What is a gastropub?

Have you ever wondered what a gastropub is? Well, you’re in the right place… We’ve pulled together all the most-asked questions about gastropubs, giving you a few interesting facts to drop over your next round of drinks. Oh, but be warned… We’ve included pictures of some of our most irresistible gastropub dishes, so you’re about to be hungry.

What is a gastropub

The Gastropub, explained!

The word “gastropub” is a combination of “gastronomy” – meaning, “the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food” – and “pub.” Put simply, it brings together everything you know and love about a classic pub setting, from warm welcomes and cold pints to traditional architecture, and adds one final ingredient to the mix: a high-end menu that puts seasonal flavours and ingredients in the spotlight.

This phrase was first coined in 1991 when David Eyre, restauranteur, and Mike Belben, co-founder, took over The Eagle pub in Clerkenwell, London, turning it into the first ever ‘gastropub’.

For the first time, the beloved pub was elevated from a place to socialise over a few drinks and became a place for all kinds of social occasions. A place where the entire family could get together for mouth-watering dishes, friends could gather for an irresistible Sunday roast, and pairing your favourite after-work beer or wine with a mouth-watering dish became the norm. After all, who could resist? Before the invention of the gastropub, you’d likely have nothing but a pack of nuts or pork scratchings to keep you going until you got home. Thankfully, we’ve moved on.


What is the difference between a pub and a gastropub?

The difference between a pub and a gastropub is that while a pub may put more focus on having a tempting range of tipples – from cask ales and craft beers to spirits and the finest wines – they may not give the same attention to their pub menu. And that’s completely fine, because sometimes you just want to unwind over your favourite drink with a packet of crisps, a bowl of chips, or a classic fish and chips for lunch. That’s perfection, right?

However, a gastropub creates an experience that can rival even the most delicious of restaurant dining experiences, putting high-end dishes and chef-crafted creations at the heart of your experience. 

It’s the difference between having a few drinks before heading home and sticking around long into the evening, socialising over drinks and dishes to your heart’s content.


What does gastro mean in restaurant terms?

In a dining out context, “gastro” refers to the preparation and enjoyment of good food. From the first time “gastropub” was whispered in 1991, the “gastro” part of “gastropub” has come to mean that when you step into your chosen local, you know that you’ll soon be indulging in exquisite starters, mains, and desserts worth coming back for. When it comes to the collection of gastropubs on Eat Drink Meet, it means you’re about to discover your new favourite meal…

When paired with our collection of stunning pubs across the UK, it also means an excuse to dine out in some of the most characterful and cosy, or chic and contemporary city and country pubs around.

What is gastropub food

What is gastropub food?

Even if you’re not quite sure what gastropub food is yet, you’ll remember how it made you feel if you’ve had it before… Gastropub food is restaurant-quality food served in the stylish surroundings of a traditional pub with modern touches. Depending on the pub and the chefs that work there, a gastropub menu can feature all kinds of dishes, but they’ll always have one thing in common: they’ll be crafted with expertise, passion, and using only the finest of seasonal ingredients and flavours.

In fact, gastropub menus will often change throughout the year to guarantee that only fresh, in-season ingredients are used to spoil guests.

So, what will you normally find on a gastropub menu? Well, you can expect upgraded versions of many of your favourite pub classics, including battered, line-caught fish and chips, crispy onion rings, multiple types of chips or ‘fries’, and seasonal pies.

You’ll also discover cuisine inspired by flavours and dishes from all over the world, opening the door to starters like fresh Italian burrata, and main dishes like pan-fried seabass fillets, king prawn, crab and chorizo linguine, and sweet potato massaman curry. For those with a sweet tooth, you might be tempted by gastropub desserts like a home-baked chocolate brownie or a raspberry, cookies & cream, and yuzu meringue cheesecake trio…

That’s just a few sensational dishes plucked from a gastropub menu within the Eat Drink Meet collection, if you’re wondering where we got our inspiration… We have plenty more to tell you about gastropubs, but if the above descriptions have you running to book a table at your near gastropub, we’d understand.

Gastropub gift vouchers

Do gastropubs do gift vouchers?

We don’t know about all gastropubs, but we do know that any gastropub you find in the Eat Drink Meet collection will be able to offer gastropub gift vouchers and e-gift cards.  
Not only are they ideal for making that special someone know how much you care, but they’re also an incredibly convenient present for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and forget-me-not Valentine’s dates. Our gift cards are available by email or text, meaning you can send them instantly in those last-minute moments or schedule it ahead of time for a surprise you know they’ll love. 

With a limit of £250, a gift card unlocks the door to gastropub menus wherever they fancy going next, letting them spoil themselves with only the finest of seasonal dishes, crafted in charming, characterful pubs across the UK. If you’re lucky, they may even invite you!

Gastropub gift vouchers

Can you book events at a gastropub?

These days, most gastropubs have a range of unique spaces that suit all kind of occasions, whether you’re looking for an intimate spot by a crackling fireplace for a romantic date, a spot in a beer garden for much-needed catch-ups (and cocktails) in the sun, or looking to hold a memorable event with all of your loved ones in a private dining space.

Got a special event coming up? The first step is to find the ideal gastropub for you, make your large group booking before the table is snapped up, and then sit back and let the experts take care of everything. Believe us when we say, they’ve done this before, and they do it so well.

Find a gastropub near you…

After reading this article, it’s only natural if you find yourself feeling more than a little peckish. Wondering if there are any of our gastropubs near you, perfect for dining out in style with a few of your favourite people? There’s only one way to find out…