Edinburgh's coffee scene may just be the best we've seen...
Coffee... We're all addicted
It feels as though Christmas is just around the corner and while that means that most sites are busy counting down to the opening of gifts with handy guides, we decided to focus on something far more important… Coffee! So, we thought we would open up our ‘Like a Local’ guides in Edinburgh - home of our personal favourite Christmas market – listing out a top 10 of our favourite coffee spots in the city.
As always, be sure to tag us on Instagram with your favourite coffee snaps or recommendations of your favourite shops around the world!
Sitting behind the Meadows, Cult Coffee’s exposed-brick walls and friendly staff make it a favourite among locals. Boasting a Tardis-like size, Cult offers a wide range of coffees and smoothies guaranteed to whet your appetite and, with a loyalty card system offering a free drink per ten visits, it may be difficult to stay away!
TRY: Go for brunch and accompany your cappuccino with their chili and avocado toast.
Located slightly more centrally on Cockburn Street, Southern Cross is the ideal rest-spot for tourists tired of trudging up and down the Royal Mile or shoppers seeking a break from the bustle of Princes Street. Although often overcrowded during the summer months – a pain when trying to find a table, Southern Cross’ extensive lunch menu to go with the coffee makes the wait for a table more than worth it.
TRY: Opt for the Soup of the Day for lunch before taking your coffee to go.
With one location a bistro on Antigua Street, the coffee-shop vibe is perhaps better found at Café Marlayne’s Elm Row storefront. Flush with sofas, the abundance of comfortable seating makes the adventure out to Café Marlayne one worth contemplating and, with a French-themed restaurant in the back, pop-in for an afternoon coffee and you may find yourself tempted into dinner.
TRY: Their Nutella waffles, just do it.
No list of coffee places in Edinburgh is complete without Lovecrumbs. The by-now legendary cake makers have become a mainstay of the cities’ coffee scene, attracting a constant stream of locals and tourists alike to their store. Despite the crowds, Lovecrumbs has developed a habit of treating visitors to the sight of what is arguably heaven on Earth (to us mere mortals that simply means rows upon rows of beautiful cakes) and, based just a stone’s throw away from the castle along with a primarily rustic design, has become a firm favourite, with their window seats among the most instagrammable locations in the city.
TRY: Follow their Instagram and try to convince yourself you don’t want all of it.
Situated on the Mound, Zebra Coffee is somewhat perfectly located for people meandering around the castle. Looking somewhat ‘run down’ from the outside, Zebra attracts a loyal legion of fans for their homemade brownies, displaying a wide assortment of flavours in the window that is effective at luring even the staunchest of diet-conscious Scots through their doors. Although somewhat cramped, Zebra Coffee’s décor is one of a kind, mixing the ever-popular exposed-brick aesthetic with a library-themed back room that makes any visit feel quirky. Unfortunately, the shop tends to close relatively early (c.4pm), making this more of a morning haunt!
TRY: A brownie, ignore diet for the day. Treat yourself!
The easiest way to describe Filament is as a hipster’s paradise. Now, we know that we haven’t exactly steered clear of the theme so far (all of the coffee places in this list have exposed-brick walls after all), but Filament takes a clear lead in this regard. Sporting a fair mix of artisan coffee from all over the world, smoothies in milk bottles, bearded baristas, cacti on tables and urm more bearded baristas, Filament has become somewhat of a haven for the city’s hipster population. Despite this, their dedication to crafting the perfect cuppa makes it more than worth a trip.
TRY: A slice of their delicious parsnip cake. It speaks volumes that in a cake-scene understandably dominated by the likes of Lovecrumbs and Mimi’s Bakehouse, Filament have managed to cut themselves a slice of the market with this little gem.
Somewhat of a Mecca for coffee lovers in Edinburgh, Brew Lab combines coffee excellence and expertise with flair in a store dominated by small tables and brick walls. A five minute walk from Edinburgh University, Brew Lab is usually crowded with caffeine-addicted students looking for a quick break in between classes so be prepared to either wait for a seat or take your coffee to go.
TRY: Honestly we’ll be impressed if you understand their menu… beats us.
A mainstay of the Edinburgh coffee scene, Black Medicine now has two stores in the city: the flagship in Southside that’s ideally located for tourists and students and one in Bruntsfield that’s more in tune for those of you in the residential area of Marchmont.
TRY: A mango smoothie is definitely the way to go here.