The UK has so much to offer when it comes to a fun-filled weekend away, but how does it compete on the food front? Although British food staples haven’t exactly been the biggest draw for tourists, times are changing, and the UK’s food scene is fast becoming one of the best places for foodies to visit. From the freshest seafood in Brighton and Scottish delights in Edinburgh to fine dining in London and quaint little cafes in Oxford. There are plenty of options to choose from for foodies in some of the UK’s most well-known cities.
So, you no longer need to trip all the way to Naples for incredible pizza, to Seville for some tasty tapas or to Japan for delicious sushi – now it is all right here on your front door. We’ve done our research and found that Britain has its own endless list of gastronomic hotspots that will delight the most avid of foodies. So, get ready to loosen your belt another notch as you delve into the top 10 best foodie cities in the UK 2021!
THE UK’s BEST FOODIE DESTINATIONS:
Edinburgh is the charming Scottish capital that never fails to attract countless foodie fans to its cobbled streets. Home to all kinds of traditional cuisines – most notable is its haggis, cullen skink and cranachan. While there are plenty of restaurant to try some of these Scottish delicacies, Edinburgh has also massively upped their game when it comes to other cuisines too.
Edinburgh has developed a thriving restaurant scene that stretches from cheap and cheerful all the way to Michelin starred fine dining. The choices for foodies in Edinburgh are endless, with plenty of quality independent food and drink venues to try out. While Edinburgh clearly isn’t the most central or easy to get to destination, it is obvious that die-hard foodies are willing to travel the distance to try some of this city’s mouth-watering menus. Take a look at some of Edinburgh’s best foodie hotspots below.
EDINBURGH FOODIE HIGHLIGHTS:
- Best for Breakfast: Em’s Kitchen
- Best Asian Food: Harajuku Kitchen
- Best Italian Food: Contini
- Best Fast Food: Dirty
- Best Cheap Eats: Los Cardos
- Best Healthy Eats: The Pantry
- Best Fine-Dining: The Table
When you think of seaside destinations, the food that first comes to mind tends to be soggy fish and chips, sweets of pure sugar and the occasional oil-soaked doughnut. However, those days are long gone, especially in the foodie destination of Brighton. Today, Brighton has an increasingly sophisticated selection of restaurants that far outshines other British seaside towns.
Many of Brighton’s up-and-coming foodie hotspots emphasise locally sourced ingredients, with many serving the freshest seafood around. And, there’s plenty of variety too – they don’t just stop at seafood. Choose from charming Italian joints serving filling bowls of pasta, or a fragrant sushi bar that transports you to Tokyo, or a quant little cafe serving healthy bites and scrumptious baked goods. Brighton is no longer just a family day out at the seaside – it has firmly planted itself as one of the best foodie cities in the UK. Take a look at some of our top Brighton foodie spots below.
BRIGHTON FOODIE HIGHLIGHTS:
- Best for Breakfast: Compass Point Eatery
- Best Asian Food: Tropical Sushi
- Best Italian Food: Dinatello
- Best Fast Food: Burger Brothers
- Best Cheap Eats: Goemon Ramen Bar
- Best Healthy Eats: Baked
- Best Fine-Dining: Etch
While this medieval city has always had plenty to offer history buffs, it hasn’t always been the first destination that comes to mind for food. However, a foodie revolution has been taking place in York, resulting in so much choice for anyone food-lovers. From rustic restaurants, tucked down higgledy-piggledy streets to trendy street food spots at the famous Shambles Market.
York’s food scene is now vibrant and refreshing, with many brand new restaurants thanks to a crop of young, hip chefs putting the city in the food spotlight. Despite being new and trendy, these modern foodie venues still reassuringly maintain their distinctive Yorkshire identity to provide a foodie experience like no other you will find in the UK and beyond. Find our top picks of the best foodie hotspots in York below.
YORK FOODIE HIGHLIGHTS:
- Best for Breakfast: Robinson’s Cafe
- Best Asian Food: Khao San Road
- Best Italian Food: Little Italy
- Best Fast Food: The Taylor Made Kitchen
- Best Cheap Eats: Los Moros
- Best Healthy Eats: Source
- Best Fine-Dining: Roots
Those searching for their next destination for a foodie getaway in the UK should definitely consider Oxford, one of the south east’s prettiest cities. Many of the best things to do in Oxford are centred around food and so it certainly makes one of the best foodie destinations in Britain to visit.
Whatever your culinary style or preference, there is sure to be a foodie delight for you in the city of Oxford. The city’s food scene has improved drastically over recent years, opening up to a whole host of bright and vibrant restaurants, cosy pubs and stand-out independents serving up authentic cuisine from all over the world. There are plenty of foodie venues where you can get the quintessential Oxford experience, but there are now so many amazing lesser-known gems that shouldn’t be missed. Take some inspiration from our top picks of the best foodie spots in Oxford below.
OXFORD FOODIE HIGHLIGHTS:
- Best for Breakfast: Turl Street Kitchen
- Best Asian Food: Taste Tibet
- Best Italian Food: La Cucina
- Best Fast Food: The Souvlaki Brothers
- Best Cheap Eats: Za’atar Bake
- Best Healthy Eats: Spring Greens Cafe
- Best Fine-Dining: Parsonage Grill
Glasgow probably isn’t the first UK city that comes to mind when thinking of the best food but those long-established tales of deep-fried Mars Bars have largely dissolved into urban legend. Today, the Scottish city is truly bursting at its culinary seams with award-winning restaurants and young chefs trying out innovative new cuisines to suit every foodie’s taste and budget.
With something for everyone, Glasgow’s best foodie hotspots are a fantastic blend of global influences. The city centre boasts some of the best national chains, while smaller independent restaurants and cafes are given the freedom to flourish in this welcoming foodie city. Meanwhile, you won’t be stuck for those special occasions, with a load of old-school fine dining options. Browse the best foodie hotspots in Glasgow below.
Glasgow Foodie Highlights:
- Best for Breakfast: Wilson Street Pantry
- Best Asian Food: Bibimpap
- Best Italian Food: Amarone
- Best Fast Food: Dennistoun Bar B Que
- Best Cheap Eats: Scran
- Best Healthy Eats: Juice Garden
- Best Fine-Dining: Bo & Birdy
Bath used to be that place where, if you wanted to eat well, you would be spending a lot. Suffering from a serious lack of decent, affordable places to eat, Bath certainly wasn’t what you would call a “foodie destination”. However, the city has undergone a true foodie transformation, allowing it to be well deserving of a place on this list of the best foodie cities in the UK.
Today, Bath’s exceptional food and drink scene has given the city a reputation as a delicious destination for a foodie weekend break. Take your pick from fancy Michelin-starred restaurants, cosy gastro pubs, quaint little cafes, lively bars and welcoming artisans. Explore our selection of top foodie venues in Bath below.
Bath Foodie Highlights:
- Best for Breakfast: Cascara
- Best Asian Food: Yak Yeti Yak
- Best Italian Food: Sotto Sotto
- Best Fast Food: Chaiwalla
- Best Cheap Eats: JC’s Kitchen
- Best Healthy Eats: The Green Rocket Cafe
- Best Fine-Dining: The Olive Tree
As one of Britain’s largest and most thriving cities, Manchester has so much to offer any foodie. With an ever-evolving foodie scene, from its wealth of hip cafes and bars to well-established food markets and some newer award-winning restaurants, this foodie city shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to exceptional gastronomic experiences.
Thanks to the city’s multicultural population, this is perhaps the most varied UK foodie destination on the list. Every nationality of food is available on the streets of Manchester, and there are foodie venues to suit every single budget. It’s not just high-profile restaurants like 20 Stories and The Ivy that attract the attention of avid food-lovers, but Manchester has plenty of out-there options that are totally unique to this vibrant city. Take a look at the best foodie hotspots below.
Manchester Foodie Highlights:
- Best for Breakfast: Seed & Cherry
- Best Asian Food: Grand Pacific
- Best Italian Food: San Carlo
- Best Fast Food: Hip Hop Chip Shop
- Best Cheap Eats: This & That
- Best Healthy Eats: The FoodWell
- Best Fine Dining: 20 Stories
No list of the best foodie cities in the UK would be complete without mentioning the big city itself, London. The London restaurant scene isn’t just one of the best in Britain – it is one of the best in the whole world. Whether you’re looking for great British foodie institutions that have been around for decades or trendy, new start-ups – London has it all.
Unsurprisingly, modern, creative and innovative chefs flock to London from all over the world. There isn’t a cuisine that you won’t be able to find here. You can’t have a foodie trip to London without sampling a classic Sunday roast or a traditional English breakfast. Yet, for those who are a little more adventurous when it comes to their grub, there are plenty of unique options to choose from – from traditional Japanese joints to authentic Spanish tapas to share. Go ahead and check out the best foodie spots in London below.
London Foodie Highlights:
- Best for Breakfast: The Social Pantry
- Best Asian Food: Dishoom
- Best Italian Food: Artusi
- Best Fast Food: Belushis
- Best Cheap Eats: Arancini Brothers
- Best Healthy Eats: Farmacy
- Best Fine Dining: Cornerstone
Perhaps one of the most overlooked culinary destinations is Belfast. So, if you’re travelling to Ireland this year, you should definitely put some time aside to have a meal (or three) in the foodie capital. The city’s food scene is currently having a moment – with its abundance of world-class local produce.
The city has plenty of local favourites to offer, including renowned grass-fed beef from well-known meat producer Peter Hannan, a delicious selection of cheeses like the bold Young Buck, or the freshest seafood from the clean, pure waters of Ireland. These local producers are being deservedly celebrated on menus across the city – from Michelin-starred restaurants right through to artisan cafes and casual bistros. Check out our Belfast foodie highlights below.