I am no coffee expert, however I do spend a lot of my free time exploring new coffee shops, and it’s no secret that Edinburgh has some excellent ones! Let me take you through my current favourite list (in no particular order) of cafes in the city that have the best cosy seats, window views, delicious pastries and of course, great coffee!
1.Union Brew Lab, Old Town
Great for: vegan options, speciality coffee, relaxed atmosphere
I came across this coffee shop very unexpectedly and was pleasantly surprised by its contemporary feel and diverse choice of hot drinks. Union Brew Lab offers a couple of different espressos daily, allowing you to try different roasters, which is such a great way to explore new beans! Enjoy delicious pastries (cinnamon buns by Babyfaced Baker) and amazing coffee at your own pace, without any rush.
2. Little Fitzroy, Leith
Great for: takeaway coffee, sticky buns, long walk fuel
Although my favourite thing about cafes is picking a comfy seat to journal or enjoy a flaky croissant, sometimes it’s all go go go and there’s just no time to sit down.This place is perfect for it! Are you heading for a walk to Holyrood Park or around Arthur Seat? Little Fitzroy is a convenient stop for a quick refuel on your way to the scenic wanders. Also, the team in this cafe wins my heart every time, they are really passionate about what they do – you can tell by their smiles and a warm welcome each time!
3. Fortitude Coffee, New Town
Great for: chai latte, avocado on toast, variety of coffee beans
Despite offering outstanding coffee, I was pleasantly surprised by Fortitude’s chai latte! I am fussy (although I personally think it’s the bare minimum) when it comes to this drink – I don’t want to see any powdered chai mix boxes anywhere, ever. They make it the proper way, and it totally made my day when I first ordered it last winter. If you’re looking for delicious coffee and a quick bite, this is your place – I recommend the avocado on toast with chilli flakes – yummy!
4. Artisan Roast, Leith Walk
Great for: journaling, cinnamon buns, people watching
I won’t lie – one of my main criteria for a good coffee shop is atmosphere. I’m not a huge fan of minimalistic spaces, I find them clinical and boring; coffe tastes so much better somewhere with more character and ambience! Artisan Roast have multiple locations in Edinburgh and they are all individually unique with their own personas. This one sold me on the window seats, great coffee and their own cinammon buns, baked freshly in house (extra brownie points for this!).
5. Kate’s, Newington
Great for: coffee near Meadows, seasonal baking, hiding from rain
Kate’s was my most recently found hidden treasure. I came across it while scrolling through Edinburgh’s cafes on Google maps and I noticed the 5* rating, which I was intruiged by, and as soon as I walked in, it started to make sense why. Warm welcome, counter display filled with mouth-watering baked goods, made with seasonal berries and fruits and adorable, dainty crockery – this place is the cutest! I loved it so much that I secretly wanted to keep it to myself and always find a seat here on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I often think about this strawberry shortcake that I had there – it was easily one of the tastiest treats I’ve had all year.
6. Burr & Co, New Town
Great for: window seats, city centre coffee, continental breakfast
The facade of Burr & Co alone deverves recognition – how is this place not from another century? I love to journal here – I find the window views of George Street and watching people in a hurry so inspiring. This place feels like a magical and fictional movie scene from the 1970’s and I’m here for it. As this cafe is part of a hotel, they serve a delicous continental breakfast, and I also love their hot chocolate that comes in a beautiful copper mug!
7. Twelve Triangles, Leith
Great for: artisan bread, freshly baked goods, homemade jam
Twelve Triangles is bakery first, and coffee shop second, which is two of my favourite things in one place. Before I even walked in, I could smell the warmth of fresh sourdough and freshly-brewed coffee, and this place does both immaculately. I was also pleasantly surprised by their organic produce selection, such as kombucha, homemade jams and deli meats. If this place was a little bit closer to my home, I wouldn’t shop anywhere else!
8. Hata, Bonnington
Great for: quiet reading space, drink alternatives, brunch
Hata has quickly become my favourite coffee shop to grab takeaway coffee from, however there’s a lovely downstairs basement area where you can cosy up with a hot cup or tea or chai latte and read your book, uninterrupted. They also have some interesting options for when you want to shake things up a bit, such as biscoff iced latte or beetroot cocoa!
9. Wellington Coffee, New Town
Great for: window views, outside seating, city centre coffee
There’s nothing better than hiding from rain in a warm cafe, however it can be equally as nice to catch a morning sunshine with a sip of your fresh coffee outside! Wellington gives you both options to enjoy excellent coffe and their equally amazing latte art. Stop here if you’re shopping along George street and need a ‘caffeine & almond croissant’ kind of break.
10. Room and Rumours Coffee, Old Town
Great for: donuts, brunch, coffee before catching a train
If you’re catching a train from Waverley Station and looking for a place to grab a quick coffee and the most delicious donuts in Edinburgh beforehand, do not dare go elsewhere. I can promise you won’t regret it! As soon as you walk in, you’ll receive a warm welcome from the cafe owner Ali, and will have an option between a few of their freshly made donut flavours. My most recent favourite flavour is banana – just trust me, it’s divine!