which has received glowing reviews for serving up the best baked batter in town.
Total number of posts: 5,272*
Boasting three heavenly layers of flavours and textures that ooze into one another, there’s so much to love about a trifle. And the people of Exeter, Devon, certainly agree. According to our research, this quintessential British dessert is most popular here. We reckon it’s the traditional Devonshire custard that makes them taste so delicious. Head to the Manor Inn where you’ll find amazing trifles guaranteed to make your mouth water.
Total number of posts: 1,370*
St Ives, Cornwall
Although there’s much debate about the origins of the Cornish pasty, it’s most strongly associated with Cornwall, so there’s no wonder that the people of St Ives have a natural fondness for them. In fact, this traditional Cornish delicacy has a protected geographical location – only a pasty made in Cornwall can be legally called a Cornish pasty. Originally given to miners in the 19th century as a mid-morning snack, the crimped crust was used to grip the pasty and thrown away after to prevent germs spreading from dirt-ridden hands. While you’ll be spoilt for choice for pasties in Cornwall, we’d highly recommend looking 60 minutes away at Falmouth’s Rowe’s Cornish Bakers, which is famed for baking some of the best Cornish pasties on the coast. Fancy a taste of a real Cornish pasty then head to St Ives for your next holiday cottage break.
Total number of posts: 16,865*
OK, it’s not traditionally ‘British’, but it’s practically a regular in the UK’s diet these past few years. The avocado is thought to have originated from South Central Mexico where people have enjoyed an appetite for avocado for many years. As they do in Dover, in Kent, according to our research. Whether it’s smashed on toast or blitzed into guacamole, one thing’s for sure – the people of Dover can’t get enough of the versatile green fruit. In fact, Brits, in general, are rather obsessed. Our research revealed that it is the most Instagrammed food in the UK!
Total number of posts: 38,754*
While our social data came with a few surprises, it seems that most cities are proud of their traditions and favour their home-made local dishes the most. If you’re looking for more foodie inspiration, check out our Cornwall Food and Drink Guide.
Data was sourced by analysing a year’s worth of social media conversations for popular UK foods using social media listening tool Crimson Hexagon. We pulled the top 10 locations for posts mentioning those foods, normalising them per million people.
*Posts per million people