Where to find the BEST coffee in Edinburgh
Does Edinburgh have good coffee? Where can you find Edinburgh’s good coffee? Better yet, where can you find Edinburgh’s best coffee? Easy answer: in Edinburgh’s best coffee shops. These places have it all: good coffee, good snacks, and good company!
There’s no shortage of good coffee in Edinburgh, so long as you know where to go! (Always here for a Harry Potter reference in an Edinburgh post, just saying). There are tons of specialty coffee shops all over Edinburgh. New Town and Old Town each have a handful, but even less touristy areas like Leith, Bruntsfield, Stockbridge, and even Shandon and Gorgie, have places to get great coffee!
In Old Town
If you’re a tourist, chances are you’ll be spending the day sightseeing and exploring Old Town. The best coffee in Edinburgh’s Old Town can be found in places like The Wall on Cockburn St, just off the Royal Mile! Or further down the Mile, on “the Arches” is Baba Budan, a shop with excellent coffee and even more excellent donuts. Just around the corner from Greyfriars Kirkyard and the National Museum you’ll find Thomas J. Wells on Forrest Rd. If you were to walk further down Forrest Rd and head into the Meadows, you’d find Södeberg on your right hand side, where you get great coffee and great snacks.
But… if you’re looking for Edinburgh’s best coffee shops. The ones that look like they’re out of a magazine, or straight off an ~influencer’s~ Instagram, you might want to look a bit further.
Södeberg is a good start, the Meadows location is beautiful and they have locations in other trendy areas like Stockbridge and Broughton. You’re truly never far from one, and they have good coffee and even better — Swedish pastries. The semlas are my favourite, but they rarely have them in stock. Usually I go for a cinnamon roll, or a pistachio tart to wash down with my latte.
Also very close to Old Town, in fact, just off of the foot of Grassmarket you’ll find the West Port. The West Port (a street) brings you past used book shops and vintage stores galore, and right to the mouth of the Pubic Triangle — a triangular corner with three strip joints on each side. Ignoring that (or maybe giggling to yourself) when faced with Edinburgh’s Pubic Triangle, you’ll find one of its best cafes on your right hand side, lovecrumbs.
It’s THE place to go. It has the nicest decor, it sells local knick-knacks, it has excellent coffee, and, the BEST cake ever. Everything is served on adorable plates, and in adorable mugs, and you’ll want to buy everything you see. It’s sort of the go-to cafe of Edinburgh, and it’s super easy to get to from Old Town so don’t miss out! And I know we’re talking about coffee, but there’s something to be said for their rose + cardamom hot chocolate, ok.
If you want to head even further off the beaten path, Edinburgh’s best coffee will reward you. Walk through the Meadows (a big old park behind the University), through Bruntfield Links (a second park behind the Meadows, on the right hand side), and you’ll find Bruntsfield. Vegans — Seeds for the Soul is DELICIOUS. Coffee lovers – Project Coffee is the place for you.
Found at the crossroads where Bruntsfield meets Morningside is Project Coffee. It’s a big cafe with excellent scones, and tons of seating. Plus, it’s got great tunes — the other day I was in and they were playing In A Week by Hozier, which is his best song and only reiterates why this is the best cafe. Beyond that, they always have dogs in. And have I mentioned the scones? And the coffee? My god! The coffee! If their project is coffee, they have completed it, and they’ve done an exceptional job.
Even further off the beaten path, you ask? Adventurous. Prepare to be amazed. Passed Bruntsfield, passed Merchiston (the neighbourhood JK Rowling used to live in when she lived in the city centre, and where I go to look at the big Christmas trees through the windows of all the manor homes in the Winter), is Shandon. Where I live. On Ashley Terrace is my favourite cafe ever:
Tea & Sympathy
Apart from having the cutest name ever, Tea & Sympathy is the cutest cafe ever. They make great coffee, (that’s a given at this point), but they also have the world’s best salted caramel brownies. And they make breakfast bagels. Plus there are always dogs in there too, in fact, they love dogs so much that they have a wall full of polaroids of dogs that come to visit — could you even imagine anywhere better? A true oasis, if you ask me. That’s why I go all the time, and why I’m writing this while I sit here, sipping my tea&sympathy coffee, dogspotting. Also the workers are the loveliest people ever, this place will make you feel right at home!
Want to see behind the scenes?
Want to see behind the scenes of every cafe that I’ve mentioned so that you can make an informed decision? I don’t blame you! Luckily for you, I made an accompanying Youtube video so you can get a better idea of all of these places, and decide which one you want to visit on your next day in Edinburgh! (Please ignore the really poor production quality, my new camera is in the mail!!!! Forgive me!)