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Classic pub food or “pub grub” is comfort food at its finest that you’d find at a pub or bar, but can easily make and enjoy in the comfort of your own home!

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Dark, heavy wooden tables, soft lights glowing, a stone fireplace with a crackling fire, the happy sound of chatter, and the smell of a slow-cooked roast dinner. Step into a pub and this is the cozy atmosphere you’re likely to encounter.

I’ve been to pubs in a variety of countries around the world and I have to say, personally, I find pubs in England are by far the coziest and most inviting. Heading into a pub from a back alley anywhere in London somehow always feels to me like I’m stepping into a scene from The Hobbit.

This area of the world has a long history of pub culture, and it really shows! The origin of the pub is traceable back to taverns in Roman Britain, and pubs have been described as “the heart of England”. (You can read more about the history of pubs on Wikipedia.)

Because of the British history of the pub, I wanted to do classic pub food justice, so a lot of the recipes included in this collection are dishes that are traditional English pub grub. But with that being said, a pub meal has changed a lot since the time of its inception, and so I also wanted to include items that you’d find on a modern pub menu as well.

If you’re a fan of down-home comfort food, bookmark this post!

best pub recipes

What is a Pub?

Short for a “public house”, a pub is an establishment with a license to serve alcoholic drinks that people can consume on the premises.

On the other hand, a gastropub also offers high-quality food in addition to beer. Gastropubs are essentially restaurants with a pub inside, or pubs with a restaurant inside.

What is Pub Food?

Pub style foods are the type of things that feed body and soul.

They include hearty home-style meals like slow-cooked meat stews and savory pies.

Snacky finger foods, such as beer battered onion rings, Scotch eggs, and golden crispy chips.

Satisfying lunches like Welsh Rarebit and Coronation Chicken.

And let’s not forget pub desserts! Sticky puddings, fruit crisps and crumbles, and decadent milkshakes, to name a few.

Traditional Pub Food

These are the types of classic English pub foods that will keep you coming back for more. They range from snacks and appetizers to a full pub meal.

Beef Pasty Recipe
Inspired by Cornish Pasties, this savory herbed beef pasty recipe features meat and vegetables in a flaky, buttery crust. It's the perfect hand-held portable meal, and is surprisingly easy to make!
Check out this recipe
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Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips are made with juicy cod deep-fried in a batter for a traditional Irish pub meal and served with thick, crisp chips or fries. In Ireland, fish and chips are frequently referred to as "One and One".
Check out this recipe
Fish and Chips
Vegetable Beef Guinness Casserole Topped with Champ
This easy recipe for Vegetable Beef Guinness Casserole Topped with Champ features a hearty and rich stew-like filling with a buttery mashed potato topping. It’s perfect for St. Paddy’s Day or any day you want real-food comfort food, and the leftovers are even better!
Check out this recipe
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Bangers and Mash
Bangers and mash is such a fabulous comfort food meal. Take a virtual trip to the British Isles with this authentic recipe, which includes the recipe for homemade sausages, if you choose to make them!
Check out this recipe
Bangers and Mash
Gammon Egg and Chips
You'll be hard-pushed to find a pub in Britain that does not have some form of gammon egg and chips on the menu, and for good reason, it is simple and delicious. Cooking this at home is really easy all you need to do is plan the timings to make sure everything is perfect all at the same time!
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Individual Steak and Ale Pie Recipe
British steak and ale pie is pure comfort food with a flaky butter crust and a rich, savory vegetable beef stew inside. Soul-warming dishes like this are classic English pub fare, and for good reason. Hearty meals help take the chill off winter!
Check out this recipe
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Pub Snacks

If you’re a fan of bar food or bar appetizers, pub snacks are right up your alley! Think along the lines of crunchy, salty finger foods like onion rings, steak-cut French fries (which are called “chips” in England), and a variety of cheesy items, such as dips and spreads, many of which involve a good English cheddar.

Beer Batter Onion Rings Recipe
Crispy, flavorful Beer Batter Onion Rings pack a ton of crunch with a savory batter that complements the natural sweetness of onion. These are so easy are to make, and you can use the batter for frying other things, such as zucchini, mushrooms, green beans, cauliflower, fish, etc.!
Check out this recipe
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Scotch Eggs
Scotch eggs are so often found on pub menus, even if "real food" isn't served! They're much easier to make than you might think, and are perfect when served hot, warm, or cold! 
Check out this recipe
Cheddar Cheese Ball Recipe (aka Cheddar Pub Spread)
If you’re looking for the best crowd-pleasing easy appetizer, look no further than this Cheddar Cheese Ball recipe!
Check out this recipe
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Garlic Butter Chicken Wings
Juicy and tender, these flavorful garlic chicken wings are the perfect snack. The extra flavor comes from melted butter and fresh garlic.
Check out this recipe
Garlic Butter Chicken Wings
Nakládaný Hermelín Recipe (Czech Pickled Cheese)
In this recipe for Czech pickled cheese (aka Nakládaný Hermelín), a creamy cheese with a bloomy rind that’s similar to Camembert is sliced, stuffed with a savory filling, and cured in oil. It’s the ultimate pub food in Prague! And bonus, it's the perfect low carb and keto appetizer.
Check out this recipe
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Sheet Pan Irish Nachos
This easy recipe for Sheet Pan Irish Nachos consists of thinly sliced, crispy baked potatoes topped with gobs of melted Irish cheddar cheese, shredded corned beef, scallions and sour cream. It's the perfect pub food to enjoy with a pint of Guinness on St. Patrick's Day!
Check out this recipe
sheet pan irish nachos
Bavarian Pretzels
These Bavarian pretzels are done the authentic and traditional way, dipped in food safe lye. The entire project requires sometime to let the pre-ferment develop, as well as the dough to cool and chill in the refrigerator so keep that in mind. The effort is absolutely worth it for authentic tasting Bavarian pretzels that taste like they’re from an actual German pub.
Check out this recipe
Bavarian Pretzels
Beer Cheese Dip
Beer Cheese Dip is smooth, creamy, cheesy and packed full of flavor. While it pairs perfectly with soft pretzels, this easy beer and cheese dip is also great with fresh bread, crackers, broccoli or cauliflower, and even apples.
Check out this recipe

Pub Food Side Dishes

I am of the belief that some of the best pub foods are side dishes! They round out a hearty meal perfectly.

Cauliflower Gratin Recipe with Buttery Ritz Topping
Inspired by the classic British comfort food dish Cauliflower Cheese, this Cauliflower Gratin recipe features cauliflower in a rich, creamy savory cheese sauce with a buttery crunchy Ritz cracker topping.
Check out this recipe
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Potato Wedges
Potato wedges bake up beautifully into delicate golden, crispy chips that are seasoned and sprinkled with chives.
Check out this recipe
Potato Wedges
Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese
This smoked gouda mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food! It’s smoky, creamy, and outrageously cheesy. It’s made using a homemade smoky cheese sauce that is bound to please crowds.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
Rich, creamy, flavor-packed cheese sauce and a crispy buttery topping make this easy-to-make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe stand out from the rest! We use a special blend of cheeses and seasonings to make it something truly special. And no worries if you don’t have an Instant Pot; you can easily make this on the stovetop!
Check out this recipe
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Sweet and Smoky Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Crispy outside and tender inside, this baked Sweet and Smoky Sweet Potato Fries recipe is a flavorful, delicious, and healthy side dish!
Check out this recipe
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Pub Lunch Foods

When you’re in the mood for a satisfying lunch, pub style food is the perfect choice. Open-faced Welsh Rarebit is classic, as is Coronation Chicken, either served as a sandwich or on a bed of greens.

10-Minute Welsh Rarebit Recipe (aka Welsh Rabbit)
This Welsh Rarebit recipe (aka Welsh Rabbit) is a classic British dish of smooth, velvety, and savory cheese sauce that's broiled on toasted bread. It’s hearty, satisfying comfort food that whips up in just 10 minutes.
Check out this recipe
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Coronation Chicken Sandwich
A great British classic, Coronation Chicken Sandwich, is made with curried chicken breast filling, and further flavoured with mango chutney, apricots and coriander! The creamy textures of the filling contrast well with crunchy lettuce and soft bread, making it one of the best British recipes out there.
Check out this recipe
Coronation Chicken Sandwich
Creamy Tomato Soup
Rich and velvety, this Creamy Tomato Soup uses canned tomatoes and other pantry staples like olive oil and dried Italian herbs combined with onion and garlic for deep flavor. It comes together in 20 minutes, and is comfort food at its finest!
Check out this recipe
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Cast Iron Burgers
Cast Iron Burgers are juicy and flavorful, and easy to make on your stovetop in a cast-iron skillet.
Check out this recipe
Front View of Cast Iron Burger on Bun with Lettuce Tomato Onion and Pickles on White Plate with Blue Rim
Air Fryer Beer Brats
Craving a brat but don't feel like firing up the grill? These beer bratwurst in the air fryer are just as flavorful and juicy, and are super simple to make!
Check out this recipe
Buffalo Beef on Weck Recipe
Buffalo is known for its Beef on Weck sandwiches which consist of thinly sliced roast beef piled high on salted and caraway-seeded Kummelweck rolls. This is the best (and easiest!) way to make it outside of the Buffalo area!
Check out this recipe
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Pub Dinner Foods and Savory Pies

I can’t imagine a cozier evening than heading to your local pub for a drink and a chat with friends and a hearty home-style meal. Savory pies are common, and so is beef or lamb stew.

Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup Recipe
This Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup recipe is hearty and satisfying with tender pieces of beef, nutritious barley, and flavorful vegetables in a rich, savory broth that’s brightened with fresh herbs. Let the Instant Pot do all the work; this healthy, delicious soup tastes like it simmered on the stovetop all day!
Check out this recipe
stirring beef barley soup cooked in instant pot with hand stirring
Easy Chicken Pot Pie
This Homemade Chicken Pot Pie is flavorful, comforting, and so easy to make! This roux-less chicken pot pie casserole is made with frozen veggies, leftover chicken, and store-bought pie crust for an easy chicken pot pie that tastes great too.
Check out this recipe
chicken pot pie
Guinness Beef Stew Recipe
Made with a ton of vegetables and a hefty dose of Guinness stout, this Guinness Beef Stew recipe is a cold-weather classic that's sure to warm you up! Serve it with Irish Brown Soda Bread to complete the meal.
Check out this recipe
guinness and beef stew overhead view in serving bowl on flowered pottery plate
Mushroom and Leek Pie
A creamy mixture of leeks and mushrooms topped with a crispy, golden handmade pie crust. This vegetarian Mushroom and Leek Pie recipe is great when you need a meatless main meal that even the most meat-lovers will enjoy. It is the perfect winter comfort food to serve for an easy Sunday lunch, Thanksgiving dinner, or any special celebration.
Check out this recipe
Mushroom and Leek Pie
Vegan Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie
This vegan lentil shepherd's pie has the best fluffy potatoes on top of hearty lentils cooked to perfection with fresh-cut vegetables, all with a subtle hint of rosemary.
Check out this recipe
The Best Easy Beef Stew Recipe (Inspired by British Beef and Ale Stew)
Based on a traditional English beef and ale stew, this simplified, easy beef stew recipe features tender beef and vegetables in a thick, rich, and hearty gravy. And it only takes 1 hour to make!
Check out this recipe
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Spinach and Mushroom Pie
This spinach and mushroom pie is vegetarian food at its best: buttery fried mushrooms and wilted spinach, bathing in a garlic, thyme, and white wine gravy, topped with crispy and flaky puff pastry.
Check out this recipe
Spinach and Mushroom Pie

Pub Desserts

After some pub grub and a drink with friends, who’s to say you won’t be in the mood for a little something sweet? Pub desserts range from light and fruity to decadent and chocolaty, so there’s something for everyone!

Chocolate Guinness Cake Recipe with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
This Chocolate Guinness Cake Recipe with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting yields a moist, tender cake that’s deeply chocolatey with malty, roasty flavor notes.
Check out this recipe
Chocolate Guinness Cake Featured Image
Blackberry Crumble
This Blackberry Crumble pairs sweet, juicy blackberries with a crisp, buttery brown sugar and oat topping. And using frozen blackberries means you can make this delicious dessert year-round!
Check out this recipe
Sticky Toffee Pudding
This sticky toffee pudding is a dark and moist sponge cake made with dates and sweetened with brown sugar and molasses. It’s served with a warm, rich buttery toffee sauce. This recipe is easy to make and can be prepared in advance.
Check out this recipe
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Fudgy Guinness Stout Brownies with Dark Chocolate Ganache Recipe
This recipe for fudgy Guinness stout brownies with dark chocolate ganache features rich, honey-sweetened chocolate brownies to balance out the flavor of stout. They’re topped with a velvety layer of dark chocolate ganache to make them extra decadent!
Check out this recipe
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Irish Apple Crumble with Whiskey Cream
This Irish Apple Crumble is an easy, beyond delicious dessert that is taken to another level with the addition of whiskey cream.
Check out this recipe
Cookies and Cream Oreo Milkshake
This thick, rich Oreo Milkshake recipe has delicious cookies and cream flavor and whips up in just 5 minutes!
Check out this recipe

Pub Food FAQs

What is a Snug in a Pub?

A classic “snug” is a small private area in a pub or bar meant to give patrons more privacy. It’s typically set higher than head-level, and has frosted windows. Because of the additional privacy, drinks in the snug cost more money. Historically, the purpose of a snug was so people could avoid being seen drinking in public.

You can read more about a snug on Wikipedia.

Can You Get the Same Food in a Pub as in a Bar?

Yes and no. Traditionally, pubs and bars didn’t serve the same foods.

In the past, pubs have leaned more towards homemade slow-cooked foods, like stews and savory pies. While bars typically served predominantly snacky fried finger foods and appetizers.

However, these days there’s a lot more crossover, and you’re likely to find many of the same food items available at pubs and bars.

But that isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to drinks.

Pubs mainly serve beer (think lagers, ales, and bitter beers) and spirits (such as whiskey, gin, and vodka). Pub drinks are unpretentious, as pubs were historically community gathering places where people could talk while having a drink after work. They’re the type of establishments where you’re likely to find a bunch of locals.

On the other hand, in addition to beer and spirits, bars also commonly serve cocktails, and sometimes they can be quite fancy!

And of course, both pubs and bars serve non-alcoholic beverages as well, such as soft drinks, coffee, and tea.

For more talk of traditional British pubs, check out this post where I share photos from one of my trips to London!

the best pub food recipes pin

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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One Comment

  1. Christina says:

    Oh yes please to pub food!

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