Traditional Scottish Food

For many first time visitors to Scotland, the traditional foods are one of the biggest surprises. The cuisine in Scotland is really rather tasty, but it also includes some surprising additions. The three most famous foods associated with Scotland are Haggis, Nips or Neeps, and Tatties, but you will quickly realize that there is far more to discover.


Haggis is the infamous or just famous, depending on your perspective, Scottish delicacy. Basically, you take the liver, heart, and lungs of a sheep (or other animal), minced and mixed with beef or mutton suet and oatmeal and seasoned with onion, cayenne pepper, and other spices. The surprising thing is it actually is very good. When you order it in restaurants, sometimes it can be too dry so the best thing is to do is find a butcher who makes haggis, and then take it home and cook it yourself.

Neeps & Nips

Neeps is just the Scots name for swede, which is a root vegetable. It is harvested in the fall and used throughout the winter in dishes such as soups and stews. You could also hear folks in Scotland say "nips," which is a shortened form of the word "turnips." It is a difficult task to peel and cut the turnips, but after that is done, they are boiled and mashed.

There are a great number of other foods that are considered to be national specialties in Scotland. One example is black pudding, which resembles a flat sausage. Some people find it off-putting as it is made with blood, but those brave enough to try it are rarely disappointed.

Scottish Breakfast

You really must indulge in a full Scottish breakfast at least once, complete with eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, beans, and another traditional fare. You'll see that the black pudding will be included, but the tat often has to be there as well, and as a result, you may choose a tat scone. When you think of scones, you think of these small cake-like things, which is what you see in the rest of the UK. A potato scone is essentially a pancake in the shape of a triangle that is made entirely out of potatoes. Another popular breakfast option in Scotland is porridge, which traditionally is made to be very thick.


Many people say that the best thing in Scotland is their salmon. You can opt for smoked salmon as an appetizer in many restaurants or you can put it in sandwiches. Of course, you can also have a salmon fillet as a full meal. Scottish salmon is known to be particularly flavorsome, which is why it is often more expensive than salmon from other parts of the world.

Of course, salmon is not the only fish available in Scotland. You can also have haddock or cod, and Scotland is just as well known for its fish and chips as other parts of the UK.

Pub Food

If you are in Scotland, you will definitely want to go to the pub. There are many traditional Scottish beers that you should be sure to try and if you are from the US, you are sure to find them highly unusual. Of course, it is impossible not to mention whisky. The range of flavors in Scottish whisky is astounding and it is such as large part of the culture that is certainly qualifies as a traditional Scottish food.