Free Time Suggestions: Tasting Your Way Through Scotland

Taking a tour of Scotland? While the food scene is similar to what you will find all over the UK, there are a few Scottish must-tries. Here are the 10 food experiences you don’t want to miss!

  • Haggis – Scotland’s national dish is just as famous for being weird as it is for being tasty. Haggis is a type of savory pudding that combines meat with oatmeal, onions, and spices. The sausage-like dish with its peppery flavor can be found served in a casing, fried, or with breakfast, which brings us to the next meal…

    via Julia Karam

  • Scottish Breakfast – Bring your appetite, because this meal is FILLING—the Scots are known for their “full” breakfast. A typical full Scottish Breakfast includes eggs, sausage, black pudding, grilled ham, haggis, toast, mushrooms, grilled tomato, and often potatoes, along with a cup of tea to wash it all down. With a meal like this, you’ll be good to go for a full day of exploring.

    via Julia Karam

  • Tea – A bit stronger than its English counterpart, Scottish tea is just as much of an event. Afternoon tea is most popular, accompanied by finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones, while High Tea may serve hot foods and cheeses as well. No matter which you choose, don’t skip out on the jam and clotted cream for your scone!

    Ben Sutherland/Via Flickr

  • Scotch Pie – While pies are common throughout the UK, Scotland does this comfort food best. The flaky pie crust is usually filled with minced mutton, but it can also be made with chicken, fish, or steak. These pies are served with potatoes, baked beans, and gravy in restaurants, or can be purchased alone from most bakeries.
  • Fish – Scotland is known for its lochs or lakes, and the fish that come from them deserve the same amount of attention. Most popular are salmon and haddock—which you can try smoked, grilled, or battered and served with chips!

    Jason Rala/Via Flickr

  • Cullen Skink – Smoked fish is a staple in Scotland. This soup includes smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions served in either a water or light cream-based broth. Popular all over, especially along the coastline, this is the perfect meal to warm you up after one of the many rainy days in Scotland!
  • Ice Cream – If you do happen to have a rare sunny day, or can brave the cold, try one of the hundreds of flavors of Scottish Ice Cream. Most Scots claim that their ice cream is superior to others because of how fresh the cows’ milk is. Ice cream shops can be found as stand-alone stores, or attached to some candy stores and bakeries.

    David Mckelvey/Via Flickr

  • Tablets – Another popular dessert is a Scottish Tablet. Made from condensed milk, butter, and a whole lot of sugar, this treat will satisfy any sweet tooth. It comes in various flavors from clotted cream to whiskey, but we recommend original vanilla. Candy stores are super popular in Scotland, so tablets won’t be too hard to find!
  • Shortbread – This makes a great gift to bring home—if you can stop yourself from eating them all before you get there! The biscuits are made with sugar, butter, and flour, and can be purchased in tins at any souvenir shop, though they taste best when made fresh in a bakery.
  • Irn Bru – Last, but certainly not least, on this list is the most popular soft drink in Scotland: Irn Bru. While bright orange in color, it tastes nothing like the orange soda you’re used to and is significantly sweeter. Irn Bru’s taste is pretty indescribable, though some compare it to cream soda, orange soda without the tartness, or just sugar. Unlike any other soda, it is definitely worth a try!

What’s your favorite food you’ve tried abroad? Let us know! 

Topics: Food, Scotland

Julia Karam

Julia traveled with EF in 2015 and started in a content marketing co-op at EF Tours while in college. She has since studied abroad in Florence, Italy, traveled to 10+ countries, and now works as a Tour Consultant with EF Tours.

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