A Local’s Guide to Edinburgh Indie Coffee Shops

One of the things I love most about Edinburgh is the copious amounts of independent coffee shops. There are so many lovely places to grab a coffee to go or even better, to sit in somewhere cosy and wile away the morning people watching and getting stuck into a good old book.

I’ve put together a guide of some of my favourite spots – some of which I’ve simply stumbled upon, some have come recommended and some have been inspired by @edinburghcafes (her account is well-worth a look if you are Edinburgh-based and into your coffees).

Edinburgh New Town top-picks

Wellington Coffee

Located on George Street, this little coffee shop has some of the best coffee and hot chocolates around. It has a lovely outdoor space too and a tasty selection of cakes. Small and quaint, it’s the perfect stop after a morning of exploring Edinburgh. A good place to work or catch up with friends.

Cairngorm Coffee Co

A great little coffee shop that sells hands-down the best banana cake and tasty coffee. Simple decor and friendly staff, it’s a great place to unwind and relax. Reasonably priced food and outdoor seating to watch passersby. A brilliant little find!

Burr & Co

This coffee shop is also located in George Street. Bright and spacious, Burr and Co is a lovely place to stop by with friends but also a good place to warm up with a book or get on with some work. They offer a wide range of coffees but also serve tea, juices and soft drinks, cakes and pastries, sandwiches and salads to take away or eat in. They have sockets to re-charge laptops and free Wi-Fi. I would particularly recommend their toasties and salted caramel hot chocolates as an indulgent treat!

Westend Top Picks


Located on William Street, this pastel-coloured coffee shop of dreams should absolutely be on your to-visit list. They do amazing coffee, hot chocolates, teas and of course, cakes. A quiet haven, with the friendliest staff and good selection of gluten-free cakes, this is one of my favourite finds in Edinburgh so far. They also have a book club on the last Thursday of every month and have a reward scheme if you buy a certain number of hot drinks. Definitely worth stopping by with friends for a spot of lunch or afternoon treat!

Cafe Noir

This is a lovely, open space with friendly staff and ample seating. They have a good selection of hot drinks and lunch/cake options. The coffee is served warm rather than hot so it’s worth asking them to make it hotter, otherwise it goes cold very quickly! Lovely pastries and quiet atmosphere- a particularly good place to get some work down or get stuck into a good book.

Cafe Class

I actually haven’t tried the coffee in Cafe Class but their cakes and lunches are delicious. Their baked potatoes are a good size and they offer a variety of toppings (hummus and bacon are my personal favourites). Their salted caramel brownies are incredible and the decor and art work is tasteful and home-ly. A lot more spacious then some of the above coffee shop picks, a good place to catch up with multiple friends, go for a work meeting or crack on with some work.

Edinburgh Old Town top-picks


This is another one of my all-time favourites. Not only do they serve the BEST homemade lemonade and ginger beer but they also do brilliant lunches, snacks and cakes. Big, airy and spacious with quirky decorations, this is another great spot for getting on with some work or catching up with friends. A excellent find in Edinburgh Old Town!

The Milkman

This is by far one of the cosiest, most rustic and loveliest coffee shops I’ve come across in Edinburgh. Located on Cockburn Street, it’s a hidden treasure- they serve delicious coffee and great cakes. It has gorgeous little nooks, exposed stone walls and welcoming staff. An absolute gem in the heart of Edinburgh!

There are, of course, so many other wonderful coffee shops around Edinburgh but these are currently my top-picks and places I revisit again and again. I have a fair few still on my ‘to-try’ list including: Nomad, which is very near Haymarket Station and always has very tasty-looking treats on display, The Hideout Cafe, Fortitude Coffee and Baba Budan. What are your favourite coffee shop picks? I’d love to hear from you!




  1. Reply


    May 30, 2018

    I go to Edinburgh every year and I am always stumped for places for coffee! Now i have a list! They have some of the best names! I love the name Scrumpets! Thank you so much for sharing! x

    • Reply


      June 1, 2018

      Thanks so much! Strumpets is one of my favourites- definitely recommend checking it out x

  2. Reply


    June 1, 2018

    Can’t wait to visit Edinburgh again and I love indie coffee shops too (even though I don’t drink coffee)!

    • Reply


      June 3, 2018

      There are so many wonderful coffee shops to choose from – hope you have an amazing next trip to Edinburgh!

  3. Reply


    July 31, 2018

    So much wonderful information especially for someone that’s never been there! Thank you!😁

    • Reply


      August 1, 2018

      Thanks so much for your comment. I really loved it – would absolutely recommend a visit if you’re ever in the area!