Don’t-Miss Dishes in Edinburgh
Elegant Edinburgh is known as Scotland’s dining capital, which means delicious bites—from ultrahearty breakfasts to perfectly fresh seafood—are always close at hand. Venture on a tasting tour to try local delicacies (and don’t forget to stop by one of the city’s whisky bars for a wee dram afterwards). Here’s what to seek out.
Though it is Scotland’s national dish, haggis may also be the country’s most misunderstood fare. Made with sheep offal, as well as oats, onion, and spices—and historically cooked inside a sheep’s stomach, though nowadays most casings are synthetic—haggis sounds far more intimidating than it is. In reality, this savory pudding is akin to a nutmeg-perfumed, crumbly sausage and is served at many of Edinburgh’s traditional restaurants.
Neeps and Tatties
Neeps and tatties—or turnips and potatoes—are a traditional accompaniment to haggis, though they’re also frequently paired with sausages, venison steaks, and game birds. They can be mashed together or cooked separately; either way, they’re usually mixed with impressive quantities of butter and cream.
Fancy a postdinner treat? Nibble on a square of Scottish tablet. A cousin to fudge and similar in flavor to butterscotch, tablet is made by boiling sugar, condensed milk, and butter together before leaving it to set. If your sweet tooth still isn’t satisfied, deep-fried Mars Bars, available at most casual “chippies” (fish-and-chip shops), are another Edinburgh must-try.
In Scotland, savory pies are all the rage—and the classic Scotch Pie makes ideal comfort-food eating on cold and blustery days. A tender, double-crust pie filled with spiced lamb or mutton, Scotch pies can be found at Edinburgh’s butchers and pie shops.
Full Scottish Breakfast
Whether you’ve worked up an appetite from a busy sightseeing schedule or overindulged in local whisky the previous night, a full Scottish breakfast is a restorative way to begin your day. You can expect a plate laden with eggs, toast, black pudding, bacon, sausages, baked beans, a tattie scone (potato scone), and a grilled tomato (plus other optional add-ons)—with tea on the side, naturally.
From shellfish to salmon, Scotland is known for its exceptional seafood—and langoustines are the jewel of Scottish waters. Also known as Norway lobsters, langoustines are somewhere between a shrimp and a lobster in size, and their ultrasweet flavor makes them an irresistible staple at local seafood restaurants.