What Is Greggs, The Popular Fast Food Chain That Trumps McDonald's In The UK?

Here in the United States, we've got plenty of popular fast food chains like McDonald's with its recently upgraded hamburgers and Popeye's with its viral spicy chicken sandwiches. Across the pond in the United Kingdom, they also have McDonald's (or Maccies as some Brits call it) plus their own fast food chains like Nando's. Then there's Greggs, which may be one of the most popular casual eateries in the U.K., especially when you take into account that the bakery chain has more locations than McDonald's does throughout the country.

You might not have heard of Greggs if you've never been to England, but it's definitely the spot to grab a cheap bite during your British travels. The chain was originally a bakery delivery service that later opened its first store in 1951. Nearly 75 years later, the company boasts over 2,000 locations across the U.K. Unlike what you might expect with the majority of fast food chains here in the U.S., many Greggs locations are walk-in only, although the company has expanded with drive-thru locations in recent years in cities like Glasgow and Leicestershire. A walk into Greggs will make for a rather casual experience with simple tables and chairs, some prepared foods that you can grab and take with you, then the counter where you can order other foods from its menu.

Greggs is known for its popular British sausage rolls

The menu at Greggs offers an array of items, but the chain might be best known for its affordably-priced British sausage rolls, which are quite the popular snack. According to its website, some consider the chain to be the "unofficial king of sausage rolls." It's almost like a long flaky hot pocket or pig-in-a-blanket with puff pastry filled with sausage meat. The company also slings a vegan sausage roll made with a meat alternative called Quorn. Greggs has similar items known as bakes that are smaller and filled with ingredients like cheese and onion, steak, and chicken.

Coffee and tea beverages are served just like you'd expect from a casual bakery chain like Dunkin' or Starbucks here in the U.S. — just don't expect to order an iced coffee because it's not on the menu. You'll find other items like breakfast sandwiches including bacon and omelet breakfast rolls, hash browns, baguette sandwiches, fresh salads, pastries like donuts and cookies, and other random snacks like soups and potato wedges to pair with your sausage roll. We're sure Greggs will remain popular for quite some time considering its Greggs Bistro pop-up in a Fenwick department store back in December 2023 that served steak bakes with truffle was a smash hit. Incidentally, the company has plans to expand in the future. To satisfy your own inner Anglophile while you're visiting the U.K., hit up the nearest Greggs location and discover some of the best British comfort foods.