Food in Scotland – 12 Popular Scottish Foods to Try
Scotland is known as the land of the kilted highlander, with its tartan plaids and bagpipes, but it has a rich culinary history that dates back centuries. If you’re open to expanding your culinary horizons, then food in Scotland is exciting. Discover how Scottish cuisine has evolved, and learn more about the nation’s most popular dishes.
If you’re ready to learn more about the famous food in Scotland that you must try, then read on!
An odd name, but don’t miss trying a bowl of this tasty, creamy fish soup.
If you’ve tasted clam chowder in the USA or a seafood bisque in France, then Scotland’s version of fish soup is Cullen Skink.
Food in Scotland – Cullen Skink
Ingredients include smoked haddock (fish), onions or leeks, potatoes, and fresh herbs with milk or cream to thicken.
I love this dish, and I’m confident you’ll enjoy it too. This food in Scotland is undoubtedly one that you must try.
2. Fish & Chips
Fish & Chips are usually a good choice when travelling anywhere in the UK, but they’re even better in Scotland! Don’t ask me why; it just tastes fresher up here.
Haddock is the typical fish on the menu at your local ‘chippy’ (fish and chip shop) served up battered and deep fried until perfectly golden, then served with a generous portion of hand-cut chips.
Many places make a homemade tartare sauce, so be sure you get some. I think it’s the key to a good meal of Scotland’s food favourite of classic fish and chips.
3. Haggis, Neeps & Tatties
You’ve likely heard about ‘haggis’ when anyone mentions Scottish cuisine, but you may not know what it is. Haggis is Scotland’s national dish and a much-loved comforting meal. You could say this dish is famous food in Scotland.
Haggis, neeps and tatties. Classic food in Scotland.
Prepared from a boiled mix of finely chopped sheep offal (liver, heart and lungs) and mixed with suet, oatmeal, spices and seasonings, it’s a tasty dish.
Haggis is typically served with neeps (creamy mashed turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes), also two other foods I adore. Doesn’t everyone love mashed potatoes?
If you want to get right into Scotland food traditions, order your haggis with a nip of whiskey to wash it all down.
Scottish oatcakes are similar to flatbread or savoury biscuits.
Made using oats, as the name suggests, and Scots usually eat them topped with cheese, spreads, pate or alongside one of the delicious soups mentioned in our list of the best food in Scotland.
Oatcakes are available for purchase from any supermarket or small store.
They’re the perfect snack food in your travel bag as you make your way around Scotland independently or on a small group tour discovering the highlights of Scotland.
5. Scotch Broth
Nothing is better than a bowl of this hearty and filling soup on a blistering, cold, rainy Scottish winter day.
Core ingredients include barley, root vegetables, pieces of mutton, lamb, or beef, and dried pulses. Best eaten with dense soda bread, don’t miss it.
Food in Scotland – Scotch Broth is always a good idea
Did you know that some of the best whiskey in the world is produced right here in Scotland? A few reasons for this are the clear water and fine malted barley used in the distillation process to produce an exceptional drink.
It is thoroughly enjoyed in Scotland and exported worldwide to other nations.
In addition, Scotland and its islands are home to countless whiskey distilleries, making them the perfect place to sample a variety of malts – from the delicate and soft flavours to the smokey and strong types.
Great Food in Scotland to eat at the Pub – Steak and Ale Pie.
A favourite dish across the UK, and a popular pub classic food in Scotland. Large chunks of beef are stewed with fresh herbs and ale to create a lovely filling for the yummy steak and ale pie.
Placed into a dish and covered with a piece of puff pastry, this meal is a hearty one!
Usually served with chips and peas, it’s certainly one of my favourites.
8. Scotch Eggs
A super simple concept, and very addictive; especially after a few ales or shots of whiskey! Scotch eggs are cooked eggs encased in sausage meat, then breaded and fried.
The secret to a good scotch egg is the sausage meat’s flavouring or herbs and spices. Warning – You can never stop at just one.
It makes sense that porridge would be a popular food in Scotland due to the weather and cold temperatures here.
You can expect your porridge in Scotland to be served with fresh berries or even a nip of whiskey to keep you warm for bracing the icy climate when you head outdoors.
10. Full Scottish Breakfast
You could say that the full Scottish breakfast is quite similar to a full English breakfast, also known as a fry-up.
But, the main difference with the Scottish version of typically fried eggs, toast, baked beans, bacon, pork sausages, tattie scones, mushrooms, and fried tomatoes is the addition of black pudding.
And for those wondering what black pudding is, it’s a blood sausage that originated in the UK and Ireland.
Scottish food that really fills you up for the day! Full Scottish breakfast.
Made from pigs’ blood and mixed with pork fat, oatmeal, barley, onions, and spices, it’s an acquired taste. Many people avoid tasting this food in Scotland once they hear that pigs’ blood is a core ingredient.
And that’s OK, but be sure to try a full Scottish breakfast during your visit to Scotland; it will surely keep you going for exploring the 10 Best things to do in Edinburgh or a Rabbies Tour of Scotland (get 5% off all Rabbies UK/Ireland tours if you use our promo code, NOMAD5)
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Rach is a self-confessed travelling foodie. Her passion for food and culture has seen her eat her way through 190 countries. She's currently on a big food adventure to visit EVERY country in the world!
When Rach isn't travelling, you can find her at the beach, drinking coffee or wine with friends or chowing down on the best eats around her home city of Melbourne, Australia.