Britain’s best ever pub snacks – see if your favourite is on our list
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When it comes to soaking up alcohol with a snack, there are so many options nowadays that it's difficult to keep track.
We're clearly a food-loving nation and we've gone from seeing bog-standard crisps on offer to bizarre bites like actual locusts (salted, of course).
So the Daily Star thought it a good idea to give you our definitive round-up of the best pub scran currently on offer across the UK.
As part of our Great British Booze Off competition, we've compiled a list that ranges from classic to quirky.
And as ever we're inviting you to take a second to vote for your favourite pub in the land via the form below to help us crown Britain's best watering holes.
You've only got until the end of the month to pitch in – and there are cash prizes and trophies available to the establishments that top categories.
Once you've voted, you can get back to focusing on the most pressing question of all: What will you be eating this week in your local beer garden?
Stilton Cob (Chosen by Hayley Watson)
The cob (or roll, bap, or barm cake depending on your geography) is the ultimate pub snack in Leicestershire, stacked up on bar tops ready for hungry punters.
And at The Blue Boar in Leicester, you'll find them filled with an entire slab of local Stilton cheese substantial enough to soak up any liquids consumed. Which in a pub as cosy as this, will be plenty.
Prince of Peckham's Curry Goat Croquettes (Brijiena Lovelace)
Is it a snack? Rather a warm hug from home whilst you're sat in your local boozer – in this case, The Prince of Peckham in south London.
All of the elegance of a traditional croquette (size, portions and garnishes) but filled with a Caribbean classic: Curried Goat.
The croquettes make washing down your favourite tipple much easier, filling you up just enough to steer clear of a hangover – but you could easily eat a dozen of them if they were sat in front of you.
The croquettes are also served with a mysterious yellow sauce, the ingredients of which escape me – but it's very moreish.
Beef and Onion Taytos (Alex Wellman)
Soaks up the lager perfectly with a strong dusting of flavour gives a real kick.
These perfect potato slices will sate the appetite better than any other crisp in the pub.
Also goes well with any other crisps or peanut meaning you can splice the packet open, chuck in other flavours and have the perfect pub smorgasbord.
Pasty Barm (Sebastian Murphy-Bates)
This slice of calorific carbageddon hails from my hometown of Bolton, Greater Manchester. It consists of a meat and potato pasty (ideally made by local firm Carrs Pasties) jammed inside a bread barm (which you might know as a cob/teacake/bun/bin lid depending on where you were born).
The rapturous joy I felt the last time I had one of these is impossible to overstate. It's not an exaggeration to say that it made my Christmas. These are available at Bolton's oldest pub, Ye Olde Man and Scythe. For best results, butter your barm.
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Bacon Fries (Ian Molyneaux)
No snack screams out “I’m down the pub” more than a packet of Bacon Fries.
It’s the crisp that makes Frazzles look like a dodgy second hand car salesman and the mid-pint pick-up that’s too banging to be kept in a box.
From the moment the barman rips those bad boys from the weird hanging cardboard arrangement behind the till you know you ain’t in play-school anymore.
The taste is so knock-your-socks-off the makers can only allow you to have five actual crisps in the packet.
It's the absolute don of the pub snack world that even has 60-year vegetarians secretly hooked.
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Scampi Fries (Tom Towers)
Nothing prepares you for the explosion of flavour contained within these packets, a tragic rarity in most pubs I’ve been to.
The zesty, lemony kick cuts through any beer and awakens your taste buds, putting other crisp staples to shame.
The packet texture is also uniquely satisfying. I was a latecomer to the glorious snack, but have been a devotee ever since.
Wasabi Beans (Berny Torre)
For goodness sake give the little green grenades a go.
They're just like your classic nuts but they taste a bit
hoppy and come with a spicy horseradish kick.
The Japanese staple is crunchy too and has been leaving no long faces
at the bar for centuries.
The old senseis can't all be wrong and we all look like ninjas in
Sausage Roll (Michael Moran)
I don't think you can whack a classic sausage roll. I'm not talking about one of those inferior, frankly pathetic frozen ones, but a big old baguette with an actual sausage inside it.
The Lock Tavern in Camden Town, north-west London, used to offer an absolute classic. I'm not sure if they still do. I hope so.
Hot to Trot Habanero Pork Crackling (Charles Wade-Palmer)
I'd never had these before so I put that right as soon as soon as the beer gardens opened!
This flavour by the Snaffling Pig opened my eyes up to a whole new world of pub snacks.
My tight wallet had previously been less-than-open to snacks on the basis that they didn't soak up the alcohol.
But my goodness, these certainly do just that – and what a way to start making up for lost time.
Predictably hard on the outside and soft on the inside but flavoured with so much heat, I was left ordering another lager in no time.
The levels of jalapeno take my palette for spice to the very max but with a pint in hand, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Bombay Mix (Jon Livesey)
If you asked me to identify the individual components of Bombay mix, I'd struggle.
I mean, come one, no one really knows what those little twig-like things are, do they?
I'm pretty confident peanuts are present in most varieties. And those little red and green nuggets are either chickpeas or lentils.
But really, who cares? When coated in the finest Indian spices, it's all delicious. Enjoyed with a pint or two, it's even better. Just one thing – it has to be the hot variety. We're not playing games.
Bowl of Roast Potatoes (Dan Saunders)
These are mainly confined to London boozers, where any plucky punter looking to wet his whistle is welcomed to the bar by the smell and sight of a heavily salted bowl of roasties!
It may have been a ploy to get punters drinking more beer, or to soak up their champion efforts to sink as many beers as possible before returning home for a full roast dinner, but it's a winner every time!
Lard Strips on Rye Bread with Salted Cucumber (Paul Brown)
Not a staple on these shores but my god do they love them in Moscow – and strange as it sounds, they're actually delicious.
Plus they didn’t have any pig’s trotters (another local “delicacy”). And when you’re trying to stay upright long enough to charm a woman on the dancefloor to come and keep a comrade warm, you need something to soak up all the vodka.
If you can source these beauties in the UK, they are a must-eat. If you can't, it's worth the trip!
Pizza Fries (Dan Laurie)
Why have a basic bowl of chips when you can have pizza fries?
This seriously calorific side dish found at The Welcome Country Pub and Kitchen in Llanrhidian, South Wales, fills the gap when having a cheeky gin or two with your pals.
The delicious treat consists of a decent amount of the homemade skinny fries topped with pizza sauce, a generous amount of cheese and some pepperoni for good measure.
Kumara Chips (Sophie Bateman)
My homeland of New Zealand doesn’t really have “pubs”, at least not in the UK sense.
As such there are few “pub snacks” – but kumara chips would be my pick for tastiest Kiwi food to accompany a beverage.
Ideally served with a generous tub of aioli, these salty morsels go perfectly with whatever you’re drinking, from a Wellington craft beer to a Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay.
Other countries will try to convince you they have this dish too, possibly offering up a sad imitation called “sweet potato fries” – don’t fall for it!
Keep an eye out for kumara chips on English shores too, you won't regret it.
Chips (Isobel Hine)
My favourite pub snack has to be a classic portion of chips with salt and vinegar.
There's something about having hot, crispy chips with fluffy potato inside that goes so well with a cold pint, especially with plenty of mayonnaise and ketchup.
- The Great British Booze Off
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