9 best coffee shops to try in Edinburgh

Sarah Henderson ·March 22, 2023Reading time: 4 minutes

Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or you’re looking for a cosy pit stop to fuel your adventures, Edinburgh has you covered with its lively and vibrant coffee scene.

Sit back with a brew and check out this list of some of our favourite coffee shops in Edinburgh.

  1. Machina Marchmont

    Machina coffee in Marchmont

    © @cafesaound_me

    Machina is an Edinburgh staple, well-known for their seasonal and delicious coffee roasted beneath dramatic views of Arthur’s Seat.

    Their spacious café can be found in the Marchmont area of the city. Sit in and savour your coffee of choice or takeaway for a wander around the Meadows, a nearby park. They regularly hold coffee events for those looking to learn more, including cupping sessions and special tastings.

  2. Fortitude Various

    Fortitude in New Town

    © @littlebakesbygem

    If you’re looking for a high-quality caffeine fix, Fortitude is one of the best coffee shops in Edinburgh. It has three shops across the city, each with their own unique location and atmosphere.

    Visit their café in Newington for a contemporary, relaxed feel or their newest store in the Abbeyhill area of the city. They also have a larger café in the Stockbridge area of the city, ideal if you want to wander around the picturesque Dean Village, Circus Lane and Water of Leith.

  3. Cairngorm Coffee Various

    Cairngorm Coffee, Frederick Street

    © @billybrewsbeans

    First established in the wilds of Cairngorm National Park, the team behind Cairngorm Coffee have kept quality coffee and community at the core of their enterprise with their own specialty roasts.

    For a coffee with a view, try their west end shop. With its huge, curved glass windows and copper-toned furniture, it’s the perfect spot to while away a few hours people watching. For a more central location, visit their new space in Bonnie and Wild Marketplace, a quality food and drink market in St James Quarter.

  4. Lowdown New Town

    Lowdown coffee shop

    © @lowdown.coffee

    Blink and you might miss it. This cutting-edge coffee shop is down a flight of stairs beneath the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh’s George Street. Its crisp, modern aesthetic complements its clean and precise brewing techniques.

    Lowdown’s central location makes it a great pit stop after a day spent adventuring and serves up fresh bakes and specialty coffees galore.

  5. Williams and Johnson Leith

    William & Johnson Coffee

    © Amanda Thomas

    Take a trip to trendy Leith and visit Williams and Johnson. Tucked away in the atmospheric Custom Lane in the Shore area, this Edinburgh coffee shop roasts their single origin beans on site in small batches to create the best flavour.

    Custom Lane is part of a collaborative artistic space, so you can savour your coffee whilst you stroll around the local galleries and exhibitions, or simply watch the waters lapping on the dock.

  6. Artisan Roast Various

    Artisan Roast, Stockbridge

    © @chu.christy

    Artisan Roast was the original specialty coffee shop in Scotland and you can still visit their edgy Broughton Street café where it all began. They now ship their beans worldwide and have cafés all over the city, including in Bruntsfield, Stockbridge and Leith Walk.

    Part of Circular Coffee Scotland, Artisan Roast are committed to sustainability and passionate about coffee – if you enjoy your visit check out their brewing guides online so you can get the best out of your beans back home.

  7. Cult Espresso Newington

    Cult Espresso

    © @the_cult_of_coffee

    As well as their own single origin coffee, Cult offer samples from roasters around the globe in their friendly café. They team up with local makers and bakers to provide the perfect sweet pairings for your coffee.

    Sit back with a hot coffee and soak up the décor, dedicated to the favourite cult classics of these coffee roasters in Edinburgh.

  8. Santu Coffee Bar Royal Mile

    Santu Coffee Bar on the Royal Mile

    © @santucoffee

    Santu Coffee Bar is centrally located on the Canongate – the perfect place to sit in or takeaway coffee as you explore the historic Royal Mile and surrounding cobbled city streets.

    Santu prides itself on sourcing beans for roasting exclusively from known Brazilian farmers and producers, ensuring a transparent and responsible process from start to finish. Make sure you also try their delicious Pastéis de Nata alongside your brew!

  9. Twelve Triangles Various

    Twelve Triangles in Stockbridge

    © @barbarasharpillustrations

    If you have a sweet tooth, Twelve Triangles is for you. Alongside their locally supplied coffee, the team at Twelve Triangles specialise in baking fresh, mouth-watering treats every morning. Enjoy the sight and smell of towering piles of warm bread and pastries, make sure you get there early to snap up your favourites before they sell out!

    They have 5 stores across Edinburgh, so you’re never far from a coffee and pastry pick up point. Try the Portobello café to enjoy your baked goods by the sparkling Scottish sea, or their shop in Morningside to fuel for a walk up Blackford Hill.

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