Edinburgh's 10 Best Cafes And Coffee Shops To Work And Study In

Courtesy Of Tori Chalmers
Courtesy Of Tori Chalmers
Working or studying induced cabin fever is a most curious feeling. Out of thin air, an overwhelming sense of circadian loopiness and antsy thoughts enter the mind. Don’t let it get the better of you — opt for a change in surroundings and get out. So that the wi-fi is swift and thoughts come a plenty, Culture Trip has undergone a caffeine (and cake) infused expedition of all the best coffee shops and cafes in Edinburgh to work and study in.

Black Medicine Coffee Co.

A magnet for students and working folk alike, Black Medicine Coffee Co. is a perpetual hub of creativity and revolutionary thoughts. A coffee utopia comprised of wood, this little haven is an indoor forest, except with magnificent food options like chocolate treats and paninis. With coffee brewed to perfection, scrumptious cakes aplenty, and a boldly bohemian ambience, Black Medicine is an ideal spot to shed the cabin fever woes and watch the outside world go by.

Black Medicine Coffee, 2 Nicolson St, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 557 6269

Balcony Café At The National Museum Of Scotland
Grand Gallery, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

National Museum of Scotland’s Grand Gallery displays items from around the world | © JOHN KELLERMAN / Alamy Stock Photo

Unleash those pioneering pontifications in Edinburgh’s most exquisite cabinet of curiosity, The National Museum Of Scotland. Let the breathtaking sight of Moby The Whale and the other fascinating exhibitions inspire your work, all from the comfort of The Balcony Café. Munch on home baking, sip homemade soups, or nibble on the array of snacks complete with tea and coffee. Once more, enjoy the outstanding view of the museum below.

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The Elephant House
Cafe, Restaurant, Coffee Shop, British, $$$
The Elephant House

The Elephant House | © Alf Melin/Flickr

They say that JK Rowling wrote the early Harry Potter novels within the walls of The Elephant House. Whether or not this is entirely accurate is beside the point. Since 1995, this coffee house has been populated by many a writer, from Ian Rankin to Alexander McCall-Smith. Take advantage of the creative vibes within, set up fort at one of the wooden tables, and let the workload unravel. From tea and coffee, to wine, beer, light bites, mains, salads, pizzas, and puddings, you can’t go wrong.

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Just like its relative Söderberg, Peter’s Yard is a blissful piece of Sweden right in the heart of Scotland. From the modern simple surroundings and perfectly brewed drinks to yummy bakery items and out of this world sourdough pizza, consider this little jewel a foodie paradise. Once the tummy is full, daydream about life and work out of the impressive floor-to-ceiling windows from the comfort of the counter seats. It is then that the lulling vibes of Peter’s Yard will inevitably end in that perfect epiphany.

Filament Coffee

Filament Coffee is the perfect fusion of simplicity and decadence. The menu is uncluttered but the food and drink items are to die for. Enjoy the hip surroundings and soothing sound of coffee being brewed while working on that next project. Although the tables are relatively small, laptops and books can squeeze in no problem.

Filament Coffee, 38 Clerk St, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 281 5140

Zebra Coffee Company

For a cosy café devoid of unnecessary pretence, look no further than Zebra Coffee Company. Camouflaged amongst the tartan and cobble stones of the nearby Royal Mile, this magnificent watering hole is perfect for getting your thinking hat on and entering into ‘the zone’. The small size of the place only adds to the character and the cubbyhole of a back room (complete with book adorned wallpaper) is a perfect spot for ideas to brew.

Zebra Coffee Co., 16 Bank St, Old Town, Edinburgh, Scotland

Brew Lab
Cafe, Coffee Shop, British, $$$
Brew Lab serves speciality coffee and delicious food

Brew Lab serves speciality coffee and delicious food | © Brew Lab

From trendy coffee houses come trendy people and thus trendy work. Take a leaf out of the cool kids’ book and make Brew Lab your office for the day. The talented baristas of this specialty coffee shop are master purveyors of brilliantly brewed, single-origin filter, and espresso coffees. The food is tasty to the core and the vibe is dynamite. Once the cravings and surroundings are ticked off, the work can flow like there is no tomorrow.

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Meal service:

All Day, Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast


Casual, Quiet, Stylish, Relaxed, Cosy

Söderberg Bakery Shop
Bakery, Pastries, Dessert, Vegetarian, Coffee, Tea $$
Söderberg Bakery Shop, Queensferry St

Söderberg Bakery Shop, Queensferry St | ©

Consider any of the three Söderberg Bakery Shop locations in the city must-visit study spots. This Swedish bakery is overflowing with the most endorphin-inducing bites, from cardamom buns and loaves of levain to an impressive array of crispbread and mouth-watering sandwiches. The minimalist accents and contemporary chic ambience is the definition of serenity. All in all, a brilliant hideout where productivity and relaxation go hand in hand.

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Fredericks Coffee House

Fredericks Coffee House is the kind of place that you enter into a moral dilemma about — you want to tell the world about it and yet, you want to keep it solely for yourself. Let the creative juices flow and productiveness prosper in this chic setting with blue décor. The lovely staff and selection of artisanal coffees, paninis, salads, soup, and homemade cakes are a day-maker every time.

Fredericks Coffee House, 30 Frederick St, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 260 9997

The Caffeine Drip
Cafe, British, $$$$

Appropriately named for those needing an injection of energy before a deadline, The Caffeine Drip is a terrific foodie sanctuary with a South African Twist. Every single food item within is utterly delectable, from the alluring cakes and rustic sandwiches to the more-ish coffee. The scaffolding wood and recycled furniture make for an inspiring backdrop to work like never before.

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