With the arrival of home delivery services like Deliveroo and Uber Eats, if you live in a big city at least, pretty much any type of food is only a phone call away. Whether you fancy sushi, spaghetti or shepherd’s pie, there’s probably a restaurant nearby that’s ready to make it and someone on a bike ready to deliver it.  While home cooking is still the cheapest and healthiest option, increasing numbers of people want a convenient alternative.


UK supermarkets are now in competition with restaurants to satisfy this massive demand for takeaway food. If you look along the shelves of any large British supermarket, you’ll see a huge range of restaurant-style meals that are packaged and ready  to go. These include everything from pizzas to curry and even complete roast dinners. Most of these meals are full of additives, high in fat and salt, and far less healthy than food cooked from scratch. But… a few minutes in the microwave at home and, voilà, dinner is served.


The increasing popularity of takeaway food isn’t just about lazy British people wanting to eat dinner in their pyjamas while watching Netflix. Eating out can be relatively expensive in the UK, while getting a takeaway avoids some of the extra costs like drinks and service. So, like it or not, takeaway food is a big deal in the UK. Here are five of the most popular British takeaways. 

1 Curry   

The most British of takeaways is undoubtedly a curry. Each person orders a portion of rice, a curry, and some side orders, such as onion bhajis or naan bread. The curries will vary in spiciness from mild to extremely hot. Be warned, a vindaloo can be so hot it makes you cry...or worse.

2 Fish and Chips

This is the most traditional, but no longer the most popular, British takeaway. The fish (usually cod or haddock) is cooked in batter and served with thick chips. Plenty of salt and vinegar is a must! Fish and chips used to be wrapped in newspaper to keep them warm on the way home, but nowadays cardboard boxes are more common.

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3 Chinese

British-style ‘Chinese’ takeaway food is extremely popular but pretty different from the food people actually eat in China. Chinese restaurants normally offer a large selection of dishes to choose from and each dish is numbered to make ordering easier. Unusual side orders like seaweed are fun to try. Wooden chopsticks will probably be provided.

4 The Kebab

This Middle-Eastern fast food has a valued place in British takeaway culture. The kebab, often abbreviated to ‘bab’, is a flatbread wrap containing slices of meat, different salads, and as much spicy sauce as the stomach can manage. Students often finish off a night of heavy drinking with a ‘bab’ bought from a ‘bab van’ and consumed in the street.

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5 Pizza

Most British takeaway pizza has very little in common with authentic Italian pizza. The crust of a British pizza may be strangely soft and thick; in extreme cases it will have been filled with cheese. You may be offered surprising toppings like barbecued beef or pineapple. We can only apologise for this.