The UK's Takeaway Capital
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The UK's Takeaway Capital

22 March 2018

East Central London has been revealed as the most takeaway-heavy area in the UK, with one fast-food joint for every 217 people. On the other hand, St. Albans is the country’s city most lacking in takeaway restaurants, with just one per 12,500 residents. 

With choices that range from exotic to comfortingly familiar, we’ve all got our favourite tasty takeaway for tucking into on a Saturday night - and there are over 40,000 of them to choose from in the UK. But are they distributed nice and evenly across the country?

Not quite.

Vouchercloud decided to figure out exactly how much every town and city in the UK differs in takeaway density, racking up the number of takeaways per capita in each area.

The total numbers break down to more than 11,000 Chinese or East Asian takeaways, 10,500 Fish and Chip Shops, 7,500 Pizza Restaurants, 5,000 Curry Houses and plenty more Kebab Shops, Burger Grills and other cuisines (6,500). 

The UK's Takeaway Capital

East Central London sits in the number one spot as the takeaway capital of the UK, with a mighty 4.6 takeaways per 1000 people, or around one in every 217 people. In stark contrast, Western Central London which is practically next door has just 0.4 takeaways per 1000 people (or 1 in 2500 people), more than a 10x decrease from the number of takeaways present in Eastern Central London. 

Midlands city Nottingham beats every other location in terms of the actual number of fast food locations, with over 1,400 takeaway outlets lining the streets. This works out to 1.24 takeaways per 1000 people, so they still make fourth place when considering the number of takeaways per person. In contrast, collection of islands, The Outer Hebrides in Scotland has just 11 recorded takeaways. 

Aside from East Central London, all areas in the top 10 list of takeaway hotspots are in The Midlands or the North of England. No other area has anywhere nearly as many establishments serving takeout food as East Central London, and the second biggest takeaway hotspot in the country is Lincoln, at 1.32 takeaways per 1000 people. Leicester sits just below in third place with its takeaways calculating to 1.31 per 1000 people. 

At the bottom of the list sits St. Albans, which has been revealed as the area in the UK with the lowest number of takeaways per 1000 people, a mere 0.08, or 1 in every 12,500. 

Here is the full top 20 list of locations in the UK with the most takeaways per a population of 1000 people. 

Takeaway Capital Chart

Regional differences


Scotland's average number of takeaways per 1000 people is 0.52, the lowest of all UK countries.

Looking at results for just Scotland, Dundee and Kirkcaldy sit in joint 1st place for winners of most takeaways, both with 0.70 per 1000 residents, or 1 in every 1,430 people. Falkirk and Galashiels are the joint-second places in Scotland with the most takeaways, at 0.69 per 1000 people or 1 in every 1,450 people. Here are the results for the rest of Scotland (figures are per 1000 people):

1. Dundee - 0.70
1. Kirkcaldy - 0.70
2. Falkirk - 0.69
2. Galashiels - 0.69
3. Edinburgh - 0.68
4. Glasgow - 0.66 
4. Motherwell - 0.66
5. Kilmarnock - 0.64
6. Paisley - 0.62 
7. Dumfries and Galloway - 0.56
8. Perth - 0.52
9. Aberdeen - 0.49
10. Inverness - 0.41
11. Outer Hebrides - 0.40 
12. Kirkwall - 0.24 


On average there are 0.72 takeaways per 1000 people in Wales, so it sits in second place when looking at the each of the UK’s separate countries. 

Coastal town Llandudno is Wales’ most takeaway dense area, where for every 1000 people there are 0.82 takeaways or 1 for every 1,220 people. Cardiff and Newport match up with 0.77 takeaway shops per 1000 people, or 1 in every 1,300 residents. Full results for Wales are below: 

1. Llandudno - 0.82
2. Cardiff - 0.77
2. Newport - 0.77 
3. Swansea - 0.74
4. Llandrindod Wells - 0.50

Northern Ireland 

The whole of Northern Ireland sits under one main postcode, so there is just one result for the whole country. There are 0.79 takeaways per 1000 people or 1 for every 1,265 people. This number beats Wales, England and Scotland.

Food Comparisons

Most Popular Takeaway Food

East Asian is the most popular takeaway by far in terms of locations that it dominates the most strongly around the UK (28%), and this is followed by fish and chips (26%). Pizza (18%) sits the in middle of the list for popularity per location, namely in Northern areas and parts of London. South Asian restaurants or curry houses come in at 13% of the country’s most popular fast food eateries. 

While fried chicken shops were not the most popular takeaways, the stats show us that they feature far and wide in London and surrounding Greater London areas. In Ilford, 24% of the takeaways that exist are chicken shops, making it the only postcode location in the country to be mainly dominated by outlets serving fried chicken, therefore leaving it sitting at the bottom of the list for popularity. The same goes for 19% of the takeaway outlets in North London, Croydon, South East London (which also has the total highest number of chicken shops in the country) and Harrow all similarly share 18% of their takeaways as chicken shops.

Fish and Chips

The classic British staple food that we all know and love, Fish and Chips. Back in the day, the dish was likely first served up from our coasts. Fast-forwarding to now, and it seems to be pretty evenly spread across the nation. The map shows its popularity around the UK with the darker colours on the map representing the areas that are most heavily dominated by chippys. 

Fish and Chips Map

The data comes from the Food Standards Agency’s UK Food Hygiene Rating Data API. Every single listed fast food outlet providing takeaway food in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (filtering out sandwich-only shops) was collected and categorized into cuisines, then sorted by postcode. Population for each postcode region was taken into account in order to produce takeaway figures per 1000 people. 

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