15 fast-food items you can get in the UK but not in America

  • There are many fast-food items that you can get in the UK but not in the US.
  • If you think the UK is just tea, crumpets, and jam then you’d be wrong, as its fast food industry offers a range of delicious treats.
  • From deep-fried chocolate bars to mac ‘n’ cheese bites, the UK has tasty options for grabbing food on the go, particularly if you’re vegan.
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The United States might have more branches of McDonald’s than anywhere else in the world, and might be the birthplace of the cronut and corn dogs, but it doesn’t always have the monopoly on interesting fast-food items. For example, you could get the “Purple McShake” if you’re in Japan, or there was a Doritos Crunchy Crust Pizza which popped up at Pizza Hut Australia in 2014.

If you think the UK is simply Yorkshire puddings, toasted teacakes, and seaside fish and chips then you’d be mistaken. Fast-food is an integral part of UK culture, from baked goods with enough hype to have queues out the bakery door to a late-night bag of chips dipped in curry sauce.

Very Berry Vegan Croissant, Pret a Manger

Pret a MangerA snack perfect for croissant-loving vegans in the UK.

What’s faster food than grabbing a hot cup of something and a delicious snack to munch while on the go? The rise in choice for those following a vegan diet has exploded and even expanded into coffee-shop chain breakfast foods in the UK, with Pret a Manager launching a vegan croissant.

Meatless Meatball Marinara Melt with vegan cheese, Subway

SubwayPlant-based doesn’t have to mean a salad at Subway in the UK.

Brits also have a penchant for foot-long foods (or a more modest six-inch sub if you’re feeling full), but our Subway menu is just that little bit more vegan-friendly. Enter the Meatless Meatball Marinara sandwich, which is made up of whatever bread you want, with plant-based meatless meatballs smothered in a rich marinara sauce. This is also available in the US, but the UK has an added edge with slices of vegan cheese.

Caramel Light Frappuccino, Starbucks

StarbucksSlurp a light version of Starbucks’s Frappuccino.

Although it sometimes feels like there’s a Starbucks on every corner, not every outlet sells the same items. Take the iconic Frappuccino, for example – in the UK they have “light” versions of this sugary drink. Granted, you could probably ask for a similar version in the US if you switch up the milk for a skimmed option.

Deep-fried Mars Bar, Scotland

REUTERS/Suzanne PlunkettThe inside of a deep-fried Mars Bar.

Having been allegedly invented in 1992 at a chip shop near Aberdeen, the deep-fried Mars bar has been given a “must try” status for those visiting Scotland. It’s exactly what it says on the tin, a standard Mars bar that has been dunked in a deep fat fryer to get all crispy on the outside and melted on the inside.

You’ll find them in most Scottish chip shops, but the deep-fried Mars Bar has made its way to other parts of the UK too – for example, Fishcotheque next to Waterloo station in London now has it on the menu.

Bearista Gingerbread Cookie, Starbucks

StarbucksStarbucks’s Bearista Cookie is almost too sweet to eat.

The cutest biscuit (cookie) you could ever take a bite out of.Starbucks Bearista Gingerbread Biscuit is a sweet treat to dip into your morning coffee.

New York Hot Dog Pizza, Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut UKShould hot dogs go on pizza?

Pizza Hut has released some questionable pizza base options, and its culinary enthusiasm might extend to toppings. The New York Hot Dog pizza is currently on offer at Pizza Hut UK, which is your standard mozzarella and tomato base with chopped up hot dog pieces, caramelised onions, red onions, and a drizzle of French’s mustard.

Cheese Melt Dippers, McDonald’s

McDonald’sA favourite addition to make any McDonald’s meal that little bit happier.

The US may have limited-edition versions of McDonald’s Cheese Melt Dippers popping up on the menu from time to time, but they’re an almost permanent fixture in the UK. They must like deep-fried cheese-bites a little bit more.

Original Kentucky Mayo Twister Wrap, KFC

Food Review UKFried chicken in a wrap is delicious.

If you like fried chicken and fancy it in a wrap, well KFC in the UK has got you covered. It has a range of finger-lickin’ good wraps to choose from. Take the Original Kentucky Mayo Twister Wrap, which is made up of an original recipe fillet, pickled slaw, original Kentucky mayonnaise, all wrapped up in a lightly toasted tortilla.

Cornish Pasty, West Cornwall Pasty Co.

Foodio/ShutterstockThere are strict guidelines to follow for a pasty to be called a ‘Cornish pasty.’

If you’ve travelled by train around the UK, chances are you would have seen the gold and black branding of the West Cornwall Pasty Co at a station. Serving coffee-shop goods and traditional Cornish pasties, these chunky hot parcels are somewhere between a whole meal or a snack. A pasty is essentially a short-crust pie that you can eat with your hands and is stuffed with some kind of hearty filling.

Chips and Curry Sauce, UK-wide

tornadoflight/ShutterstockA beautiful plate of beige with curry sauce, chips, and a battered sausage.

The more basic cousin of Canada’s poutine, chips (fries) dipped in curry sauce is a staple in any chip shop across the UK. Not like a traditional curry, this sauce is usually sweeter, has more spice than heat, and typically does not contain any vegetables or meat. Curry chips can be eaten on their own, with other battered foods, and is a great late-night snack for the bus home after a night out.

Mac ‘N’ Cheese Bites, Burger King

Dan does YouTubeMore deep-fried cheese.

What makes Mac ‘n’ cheese better? Deep-frying them, of course! Burger King UK has these little balls of carby comfort on its menu.

Wing Roulette, Nando’s

NandosWing roulette at Nando’s gives you 10 chicken wings all at random spice levels.

How would you respond if we asked you to go for a cheeky Nando’s to play a game of wing roulette?

What’s wing roulette you ask? Well, it’s a plate of 10 Nando’s chicken wings that have been randomly spiced, from its “Plain … ish” Peri-Peri sauce to the extreme “Xtra Hot” version. The hook is, you don’t know what spice levels you’ll be eating from one wing to the next.

King Fish Burger, Burger King

Whats in Michaels Bag.Fish finger sandwiches are good, but a fish finger burger is better.

Fish fingers are synonymous with people’s childhoods in Britain, and fish finger sandwiches are the ultimate comfort food. Burger King UK has ramped it up a notch and created the King Fish Burger with golden crispy fish fingers in a bread crumb, big king sauce, lettuce, and a sesame seed bun.

Cheesy Bacon Flatbread, McDonald’s

McDonald’sA grown-up McMuffin.

A sophisticated twist on a McMuffin, have your McBreakfast in the form of a Cheesy Bacon Flatbread made from streaky bacon and melted cheese folded into a toasted flatbread.

Vegan Steak Bake, Greggs

GreggsThe Greggs Vegan Steak Bake has a Quorn, onion, and gravy filling.

You might’ve heard about the humble high street bakery-chain Greggs when they launched a vegan sausage roll which caused outrage (from certain people) and a lot of hype. Well, they added another vegan hot cake at the start of this year with a vegan Steak Bake.

Designed to mirror some of the classic Steak Bake’s features, including 96 layers of puff pastry, the filling is Quorn savoury flavour mycoprotein pieces, diced onions, and tasty gravy.

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