Top 5 Foodie Places in the UK
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The UK has plenty to offer visitors, from the seaside to castles and world-class cities. But while British food has never really been a drawing factor, times are changing and the UK food scene has never been more exciting. From farm-to-table experiences in Aberdeenshire to fresh seafood in Padstow, here are the best foodie destinations in the UK.
The Scottish capital is blessed with many great places to eat and drink. Of course, no visit to Edinburgh would be complete without trying some traditional Scottish fare. Haggis, Scotland’s iconic national dish, is a must-try – this is sausage meat made from sheep innards mixed with onions, oats, suet, stock, and dried herbs and seasonings, all boiled inside the lining of a sheep’s stomach. Other traditional delicacies include scotch pies, Cullen skink, stovies, neeps and tatties and deep-fried Mars bars for the sweet-toothed.
While you’re in Edinburgh, take a quick bus ride to Leith, the city’s buzzing port district. Stroll down the Shore area and sample the catch of the day at the many waterfront seafood bistros. To wash it down, head to one of the traditional pubs or visit one of Leith’s craft breweries.
It would be a crime to visit Scotland without sampling some whisky. One of the best places to do so is Amber Restaurant and Whisky Bar, where you can try traditional Scottish food while tasting a few of the 380+ whiskies on offer.
Liverpool doesn’t only have its maritime heritage going for it – the city has a rich food and drink culture too. Whether you’re after high-end dining with views of the River Mersey or a variety of international cuisine, you’re bound to find what your stomach desires.
Sometimes you just want some good old pub grub. There are plenty of great traditional pubs in the city, such as The Grapes in the Cavern Quarter (once a favourite of The Beatles) and The Monro Gastropub which serves up delicious, authentic food. Make sure to order scouse, the national dish of Liverpool and Merseyside. Adapted from the Lobskause of Norwegian sailors in the city, this hearty stew is made from chunks of meat, usually beef or lamb, potatoes and onions.
If street food is more your thing, Baltic Market is a large and airy, industrial-style food court with a whole variety of global food stalls. You’ll find wood-fired pizzas, halloumi fries, gyros, pad thai, kebabs, Korean dumplings and plenty of sweet treats and drinks to wash it all down with.
Take a stroll up Bold Street, packed with eateries that would make a foodie’s dream come true. You’ll find Mexican, Lebanese, Turkish, Indian, Greek and plenty more cuisines on this lively street. A couple of our favourite places include Lunya and Delifonseca. Or take a trip across the Mersey on a ferry to Woodside Ferry Village!
Located on the north-east coast of Scotland, Aberdeenshire boasts ancient castles, whisky distilleries, the beautiful Cairngorms National Park and a thriving food and drink scene. Known for its rich pastures and quality of arable land, Aberdeenshire grows some of the freshest produce. There’s also fresh seafood every day from the county’s 165 miles of coastline, salmon and trout from the rivers, as well as venison, game and the famous Aberdeen Angus beef.
One of the must-dos when visiting Aberdeenshire is a farm-to-table experience. The Aberdeenshire Highland Beef Experience is a unique opportunity to sample some of the world-famous beef, alongside homebrewed Scottish craft beer and gin. The Finzean Estate Farm Shop is a great place to sample local produce, from award-winning cheeses to hand-baked bread. They even have a Tea Room with wonderful views of the Feugh Valley and Clachnaben.
If you’re exploring Aberdeen, Moon Fish Cafe is one of those restaurants that you can’t miss. Located on the medieval streets of the merchant quarter, you’ll find delicious local and seasonal produce. For some fresh seafood, enjoy dinner with views of the harbour and Aberdeen at The Silver Darling, located in Footdee.
If you’re a fan of whisky, then a distillery tour is a no-brainer. Glen Garioch Distillery and Royal Lochnagar are two historic distilleries that still follow the ancient recipes that they started out with. More of a craft beer person? Ellon, just north of Aberdeen, is home to Brewdog – make sure to pop into their brand new museum in Aberdeen.
It wouldn’t be a list of foodie spots in the UK if it didn’t include Padstow. Located on Cornwall’s picturesque north coast, this bustling town and fishing port is surrounded by glorious sandy beaches – an ideal destination for a seaside getaway filled with a side of brilliant dishes. Padstow has long been one of the UK’s top foodie destinations, with its success generally attributed to celebrity chef Rick Stein who opened The Seafood Restaurant here in 1975, which you can still visit today. As his success grew, this attracted other top British chefs who were drawn in by the high-quality ingredients and fresh local produce the town offered.
As you explore the town, you may find the choice of eateries overwhelming as the winding lanes are jammed with tearooms, cafes, bars, bistros and high-end restaurants. Whether it’s sourdough pizzas and fresh pasta at Caffe Rojano, or a seafood platter at Prawn on the Lawn, you’ll never go hungry in Padstow.
Of course, a trip to Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without tasting traditional Cornish dishes like stargazy pie, Cornish pasties, Cornish yarg, saffron buns, hevva cake and Cornish fairings. Munch on pasties from Chough Bakery while you gaze out to sea or indulge in a Cornish cream tea from Cherry Trees Coffee House.
Surrounded by three iconic mountains – the Skirrid, the Blorenge and the Sugar Loaf – Abergavenny is often dubbed the gateway to Wales. This bustling medieval market town is enjoying a fast growing reputation for food and drink. Each year, the Abergavenny Food Festival attracts some of the biggest names in the food world who come for food stalls, chef demonstrations and entertainment.
If you’re in town for a special occasion, Abergavenny boasts its own Michelin star restaurant The Walnut Tree, just a short drive from the town centre. Once one of the UK’s most well-known restaurants since the 60s, it’s now run by chef Shaun Hill. Looking for something more casual? Abergavenny has several traditional pubs, but if you’re after a cold pint of Welsh beer then look no further than the Hen & Chickens which is owned by Cardiff’s Brains Brewery.
The Market Hall is one of the busiest markets in Wales and holds regular farmers’ markets. Stop by the stall selling freshly made Welsh cakes. Before you leave, make sure to pick up a few items from the town’s independent food and drink shops. The Marches Delicatessen has some of the best local charcuterie, preserves and cheeses, while Chesters Wine Merchants offers a good range of wines from small producers.