Scotland's capital is constantly evolving, and you'll find a new restaurant or eatery every time you visit. One of the biggest changes to the city’s dining scene in the past few years is the huge growth in cafes, from hip and happening coffee shops to twee little tea shops just waiting to be discovered.
Edinburgh’s perennial favourite Wellington Coffee, despite opening 14 years ago, continue to maintain their high standards and they do a mean cheese and bacon scone, too. Over the past decade, however, they’ve seen their share of worthy competitors spring up, offering tea, coffee and more.
Some Edinburgh coffee shops pride themselves on their latté art
Located near The University of Edinburgh, Union Brew Lab was the brainchild of coffee experts and co-owners Dave Law and Tom Hyde, who as their shop’s name suggest, take a scientific approach to brewing. Enjoy the cafe’s modern tunes while sampling one of the two filter coffees brewed every day, as well as popular espresso blends and tea.
Union Brew Lab was the brainchild of coffee experts and co-owners Dave Law and Tom Hyde, who as their shop’s name suggest, take a scientific approach to brewing
Run by a husband and wife team, Fieldwork is another popular choice. This trendy cafe has rotating displays on the wall by Edinburgh artists, and the coffees and tasty breakfast and lunch menus are all locally sourced.
Need a caffeine hit? You’re never far from one in Edinburgh
In fact, there are so many good tea and coffee shops, it almost feels unfair to name check some and not others, but a few of the best proponents include Lowdown, Artisan Roast, Castello Coffee, Williams & Johnson, Cult, Fortitude and The Milkman, all of which ensure that wherever you are in the city, you’re never far away from a quality caffeine hit.
You’ll always get service with a smile in Edinburgh
Meanwhile, Cairngorm Coffee serves speciality coffee at its two shops and is renowned for a tasty grilled cheese alongside a selection of tasty food offerings. You can even buy a T-shirt or some of their delicious high-end coffee.
If you enjoy a cultural setting, Café Portrait is located inside the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and photographed portraits adorn the walls
If tea is more your thing, then seek out Eteaket on Frederick Street or their concept store on Rose Street where you can try all manner of tastings and test brews throughout the day. Clarinda’s Tearoom, named after Scottish poet Robert Burns’ most famous lover Clarinda, offer delicious home-made cakes and food as well as a fantastic Scottish tea selection.
Why not try afternoon tea at Eteaket?
While most of these establishments offer above-decent snacks to accompany their hot drinks, if you’re after something a bit more substantial or adventurous, there’s no shortage of great little cafes too, most of whom do decent coffee to boot. Both The Pastry Section and Lovecrumbs will tempt you with some of the most incredible cakes in town, Milk serves some of the most interesting, fresh and healthy sandwiches (and hot options) in town, while if it’s a nourishing dose of soup you’re after, then Union of Genius almost certainly has the answer.