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The 11 best breakfast and brunch spots in Edinburgh

From greasy spoons to swanky mid-morning indulgence, these are the best places to grab breakfast and brunch in Edinburgh

The interior of the High Dive in Edinburgh
Photograph: Ross Fraser McLean
By Dayna McAlpine |
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Whether you’re up at the crack of dawn or opening your eyes as the clock strikes midday, Edinburgh’s full of places that can give you a hearty start to the day. You may be after a hair of the dog, when only a full fried Scottish breakfast and a Bloody Mary will do, but there’s an excellent array of do-good fruit and yoghurt-centric breakfast spots here too. From greasy spoons to swanky weekend blowouts, the following is a list of the best places for breakfast and brunch in Edinburgh – perfect for nursing a hangover after a big night out (those Edinburgh whisky bars and surprisingly banging clubs can be a tad tempting, after all).

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Edinburgh

Best breakfast and brunch spots in Edinburgh

1
Urban Angel, Edinburgh
Photograph: Urban Angel
Restaurants, Cafés

Urban Angel

If you’re feeling a little worse for wear, head here for a moreish health kick. Urban Angel’s smoothies blend mango and coconut water with nutrient-loaded things like spinach, spirulina and kale for just under a fiver (there’s also a raw chocolate version, made with almond milk, cacao, banana and vanilla). The virtues continue in the superfood salads, organic lamb, pistachio and feta koftes, and delicate fish dishes, but if any of this sounds like joyless, penitent eating, you’d be dead wrong – the flavours are straight from heaven.

2
Breakfast at Loudons in Edinburgh
Photograph: Loudons

Loudons

Brunch enthusiasts, hangover-sufferers and families alike flock in their masses to Loudons every weekend. Its simple, relaxed interior can lend itself to any sort of occasion, whether business breakfast, quiet solo brunch or chatty mums’ meet-up. This place is famed for its eggs benedict, served in 14 different forms (each one a marvel). Expect to battle a queue of Loudons loyalists for a seat, but do wait it out – any Edinburgher will tell you it’s worth it. 

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3
Roseleaf, restaurants
Photograph: Robert Adam
Restaurants

Roseleaf

This café-bar may look like a pub – because it once was – but it had a serious facelift for its 2007 launch and has menus that would put many Edinburgh restaurants to shame. As you sit among the old wooden fixtures and fittings, enhanced with the odd ornamental eccentricity, you can browse the all-day brunch selection, daily from 10am, including choices like poached eggs on toast with wild mushrooms fried in butter and rosemary, decent porridge, eggs benedict, and big fried breakfasts.

4
The exterior of Snax Café in Edinburgh
Photograph: Snax Café

Snax Café

This no-frills greasy spoon is an Edinburgh institution, cherished above all for its hangover-diminishing breakfasts. Don’t expect smoked salmon or smoothie bowls here – Snax Café is the definition of no-nonsense. Portions are served in big, bigger and biggest (the latter suitable only for the super-hungry). 

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5
The interior of the High Dive in Edinburgh
Photograph: Ross Fraser McLean

The High Dive

If you like pizza and can also get behind the idea of brunch, this excellent restaurant may well tempt you. Forget all things fruity and green – the High Dive’s speciality is pizzas dripping with breakfast toppings and hybrid doughy fry-ups. Pair your pie with a cup of strong joe. 

6
Café Marlayne, Edinburgh
Photograph: Café Marlayne
Restaurants

Café Marlayne

If you hadn’t guessed by the ruddy great Eiffel Tower adorning the wall, there’s a French influence at large here – with flaky croissants and pains au chocolat just as popular as the traditional fry-up and black pudding butty. All-day ‘snacks’ range from the likes of croque monsieur to paninis and salads.

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7
Spoon, restaurants
Photograph: Spoon
Restaurants, Cafés

Spoon

Spoon may not be the most obvious choice for breakfast – it’s a first-floor café-restaurant with very little street-front presence. However, it does offer a short and good-quality breakfast menu from 10am from Monday to Saturday, and from noon on Sunday. In its spacious, open-plan premises, with retro furniture and fittings, you might choose a croissant, fruit salad with toasted almonds, eggs benedict, a very good breakfast roll with bacon, black pudding, fried egg or sausage – or, if you’re feeling particularly hungry, the full grill available in carnivore and vegetarian versions.

8
Mimi's Bakehouse
Photograph: Helen Pugh Photography
Restaurants, Cafés

Mimi’s Bakehouse

This sweet-toothed sit-in café on the Shore lends itself well to long breakfasts and informal parent-toddler clubs (worth bearing in mind if you’re feeling tender and heading there to get rid of a hangover). Besides the variety of sweet things on offer, their savoury options are equally impressive, with a giant vegetarian breakfast of leek and cheese sausages with eggs, tomatoes and all the trimmings, thick slabs of French toast with bacon and maple syrup, or soft baguettes with black pudding, sausages or bacon.

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9
The Pantry, Cafés, Brunch, Edinburgh
Photograph: Cat Morley
Restaurants

The Pantry

If there’s one thing the well-to-do area of Stockbridge isn’t short of, it’s decent spots for a nosh. Opened in 2012, The Pantry has now found its place among the pack. At the weekend, it’s regularly packed out with folks sampling the brunch menu, which includes treats such as wild East Lothian mushrooms, pancetta and poached egg on toast and a breakfast burrito.

10
The King's Wark, Pub, Restaurant, Breakfast, Brunch, Edinburgh
Photograph: The King’s Wark
Restaurants

The King’s Wark

The King’s Wark has carved out a solid reputation for top-notch cooking using ingredients sourced straight from Scotland’s larder. On weekends, it’s packed out with a merry mix of patrons, including families, couples, students and young professionals indulging in the Wark’s bevy of brunch choices (such as the gargantuan ‘Bigger Breakfast’ fry-up, or the spinach crêpe with brie).

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11
The Ship on the Shore, restaurant
Photograph: The Ship on the Shore
Restaurants, Seafood

The Ship on the Shore

The décor at this seafood restaurant by the Water of Leith involves lots of wood and has a maritime theme, but if you rock up between 9am and 11am you’ll find a daily breakfast menu with a certain touch of class. Think whisky-smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, Stornoway black pudding with herb rosti and a poached egg, or a glass of champagne to start the day.

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The interior of Nauticus pub in Edinburgh
Photograph: Till Britze Photography
Bars and pubs

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