If you fly to the United Kingdom, you’ll be confident to know that you’ll see many of the same fast-food chains you see in the U.S. sometime soon — McDonald’s, Subway, KFC, Burger King, and Five Guys are all huge across the pond, too. But about the U.K. It also has its favorites for fast food that are just as enticing and, in some ways, very different from what you’ll find in North America. Ten of the best Fast Food Restaurants In The UK are listed below:
Launched in 1939 in the North East of England, Greggs has significantly grown to become the largest Fast Food Restaurants In The UK with more than 2,000 outlets worldwide. Greggs offers sandwiches and salads, but Brits come here for sweet and savory baked goods, like the famous Greggs Sausage Roll, which offers more than two million units a week, basically sausage meat in puff pastry. It became a national talking point and an unexpected success when Greggs introduced a Vegan Sausage Roll last year.
Leon markets itself as the home of “fresh, fast food” and says that about half of its food sales are vegetarian or plant-based. Launched in 2004, it currently has 70 U.K. channels. For a relatively cheap and usually very healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can pop in there. Leon’s variety of salads and “Jackfruit Chicken Wings” are worth trying out. Still, its signature dish is undoubtedly the Fish Finger Wrap; nearly an adult take on the fish finger sandwich, a British childhood favorite.
This chain of sandwich shops has made its way to many American cities, including New York and Chicago, where it has become very successful but it remains the largest Fast Food Restaurants In The UK. In reality, Pret does two-thirds of its trade in London, as hungry Brits call it on their lunch break, where it can feel like there is a branch on every corner. The company’s cornerstone is still sandwiches, but you can also find an enticing range of salads, yogurt pots, cookies, and pastries, plus hot breakfast options available before 11 a.m. They have even opened a few “Veggie Pret” stores that sell nothing but dishes based on vegetables.
As a successor to Pret a Manger, Eat was introduced in London in 1996 and did so well that it now has 75 branches in the British capital, plus 20 more in other towns and cities. Pret a Manger bought the chain last year after profits declined sharply, but it still runs its menu of different Pret sandwiches, soups, and breakfast options. Eat also stands out for its hearty lunchtime “Hot Pots,” which are popular with peckish London office staff during the winter months.
Currently, this fast-food chain originated in 1934 in Chicago but was expanded to the U.K. Two decades later, and in the 70s and 80s, it became incredibly popular. Wimpy had more than 500 stores in the U.K. at its height, but it’s now down to only 65 next to McDonald’s and Burger King after dropping out of fashion. “Vice also published a poignant article in 2014 titled” The Slow Death of Wimpy, a British Institution. “However, it’s not all doom and gloom: in many London suburbs and British seaside towns you can still find a Wimpy; branches tend to be popular with locals who fancy a hamburger and chips (fries) served on a proper Chinese plate or a typical English breakfast.
6. Yo! Sushi
If it sounds familiar to this chain, it could be because it had branches in New York, New Jersey, and Florida briefly. Now they are all closed, but Yo! In the U.K., where consumers enjoy picking up sushi and other Japanese-inspired dishes as they whizz by on a Tokyo-style “kaiten” conveyor belt, sushi remains super-popular. There is an incredibly fun branch in London at the Paddington Station concourse, where you can grab a bite while waiting for your train to come in.
7. The West Cornwall Pasty Company
A popular dish originating from Cornwall in the South West of England is the traditional Cornish pasty. Imagine the beef, the sliced potato, the swede, and the onion all bundled together in a gold pastry case, and make sure you don’t let your mouth water too much. This national chain offers pasties at over 50 outlets in the U.K. with all sorts of fillings, including veggie and vegan options. At three of London’s busiest railway stations, you’ll find convenient branches: Waterloo, Marylebone, and Victoria.
8. Ben’s Cookies
Do we count cookies as fast food? They’re served straight out of the oven, still hot and gooey, so we presume they are. Ben’s Cookies was launched in 1983 in Oxford and now has stores spread across the U.K. And in the Middle East and East Asia. Ben’s generally runs stall-like units dispensing delicious cookies through a hatch. Some of its London branches, including one on Soho’s Carnaby Street, are larger café-style spaces where you can sit down and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with your cookie.
Launched in 2012 in Birmingham, Wrapchic specializes in filling Mexican-style burrito wraps with a selection of veggie proteins and warming Indian-style meats. It has expanded quickly in just eight years and now has branches in most of the U.K. Cities like London, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, where you can pop in for a lunchtime Chicken Tikka wrap or a breakfast option that mixes spicy South Asian flavors with eggs.
Nando’s comes from South Africa, not the United Kingdom, but since it opened in the early ’90s, the British have embraced the peri-peri chicken chain. Currently, there are about 340 Nando restaurants in the U.K. now. -a third of the total in the country. Picking the right chicken marinade for your palate is the secret to ordering at Nando’s: “Lemon and Herb” is mild and zesty, but “Super Hot” could just blow off the roof of your mouth at the other end of the spice spectrum!