My family and I recently took a trip to Scotland and we saw a whole lot of castles, sheep, and redheads. Scotland is a beautiful country, however it is not as well known for their food (in comparison to say France or Italy). For instance, one of their traditional dishes is haggis, which is (brace yourself) chopped sheep lung, liver, and heart. For those brave enough to try it, props to you. If haggis isn't your thing, here is a "taste" of the Scottish food I ate during my trip!

Fish and Chips: Dores Inn

Abigail Shipps

Fish and chips is a classic UK dish, so I was naturally obligated to order it at least a few times. My favorite fish and chips dish was enjoyed at the Dores Inn, which is a tiny bed and breakfast on the shores of Loch Ness.I didn't catch a glimpse of Nessie, but nothing beats food with a view!

Panini: The Portcullis

Abigail Shipps

Scotland is close to foodie European countries such as Italy and France, so I wasn't surprised to see dishes influenced from those countries as I read through several menus. One standout meal was this cranberry and French brie panini I ate at a pub after exploring Stirling Castle. Paninis originate from Italy, and the addition of the French brie makes this sandwich a delicious fusion of cultures. 

Pub Crawls (18+): The Last Drop, No 2 Baker Street, Cafe Royal...

shandy, alcohol, lager, ale, beer
Abigail Shipps

One thing I was not surprised to see while in Scotland was the crazy amount of pubs, as they are popular eating, drinking, and social spots in the UK. Most pubs don't allow people under 18 to enter in the evening, however all ages can enjoy some good pub grub during the day.

#SpoonTip: If you're 18 years or older and want to try some good local beer, order a variety from a cask rather than from a tap. You don't see many cask beers in the States!

French Eats: Maison Bleu

coffee, beer
Abigail Shipps

As mentioned before, I found that Scottish cuisine is in part influenced by surrounding countries. During our first night in Edinburgh, my family and I went out to eat at this French restaurant, Maison Bleu, which was quaintly tucked away right off of the Royal Mile. After our dinner and some yummy crème brûlée, we strolled around, window shopped, and explored the streets.

Grocery Haul: Marks & Spencer

If you're staying in Scotland for more than a few days, it may be a good idea to pick up a few staples from a local food market to avoid spending a lot of money eating out. While my family stayed in Edinburgh and Stirling, we picked up some bread, fruits, and veggies from a local Marks & Spencer. 

My family's trip to Scotland was definitely one for the books, as we enjoyed seeing beautiful sights paired with delicious food. I was surprised to see just how much Scottish food is influenced by other cultures- the cuisine is basically a European/UK fusion of flavors. I would love to visit again, and maybe next time I'll be brave enough to try the traditional haggis...maybe.