If you’ve read my blog before, then you’ll know one of my favorite things about travel is the opportunity to experience another culture through food! Whether it’s a fancy traditional meal served at a historic restaurant or just a sample of local street food, I like to try it all when I’m in a new country. When I moved to the UK, I was excited to try all the traditional British foods that we don’t normally eat in the USA. After living in London for a few months, I had tried lots of the classic British dishes, like the full English breakfast, scones with jam and clotted cream, and a Sunday roast. When my sister came to visit me this summer, I decided it was time to raid the snack aisle at the local Sainsbury’s so we could try some of the British snack foods that we don’t have back home! I asked my UK followers on Twitter and Instagram what British snacks they thought we should try, and we vlogged our reactions to tasting each before ranking them according to our preference! These are the best British candies and snacks to try in the UK.
Related: Check out my guide to the best London food markets!
Most Popular British Candies and Snacks
From crisps (the British term for potato chips) to chocolates, the British know a thing or two about good snack food. Coming from the USA, I didn’t really expect British snacks to be that different from what we have at home. I was wrong – there are actually a bunch of snacks unique to the UK in flavors we would never see back home! For the sake of this list, I’m not going to include any snacks that would be very easy to find at home, like salt and vinegar chips (which are as popular in the UK as they are in the USA!). Without further ado, here’s my take on the best British candies and snacks!
My Favorite British Candies and Snacks
Wine Gums – Wine Gums are my all-time favorite British candy! Despite the alcoholic name, these sweets won’t get you tipsy! They aren’t made with wine at all. These sweet gummies are firm, chewy, and thick, and they come in flavors like lemon, lime, orange, blackcurrant, and raspberry! This is the one candy I miss the most since moving back to the US.
Cadbury Chocolate – Cadbury is a famous chocolate brand from the United Kingdom, and I personally think it beats out Hershey’s as far as inexpensive chocolate goes! I personally love the Wholenut variety, which, as the name suggests, is made with nuts!
Prawn Cocktail Crisps – There are plenty of unique chip flavors that you can’t find outside of the UK, like Worcester sauce and roast beef. My personal favorite British savory snack (from the grocery store snack aisle) is prawn cocktail flavored chips! Don’t worry seafood haters- these taste more like cocktail sauce (think: ketchup-y) than shrimp!
Digestives – Digestives are a type of sweet biscuit (or cookie) that Scottish doctors originally developed to help with digestion. My British friends love to eat these with their tea!
Hobnobs – So, I’m not totally sure what the exact difference between Hobnobs and digestives are, but I love Hobnobs! Hobnobs are made with oats, and they’re coated with chocolate on the bottom. I love how crumbly and delicious these cookies (or biscuits) are!
Jaffa Cakes – Jaffa Cakes are a unique British snack! These small cakes are made of a sponge cake topped with orange jam and dipped in chocolate! Chocolate orange is a much more popular flavor combination in the UK than it is at home in the US, so these are a great British snack to try if you’re visiting.
Ribena – Ribena is a drink that’s really popular with children in the UK. This is a soft drink or fruit juice, normally made with blackcurrant (although they do make other flavors). This wasn’t my favorite snack (I’d rather drink tea), but it was fun to try!
Penguins – Penguins are a chocolate cookie filled with a chocolate cream filling, dipped in chocolate. What’s not to love about that?!
Aero – Aero is one of the most unique British candies in my opinion. This candy is aerated, so it has tiny little holes for a sponge-like texture, enrobed in chocolate. I personally love the mint flavor!
My Least Favorite British Snacks
Disclaimer! These might not be my favorite snacks, but they might be yours, and that’s cool! Let me know in the comments if one of these is your favorite snack- I might have to give them a second chance!
Monster Munch – Granted, I only tried the pickled onion flavor, but I did not love Monster Munch! So many of my British pals love Monster Munch, so I’m going to chalk it up to not growing up with this puffed corn snack. I would love to try the hot flavor next time I’m in the UK to give this British snack another chance!
Mini Cheddars – Mini Cheddars are a cheesy snack similar to American Cheez-Its. I’m not a huge fan of Cheez-Its, and I didn’t really love Mini Cheddars, but I will say, they had a real, authentic cheese flavor that didn’t seem super artificial!
Hula Hoops – These are another potato snack, known for their unique shape! These are shaped like little rings, and while I thought they were okay, they didn’t hold up to the prawn cocktail crisps!
Jelly Babies – Similar to Wine Gums, Jelly Babies are a soft, gummy snack. I personally did not love the chalky powder that covered each baby, but I think my sister liked these (she loves gummies!).
British Snacks to Try in the UK
Are you visiting the United Kingdom soon? Take a trip down the snack aisle and check out some of these unique British snacks! Which ones would you like to try?
Related: Elizabeth Everywhere’s guide to the best themed bars in London.