Scotland's Capital Fare: What Food is Edinburgh Famous For?

Scotland's Capital Fare: What Food is Edinburgh Famous For?

Local delicacies and items to buy
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    The table above lists all the local delicacies from Edinburgh and souvenirs to purchase on your visit. Click on each name to be taken straight to the part of the blog post for that item.

    what food is edinburgh famous for

    Edinburgh is a city with a rich history and culture, but it's also known for its deliciously unique food! It has been said that Edinburgh fog, rumbledethumps, black bun, tweed kettle, parlies, red pudding, Musselburgh pie, and pan drops are some of the most famous dishes. Who doesn't love delicious food?

    The foods in Edinburgh have been praised by many people from all over the world and each dish has its signature taste and flavour. This article will discuss how these types of food came to be so popular in this beautiful place we call home - Edinburgh!

    What you need to know about popular dishes from Edinburgh

    From traditional Scottish cuisine to more continental fare, there are plenty of tasty options available in one of the food capitals of Scotland. Here are a few examples we recommend:

    Edinburgh Fog

    Edinburgh fog is a dessert that is made up of whipped cream, sponge cake, custard, and jam. It is said to be one of the most delicious desserts in Edinburgh and it's worth trying! The ingredients are simple but when they are all put together, it's a real treat for your taste buds. It's known as the Scottish version of Eton Mess and for good reason as there is a similarity to it. Found in restaurants throughout Edinburgh so no trouble finding this dish around town!


    Rumbledethumps is a dish that consists of tatties, cabbage, and onions. It is traditionally served with haggis or black pudding although some people have the dish served as a side dish alongside any accompanying meat on the plate! Similar to bubble and squeak, this delicious mashed-up meal gets its name from the sound it makes when travelling down your throat - rumble tummies!

    Tweed Kettle

    The Tweed Kettle is a Scottish Salmon Hash dish that originated on the streets of Edinburgh in the 19th Century. It's typically served with a nice slice of bread for lunch and takes its name from Scotland's River Tweed which flows through the border of England and Scotland and the old method of 'poaching salmon in a kettle'.

    The Tweed Kettle is made by adding the poached salmon to a broth made up of potatoes, mushrooms, spring onions, and fresh herbs. The dish is light and fresh and isn't too expensive to create yourself.


    Parlies are a Scottish cookie that is typically enjoyed in Edinburgh. They are said to be delicious and quite addictive! The ingredients are simple but the result is something special. Once served to the upper class and the members of the Scottish Parliament, the cakes are now enjoyed by everyone, and thankfully so!

    The cookies themselves have a strong ginger taste and are typically darker in colour due to the treacle or golden syrup content. They can either be square or circular and can be found in many cafe's and shops! Enjoyed throughout the year with a cup of tea or coffee.

    black bun

    Black Bun

    Black Bun is a Scottish fruit cake that is enjoyed around Hogmanay (New Year). It is a type of fruitcake covered in pastry that is typically dark in colour on the inside from the raisins, almonds, and currants that make up the internal part of the cake. The ingredients can vary, but it often includes the dried fruits mentioned alongside nuts, spices, ginger, and cinnamon. This cake goes back centuries and has a really interesting history!

    Known as the 'King Cake' due to the royal games played with the cake, it is said that black buns served in the royal dwellings of times going back to the Mary Queen of Scots era, had a bean inside and anyone who found the bean got to be King for the evening! The people would share the slices out so everyone got their slice with a chance of finding the bean. They also believed that if you found the bean, it was an omen of good luck! Enjoyed with whisky, the black bun is a historical Scottish dish worth trying!

    Red Pudding

    In many chip shops in Edinburgh, you can find a dish known as 'Red Pudding'. Not to be mixed up with black pudding that can also be found on the menu boards in the various chip shops across the city. So what is it? Red pudding originated from the east coast of Scotland and consists of beef or pork mixed with suet, spices, and wheat four with colouring. It's usually battered and accompanied by chips as a 'red pudding supper'. A popular Scottish hangover cure that'll have you feeling better in no time at all!

    Musselburgh Pie

    Musselburgh pie is a Scottish dish that is made up of beef and mussels. The pie is baked in a pastry shell and typically served with chips as a side dish. The combination of beef and mussels makes for a hearty, flavoursome meal that is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Hailing from the town of Musselburgh in the early 19th Century, the pie was traditionally made with thinly beaten slices of beefsteak rolled among mussels or oysters (due to the abundance found in this area of Scotland). A unique pie to this area that won't disappoint!

    Anster Cheese

    Anster cheese is a Scottish semi-hard cheese that originated in the village of Anstruther. It's made from unpasteurized cow milk and can be found throughout Scotland and served in a variety of dishes! The flavour itself is considered to be quite distinctively rich and milky with the texture being crumbly and dry. Produced by the St. Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Co. from Fife using traditional methods, the cheese is a favourite from this area.

    Pan Drops

    Pan Drops are a Scottish confectionary item that originated in the port town of Leith in Edinburgh. The circular white sweets are flavoured with peppermint and typically have a chewy, crumbly texture. The name Pan Drops comes from the fact that they were once made by panning the ingredients together. Usually seen at Scottish weddings or alongside your restaurant bill on a small saucer, pan drops are found all over Scotland.

    And some souvenirs to take home...

    Edinburgh Gin

    Edinburgh Gin is a Scottish gin that is distilled in the heart of Edinburgh. The distillery was founded in 2010 by husband and wife team, Alex and Jane Nicol, and quickly became a favourite amongst gin lovers across Scotland. What makes Edinburgh Gin so special? Well, the distillery uses traditional methods and only the finest botanicals to create their award-winning gins. From classic gins to flavoured gins, there's something for everyone!


    The food in Edinburgh is well known for its rich and unique flavours that are found nowhere else. From black bun to rumbledethumps, the dishes continue to attract visitors from all over the world who want a taste of Scotland's most famous fare. Many traditional Scottish recipes can be found in restaurants around town but you may also want to try making them yourself! There are many ways you can enjoy these foods with tweed kettle being one example or Edinburgh fog being another tasty dessert option. If we missed any of your favourite Edinburgh food items, feel free to mention them on our contact form so others know what they should try next time they visit this amazing city! To find out more about free things to do in the area, click on the links below:


    Edinburgh Blogs


    Free Things to do in Edinburgh


    Cycling Routes in Edinburgh


    Forest Walks near Edinburgh

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