Pubs, cafes, restaurants: Eating out in the UK

Pubs, cafes, restaurants: Eating out in the United Kingdom

by guest blogger Lizzie G.

(words in red are explained at the end of the post)

In the United Kingdom, eating out plays a big part in many people’s lives. It used to be considered a luxury, however there are more places to go than ever.  If you ‘eat out’ in the UK it means that you are having a main meal in one of the many pubs, cafes, restaurants and fast food* chains in the UK.  Anywhere but home!

Most small towns offer specialist restaurants, in particular, Indian and Chinese food. Whilst many people like to go to these places for a meal with friends or family, it is possible to take the food away and eat it in your own home. This meal is known as a take-away.  Britain has a long historical connection with many countries around the world.  Many Indians, Pakistanis and Chinese, in particular, emigrated to the United Kingdom bringing with them their rich and varied cuisines. Indian food is so popular in the UK that some dishes were even created here – for example the chicken tikka masala!

There are many local cafes which are open during the daytime.  Hot drinks, such as tea and coffee, are sold as are cold drinks including smoothies and milkshakes.  Some cafes also sell sandwiches, cooked lunches and offer a selection of freshly-made cakes.

Afternoon Tea: Pubs, cafes, restaurants: Eating out in the UKAfternoon Tea




In towns, pizza and kebab shops are also very popular especially with young people or those who have been to a pub and are feeling hungry at the end of the evening.  Most of these offer a take-away service only and many offer a home-delivery service so you do not need to even leave your sofa.  In nearly every town, as well as most villages, you will find at least one pub.


A pub is a building where people go to drink (usually alcohol) and meet friends.  Most offer cooked food during the day and are very popular with families. On a Sunday, most pubs offer a special menu for ‘roast dinners’, these are cooked meats with roast potatoes and a variety of vegetables.

Sunday roast: Pubs, cafes, restaurants: Eating out in the UK
Traditional british sunday roast with yorkshire pudding, roasted potato and vegetables

In the evening, pubs stop serving food. During this time, adults like to visit the pub and socialize together. Many places like this often do small events with music for everyone to enjoy.

In cities, you will find all this and more! You can be sure of finding something to suit your taste! There are many more places to eat and restaurants that serve cuisines from all around the world, including food from Asia, the Caribbean and Africa.

English pub: Pubs, cafes, restaurants: Eating out in the UK

Old English Pub The Horse and Groom Berkshire



Fast food

A popular choice for those who wish to get food whilst ‘on the go’, is a fast-food restaurant.  Food takes minutes to prepare or is already cooked making it an easy choice for busy people. The most common food is burgers, however you can also get chicken, chips and salads. A well-known franchise is McDonalds, with a restaurant in every large town as well as multiple restaurants in cities. Although fast food is often unhealthier, it is very popular because it is also very cheap!  Most fast-food restaurants are from the US but you will find in most towns the original British takeaway ‘the chip shop’ or ‘chippie’ selling ‘fish and chips’!

Whatever your tastes, you should find something. As we say in the UK, ‘bon appetit’!

Pubs, cafes, restaurants: Eating out in the UK vocabulary check

Fast food – food that is cooked which can be bought and eaten on the street (often burgers, chips/fries etc)

Fast food chain – a fast food restaurant such as McDonalds or KFC

Considered – To think about something in order to make a decision.

Luxury – something we do not need but buy because it will give us pleasure or make life easier (fast cars, jewellery etc)

Specialist – Expert knowledge to that particular subject.

Emigrated – to leave your country to live permanently in another country

Varied – of many different types to choose from.

Socialise – Meeting with and talking to other people.

Events – a planned public or social occasion (concerts, festivals, protests etc)

Alcoholic – A drink containing alcohol.

Popular – Liked by many.

Franchise – Formal permission for a business to run.

Multiple – More than one.

Unhealthier – Less healthy, (‘good’ for your health) than something else.

On the go – an expression to describe someone who is busy

Photos by
Photography ID:68669657
Copyright: teamtime
Image ID: 35961603
Copyright: zhanglianxun
Image ID:31225719
Copyright: onetoremember1
Image ID:95944962
Copyright: igordutina
Photography ID:26250217
Copyright: BluIz60

Thank you for reading ‘Pubs, cafes, restaurants: eating out in the UK’


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *