Best Coffee Shops in Edinburgh
Written by Gareth Thomas Monday, 16 May 2016 11:53
Edinburgh has no shortage of cafés & coffee shops for thirsty visitors in search of refreshment. Full of unusual artisan roasters as well as the slightly more well-known destinations, there are plenty of places where you can get a decent cup of coffee.
We’ve picked our best of the bunch that not only serve a great drink selection but provide a fine place to pop into between breakfast and lunch, when a light snack might be preferable to a full meal.
Head to this charming little café if you are after a well-brewed artisan espresso or a similarly fresh cup of coffee. The establishment may be small but it offers everything that a coffee lover might need. There is also award-winning baking and freshly prepared food on offer, so it can be a good lunchtime stopping point. Open six days a week (not Sundays), the café is part of the Dovecot Gallery and Tapestry Studio on Infirmary Street, so it really is a destination in its own right.
Hendersons of Edinburgh
In central Edinburgh, minutes from Princes Street, is Henderson's Cafe, at 94 Hanover Street. Hendersons is an Edinburgh institution, now over 50 years old. It pioneered wholesome vegetarian cuisine, bringing healthy eating into the mainstream. And it's still deservedly popular today. But be warned: access is via steep steps.
Not named after its owner, but after its location of Frederick Street, this coffee shop is a great one to head to if you like latte, cappuccino or mocha coffees. Yes, you can get espressos and Americanos, but the staff here know how to handle milk in their coffee. Expect to be presented with an attractively prepared coffee, often with pretty designs in the froth. The food here is good, too. Anything from paninis to pizzas and salads to soups are on the menu.
Pep And Fodder
This is a superb choice for breakfast coffee because the café offers a takeaway service that means you can get on exploring the city. Alternatively, grab a seat for a hot breakfast which can include anything from freshly baked croissants to carefully put together bacon sandwiches. Located in the east side of the city at Waterloo Place, Pep and Fodder is open seven days a week and commences trading at 7.30am, so it is great for early risers.
Located on Broughton Street, Artisan Roast is something of a stylish coffee shop which is designed for true coffee aficionados. It tends to serve freshly roasted ground coffee beans from a single origin. The atmosphere is generally relaxed despite the large amounts of caffeine consumption that is going on. The reputation it has for a hipster clientele is largely unfair and you'll usually find a wide range of customers frequenting it. The focus here is on ethically sourced and fair trade coffee beans.
As the name suggests, an almost scientific approach is taken to each mug of coffee served at Brew Lab. Expect fine filtered blends and exceptional espressos from the staff here who are friendly and markedly different from the chain brands with whom they compete. On any given day, visitors can expect a mixture of clientele, from students to professionals holding an informal meeting. During the morning rush hour, queues can form as workers pop into grab their morning coffee before a day at the office. Situated on College Street, it is easy to find just around the corner from the Festival Theatre.
Situated on the ever-busy Nicholson Street, Kilimanjaro Coffee's ambience is relaxed with plenty of tea being consumed as well as coffee. Many of the people here are students and their food is both tasty and affordable. The selection includes soups, funkily prepared sandwiches and an all-day breakfast option. 'Square Mile' beans are served here, something that serious coffee fans will find noteworthy.
Glass & Thompson
Situated at 2 Dundas Street, Glass & Thompson, is next door to many of the city's art dealers in the Georgian New Town. It's sufficiently interesting to be immortalised in the novels of Alexander McCall Smith, whose fictional characters meet there for coffee. It can be slightly on the pricey side, but the food is gourmet.
On the other side of Edinburgh, in the Old Town, is the Elephant House, where JK Rowling reportedly penned some of the early Harry Potter books. Well worth a visit, if only to admire the collection of miniature elephants.