When it comes to food, Glasgow doesn't have the best reputation. After all, the city has the dubious distinction of being one of the most unhealthy in the United Kingdom. However, while the traditional Scottish breakfast and the many deep-fried delights from the ubiquitous chip shops in Glasgow city centre aren't necessarily the healthiest thing for you, that doesn't mean they aren't delicious food.
Besides, there's more to Scottish cuisine than everything fried. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Glasgow, and you can dive into Scottish cuisine and be surprised by what you find. Glasgow has come a long way in recent years, and you're likely to find incredible Indian dishes, French food, and Asian fusion food as you are Scottish classics like haggis. Plus, the city offers everything from a fine dining experience to the best street food in Glasgow, so there are options to suit every wallet. And thanks to the best vegetarian restaurants in Glasgow, it's not hard to enjoy Scottish food even if you don't eat meat.
The Scottish breakfast is a heart attack on a plate, but it's also one of the most delicious things you'll ever eat. And there's no better place to enjoy one than in the relaxed atmosphere of Cafe Wander. This popular Glasgow breakfast spot serves up some of the best egg dishes in town, as well as delicious sausage, beans, and black pudding (a type of blood sausage). The portions are huge, so make sure you come here with a hearty appetite.
A traditional Scottish breakfast is similar to an English one, but there are some subtle differences. Expect fried egg (or possibly scrambled), tattie scones (a kind of potato cake), fried mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, bacon, sausage, buttered toast, and black pudding. This gargantuan meal means you can easily skip lunch and maybe dinner as well, but it is an exceptional hangover cure as well as a classic item of Scottish food.
Deep-fried Mars bar
A deep-fried Mars bar is exactly what it sounds like: a chocolate bar that has been dipped in batter and fried. It might not be the healthiest snack in the world, but it's definitely one of the most delicious, and you can find it at many of the chip shops in the city centre.
The deep-fried Mars bar originated in Scotland, and while it's not clear exactly where or when, there are many theories. One popular story is that it was created by a chip shop owner in 1995 who was looking for a way to use up some leftover batter. Another theory is that it was actually created in Aberdeenshire in the 1980s. Either way, this Scottish food has become something of a global phenomenon, and you can now find deep-fried chocolate bars all over the world.
Haggis is a traditional part of Scottish cuisine made from sheep's heart, liver, and lungs that are minced and mixed with oatmeal, onions, and spices, then stuffed into a sheep's stomach and slow-cooked. It might not sound appetizing, but it's actually delicious, and you can find it in many restaurants in Glasgow.
Haggis is a popular dish in Scotland, and there are many different ways to eat it. You can enjoy it as part of a traditional Scottish breakfast, or have it for lunch or dinner with neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes). You can also buy haggis ready-made from many supermarkets in Glasgow, or even order it online.
You'll also find that haggis has moved with the times. This traditional dish can be very versatile, so expect to find variations like venison haggis and even haggis pakoras on the menus of restaurants in Glasgow.
Irn Bru is a bright orange carbonated soft drink that is incredibly popular in Scotland. In fact, it's so popular that it's often referred to as Scotland's other national drink (after whisky, of course).
Irn Bru has been produced in Scotland since 1901, and its unique flavor is created by 32 different natural flavors. It's also said to be an effective hangover cure, which might explain its popularity.
You can find Irn Bru pretty much everywhere in Glasgow, from supermarkets to corner shops, and you can even buy it online. If you're not a fan of the taste, then you can always buy Irn Bru-flavored sweets or ice cream instead.
Tablet is a Scottish sweet made from sugar, condensed milk, and butter that is boiled until it forms a thick, creamy consistency. It's then left to harden where it is best described as similar to fudge. Like fudge, it can sometimes come with nuts, but at its most basic is simply flavored with vanilla.
Don't go too crazy on this one. The high sugar content will cause havoc on both your teeth and your waistline!
Smoked haddock is a Scottish delicacy that is often served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's made by smoking fresh haddock over a peat fire, which gives it a unique flavor.
You can find smoked haddock in many of the fish and chip shops in Glasgow, as well as in supermarkets and some restaurants. It's usually served with chips (French fries), peas, and tartar sauce. And if you're looking for one of the best seafood restaurants in Glasgow, head to Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery.
Afternoon tea is a quintessentially British tradition, and Glasgow is no exception. This light meal or snack consists of sandwiches, cakes, and pastries, as well as a pot of tea.
You can find afternoon tea being served in many of the hotels and cafes in Glasgow city centre. If you want to go somewhere special, then you can book a table at one of the city's afternoon tea rooms, such as The Willow Tea Rooms or Cupcake Coffee Company. It makes for a very civilized way to beat an afternoon hunger and enjoy a classic part of British culture along with some delicious food. And, both the Windows Restaurant and Carlton George Hotel offer afternoon tea with a view from their rooftop restaurants in Glasgow.
Porridge is a traditional Scottish dish made from oats that are boiled in water or milk. It's usually served with sugar or fruit, and it's a popular breakfast food.
While porridge might not be the most exciting food on this list, it's definitely worth trying if you're in Scotland. You can find it being served in many cafes and restaurants in Glasgow, or you can make it yourself at home using Scottish oats.
Cullen skink is a traditional Scottish soup made from smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions. It's thick, creamy, and absolutely delicious, and it's a popular starter or main course in Glasgow. Traditionally, this classic Scottish food is made with finnan haddie, which is a local fish in the waters off Glasgow. However, any smoked haddock will do.
You can find cullen skink on the menus of many restaurants in Glasgow, or you can buy it ready-made from supermarkets. If you want to try making it yourself, then there are plenty of recipes available online.
Macaroni Pie and Chips
This might not seem like the most familiar item of Scottish cuisine on the menu, but it has earned its place alongside Scottish classics like haggis in recent years. Macaroni pie is a dish made from macaroni pasta, cheese, and a creamy sauce, all baked in a pastry crust.
In Glasgow, it's often served with chips (French fries) as a main course. You can find it being sold in many fish and chip shops, as well as some supermarkets. If you're trying to stick to a low-carb diet, this isn't the way to do it. Nor is it exactly a fine dining experience. But it is an excellent way to indulge in the ancient tradition of Scotch pie, and it will certainly keep you fueled up to explore the city. Pair it with a local craft beer and you've got a great meal.
Black pudding is a traditional part of the legendary Scottish breakfast but is unique enough that it deserves its own entry on this list. This blood sausage is made from pork, beef, or lamb, and it's a must-try for anyone with a sense of adventure.
You can find black pudding being served in many of the breakfast cafes and restaurants in Glasgow. It's usually served with eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato, and mushrooms. If you're not used to eating blood sausage, then it might take a little getting used to. But it's definitely worth trying if you're in Scotland and looking to experience local flavors.
Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert made from whipped cream, whisky, oatmeal, and fresh raspberries. It's rich, creamy, and definitely tasty, and it's the perfect way to round off a meal.
Cranachan is usually made with local ingredients, so you'll be able to taste the very best of Scottish produce. If you're not a fan of whisky, then don't worry – there are plenty of non-alcoholic versions of this dessert available too.
What makes something a traditional dish? How long does it take for a type of food to be incorporated into the culture of a nation? These are questions you may find yourself pondering over a delicious butter chicken or vindaloo when you pop into any of the thousands of curry houses you'll find in Glasgow.
Curry, of course, has its origins in the cuisine of India. But with mass immigration to the UK from India following the second world war, curry soon became a popular dish in Britain, including Scotland. Now, curry is as much a part of Scottish cuisine as haggis and fried food.
You can find curry being served in restaurants and cafes all over Glasgow. There's a huge range of different curries to choose from, so you're sure to find one that suits your taste. Curry restaurants in Glasgow run the gamut from high-end to bargain basement, so you can find something to suit no matter what you're in the mood for. Some of our favorites include Mother India's Cafe, Dakhin, and Obsessions of India.
Scotch salmon is world-renowned for its quality, and it's one of the most popular Scottish foods. The rich, fatty flesh of this fish is absolutely delicious, and it can be prepared in a variety of ways.
You can find Scottish salmon being served in restaurants all over Glasgow. It's usually smoked, grilled, or baked, and it's often served with potatoes and vegetables. If you're looking for a healthy option, then grilled salmon is a good choice. But if you're in the mood for something a little richer, then smoked salmon will hit the spot.
Glasgow is a great place to try Scotland's traditional dishes. You'll find everything you could possibly want to eat in this city, from a luxurious fine dining experience to delicious street food, from haggis and potatoes to Scotch pies, delicious curries, and fusion food.
Of course, many traditional Scottish foods aren't the healthiest thing in the world. That's okay when you're on vacation, but if you're worried about coming home with some unwanted pounds, don't be. Try out some of the best hiking trails in Glasgow to burn off those excess calories and earn the feast you'll be having in the city.
The best food in Glasgow is just waiting to be discovered. Hunt down some of these great traditional dishes, and you'll be immersing yourself in the history and culture of Scotland while you explore Glasgow. There are few better ways to learn about the country than through its food, so save room for these classics of Scottish cuisine, and you'll have an incredibly delicious holiday.