The 10 Best Coffee Shops and Cafés In Edinburgh

Photo of Tori Chalmers
9 February 2017

There are some who judge a city purely based on the calibre of coffee shops. Why not? It is from places such as cafés and coffee shops that some of the greatest epiphanies have emerged. So that you can sip away and let the creative thoughts flow in abundance, we have rounded up just 10 of the best spots for a cup of joe in Edinburgh.

Artisan Roast

Blend in with the cool cats and sip the day away at this coffee sanctuary. Artisan Roast happens to be the very first specialty roastery and coffee shop in the whole of Scotland. Depending on your whereabouts, choose from three locations in Edinburgh including Broughton Street, Stockbridge, and Bruntsfield. Expect a vast array of brewing methods and espressos galore. This place isn’t a run of the mill café — the baristas here are coffee gurus and could answer any coffee questions in their sleep. The laid back easy-going vibe with no counter is an added bonus.

Artisan Roast, 57 Broughton St, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 7858 884756

Brew Lab

Cafe, Coffee Shop, British, $$$
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Brew Lab serves speciality coffee and delicious food
Brew Lab serves speciality coffee and delicious food | © Brew Lab
Brew Lab is about as hip as it gets when it boils down to the best coffee hangouts in Edinburgh. This specialty coffee shop has its own esteemed barista training lab, which is responsible for producing the best coffee connoisseurs out there. Expect perfectly crafted caffeinated concoctions and an extensive range of single-origin filter and espressos. Consider them the pioneers of the cold brew too. To top it off, these guys offer fantastic soup from Union of Genius and the most divine cakes by Lovecrumbs.


Coffee Shop, Coffee, $$$
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Matt at Fortitude
Fortitude Coffee uses single-origin espresso | © Fortitude
There are some who are consistently persistent on waking up extra early just to grab a seat and a cup of joe at Fortitude. It really is that good. This coffee paradise is possibly one of the tiniest specialty coffee spots in the city. However, don’t let that detract from the fact that they make some of the most exquisite brews. Expect artisanal coffee with filtered water and single origin beans roasted by Workshop Coffee. The coffee is seasonal, so joe drinkers can lap up the ever-changing brew menu and delight in the smooth and delectable taste.

The Milkman

Coffee Shop, British
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The Milkman
The Milkman lies in Edinburgh’s Old Town | © Stuart Kenny
Many a riveting conversation can be had while sipping on the delightful coffee at The Milkman on Cockburn Street. This little gem is picturesque with its cosy setting, cool exposed stone walls, and overall welcoming interior. A hipster’s dream, this place isn’t your average mainstream coffee shop in the slightest. The cool milk bottles add a brilliant touch and the cakes and pastries are to die for. This is the perfect spot to enter into top-notch chat with fellow coffee-goers or to simply zone out and read a book.

Black Medicine

Black Medicine is a vortex of creativity, coffee, and conversation. Pick from the Meadows location or the most popular hub near the Chamber’s Street Museum. Channel your inner bohemian side and feed off the productive vibe from the university students and professors who frequent this beauty. The coffee is so good that it doesn’t even require explaining and the selection of things to eat is simply stellar. Marvel at the sight of the wooden interior and choose from a wonderful away of nooks and crannies to sit in.

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

It's a cold and miserable day. And we're bored so come and say hi #coffee #rain #edinburgh

A photo posted by Black Medicine Coffee Co. (@blackmedicinecoffee) on

Zebra Coffee Co.

Meander just off the Royal Mile and enter into a miniscule coffee haven known as the Zebra Coffee Co. Expect to find delightful artisanal coffee brews of all kinds that taste as good as they look. Consider the food here the perfect coffee accompaniment and choose anything from a classic egg roll to a vast selection of delectable pastries. Head to the back and discover a writer’s dreamland — a cosy wee cubbyhole adorned with book-patterned wallpaper. The bathroom is just as intriguing with comic books covering every section of the wall! Enjoy the intimate setting with scrumptious cakes and brilliant coffee.

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

Happy Wednesday #zebracoffeeco #edinburgh #flatwhite #art #croissant

A photo posted by Zebra Coffee Co (@zebracoffeeco) on

Filament Coffee

Start your morning with the most satisfying coffee at Filament Coffee. One sip from a cup here and the rest of the day will fall into place. The menu is minimalist to say the least. Choose from coffee or ‘not coffee’! The black, white, or filter coffee can be considered liquid gold and the ‘not coffee’ choices aren’t so bad either — take your pick from beer, wine, tea, and hot chocolate. The menu may be simple but it is incredibly satisfying. This place is as addictive as the coffee inside.

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

#beanscape #coffee #edinburgh

A photo posted by Filament Coffee (@filament_coffee) on

Elephants And Bagels

It is a fact of life that a bagel is a cup of coffee’s best friend. Another important fact worth knowing is that elephants are quite simply amazing creatures. Combine all of these brilliant things and get Elephants And Bagels — a soothing paradise where bagels come in abundance, the coffee is cleverly brewed, and elephant art adorns the walls. What more could a person possibly want? It can be hard to pick just one of the 13 types of bagels on offer. No one will judge if you choose them all. Those afraid of gluten should delight in knowing that they have gluten-free options too.

Elephants And Bagels, 37 Marshall St, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 668 4404

Patisserie Florentin

Cafe, Patisserie, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Tea , $$$
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Pâtisserie Florentin is a charming little French café
Pâtisserie Florentin is a charming little French café | © martin berry / Alamy Stock Photo

Let the serene surroundings inspire and the creative juices flow. Patisserie Florentin has been a favourite amongst Edinburgh natives for over 20 years. This little place is a piece of France in Scotland and offers the most delectable pastries around. Everything is so fresh and is made from the finest of ingredients. They serve brilliant espresso coffee along with continental breakfasts and snack lunches. Not only is the coffee superb, this enticing Neverland hosts an eclectic and select number of works from local artists.

Dovecot Café

Cafe, British, $$$
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The sophisticated and chic Dovecot Café by Leo’s is art in itself. This little diamond can be found nestled within the highly acclaimed Dovecot Gallery, a creative hub in Edinburgh for contemporary art, craft, and design. In particular, this gallery is renowned for its leading international tapestry studio. The café offers spectacular coffee and cakes worth breaking a diet for. Dovecot is the brainchild of Edinburgh coffee favourites Leo’s Beanery and Leo & Ted. Delight in the expertly brewed coffee, award-winning cakes, and stunning art.

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