Interested in discovering the UK’s most loved cuisine, we carried out a sentiment analysis using restaurant reviews to create a popularity scoring system (ranked out of 100). The study took us on a global culinary adventure, celebrating the best bites from Italy, India, China, Japan and Mexico, with British and fast food dishes also tantalising our taste buds.


With the highest average score of 60.37 out of a possible 100, Italian cuisine proves to be the most popular food choice in the UK. Bursting with rich Mediterranean flavours, Italian food is a long-term British favourite, with macaroni and cheese (63.5) and lasagna (61.03) among the top-rated dishes.

The UK is also a nation of curry lovers, with Indian food revealed as the second most popular (59.14). Serving up a variety of warming and spicy dishes, the best-loved choice is chicken tikka, scoring 63.01 out of 100. A flavourful and aromatic dish that can be served with nutritious brown rice, chicken tikka is a perfect option for a tasty weeknight dinner.

Preparing meals midweek can be tricky, however, thanks to our busy lives and hectic schedules. It’s therefore unsurprising that fast food is the third most popular food choice in the UK. Scoring 58.64, fast food delivers both convenience and comfort for foodie fans. At a closer look, burgers are the fast-food favourite, achieving a popularity score of 60.38 out of 100.

With its popularity score of 58.5, Japanese food is the UK’s fourth favourite cuisine. From Osaka’s takoyaki (balls of battered octopus) to the nationwide popular udon noodles, Japan is a country of regional flavours and unique dishes. Sushi is the UK’s favourite (scoring 59.24), perhaps thanks to the abundance of Japanese restaurants in the UK.

Mexican cuisine rounds off the top five most popular global cuisines with a score of 57.59. The burrito is the top Mexican food choice, scoring 60.47 out of 100. Mexican food is bursting with intense flavours and is a great choice for any meal. It’s also a great option when catering for many different dietary requirements, such as vegetarian or gluten-free, thanks to the variety of ingredients and dishes it has to offer.

So, what are the favourite cuisines of the UK’s specific countries and regions? Let’s take a closer look at the popularity scores for each region.

Italian food
Fast food
Indian food

The English clearly love Italian cuisine, which has the highest score of all the cuisines researched in the country (60.54). On a regional level, Italian food scores highest overall in London (60.44), the North East (73.57) and Yorkshire and the Humber (69.35). Londoners love Italy’s macaroni and cheese the most out of all dishes (scoring 77.06), whilst those in the North East prefer pasta (84.76). Italian spaghetti is the clear favourite of Leeds locals, however, with a whopping 99.4 out of 100 score.

The second highest-rated cuisine in England is fast food, which scores 59.16 out of 100. For those in the South West, fast food ranks highest (70.07), with fans in South Hams rating fast food an impressive 93.55 out of 100. Out of all fast food in the South West, burgers are the most popular, with a high score of 80.

The third top-rated cuisine in England is Indian, with its popularity score of 58.78 out of 100. It is the favourite food in the West Midlands (62.54), particularly in Telford and Wrekin (71.9). Despite Indian cuisine receiving a lower score in Worcester (40.95), the Korma dish has one of the highest ratings here than in any other district (77.2 out of 100).

Elsewhere in England, Japanese food earns the fourth highest-rated cuisine (58.49). The East and the South East of England are its biggest fans, rating Japanese food 54.28 and 60.22 out of 100, respectively. Despite a shared love of Asian cuisine, however, the favourite dishes differ greatly between the two English regions: In North Hertfordshire, for example, tofu dishes gain a high score of 96.4, whereas for the South East the same vegetarian dishes are rated just 55.18 out of 100.

The fifth highest-rated cuisine in England is Mexican, scoring 57.82 out of 100 overall. Mexican food is also the North West’s favourite (scoring 66.85), and proves popular in Manchester (81.33), where burritos are also highly rated (87.5).

Indian food
Chinese food
Italian food

Scotland’s long-term love affair with Indian cuisine is supported by its high popularity scores (67.51), revealing the flavour-packed food as the Scottish favourite. Indian food is highly rated in Glasgow (83.32), where chicken tikka is the overall favourite dish, proven by an outstanding score of 98.9 out of 100. Glasgow’s most popular cuisine overall isn’t Indian, however, but fast food, which is rated 92.85 out of 100.

The second most popular cuisine in Scotland is Chinese. Scoring 65.25 out of 100 overall, Chinese dishes such as sweet and sour score highly in Glasgow (98.6), Dumfries and Galloway (97.5) and Edinburgh (96.7). Chow mein is thoroughly enjoyed in Inverclyde (96.4), whilst egg fried rice is favoured in Edinburgh (92.2) and Aberdeen (90.3). Lothian locals show the most love for Chinese food in all of the Scottish regions, with a popularity score of 78.55.

The UK’s favourite cuisine, Italian, also ranks third highest in Scotland, with a popularity score of 63.62 out of 100. In Argyll and Bute, macaroni and cheese is rated highly (98.1), whilst in Angus, ravioli is a popular dish with a score of 98.1 out of 100.

Japanese is the fourth most popular cuisine in Scotland, scoring 62.79 overall. But it’s unquestionably the favoured cuisine in Central Scotland, where Japanese dishes receive the highest possible score of 100. Sushi dishes score highly in Falkirk (94.4) and Argyll and Bute (94.2), yet Asian tofu dishes are the most popular of all global cuisines in Scotland, scoring 97.5 out of 100.

Scotland’s fifth most popular cuisine is Mexican. Gaining an overall popularity score of 62.32, it’s the favourite cuisine specifically in West Scotland (82.13) and South Scotland (60.73). The filling burrito is favoured by North Lanarkshire (88.1), whilst the shareable nacho dish is a firm favourite in Renfrewshire (91.4) and Moray (86.9).

Indian food
Italian food
Japanese food

The Welsh love an Indian meal, and score their favourite cuisine with 54.64 out of 100 points. Rich in spices and ingredients such as cumin and tamarind that provide its distinctive flavour, Indian food is the favourite in North Wales (66.67) and in Conwy (60.73). In Cardiff, a biryani curry is highly rated (98.6), whilst in Swansea locals just can’t resist a butter chicken dish (99.2).

Italian is Wales’ second favourite cuisine, scoring 49.65 out of 100 overall, with high scores of 62.5 in both the South Wales East region and the Mid and West Wales region. Lasagna is one of the top-scoring dishes, rated 64.91 in the entire country, and even higher in Gwynedd (98.1) and in Conwy (96.9).

The third favourite cuisine in Wales is Japanese, which has a popularity score of 48.41. In fact, the South Wales West region gives Japanese food the highest score across Wales (100), which is the only recorded 100 of all the cuisines in the country. Both tofu and sushi dishes score highly in Gwynedd (99.2 and 97.5) and the capital city enjoys sushi (65.6) and tofu (64.7) more than some Indian dishes, such as Korma (rated 45.8 in Cardiff).

Fast food is the fourth most popular cuisine in Wales. Scoring 47.81 out of 100 overall in the country, it’s the second favourite choice in the Mid and West Wales region (Italian food being the favourite here). In Pembrokeshire, pizza has the highest popularity rating out of all foods (99.2), with burgers a close second (96.9).

The fifth favourite cuisine in Wales is Mexican. Scoring 47.55 out of 100, nachos are Pembrokeshire’s second favourite food after pizza (scoring 98.1). In the northwest district of Flintshire, spicy fajitas are very popular (96.9), whilst tacos are equally loved in Powys (96.9).

Northern Ireland
Chinese food
Japanese food
Italian food

The number one favourite cuisine in Northern Ireland is Chinese, which has a popularity score of 67.5. The classic dishes that rank as the country’s favourites include sweet and sour (69.73) and chow mein (68.35).

Close in popularity is Japanese cuisine, which gains second place with its score of 66.45. Here, tofu dishes (64.25) are slightly more popular than sushi (scoring 64.25 and 62.7 out of 100).

Italian is once again a popular choice, and for Northern Ireland it’s the peoples’ third favourite cuisine, scoring 64.36 out of 100. The highest rated Italian dish is ravioli (71.23), closely followed by lasagna (74.06) and macaroni and cheese (73.21).

Attaining a positive rank in the top five for the first time, British fare is Northern Ireland’s fourth favourite cuisine, claiming 56.49 popularity points. Black pudding is the number one British dish in Northern Ireland (unsurprising considering the passion around black pudding here), scoring an impressive 81.32 out of 100. The Yorkshire pudding is the second favourite (73.35) and the classic BLT sandwich is the third most popular choice (71.93) in Northern Ireland.

Rounding off Northern Ireland’s top five favourite cuisines is Indian with a popularity rating of 54.4 out of 100. Creamy butter chicken is the first choice dish (74.34), with korma (72.07) and chicken tikka (71.19) close in rankings.


1. sought to uncover the most loved cuisines across each region of the UK.
2. To do this, a sentiment analysis was conducted on an internal dataset of over 10 million restaurant reviews across the UK.
3. Once all reviews were collected, they were then pre-processed using Standard NLP* techniques and fed into a sentiment analysis model with a custom lexicon to generate a sentiment score for each dish and cuisine, the lower the score means the lower the sentiment. 
4. Following the collection of data, the sentiment scores of each cuisine and dish in each region and district were ranked in descending order, thus uncovering the most favoured cuisine and dish across the UK. 
5. Data was collected between December 2021 and January 2022 and is accurate as of then. 

*NLP is the branch of artificial intelligence concerned with giving computers the ability to understand text and spoken words in the same way humans can.