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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > United Kingdom > Scotland

Scotland Food and Drink

Scottish cuisine has a reputation for strong flavours and interesting ingredients. Inspiration often comes from traditional Scots products – oats, whisky, salmon, Aberdeen Angus beef and game. In season, pheasant, grouse and partridges often feature. Scottish smoked salmon has long been celebrated, and the langoustine, mackerel or haddock can be similarly good. Fish and chip shops are widespread.

When it comes to eating out, visitors have a multitude of options these days, from high-end Michelin-starred dining and gourmet rural restaurants to stylish vegetarian cafés, farm shops and traditional pub lunches.

In Scotland's cities, you'll come across a huge assortment of international cuisine; Glasgow in particular is famed for its Italian restaurants and first-rate curry houses. Scots won't deny that they're prone to the odd sugary or deep-fried temptation, but new ranks of celebrity chefs have helped change outside perception.

Specialities

Porridge: A traditional Scottish breakfast made from locally grown oats and either milk or water.
Haggis: Chopped oatmeal and offal, traditionally cooked in the stomach of a sheep and served with neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes).
Cullen skink: A thick soup of smoked haddock.
Smoked salmon: Usually served in slices.
Partan bree: Crab broth with rice and cream.
Arbroath smokies: Smoked haddock.
Stornoway black pudding: A savoury pudding made from pig’s blood.
Cranachan: Whipped cream, whisky, honey, raspberries and oatmeal.
Clootie dumpling: Traditional steamed pudding cooked in a cloth.
Tunnock’s teacakes: Soft marshmallow on a biscuit base coated in milk chocolate.
Whisky: Scotland’s most famous export; you really shouldn’t leave without sampling a few drams.
Irn-Bru: A sweet fizzy drink that’s bright orange in colour.

Tipping

10-15% is typical

Drinking age

18. If you appear to be under the age of 25 and are buying alcohol, you could be asked for ID.

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