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9 Top Scottish Food Experiences

Scotland is home to a whole host of foodie experiences that will get your taste buds tingling.

Here are just a few suggestions we know you’ll love…

 

1. Try some succulent seafood gems

Nourishing and bursting with flavour, Scotland’s seafood enjoys a sparkling reputation across the world.

Where to buy the best seafood in Scotland

  • The Fish Hoose in Angus – one of the best places to pick up a famous Arbroath Smokie – a fresh haddock, smoked over a hardwood fire.
  • Donaldsons of Orkney – have won awards for their delicious hot smoked salmon.
  • The Fish People in Glasgow – have an incredible selection of fresh Scottish fish, lobster, mussels and crab and offer everything from curated fish boxes for delivery to specially prepared deli food.
  • Loch Fyne Oyster Ltd – located on the banks of Loch Fyne, sample delicious seafood in their restaurant and oyster bar. You can even enjoy a fresh catch from the comfort of your home with their online delivery service.

Whet your appetite? Explore some of the Best Seafood Shacks in Scotland.

 

2. Head to a prestigious restaurant

Treat yourself to a meal out in one of Scotland’s trendy restaurants.

  • Gleneagles Hotel – indulge in one of the many fantastic restaurants at the hotel, including Andrew Fairlie’s two Michelin-star restaurant.
  • The Bon Vivant and El Cartel – visit these sister restaurants on Thistle Street in Edinburgh for some quality European and Mexican food in atmospheric surroundings.
  • Temple Café at Northton – located on the Isle of Harris, the restaurant is reminiscent of an ancient temple and boasts stunning views out over the beach. Enjoy tasty coffee and freshly baked cakes or opt for a meal from their ever-changing specials board.

If these have tickled your tastebuds, why not head to one of Scotland’s 10 Michelin Star restaurants?

 

3. Cool down with some Scottish ice cream

When the weather heats up, it’s the perfect time to satisfy your cravings with a sweet frozen treat. 

Best spots to get ice cream in Scotland

  • Nardini’s – a family-run chain whose rich and intensely flavoured recipes have remained unchanged since the 1930s.
  • Jannetta’s Gelateria in St Andrews – combines Italian ingredients with uniquely Scottish flavours, including Scottish tablet and Irn-Bru sorbet.
  • Mary’s Milk Bar  in Edinburgh – showcases weird and wonderful flavour combinations including whisky and ginger, peanut butter and cinnamon.

Find more of our top ice cream spot recommendations.

 

4. Go wild trying local produce

Partial to fresh, local produce? Scotland is the place for you. Here are some of our top recommendations for exploring what Scotland has to offer:

  • Forage at the Fife Arms – enjoy a guided walk deep in the Highlands and learn more about Scottish plants and their uses with an in-house expert forager.
  • Blackwater Bakehouse – no trip to the Isle of Arran is complete without a stop off at this bakery! Using the best local produce, they bake unique, organic loaves packed full of flavour. The trendy outdoor shed is open for self-service until they sell out of tasty goods.
  • George Bower’s in Stockbridge – try some of the wild game that thrives in Scotland’s unique climate and terrain. George Bower’s is an Edinburgh institution and sells grouse, wild hare, pheasant, venison and more directly from their own game larder.
  • Visit a farmers’ market – if you want to get your hands on locally sourced, organic food and drink, visit one of the many markets held regularly around the country.

 

5. Vegan Delights

As you’ll soon discover, Scotland’s vegan fare is inventive, healthy and, most importantly of all, delicious!

  • Soul Food Kitchen in Glasgow – one of the many restaurants across the city to offer diners a rich and varied vegan menu, as well as coffees and cake.
  • Ellishadder Art Café on the Isle of Skye – this quaint little painting studio’s food is made from ingredients grown in their own garden.
  • The Wildcat Café – offers a range of vegan-friendly dishes, as well ethical, organic and plastic-free goods.

Discover more of our top vegan recommendations.

 

6. Enjoy a dram of your favourite tipple

image of three bottles of whisky on a bar with a full dram by the side

JL Gill Whisky Shop, Crieff

From spirits to ales, Scotland’s natural landscape and produce lends itself to creating delicious craft drinks for visitors to try.

  • Artisan Restaurant – this restaurant in Wishaw has a collection of over 1,300 whiskies, featuring bottles from all five of Scotland’s whisky regions to accompany your meal.
  • Deerness Distillery – situated in the remote and dramatic Orkney Islands, their artisan Sea Glass gin gives you a real taste of the landscape.
  • Born in the Borders – set on the banks of the River Teviot, the Born in the Borders Brewery is a multi-award-winning creator of real ale and is the only brewery in Scotland who grow, brew and package their beer on the same site.

These are just a few of many ! Find out more about Scotland’s whisky, beer and gin.

 

7. Tuck into a hearty full Scottish breakfast

Nothing sets you up for the day like a full Scottish breakfast. What sets it apart from a full English? The answer is black pudding, lorne sausage, and tattie scones. Here are some of our top picks for a spot of brunch in Scotland:

  • The Edinburgh Larder – this foodie-haven showcases the very best Scotland has to offer, and the ingredients of their legendary breakfast are all locally sourced.
  • Pacamara Food and Drink – as well as serving up some drool-worthy waffles and pancakes, this Dundee brunch spot does a mean Scottish cooked breakfast.
  • The Boathouse Glencaple – the café sits on the quay overlooking the River Nith in Dumfries and Galloway, so you can get the full works and enjoy your breakfast next to a lovely view.

 

8. Delve into Scotland’s traditional dishes 

Comforting and delicious, sometimes traditional is best! Discover more about Scotland’s authentic dishes and where to try them:

Haggis, neeps n’ tatties 

Nourishing and oh-so-satisfying, haggis is a Scottish staple best enjoyed with a generous helping of mashed turnip (neeps), and potato (tatties) on the side.

  • Where to try –  The Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow always has haggis, neeps and tatties, as well as veggie alternatives, on the upstairs brasserie menu. You can also buy some delicious haggis from a local butcher.

Cranachan

The king of Scottish desserts, cranachan is traditionally made with crowdie (a soft crumbly Scottish cheese) mixed with cream, oats, raspberries, a dash of whisky and drizzled with honey.

  • Where to try The Whiski Rooms in Edinburgh serve up a delicious in house cranachan – the perfect way to end your meal.

Cullen Skink

One of Scotland’s most famous dishes, this warming soup is creamy and heartening. Traditionally made with smoked haddock and potatoes, it’s Scotland’s answer to chowder.

  • Where to try – Visit the Rockpool café in the town where this dish originates – where better to sample Cullen Skink than in Cullen itself?

Interested in Scotland’s other traditional foods? Find the answers with our Frequently Asked Questions about Scottish food and drink.

 

9. Why not try something a wee bit different?

Scotland embraces the weird and the wonderful, so tick something off your foodie bucket list with one of our alternative experiences and dishes.

Rowies

Created to serve Aberdeen’s growing fishing industry in the 19th century, the Aberdeen buttery – also known as an Aberdeen rowie – is a deliciously salty bread roll, often eaten for breakfast with butter and jam.

Where to try

Have a taste at John Davidsons butchery  in Inverurie.

World Porridge Championships

See Scotland’s cosy comfort breakfast as you never have before with the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships! Taking place annually in Carrbridge, it’s well worth a trip to the Highlands for this quirky but competitive affair.

Visit Scotland’s only food town

With over 50 food and drink outlets it’s easy to see why Castle Douglas has gained a reputation as a fantastic food town.

Where to try

  • Sulwath Brewery – see how they craft their bespoke ales and browse local delis and restaurants for a delicious bite to eat.
  • Cream o’ Galloway – located just outside the town, there are a huge range of animals to meet and some of the most delicious ice cream in the country to sample at this wonderful visitor centre.

 

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