Edinburgh has a strong independent coffee shop scene, great for all caffeine lovers. With so many options to choose from we’ve compiled a list of our favourite independent, speciality coffee spots right here in the capital. Happy sipping!
Cairngorm occupy two premises in the city centre, but our personal favourite is their West End cafe. With cool, bright, minimalist interiors, this space is perfect for meeting friends or spending a couple of hours relaxing, reading or working.
Enjoy some of the best coffee in Edinburgh, beautiful artisan sandwiches/brunch menu options and a selection of delicious cakes. For tea lovers there’s also a great selection of loose leaf teas to warm you up on a cold Scottish day!
Wandering around Princes Street and New Town? Head to their Frederik Street home. Scrolling through the West End? Pop into the Melville Street premises!
This cosy little spot is perfectly located at the foot of the beautiful, historic Cockburn Street, just off the Royal Mile and just a couple of minutes from Princes Street. With cool decor, a relaxed atmosphere, a selection of sweet treats, yummy cakes, the Milkman is a definite must for coffee lovers. All this and a cute little window seat, perfect for watching the world go by.
This Swedish artisan bakery and coffee house is a must go for all coffee/pastry/bread/pizza/cake fiends. They own 5 sites around the city, either under the name Soderberg or Peter’s Yard, but our personal favourite spot is the Soderberg Pavilion in the Quartermile.
For the warmer months there’s a lovely outdoor seating area. For the most part of the year however, the cosy indoors are decorated in true minimalist scandi style.
As well as supplying top notch coffee, these guys also have delicious goods to tuck into. Their selection of Swedish baked goodies are freshly made on site, and as well as their classics, including cardamon buns, mazarin, Kladdkaka (mud cake), cinnamon buns and chocolate balls, there always seems to be something new to chose from.
Thomas J Walls
A relatively new comer to the speciality coffee scene in Edinburgh, you’ll find Thomas J Walls on Forest Road in the Old Town housed in huge, elegant premises serving up excellent coffee, a delicious brunch/lunch menu, and when it’s cold, a roaring fire! What more could you ask for?
Hula Juice Cafe is colourful, playful, and serves up delicious healthy homemade food and juices to match. Although Hula is technically a Juice cafe, they also serve up delicious, speciality coffee from Artisan Roast. What’s more you’ll find Hula at the foot of one of Edinburgh’s most famous Streets, Victoria Street.
Looking for great coffee and food? Try the likes of avocado sourdough toast, a range of bagels, fresh fruit salad, granola, homemade and Scottish porridge. Needing a boost? Go all out with an Acai Bowl, a yummy bowl of superfood goodness! As well as soups, wraps and sandwiches, there’s always a great selection of cakes and brownies on offer! Of course, being a juice cafe, Hula’s speciality lies in mixing up delicious, healthy juices, smoothies and shakes, if you’ve got room!
Hula have recently opened a second cafe in Fountainbridge, so you know where to head if the Victoria Street cafe is full.
Lovecrumbs is a must-go for anyone who loves coffee and cake!
As well as serving up delicious coffee by Steampunk and other guest roasters, these guys do a selection of Anteaques Teas and Coco Chocolatier Hot Chocolates, and their speciality, fresh, home-made cakes. Their selections change daily, but expect the likes of blueberry & lemon cake, cardamom & coffee cake, gooseberry, almond & spelt cake or mango, raspberry & orange! Although once a cake only cafe, they’ve recently started serving savoury food, so even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, this place is worth visiting!
Their cool vintage style means that you could find yourself sat at an old piano, round a communal table, on a comfy sofa or sat in the window seat looking out onto West Bow. This place is busy, cluttered and cool.
They’ve recently opened up a second Lovecrumbs (hooray!) in Stockbridge with a Century General Store outpost meaning you can shop beautiful homeware whilst enjoying coffee and cake- win win!
Situated on George Street, this place is handy if you’re pottering around Princes Street and need a wee break! Serving up Caravan coffee, which was voted best coffee by the Observer Food Monthly, this is a great place to unwind for half an hour whilst getting your speciality coffee fix. They also serve up breakfast, toasties and homemade cakes, win win!
Find Machina Espresso in two city centre locations: Nicholson Street or Brougham Street. Serving coffee from their own Roastery as well as monthly guests, offering a daily choice of two espressos, a choice of up to three filter coffees, and tea from local business Anteaques, these guys know their coffee. If you’re as passionate as them, you’ll be right at home.
Filament is a lovely chilled out space in the south side of the city. Their menu is simple, consisting of ‘coffee’ and ‘not coffee’, so you can see where their priorities lie. I think that’s enough said…?
Somewhat of an institution amongst the Edinburgh speciality coffee scene, Brewlab is renowned for supplying amazing speciality coffee in chic, run-down surroundings just off Nicholson Street. *Attention all coffee fans* Brew Lab offer the ultimate filter coffee experience. Using top speciality coffees from roasters around the UK and Europe, coffee lovers are never short of options with a filter menu that changes frequently. Those less inclined towards black coffee can enjoy rich lattes, capuchinos, mochas, hot chocolates and a selection of loose leaf teas (all top notch.)
With a food menu that offers artisinal soups by Union of Genius, handmade sourdough baguettess, pastries by Twelve Triangles, cakes by Lovecrumbs and rich healthy salads, you’re spoilt for choice.
Tucked away in Edinburgh’s recently renovated Arches, Baba Budan is bright, trendy and contemporary. The perfect stop off when exploring the Royal Mile or checking out the delights of the independent shops that inhabit The Arches. Baba Budan specialise in serving up top notch coffee alongside amazing homemade doughnuts which they make fresh onsite every day!
Fortitude may only occupy a small space, but they are big in the Edinburgh coffee scene. In the New Town? Head here for delicious coffee roasted by their sister company, Fortitude Coffee Roasters. They offer seasonal coffee and a different guest roaster each month, perfect!
Boasting delicate and thoughtful interiors, amazing coffee and an ever changing variety of homemade cakes, Fieldwork offers up a winning combination! They source their goods locally, using Steampunk coffee from North Berwick, loose leaf teas from Edinburgh company, Anteaques, and milk from local farmers.
This basement coffee house never fails to deliver excellent coffee in a charming little space! Located just off Princes Street this is the perfect resting place for tired legs in need of a caffeine boost. Wellington’s premises are small, but they do have seating outside, making it the perfect spot for when the sun’s shining!
A haven for all lovers of interiors and design, Century General Store not only provide top notch coffee, but are vendors of a beautiful range of homeware and gifts. Although Central General Store originally started out in Marchmont, they’ve recently shut the premises and moved to a delightful space in Abbeyhill in the east of the city. Be prepared to spend a while in here!
So, there’s Leo’s Beanery in the New Town, and Leo’s at Dovecot, in the Dovecot Studios just off Nicholson Street in the Old Town. Until very recently there was also Leo & Teds in Bruntsfield, but this has sadly jut closed. Whichever one you decide to go to, however, you’re guaranteed an excellent coffee experience. I personally enjoy popping in to Leo’s at Dovecot before or after exploring the delights of the landmark contemporary centre for the arts, Dovecot Studios.
Twelve Triangles fulfils all your coffee and bakery needs. Baking and stocking delicious breads and pastries in their two Leith Walk and Portobello coffee shops. They have recently opened up their very own ‘Kitchen Table,’ the perfect spot for homemade goods for breakfast, lunch and dinner.