The Best Cafés and Coffee Shops in Inverness

River Ness and Inverness Skyline | © Dave Conner
River Ness and Inverness Skyline | © Dave Conner
Photo of Alexander Crow
14 March 2017

In recent years, the Scottish Highland city of Inverness has seen a huge rise in the quantity and quality of the cafés and coffee shops available to visit. These eight options provide local and independent flavour, all with a warm Highland welcome.


Restaurant, Bar, Diner, British, $$$
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Girvans is one of the places that attracts a healthy mix of visitors to Inverness and locals, who already know they will be in for a treat. With an excellent service and an eclectic menu – featuring many different breakfast options, sandwiches, light bites and main meals, as well as a range of hot drinks and, especially popular, homemade patisserie treats – Girvans is definitely worth a visit. There’s a reason locals keep returning, after all.

So Coco

Cafe, Vegetarian, Vegan
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So Coco serves a selection of salads, patisseries, paninis, sandwiches and nachos, among many other delicious options. Yet it is their hot chocolate and their churros that consistently receive the highest praise, with many people proclaiming their hot chocolate the best in the north of Scotland. With friendly service and a superb central location, So Coco is highly recommended.

The Glass House

Cafe, Restaurant, Soup, Contemporary, European, British
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Although a garden centre might not seem an obvious recommendation for a bite to eat, or a quick coffee, The Glass House at Simpson’s Garden Centre is a must. Not only does it serve a fantastic range of fresh, seasonal and locally sourced food, it is also wonderfully situated, providing enviable views across the city. If you are planning a visit to Culloden or perhaps walking or cycling in the area, make sure to drop by Simpson’s.

Miele's Gelateria

Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream, $$$
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If you have a sweet tooth or if ice cream is your thing, then Miele’s Gelateria is definitely the place for you. Just a short distance from the famous Leakey’s bookshop, Miele’s has 24 flavours of ice cream to choose from, delicious cones, pastries, and deli lunches. The gelato is homemade on the premises, and the establishment receives wonderful customer service reviews and repeat customers, several of whom claim this to be the best ice cream they have ever tasted.

Velocity Café

Cafe, Soup, British, Vegetarian
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Not just a café, but a bicycle workshop too! Velocity has made a name for itself with its social, sustainable, healthy, and friendly ethos. It helps that the food and drinks on offer are also top-notch and some of the most reasonably priced you will find in Inverness. With an emphasis on doing simple things well, like salads, home-baked cakes, sandwiches and soups, Velocity is a popular café that people keep returning to. If you are a keen cyclist, this is a must, however if cycling is not for you then don’t be put off – the coffee is marvelous!

Rendezvous Café

Cafe, British
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This café can boast the ‘most recommended breakfast in Inverness’, and it’s not hard to see why. With traditional Scottish food, gluten-free, and vegetarian options, and very reasonable prices, Rendezvous is consistent and a popular place for locals to meet, and visitors to discover. The location has an interesting history (the Beatles played at this location in 1960, when they were known as the Silver Beetles) and is ideally situated to explore Inverness. The décor features old film posters and in the summer the café hosts classic movie nights and events.


Cafe, Healthy, Soup, British
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If quality loose tea or gourmet coffee is your thing, then you must visit Blend. Not just a café, the sign makes it clear that this is a tea and coffee merchants, and the choice and flavours available are tantalising (you can buy bags to take away too). Boasting an inclusive food menu – with vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free for both savoury and sweet options – Blend also offers smoothies, iced teas, and even displays local artists’ work on the walls (available to purchase should you wish). With a huge range of bagels and fillings, games to select and play at your table, fantastic service, and highly recommended coffee and tea, Blend is a comfortable and welcoming environment to entirely lose track of time in.


Cafe, British, $$$
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With sustainability and local seasonal produce at the heart of the menu, Café Artysans takes raw ingredients and turns them into affordable and very tasty treats. The same can be said for their coffee, as they roast their own beans on-site, and it’s possible to buy their bagged, freshly ground coffee too. They also offer a wide selection of food to take away, if you are too busy to sit and pause for a time. A central location and attention to top-class customer service makes this an ideal spot to sit for a while, breathe deeply, and inhale that freshly ground coffee aroma.

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