The UK food scene isn’t all fish and chips, mushy peas, and Shepherd’s Pie. From Northern Ireland to Scotland to Wales to England, diners will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the UK offers quite a mix of delicious cuisine. Before heading to the top-rated tourist eatery to try some fantastic dishes, check out the top hidden culinary gems in the UK. Eat amazing food in the establishments that the locals fancy, rather than the typical tourist traps.
Upscale Pub: The Springer Spaniel
Launceston, Cornwall, England
The Springer Spaniel offers a fine dining experience with a pub atmosphere. Upon entering, diners feel instantly relaxed thanks to the pub’s comforting décor. With bookshelves, a warm fire, pictures of dogs, and lit candles, The Springer Spaniel is the perfect place for a family outing, romantic dinner, or casual business meeting. Guests can also come to the Springer Spaniel for a relaxing afternoon with their dog. That’s right; the Spring Spaniel is dog friendly and proud of it. So, diners shouldn’t be surprised if there’s an adorable pooch eyeing their three-course meal.
MasterChef winner, Anton Piotrowski, is responsible for The Springer Spaniel’s delicious menus that constantly change in order to provide diners with seasonal, fresh, locally sourced options. With such spectacular food, it’s no surprise that the Springer Spaniel won the Taste of the West Silver Award.
Besides the divine cuisine, people also stop by The Springer Spaniel for the drinks. From local Cornish Ales to a sophisticated wine selection, The Springer Spaniel’s bar is well stocked and very satisfying. Pairing the drinks with the food guarantees a flawless pub experience at one of the most delicious hidden culinary gems in the UK.
Tapas: El Quijote
Tollcross, Edinburgh, Scotland
In 2003, a group of Spanish friends decided to leave their catering and hospitality jobs in Spain, travel to Edinburgh, and go into business offering traditional Spanish food to the UK. Now, some of the best tapas are found over 1,000 miles from the Spanish capital. Although Edinburgh and the UK, in general, are not known for Spanish food, El Quijote has dominated the tapas scene and established itself as one of the best UK restaurants. From the outside, El Quijote looks like any other restaurant, but once inside diners are welcomed by a room filled with warm colors and cheery faces, making El Quijote a top choice for lunch and dinner. El Quijote is one of the hidden culinary gems in the UK because it offers genuinely traditional food in an nontraditional location. Many diners don’t think tapas would be good anywhere outside of Spain; however, all it takes is one trip to El Quijote to change their minds.
Traditional Pub: The Blue Anchor
Hammersmith, London, England
Escape from the hustle and bustle of London at one of the hidden culinary gems in the UK, The Blue Anchor pub in Hammersmith. Located on the Thames River and near the Hammersmith Bridge, The Blue Anchor offers a traditional pub experience with both history and atmosphere. The Blue Anchor has been serving up excellence since 1722, when it first received its license. Today, The Blue Anchor serves fresh produce on a menu that changes regularly. Additionally, this pub offers a wide drink selection and a perfect outdoor seating area with picnic tables that overlook the Thames River. To find the Blue Anchor from London’s city center, walk west along the Thames River. Then, step into history and enjoy a classic pub meal with a pint at one of the hidden culinary gems in the UK.
Fine Dining: Saphyre Restaurant
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Tucked in the back of Ulsterville Presbyterian Church in beautiful Belfast, sits one of the finest hidden culinary gems in the UK. Famed designer, Kris Turnbull, has transformed the Church into an elegant restaurant accompanied by a high-end boutique. From the plush, high-back chairs to the gold-plated walls, everything about Saphyre Restaurant feels glamorous. At Saphyre, diners pair fine wines with decadent dishes, while enjoying the mood-setting music. The staff provides excellent service to guarantee that customers leave Saphyre feeling satisfied. Although Saphyre is an expensive establishment, it doesn’t have a stuffy atmosphere. So, guests can relax, and truly enjoy their experience at one of the best UK restaurants.
Casual Dining: The Pancake House
The Brewer Quarter, Cardiff, Wales
For something casual, diners will love The Pancake House, located in the Brewery Quarter of the Welsh Capital. To get to the Pancake House, tourists have to fend off the attraction of surrounding overpriced chains and make their way to this little glass cube of a restaurant. Since many people end up at a chain restaurant, rather than trying something new, The Pancake House remains one of the hidden culinary gems in the UK.
Once inside, The Pancake House offers a large selection of tea, coffee, ice cream, and milkshakes in addition to a long list of sweet and savory pancakes. From American style to typical, European crepes, diners have a lot of options. Good news—every option is delicious! Plus, The Pancake House is open from 10 am to 10 pm everyday, so diners can come for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a snack. When in Cardiff, ditch the chain restaurants and head to one of the best UK restaurants.
Taking Your Culinary Adventure on the Road with Auto Europe
Whether you plan to visit one, or all of these fabulous restaurants in the UK is up to you, but know that when you do decide to embark on an adventure through the UK, Auto Europe is here to provide you with the best prices on hotels, airfare, and car rentals in the United Kingdom. We make it easy for you to save money on your car rental by doing things like giving you unbeatable AAA car rental discounts so you can spend more on gastronomic delights! Give us a call anytime, available 24/7 for your convenience, to make travel reservations, or just get more information about the many worldly travel destinations you wish to visit.