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11 Traditional Scottish Food Dishes to Try

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Mac and Wild at Falls of Shin

Mac and Wild at Falls of Shin

Scotland is home to some incredible varieties of food; from succulent seafood and traditional hearty haggis, to colourful vegan dishes and delicious locally sourced ingredients, there is a wealth of food to try. Scotland is surrounded by plentiful seas, and boasts lush mountains, fertile lands and varied weather, meaning we can grow natural produce on our doorstep and supply this to our many restaurants and markets across the country.

Here are a few of the best Scottish foods the country has to offer:

1. Haggis

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with Whisky Sauce

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with Whisky Sauce

When you think of Scottish cuisine, haggis springs to mind. One of our most traditional and famous dishes is haggis, neeps and tatties, which is made up of hearty haggis, of course, neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes) and is usually served up with a dram, or two, of Scotch whisky. Made up of a delicious combination of meat, oatmeal, onions, salt and spices, haggis isn’t often the prettiest of foods, but definitely makes up for it with its flavoursome taste.

2. Fish n Chips

Fish & Chips at Anstruther Fish Bar

Fish & Chips at Anstruther Fish Bar

Fried in golden, crispy batter with thick-cut chips bursting with fluffy potato, the quality of our fish suppers is a point of national pride. From Anstruther Fish Bar in the charming fishing village of Anstruther in the East Neuk of Fife and Frankie’s in Shetland, Britain’s most northerly fish and chip shop, to Fisherman’s Pier fish & chip van on the Isle of Mull and more, there are hundreds of shacks, shops and vans across Scotland that offer up this traditional dish.

Explore the Best Fish & Chip Shops across Scotland.

3. Scottish Porridge

A favourite and a staple across Scotland for centuries. Porridge isn’t something you would typically associate with being Scottish, but it has been synonymous with the country throughout the years and is still a healthy option we all eat today. Follow our porridge itinerary to uncover all the places across Scotland where you can taste delicious variations of Scottish oats and more

Explore The Porridge Grand Tour of Scotland for more information.

4. Ice cream

Nardini's Ice Cream Parlour, Largs

Nardini’s Ice Cream Parlour, Largs

Scotland is home to many businesses, brands and even farms that create a creamy delectable variety of ice cream flavours that are a real treat to try! There are many independent cafes, ice cream parlours and gelaterias across Scotland that serve up mouthwatering concoctions, some of which you may not have tried before, all with locally sourced ingredients, some of which are homegrown too! Keep an eye out when you’re exploring our cities, towns and villages.

5. Full Scottish breakfast

A full Scottish breakfast served at the Coila Guest House, Ayr, South Ayrshire

A full Scottish breakfast served at the Coila Guest House, Ayr, South Ayrshire

You can’t go wrong with a hearty full Scottish breakfast. Varying from place to place, it is typically made up of fried eggs, toast, bacon, baked beans, hash browns, sausages, black pudding, tattie scones, mushrooms and fried tomatoes, and is certainly a dish that will set you up for a grand day exploring Scotland. You can often find this on offer in our restaurants and cafes up and down the country.

6. Seafood

Seafood platter, Orkney

Seafood platter, Orkney

We have no shortage of coastal destinations and fishing villages here in Scotland, and with that comes a fantastic opportunity to tuck into a seafood dish or two. From mussels, oysters, lobster and crab, to haddock, cod, trout and more, there are plenty of options for those looking to try out a seafood restaurant experience.

Explore some of the Best Seafood Shacks in Scotland.

7. Cranachan

Cranachan

Cranachan

Maybe one you haven’t heard of before, this traditional Scottish dessert was originally a celebration of harvest, following the raspberry harvest in June. This dessert includes cream and fresh seasonal raspberries served up with Scottish oats and whisky. It has been called ‘the uncontested king of Scottish dessert’. Have a try and let us know what you think!

8. Cullen skink

Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink

Another traditional Scottish dish you may not have heard of. Cullen Skink is a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions, and is a local specialty from the town of Cullen in Moray, on the northeast coast. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

9. Black pudding

Seared Skye hand dived scallops on Stornoway Black Pudding

Seared Skye hand dived scallops on Stornoway Black Pudding

You either love it or you hate it! Black pudding is traditional regional type of blood sausage, usually made of pork or beef blood mixed in with oatmeal, oat groats or barley groats. It is often served up in a full Scottish breakfast or can be paired with roast lamb, scallops or any dish you fancy really!

10. Tablet

Cubes of Scottish tablet

Cubes of Scottish tablet

Who doesn’t love a sweet treat? Scottish tablet is a tricky recipe to get right, but our culinary experts have managed to master it. This medium-hard sweet can be eaten on it’s own, mixed in with ice cream, or as various flavours on its own, such as rum and raisin, chocolate orange, nuts, and even Irn Bru!

11. Scottish Whisky

The Glenlivet Distillery, Ballindalloch

The Glenlivet Distillery, Ballindalloch

When you think about Scotland’s national foods, whisky may pop to mind, and it’s no surprise! Some of Scotland’s islands are home to numerous distilleries, making them the perfect place to sample a variety of malts – from the gentle and delicate, to the strong and peaty. Elsewhere, our cities and mainland towns and villages are also home to their own home-grown blends that perfectly capture a variety of flavours and combinations – a must-try when visiting Scotland!

Scottish Recipes to Try at Home

The Turriff Show

The Turriff Show

With farmers’ markets, seasonal produce, traditional dishes and interesting ingredients found across Scotland, you must be thinking of some tasty concoctions you can cook up with all these delicious offerings. Explore our Scottish Recipes eBook for more inspiration and step-by-step recipes so you can whip up a tasty masterpiece for your friends and family at home. From sweet treats such as Lemon Posset, and Rice Pudding Souffle, to a date night in with some romantic recipes, including BBQ Roasted Quail Breast, or Pancakes with Trout – the options are endless!

Farmers’ Markets, Seasonal Produce & Native Foods of Scotland

Scotland’s natural larder provides delicious food and drink all year round, including traditional dishes, unique ingredients, rich flavours and sweet fruits. In February, why not treat yourself to a wealth of delightful seafood, such as lobster, oysters and salmon, or in August, why not try some wild foods such as lamb, venison, or grouse?

Scotland’s towns and cities regularly host farmers’ markets, usually once or twice a month, where local farmers and businesses come together to showcase a variety of home-grown produce, ingredients and goods you can try and buy. From freshly cured cheeses, alcoholic beverages and a variety of meats, to breads, juicy jams, crafts and more, there is plenty to explore at these welcoming markets.

Looking for Vegan-Friendly dishes?

With palettes and preferences constantly changing in the foodie world, it should come as no surprise that vegan options are now almost as prevalent on our menus as traditional foods. Across Scotland, cafés, restaurants and bars are adding new and delicious vegan-friendly dishes to their menus all the time, as well as 100% vegan restaurants popping up in our towns and cities too, so there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Bonobo Café in Aberdeen, 269 Vegan in Perth, and Beetroot Sauvage in Edinburgh are just a few of the places you can try out.

Questions About Scottish Food

If you’ve ever had any burning questions about Scottish food and drink, look no further! Whether you want to find out about Michelin star restaurants, and other traditional dishes aside from haggis, or if you want to try solely Scottish food that you can’t find anywhere else and find out more about Scottish drinks, all your questions can be answered. Or why not head over to our iKnow Community where you can ask fellow travellers for their insight and tip and tricks on food in Scotland?

 

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