Food in Scotland Smoked Salmon for breakfast

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, read on!

12 of the most popular food in Scotland:

1. Cullen Skink

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
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 am 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 a famous food in Scotland.

Food in Scotland Haggis Neeps and Tatties
Haggis, neeps and tatties. Classic food in Scotland.

It’s a tasty dish that is prepared from a boiled mix of finely chopped sheep offal (liver, heart and lungs) and mixed with suet, oatmeal, spices and seasonings.

Haggis is typically served with neeps (creamy mashed turnips), tatties (mashed potatoes), and 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.

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4. Oatcakes

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.

Food in Scotland Oatcakes

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, mutton, lamb, or beef pieces, and dried pulses. Best eaten with dense soda bread, don’t miss it.

Food in Scotland Scotch Broth
Food in Scotland – Scotch Broth is always a good idea

6. Whisky

Did you know that some of the best whiskey in the world is produced right here in Scotland? The clear water and fine malted barley used in the distillation process to produce an exceptional drink are a few reasons for this.

It is thoroughly enjoyed in Scotland and exported worldwide to other nations.

Food in Scotland Whiskey

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.

I am a big fan of whiskey and I highly recommend this Whiskey Experience in Edinburgh if you’d like to learn more about Scotch whiskey and taste some different blends too.

Don’t miss our EUROPE CITY GUIDES

7. Steak & Ale Pie

Food in Scotland Steak and Ale Pie
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

Food in Scotland 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, herbs, and spices. Warning – You can never stop at just one.

9. Porridge

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.

Food in Scotland Porridge

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.

Food in Scotland Full Scottish breakfast
Scottish food that really fills you up for the day! Full Scottish breakfast.

It’s an acquired taste and made from pigs’ blood and mixed with pork fat, oatmeal, barley, onions, and spices. 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)

11. Fresh Seafood

Did you know that Scotland is known to have some incredibly fresh seafood? I tried as much as possible during my 5 Day Northern Coast & Orkney Tour of Scotland.

I enjoyed some tasty lobster and delicious (and huge) hand-dived scallops at the Kirkwall Hotel in Kirkwall during our visit to the Orkney Islands.

The smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on the breakfast menu were also perfect. I highly recommend the Kirkwall Hotel if you’re up this way.

Food in Scotland Smoked Salmon for breakfast
Fresh smoked salmon & scrambled eggs at Kirkwall Hotel in Kirkwall.

And if you’re interested in exploring some unique neolithic sites, Viking history and pristine areas of Scotland, check out our post about why you should visit the Orkney Islands.

12. Smoked Fish

Smoked fish is a popular food in Scotland. It’s the perfect food for extended sea journeys and a staple of fishermen and fisherwomen.

I’d imagine it was something that Vikings may have eaten back in the day as they moved through these lands back in the day.

Food in Scotland Smoked Haddock for breakfast

The smoked fish in Scotland is excellent, with the most popular types of fish being haddock, salmon and kippers.

Try one or all of them during your visit – it’s some of the best-tasting fish you’ll ever eat.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Scottish foods and the food in Scotland that you need to try. Is your favourite Scotland food on this list? 

Don’t miss our post on 7 Reasons you Should Visit the Orkney Islands In Scotland and also the Top 10 Things To Do In Scotland Edinburgh.

Travelling in Europe and the UK has been incredibly busy since the pandemic finished, but our post on 7 Best Tips for Traveling to Europe will ensure you have the best time on this fantastic continent.

We’ve got a bunch of helpful blogs to help you travel this region. Check out our post on What is an eSIM? The Best eSIM for Europe and our ULTIMATE Packing List for Europe. 

For all the food lovers, we’ve got you covered with our Complete Food Map of Europe.