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The best coffee shops and cafés in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is heaving with friendly little cafés and shops to grab a cup of coffee or a delicious bite to eat. Here are our favourites

Michael Franke / Time Out

Edinburgh may well have some brilliant fine dining restaurants, some awesome cheap eats and certainly some of the best Indian restaurants in the land, but sometimes, a full-on restaurant meal is too much – all you need to hit the spot is a cup of coffee, a sandwich and maybe a cheeky bit of cake for after. Luckily, Edinburgh's positively rife with good coffee shops and cafés, so make sure you don't miss out when exploring the city. You'll no doubt find your new favourite quick stop in our list of Edinburgh's best cafés and coffee shops, so take a look and sate yourself silly.

Edinburgh coffee shops and cafés

Brew Lab

Recommended

Brew Lab was a mighty four years in the making. Keen to get their vision just right, co-owners Dave Law and Tom Hyde took the time to explore the potential of the kind of café they might create – as well as how best to brew. Two filter coffees are brewed every day, as well as popular espresso blends that are roasted on a beloved Slayer Espresso Machine.

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Old Town

Dovecot Café

Recommended

Set alongside tapestry arts space Dovecot Studios in Infirmary Street, this stylish little café has rightly accrued a merry gang of loyal followers. Dovecot devotees don’t muck about, and head straight for a cup of the well-brewed Artisan Roast espresso – a popular staple.

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Old Town

Union of Genius

Recommended

A small-scale café with a big heart and bigger ideas, this friendly little space offers up six homemade soups every day – all presented with a large wedge of suitably dunkable artisan bread (from local bakery, Dough Re Mi). Keen to source from nearby independent businesses and cafés, the tea comes from Eteaket and coffee from the ubiquitous Artisan Roast. Vegan cakes and gooey brownies are bought in from Love Pure Cakes and Lovecrumbs, respectively.

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Old Town
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Café Portrait

Recommended

Café Portrait has quickly become one of Edinburgh’s best art venue cafés, and, with its striking gothic windows, consistently good food and creative buzz, it’s easy to see why. The menu is seasonal and changes daily, but the likes of Moroccan spiced salmon on a bed of chickpea and spinach, or goat’s cheese roulade won’t disappoint.

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New Town

Pep and Fodder

A slick little café/takeaway venture from the smart folks behind Edinburgh’s excellent Bon Vivant duo and The Devil’s Advocate, P&F is a great little addition to the east end of the city centre. The breakfast offerings merrily meander from well-stacked bacon butties and thick honey-laden porridge to flaky croissants and sweet pastries.

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New Town

Lovecrumbs

Recommended

Aside from the great name, there’s plenty to like about Lovecrumbs. Mostly, that this cake-only café laughs in the face of savoury, and chooses to embrace only the sweet stuff. Sandwiches and soups are firmly off the menu, although teas, coffees and rather tasty hot chocolate are all on offer to wash that last little morsel down.

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Old Town
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The Pantry

If there’s one thing the well-to-do area of Stockbridge isn’t short of, it’s decent spots for a sup and a nosh. Opened in 2012, The Pantry has found its place among the pack. The menu is seasonal and the owners and staff notably friendly. Wooden tables, quirky tiles and assorted wall art complete the look and feel of the place. In short, this is a relaxed neighbourhood hangout.

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Stockbridge

Spoon

An attractive, spacious first floor café-restaurant with quirky retro décor, handy for the Festival Theatre across the street, Spoon has filled a niche on the local eating-out scene for more than a decade. Clearly it functions as a restaurant at lunch and dinner but one corner of the open-plan premises is given over to coffee drinkers, snackers and almond croissant nibblers. Very fine coffee it is too.

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Old Town

Comments

5 comments
Kyle G
Kyle G

aus visitor weighing in here.. Best coffees I've had are Cult and Peters Yard. Peters yard does a good latte. Earthy is nice too except their mugs are so huge that the shot gets lost in a sea of milk. 

Not too big on Filament, I wanted to like it more because the cafe looked good but I've had it a few times and it's always a bit too bitter

Claire J
Claire J

Ummmm - who wrote this?  Do they drink coffee?  I mean, real coffee?  If so, where is Artisan Roast?

David C
David C

really?


No:


-Artisan Roast

-Castello Coffee

-Fortitude

-Filament

-Machina Espresso

-Cult Espresso


heck even things like peters yard and printworks deserve more mention than some of the awful coffee shops listed here.

David L
David L

@David C I totally agree, who ever wrote this clearly doesn't know much about coffee or tea. Perhaps Time out should employee people with knowledge and target the quality of the Barista it is they who make the coffee. Is in't typical Scotland across many areas not knowing the difference in quality and mediocrity

Michael H
Michael H

Where is Artisan Roast? It's employed champion baristas for years. Some of the listed places are just wrong.